Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Wednesday, Oct 9, launched the world's first smartphone with a curved display, a variant of the Galaxy Note which moves the Asian giant a step closer to achieving wearable devices with flexible - even unbreakable – screens, according to Reuters.
Curved displays are on the frontlines of Samsung's innovation war with rivals such as Apple Inc and LG Electronics Inc, as the South Korean firm seeks to expand its lead in the slowing market for high-end smartphones.
The phone initially would be available only in South Korea and no decision had been made about releasing it in other markets.
The device resembles the Galaxy S3 and S4, but it has slight dip in the middle that causes the phone to curve along a vertical axis. The phone's body itself is rigid, so it doesn't exactly flex or bend -- but rather has a stationary curve that is said to fit the contours of a person's face. The company says that this curvature lets users controls their apps, music, and photos more easily, CNET says.
"As a result of its unique curved design, users can take advantage of round integration experiences like the Roll Effect that enables user to check information such as date, time, missed call and battery easily when home screen is off, and the Gravity Effect for creating visual interaction with the screen by tilting the device," Samsung wrote in a statement. "When the Galaxy Round's display is off while the music player is running, a short press to the left of the device will play the previous track while a short press to the right will play the next track. For pictures and videos, the Side Mirror feature enables users to gain access to list of the album content with a left and right tilt."
The Galaxy Round has a 5.7-inch 1080p screen that has an HD Super AMOLED display. The device is 7.9mm thick, weighs 154g, and has a 2800mAh battery. It runs Android 4.3, has 3GB of RAM, and a 2.3GHz quad-core processor. The smartphone also has a 13-megapixel camera.
Curved displays open up possibilities for bendable designs that could eventually transform the high-end smartphone market, where growth has slowed amid competition from low-end producers. Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch released last month has a flat screen, but the company is hoping to have the technology to make more attractive and wearable devices in what is shaping as a key battleground for consumer electronics companies.
Technology firms have yet to figure out how to cheaply mass produce the parts and come up with display panels that can be thin and heat-resistant. Batteries also have to take new forms to support flexible screens that can be rolled out, attached to uneven surfaces or even stretched. The battery in the Galaxy Round is not curved, Samsung said.