Samsung Galaxy Round is First Smartphone to Feature a Curved Display

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z0mb13k1ll

Not the first! Samsung made the Nexus S years ago. You cant say that this is "round" and the Nexus S was not. Stop trying to use lies to get press

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MaximumMike

It's actually a flexible display, fixed in a rounded position. So, the article may have worded that a little poorly. But it is indeed the first production ready screen of its kind in the world.

Edit: I would also think that Samsung would be the first to know if the screen technology they are using in this phone was different from what they themselves used in the Nexus S. Most companies don't usually claim a first with some product if they already have claim to same said first with some other previous product. The notion of Samsung intentionally upstaging Samsung just seems a little silly.

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Damnlogin

Still waiting for a phone similar to the Nokia Morph Concept. Or at least curving the screen to the sides for better gesture support.

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benvoliothefirst

Seems like a perfectly useful and long overdue idea. A phone that conforms to the curve of my leg makes me feel like I have to worry less about damaging it when leaning against things. (Which I do a lot of in my line of work.)

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diedrichg

Oh great! Even more surface area to get my greasy face on! Case designs will be interesting.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Seems like a more natural fit to one's pants pocket, though many of you would more likely have it in your purse.

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lordfirefox

Better than where most iPhone users keep their phones. Up in their man-ginas.

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jgottberg

Yeah, I'm with most - not sure I'd drop my current phone for this just because it's got a curved display. I can't think of one practical reason for a curved screen.

I think this is the type of stuff Apple loves. Samsung wants to be the first manufacturer of a flexible display so they release this - a phone without a real purpose. What is Apple's next move? A foldable design or as someone else said, a roll-up design - which has a practical purpose. While Samsung may have been "first", it was a half-baked idea. Don't take this as Apple fanboi'ism - just an observation I'm making over many years of experience.

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MaximumMike

Actually, Apple is old news struggling to keep up with modern technology. This time around Samsung is trying to keep up with LG, who is slated to release a flexible screen device for mass production in November. It's an unconfirmed rumor, but think Nexus 5. Unfortunately for Samsung, they don't yet have the capacity to mass produce these screens. That's why the Galaxy Round is only slated for Korea, and unlikely to arrive in the US. If you read the press release, you'll notice that Samsung is using this device to test consumer demand for flexible screens. They're not trying to knock it out of the park, but just to be first. But you can forget about Apple, they are late to all the technology parties these days.

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Weo

Over the last year or two I've been impressed with the flexible display prototypes I see on videos and articles. However, after seeing some touch screen conversion kits and never seeing these flexible displays with flexible touch input, I wonder if actually having a flex-screen display with flexible touch screen input is beyond current technology... at least at a price point for consumers.

If this phone means that the flexible display is financially feasible for consumer purchase, I hope flex-screens with flexible touch input is not too far away... especially considering the speed of innovation for cell phones and tablets over the past few years.

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diedrichg

I wonder if it's less flexible display technology and actually more of a magic trick of misdirection where they employ advanced mathematics to display an undistorted image on a curved piece of glass and then call the new technology "flexible display" when it's never intended to be actually flexible.

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MaximumMike

No, that's not what it is at all. The display really is flexible.

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Asterixx

I can think of one practical use: Put it in your pocket with the screen facing your leg and it will match the curve of your leg. It would make it much more comfortable to carry this way. For the record, carrying my iPhone 4S with the screen toward my leg has enabled me to have it for 2.5 years without breaking the screen, which is saying something given that I'm a mechanic and therefore work in a pretty rough environment. The Otterbox case is the only thing that has saved the back side...

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QuadraQ

Well this is stupid

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Shalbatana

"Oh sorry samsung you misunderstood everyone in the universe. We never said we wanted a round display, we said we wanted to roll up our display."

It would be a fun novelty, but I'm skeptical as to why and if I'd want one. I'll try anything once, but it seems a little silly

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Chronologist

This is like complaining that the concorde wasnt fast enough because humanity ultimately wants to be capable of faster than light travel. This is an important step towards the flexible display. If you haven't noticed in the last few centuries, technology is a process, not an instantaneous change.

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MaximumMike

Well, this isn't a step towards a flexible display. This "is" a flexible display. But like Shalbatana, I'm much more interested in a rollable screen. But I would agree with you that this is a good step in that direction.

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Shalbatana

I disagree. I think this is a novelty, an attempt at something new. I respect that, but I'm not sure where it's coming from. I've never heard anyone say "I'd like a curved phone. It seems to me that a phone curved in this direction is not very conforming either. Or at least conforms better to the pocket than to typing and, well, using it as a phone.

Meantime the flexible screen technology has already passed this point, save for perhaps the fact that this is one of the first mass produced items to have one. Even then, this isn't flexible, it's just curved. Manufacturers have been doing curved screens for quite some time, albeit mostly through "technical trickery" if you could call it that.

It's interesting, but I can't imagine it solving any problems for anyone.

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MaximumMike

You're absolutely wrong. This really is a flexible screen, and it really is the first one on a consumer grade device. Sorry you're misinformed.

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Shalbatana

Actually I agreed with you on that part of it. What I'm saying is that I've already seen tech demos of people bending screens and rolling them up.

just do a search for "flexible screen", HP's been demoing a screen that flexes for quite some time now. Others too. This screen, while curved, is not bendable (well at least the screen as it's been integrated into the body of the phone) and doesn't get rolled up. read the article again. It's a curved phone, it isn't a flexable phone. That is the part I don't get.

