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Cellphones Displays

Samsung Creates Phone With Curved Display 219

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-there's-a-right-way-and-a-wrong-way-to-pocket-your-phone dept.
iONiUM writes "Samsung today unveiled the Galaxy Round phone with a curved 5.7" display. It comes with a hefty $1,000 USD price tag. This is a follow-up to the 55" curved TVs it began selling in June, and is most likely an intermediate form in the development of fold-able phones. Considering the recent LG announcement of mass OLED flexible screen production, it seems we are getting close to flexible phones. One question I wonder: will Apple follow suit? So far there has been no indication they are even attempting flexible/bendable screens."
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Samsung Creates Phone With Curved Display

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  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @03:56PM (#45084655)
    What possible reason is there for this?
    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @03:58PM (#45084683)

      Easier to hold.
      You have surely noticed your hand is not totally flat.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Also easier to put in your pocket, a normal 5.7 inch screen would jut out more, whereas this would follow the curve of your leg.

        • by Joce640k (829181)

          this would follow the curve of your leg.

          Whose leg?

          Won't it rock if you try to use it on a table?

      • Re:Why? (Score:4, Informative)

        by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @04:03PM (#45084745) Journal
        It's not very often anyone has said, "wow, this phone is so hard to hold."
        • Re:Why? (Score:5, Funny)

          by SJHillman (1966756) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @04:15PM (#45084899)

          Mostly just iPhone users. But of course, that's because they've been holding it wrong.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          Actually my number one complaint about Samsung phones is the slippery back that makes them hard to grip. HTC have some kind of rubber-like plastic that gives up plenty of grip. I always fit a minimal "shell" case for this reason.

        • People seldom complain that something isn't good enough, if it's the best they've experienced so far.

          But, once they've tried something better, they'll seldom want to go back. (That what makes it a game changer.)

          (Curious to see if this will be the game changer they're expecting it to be.)

      • Neither is your leg, typically.

        I have to imagine that any significant curve on a screen that small would end up looking sort of weird, though.

        At somewhere in the 24-30 inch range (for monitors, larger for TVs that you are expected to sit further away from) I can see curvature as being a good thing, so that all parts of the screen are roughly equidistant from your face, rather than the edges requiring refocusing as you move your eyes around; but that won't be at play on a phone. If they keep it subtle
        • by lgw (121541)

          At somewhere in the 24-30 inch range (for monitors, larger for TVs that you are expected to sit further away from) I can see curvature as being a good thing, so that all parts of the screen are roughly equidistant from your face, rather than the edges requiring refocusing as you move your eyes around.

          Samsung also makes a curved 55" OLED TV, I think. It's a bit silly - not everyone sits at the same distance, so the curve is arbitrary. I think these things are curved for the same reason: as a social signal that you own a new, high-end product.

          • Quite possibly. 55 inches, especially if ostensibly shared, seems too large to benefit significantly. I'd put the sweet spot at around 30"... small enough that they sell ones you are supposed to sit close to, large enough that the corners are really significantly further from your eyes than the center.
      • Re:Why? (Score:4, Funny)

        by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @04:05PM (#45084781) Homepage Journal

        Easier to hold.

        And carry. Heck, even a whiskey flask is curved.

        You have surely noticed your hand is not totally flat.

        Nor any other parts of your body. Except, of course, my washboard abs. hahaha - yeah.

        • by swb (14022)

          A flask for carrying liquor is curved because it is known as a "hip flask" designed to be carried in a back pocket or along the hip where the body has a natural curve so as to allow it to be carried with more comfort and discretion than might be achieved with a purely rectilinear container.

          • by Joce640k (829181)

            Hip flasks are a lot bigger. If hip flasks were only a couple of inches wide they wouldn't need the curve.

      • by sckienle (588934)
        That argument makes sense for the back, not so much for the front/display.
      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        I for one would have to use it to really know whether it's good or not.

        Maybe easier to use when holding it in your hand, it will be harder to use when you put it on a table. Hard to say which one is the more important. The design of the rear can of course easily prevent tumbling.

        Also I wonder how your eyes deal with looking at a curved screen, and wether they do anything about distortion due to pixels appearing to be narrower towards the edges where it curves up (is this even noticable?).

        • by Joce640k (829181)

          Maybe easier to use when holding it in your hand, it will be harder to use when you put it on a table.

          You're having trouble using a flat phone in your hand?

          I'd like to be able to tap the screen when it's on a table without it rocking.

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by queazocotal (915608) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @04:01PM (#45084717)

      For a 55" screen - the reason is clear - if you're sitting fairly close to it - the edges are noticably further away from you.
      For a 5.5" screen - the most obvious reason would be to protect the screen.
      If, instead of a flat phone, you have one with a light curve on it - it will somewhat protect the screen from scratches due to laying it down wrong.
      I could also see that certain ways of holding it it would make long swipes easier.
      (With the thumb only)

      • by mythosaz (572040)

        the edges are noticably further away from you

        Conceptually?

