AT&T announces LG G Flex availability for $300

AT&T will start selling pre-orders of the LG G Flex smartphone on Friday, with full availability of the Android device set for Feb. 7, the company announced Monday.

Sprint has also announced that it will carry the curved smartphone. It appears that Sprint customers may be first to get their hands on the G Flex, with Sprint pledging to "do our best" to deliver online pre-orders by Jan. 31. T-Mobile has also stated that it will sell the G-Flex, though it has not yet released specific availability information.

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AT&T did not specify when Friday's pre-orders would reach its consumers, however. As with Sprint, AT&T's G Flex will be more expensive than the usual high-end smartphone, at $300 with a new two-year contract. The carrier did note that an installment plan would be available, however, with prices ranging between $27 and $35 per month.

Still, the high price point could still prove a barrier to entry for some, particularly consumers questioning whether the unique form factor is worth the extra cash.

LG's G Flex is thought to be the first curved-screen smartphone to hit the U.S. market. A large device, at 6 inches on the diagonal, its 720p screen is bent slightly inwards along the short axis. This form factor faintly recalls old-school landline handsets and, according to LG, reduces glare. The body of the Android-powered G Flex, as the name suggests, has a limited degree of physical flexibility, making it somewhat more difficult to damage than traditionally constructed smartphones.

Rival Samsung has been selling its own curved Galaxy Round smartphone in Korea since October, but there are no indications that the company plans to broaden the availability of the device. Bent along the long axis, rather than the short one, the Round boasts a higher-definition 1080p screen, but lacks the G Flex's actual flexibility.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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