Samsung Galaxy Round: first reaction to curved phone
Phone of the future or just a gimmick? Reviewers see a bright future for the curved Galaxy Round
SAMSUNG has unveiled the Galaxy Round, a curved-screen smartphone that could lead to flexible - and unbreakable - handsets.
The Galaxy Round boasts a concave, 5.7-inch, high-definition screen. Samsung says the shape provides a "comfortable, hand-grip feeling" while also offering "exclusive experiences of [a] curved display".
One such feature is the ability to rock the phone while it is lying on a table or other flat surface. When it is tilted towards the user it will display information about as missed calls and battery life while the home screen remains locked.
The phone also boasts a 13-megapixel camera and 3GB of ram, and it will be compatible with Samsung’s recently released Android Smartwatch.
The Galaxy Round will be available from tomorrow, but only in South Korea. The company has yet to confirm a global rollout. Rival phone-maker LG has said it will release its own curved handset next year.
"It's a step forward for having unbreakable gadgets and flexible devices eventually," said Hana Daetoo Securities analyst, Nam Dae-jong. Although the shell of the Galaxy Round is rigid, the display within it is flexible. That means it is less likely to be damaged by an impact to the screen.
Reactions from critics have been generally positive, although not everyone is convinced by the need for a curvy phone.
The stand-out feature for Jessica Dolcourt of CNET? Well obviously it’s that "eyeful of a smile that's unmistakably laughing at you for ever doubting it in the first place," she says.
Aside from its aesthetic appeal, however, Dolcourt questions the worth of the curved screen.
"It still isn't entirely clear what the benefits are of a display that's so deeply, horizontally curved like the Round. Maybe it will fit your cheek - or your pocket," she says. "Or maybe it's just because Samsung has the cash to experiment."
Devindra Hardawar of Venture Beat argues that curved screens point the way to the future.
"They’re paving the way for more intriguing screen shapes down the line," he says, "potentially even truly flexible displays." ·