Samsung has announced the Galaxy Round, a smartphone with a curved OLED display.
The entire handset bends around its vertical axis. It houses a monster 5.7-inch display, putting the device solidly in phablet territory.
The rest of the internals are similarly beefy, much like those found in Samsung’s Galaxy Note. And the curved body gives users new ways of interacting with the phone.
When it’s rolled along its curve, for example, the phone will activate briefly so users can check the time or skip songs during music playback. (Via Samsung)
The Wall Street Journal says the Round gives Samsung a moment of innovative lead time over the competition.
“But analysts have long dismissed curved screens as marketing gimmicks that add little real value to the product.”
A writer for ZDNet points out Samsung could be fully aware curved screens aren’t in vogue, and is simply releasing the Round as “a first product to test out new technologies and functionality.”
And even with the critiques, this is a functionality other market players seem intent to replicate. CNET reports LG is hard at work on its own curved handset.
It’s also seen demos of Corning’s Willow glass — so thin it will bend and flex before it breaks. (Via CNET)
But for the moment, the Galaxy Round will enjoy a monopoly on the curved-phone market, at least in South Korea. The phone will retail for a steep $1,013 off-contract, and Samsung doesn’t have plans to release it elsewhere.
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