LG’s flexible screen G Flex smartphone launching in Australia on Optus, as screen defect concerns emerge

LG has announced it is launching its flexible screen G Flex smartphone in Australia during February, although the announcement comes as concerns grow in Korea about a production issue causing defects on the surface of the curved display.

The new smartphone will be exclusively stocked by Harvey Norman in Australia, and come with a price tag of $999 for outright and unlocked, or alternatively come with a $200 gift voucher when purchased on a My Plan.

“We’re thrilled to be the exclusive retailer of the LG ‘G Flex’ in Australia.” Harvey Norman general manager of technology and entertainment Geoff Van Der Vegt says.

“LG’s latest smartphone shows true innovation and we are always looking to deliver new and exciting products to our customers. We believe consumers will be truly amazed by everything the LG G Flex has to offer.”

However, the news came as a report in the Korea Times raised concerns about small bumps on the surface of the curved display, a problem that experts say should have been addressed during product development or at least acknowledged by the company when the product was released.

“LG Electronics was rather hesitant in releasing its curved-screen smartphone, as it was previously aware of some technical problems. LG should have notified consumers ahead of the product launch,” a Korea Display Industry Association said.

In a statement to the Korea Times, the tech giant acknowledged production issues with the display, advising consumers not to use excessive force when flattening the device.

“Because key components inside the G Flex such as the glass cover, OLED display, battery and frame are elastic, excessive or frequent force that flattens the device may produce bumps.

“Please don’t try to use frequent, excessive force on the device or the screen. The reason we’ve made the G Flex screen elastic is to protect the device from damage from sudden impacts such as being sat on or laid down on.”

Upon its launch in South Korea during October of last year, LG claimed the curved form factor effectively increases the sound level by 3dB compared to typical flat smartphones.

The new device uses two technologies LG’s sister companies – LG Chem and LG Display – put into mass production earlier this month in Plastic OLED (POLED) displays and curved batteries.

Unlike Samsung’s curved OLED displays used on its Galaxy Round, which is yet to be officially released in Australia, LG’s POLED display uses an OLED panel built on a plastic substrate, rather than glass.

As with the company’s flagship LG G2 smartphone, the device features most of its main buttons on the back.

As with the LG G2, it uses a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2.26GHz.

However, its 6-inch display uses a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, significantly less than the 1920 by 1080 pixel 5.2-inch display on the G2.

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