There have been rumors going around for the past few weeks that Samsung would be launching a phone with a curved OLED display. So, it comes as no surprise that they announced it yesterday with little else other than a few already expected specifications and design cues. There’s no doubt that this is a nice looking phone, and that its a good proof of concept, but it remains to be seen what benefits there are to having a curved display.
In terms of actual specifications, the Samsung Galaxy Round isn’t necessarily a weak smartphone by any measure. The Galaxy Round comes in at 7.9mm thick and weighs 154g, while packing a massive 2800mAh battery. The camera resolution is 13 megapixels, like the Galaxy S4 and Note 3, and the phone runs the latest version of Android, 4.3, in addition to having a 2.3 Ghz Quadcore processor and 3GB of RAM.
When you look at this phone’s massive 5.7" curved display, you start to ask yourself, why? What purpose does a curved version of the Note 3 really improve upon or how does it make the phone better? Well, in theory, it should make the phone more ergonomic to your face and make holding it easier. However, the back of most phones nowadays is not always dependent upon the front (see HTC One’s curved back). Yes, the Galaxy Round is overall a more comfortable looking phone to hold, but it remains to be seen how it is to use.
Samsung Tomorrow, an official Samsung Blog, provided some short video of how Samsung intends to utilize the curved screen to enable unique user experiences. Frankly, to me, this just seems like another one of Samsung’s gimmicky features to justify the use of a curved display, who’s ultimate goal is a flexible phone rather than just a curved display. However, curved displays are the first step towards a fully flexible phone, so we need to take baby steps first.
Basically, the Samsung Galaxy Round is really the Samsung Note 3, Curved Edition. There isn’t really anything ground breaking other than the display and I really have a hard time believing that this thing will take off. I hope that it will eventually lead to flexible displays and phones, but it will be interesting to see what LG can think of with their rumored curved phone and if it will be more innovative than Samsung’s appears to be.