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MaximumMike

If you noticed in my original response, I already agreed with you that a rollable screen would be nice. ;)

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Hey.That_Dude

The screen is permanently flexed. The screen is still "flexible" even if it won't "flex" for you. One is an ability, the other is an action; please don't confuse to the two.

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Shalbatana

Sorry, I didn't think I was. My initial statement was simply that I wanted one that rolled up, not one that stayed curved and rocked back and forth on my desk like a seesaw. My apologies if I wasn't clear.

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Hey.That_Dude

Yeah, well I can't see much point in a truly "flexing" screen if the PCB that powers it isn't also flexing. It would be a kind of cool concept though.

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MaximumMike

I envision a form factor that's more like an ink pen and fits neatly in the pocket. Basic functionality can be achieved through a few physical outer buttons and a bluetooth headset. But when you really want to use the device, a full tablet-sized screen can roll out of the side. At least, that's what I envision.

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Shalbatana

I'd settle for one that doesn't dig into my backside when I sit down! :)

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vrmlbasic

I'm not sure that I would want a curved screen to stare at for long periods of time.

The flat screens are one of the best things that the move from CRT to LCD gave us. I realize that there were flat-screen CRTs but I never had one and if I had possessed one it would have been a low-res one anyhow.

I also wonder how we can fit 1080 screens into tiny phones but still don't really have anything above 1080 in PC monitors. If we can get 5.7" 1080 screens then we should have had bona-fide 4K 30" screens go mainstream eons ago.

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MaximumMike

I think I addressed this elsewhere on this thread. The reason we don't have the same pixel density on TV's and monitors that we do on cell phone screens is because they are more costly to manufacture with lower yields of good screens. But technology is getting better and they will become common place at some point. It's only a matter of time.

Also, when comparing this screen to flat and curved CRT screens you're comparing apples to oranges. That technology was completely different. In layman's terms this is what you would think of as a flat oled screen, made out of a flexible material.

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Chronologist

This is very much different from the convex screens of the CRT age. The distance between the panel and the surface of the screen is unit throughout the unit.

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vrmlbasic

Even so, why would I want it? Is there greater-than-flat-screen-level eyestrain on this screen? Is there distortion due to the curve? How is watching video on it?

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Chronologist

What this is, is essentially as someone else below said "A Note 3 with a curved display". From personal experience of using the Nexus S, I did not experience any level of eye strain beyond the typical strain one would get from a modern smartphone. I also did not notice any distortion, nor have I heard of anyone complaining of the distortions. However, as I am by no means a visual expert, there may be some disadvantages. Point being, the average consumer will find the transition very easy and unobtrusive. I also like how because the curved screens are well, curved, surfaces don't touch the screen when the device is placed face down.

No I would not pay a premium for it; but if the Galaxy Round is going for the same as a Note 3, I'll take the Round.

Again, it obviously really comes down heavily on personal preference.

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MaximumMike

>>What this is, is essentially as someone else below said "A Note 3 with a curved display".

Not quite. This is the first production model phone with a flexible display - ever. So, the screen technology in this device is very different from the Nexus. Are the technologies similar enough that your experience with the Nexus is relative? I have no idea. But I wouldn't be comfortable saying that just because one experience was good the other would be good as well, or vice versa. This is a curious device, but I'm reserving an opinion until I actually see one.... if I ever actually see one.

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neo1piv14

That seems really vulnerable to putting a little too much pressure on it the wrong way. Also, as a side note, this isn't the first phone with a curved screen. The Nexus S had a very noticeable curve to it. I thought it made it a little easier to hold when I was on a call, but it didn't get in the way of using the phone.

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MaximumMike

You're missing the point. Samsung only released this device to showcase its flexible screen technology. You can't really put too much pressure on the screen with normal usage.

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Chronologist

The nexus s and the nexus 4 had curved screens on a flat display. The Galaxy round is a curved display with a curved screen.

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neo1piv14

Ah, thank you for clarifying that for me. I didn't realize that the previous "curved" phones were done that way.

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Innomasta

So basically a note 3 with a curved screen... I will remain skeptical til i get one in my hands

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Hey.That_Dude

ZOMG! USB 3.0 finally. What is the supported speed on the MicroSD card? UHS-1? UHS-2? Class 10?

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MaximumMike

Not quite "finally". This is essentially a Note 3 with a rounded bezel and a flexible screen. The Note 3 has USB 3.0, has already been announced, and will be in the US very soon if it isn't here already. The Galaxy Round is currently only slated for Korea, and my not ever come here.

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Hey.That_Dude

Silence. What about the MicroSD speed?

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legionera

I wonder what the practical benefits of a curved display are?

And this looks really uncomfortable.

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Chronologist

If you've ever used a nexus s, or a nexus 4, the curve is actually pretty nice. It makes using a large screen that much easier because of the reduced thumb travel

My main concern is how well it fits in pockets

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wolfing

I think it actually fits better in pockets because of the round screen (since my leg is roundish)

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legionera

Thanks

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Obsidian

Nice specs, great concept. Every time I see the next portable device "x" I get a bit sad. It would be super if computer display resolution kept up with the pixel density of cell phones. Why can't they make it happen?

Maybe something like this will be my next phone. Thumbs down on the brown color though.

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MaximumMike

>> It would be super if computer display resolution kept up with the pixel density of cell phones. Why can't they make it happen?

The same reason TV pixel density is no where close to what is on a computer monitor - cost and yield rate. The number of allowable dead pixels is very small. Obviously, the larger the screen the more likely dead pixels and other anomalies are. So, the highest pixel density devices will always be the ones with the smallest screens.