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Rumor: LG’s flexible screen smartphone, the LG Z/G Flex, may debut in October (Updated)

Check out our review of the LG G Flex smartphone.

According to a new report, LG is going to announce a smartphone/tablet hybrid with a flexible screen before the end of October. Named the LG Z, it’s being compared to LG’s curved OLED television, as the screen will have a concave shape. The news comes from ZDNet Korea, and if we understand the translated report correctly, the phone’s screen will be fixed in place – meaning you won’t be able to bend it – but the curve itself will be dramatic.

LG could be positioning the Z as its third main high-end smartphone series, joining its G series smartphones and unusual Vu models. The specification is likely to be close to the LG G2, with a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, a 1080p screen resolution, and LTE-Advanced connectivity. The latter spec is relevant only to Korea at the moment, and suggests the device may have a limited initial release.

LG G Flex SketchRecently, an LG executive said the company was working on a device with a screen larger than the Optimus G Pro, but it wouldn’t be arriving until 2014. The Optimus G Pro has a 5.5-inch screen, so the LG Z’s possible 6-inch screen fits the bill. LG has also confirmed it has produced a working, 5-inch flexible screen, and another executive dismissed the chance of it reaching the market this year. So, while the LG Z could be announced this year, it may not go on sale for another few months, provided all these reports match up.

Why the urgency to announce a flexible phone? It could be to keep pace with Samsung. LG’s Korean rival has also been linked with a flexible device recently. There’s a distinct similarity between the two rumored phones too, as Samsung’s flexy device could be a special edition of the 5.9-inch, Snapdragon 800-equipped Galaxy Note 3. It’s also possible Samsung will restrict its release to Korea, at least for a start.

After months of speculation and prototypes, it appears we may get two flexible screen smartphones announced very soon, but these early examples sound like prototypes to test market reaction, as neither are expected to get a wide release.

Updated on 10/03/2013 by Andy: A CNet report says its sources have indicated LG’s flexible phone will take the name G Flex, rather than the LG Z, as previously thought. LG recently dropped the Optimus brand name, and called the Optimus G sequel simply the LG G2, so this does make sense. A sketch of what the phone may look like was also published, which you can see above, and the curve is very noticeable. CNet’s sources predict a November announcement, but this could be brought forward.

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