Posted : 2014-01-15 17:22
Updated : 2014-01-15 17:22

'LG G Flex has bumps on surface'

Two small bumps circled in yellow appear on the surface of LG Electronics' curved smartphone G Flex in this photo recently taken at a store in Yongsan Electronics Market. / Korea Times

By Kim Yoo-chul

LG Electronics' G Flex smartphone has a possible defect ― bumps on the surface of its display, consumers and technology experts say.

LG claims it does not affect the function and quality of the phone but experts argue that the company should have addressed the issue before it introduced it.

An official at the Korea Display Industry Association said, "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."

"All LG G Flex models that I've seen so far come with small bumps," said Kim Ji-hoon, an electronics salesclerk, during a telephone interview.

Kim sells mobile devices from Samsung, LG, Apple and Pantech at Yongsan Electronics Market in Seoul, the nation's biggest wholesale electronics market.

He said that some clients ask why the two small bumps were on the surface of G Flex.

"Whatever the reason is, LG Electronics should address the issue as early as possible to settle the matter," he said.

In a recent statement to The Korea Times, LG Electronics said it acknowledges the bumps issue.

"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," the statement reads. It also reassured consumers, saying that "the issue has no relation to the performance and quality of the device."

LG said the bumps will disappear over time and immediately disappears after pressing the problematic spot on the glass cover.

To prevent such bumps, it provided the following advice: "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."

LG first released the device in Korea in November last year, saying it was proud of adopting a perfect curved-screen design to provide customer value.

So far, over 13,000 G Flexes have been sold via the nation's top three carriers ― SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus ― data from the carriers showed.

The 6-inch curved-screen smartphone is now available in major Asian markets including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea.

LG said in a statement that top American carriers including AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile have agreed to sell G Flex in the United States starting in the first quarter of this year.

"Introducing the G Flex to the United States will help us accelerate corporate efforts to lead the race for curved-screen smartphones," said LG Electronics mobile chief Park Jong-seok.

Curved glass screens have become the latest trend in smartphones, with the world's biggest smartphone manufacturer, Samsung Electronics, having recently released the 5.7-inch screened Galaxy Round.

관련 한글 기사

LG 'G 플렉스', 하드웨어 결함 논란

LG전자가 야심차게 내놓은 커브드 (curved) 스마트폰인 ‘LG G플렉스’가 하드웨어 결함 논란에 휩싸일 것으로 보인다. 

15일 본지 취재결과에 따르면 G플렉스 폰 중간 하단 부분에 ‘돌기’가 두 곳 나타나 있는 것으로 확인됐다.

이 부분이 하드웨어상의 결함인지 디스플레이 결함인지 또는 소프트웨어상의 결함인지는 명확히 밝혀지지 않았다.

한 업계 관계자는 “고가의 최신 스마트폰을 산 소비자 입장에서는 설령 ‘돌기’ 부분이 제품 사용에 전혀 문제가 없다고 하더라도 찜찜한 것은 사실”이라며 “회사 측은 이 문제에 대해 적절한 조치를 내 놓아야 할 것”이라고 목소리를 높였다.

LG전자측은 이 문제에 대해 커브드 스마트폰의 특성상 나타날 수 있는 자연스런 문제라며 제품 사용에는 전혀 지장이 없다고 해명했다.

LG전자는 관련 이슈에 대한 본지의 질의에 “사전에 인지하고 있었다”며 “화면을 위로 향하게 제품을 바닥에 놓고 양 끝을 누르거나 또는 제품을 뒤집어 놓고 중간에 힘을 주게 되면 평평하게 되며, 힘을 빼면 곧바로 원래의 커브드 모양으로 돌아오게 된다”고 말했다.

또 “제품의 성능 및 품질과는 연관이 없다”며 “G 플렉스가 커브드 제품이면서 휘어지는 성질을 갖다 보니 사용환경에 따라 일부 나타날 수 있는 현상이며 G 플렉스에 탄성을 부여한 가장 큰 이유는, 제품을 깔고 앉거나 하는 등 제품에 충격이 가해졌을 경우 내구성을 보다 강화하기 위해서다”고 덧붙였다.

이와 같은 특성 때문에 돌기 현상은 시간이 지나면 사라진다는 것이 회사측의 설명이다.

해결 방안에 대해서는 “제품의 양쪽 끝을 동시에 잡고 돌기가 나온 부분의 디스플레이를 엄지 등으로 눌러주면 돌기 현상은 곧바로 사라진다”고 답했다.

G플렉스는 지난해 11월 한국에 처음 출시됐다. LG전자는 12월부터 판매국을 홍콩, 싱가포르 등 아시아 지역으로 확대 했으며 최근에는 AT&T, 스프린드, T 모바일과 손을 잡고 미국 시장에 본격적으로 출시했다.   

G 플렉스는 LG그룹 핵심 역량이 결집된 6인치 커브드 스마트폰이다. 세계최대 크기의 스마트폰용 커브드 디스플레이, 세계최초 커브드 배터리, 셀프 힐링 백 커버, 플렉시블 프레임 등의하드웨어를 탑재했다.  

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