      • by sootman (158191)

        > For a 55" screen - the reason is clear - if you're sitting fairly close
        > to it - the edges are noticably further away from you.

        Yeah, but we're used to seeing flat rectangles from far away. Does it EVER bother you that the edges of the screen appear to be a slightly different height than the height at the center? I'm sitting 20" away from my 30" screen at work and I don't even notice it. Does it ever bother you when you're at your friend's house, watching their TV from a non-ideal seat, and the whole

        • by MobyDisk (75490)

          As far as I can tell, it's a problem in search of a solution

          You meant a solution in search of a problem.

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          > For a 55" screen - the reason is clear - if you're sitting fairly close
          > to it - the edges are noticably further away from you.

          Yeah, but we're used to seeing flat rectangles from far away. Does it EVER bother you that the edges of the screen appear to be a slightly different height than the height at the center?

          Maybe you remember the time that CRT screens were not flat, but bulging out: this to keep the distance between the cathode ray source (at the back) the same whether the beam went to a far edge or the mid front. It was basically part of a sphere. Even when sitting rather close, you wouldn't see the image bulging towards you: your brain corrects for that just fine.

          Then the flat-square CRT appeared, and things got interesting. Those used to an old, bulging one would suddenly see a flat one as bulging in. I exp

      • For a 55" screen - the reason is clear - if you're sitting fairly close to it - the edges are noticably further away from you.

        It'll happen with any size screen. In fact, it's happening right now on my 13" laptop screen from which I am about a foot away. I'll get over, though.

        The curved screen stuff is a PR gimmick--that's why they're pricing the gear so high--they're not expecting most people to buy it. They're expecting people to talk about it. Looks like it's succeeding.

    • It's a solution to the classic problem of how to fit a phone in the pocket of jeans, which are tightly conformed to one's curved thigh. Now it's not as good a solution as ditching the tight jeans, but it is a solution.
      • by ageoffri (723674)
        If a woman's got the body to pull off tight jeans, then by god there is no reason to ditch tight jeans.
        • by Delusion_ (56114)

          It's amusing that you think the tight jeans and raw denim fad that goes with it are exclusive to women. Also, what troglodyte carries a phone in their ass pocket?

    • No glare on a curved screen maybe?

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by calzones (890942) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @04:30PM (#45085117)

      And how does TFA make the leap from curved glass (which is nothing new and quite run of the mill in so many other daily applications) to zomg, Samsung is going to have a foldable phone in 18 months? Wtf?

      Article smells a bit of sockpuppeted/astroturfed vaporware with the aim of getting people to forego competing purchases they're contemplating in the near term.

      • In their defense a screen is more than just a piece of glass. My phone has had curved glass for quite a few years already but a flat screen.

        I never thought curving a screen to be that difficult though. I always understood they were quite flimsy and held in place to protect from damage. That we've always held them flat and not curved had less to do with one being difficult and more to do with "why the hell would I want a curved display?"

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          Afaik (part of) the display is made out of silicon, which means it can't be bent without breaking the circuit etched into it. These polymer screens are much more flexible, and folding/rolling up the screen is certainly within reach of such materials.

    • by devman (1163205)
      Flip-phone comeback? I loved flip-phones.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by RicktheBrick (588466)
      CRT televisions used to be curved than the big advancement was flat screens. Flat screens were easier to see in bright sunlight with less glare. I would think the same reasoning would apply to phones.
    • What possible reason is there for this?

      It's going to come handy when you're stranded with a tropical island without matches.

    • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

      What possible reason is there for this?

      The curvature helps with glare as well. Slightly tipping the device can eliminate glare from (for instance) overhead lighting while still maintaining a reasonably straight-on viewing angle.

    • by PapayaSF (721268)

      What possible reason is there for this?

      Samsung's consumer electronics strategy seems to be: "Let's try every damn thing we can think of, and see what sells!"

      • by smash (1351)
        Because they have no clue on product design and do no research into what actually work or to discover a use case. But hey this is slashdot, those things aren't actually relevant. The only ideas worth anything are algorithms and technology for technology's sake.
    • by smash (1351)
      Samsung are spending money on curved displays and have no idea about product design or where it might be appropriate, so they stuck it to a phone.
    • by c (8461)

      What possible reason is there for this?

      I get this feeling that Samsung's using this sort of thing as a way to drum up business for their display components side. Rather than just banging out a reference device and showing it to device makers (and competitors), they're going the extra few steps to crank out a finished device and put it on the market.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      What possible reason was there for making them flat instead of curved in the first place? Just limitations in manufacturing?
  • Can't innovate, my ass.

  • Lawsuit incoming (Score:4, Informative)

    by Highland Deck Box (2786087) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @04:05PM (#45084771)
    Apple already patented displaying graphical representations of information on a screen embedded in a communications device.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @04:06PM (#45084787)

    One question I wonder: will Apple follow suit?

    Sorry, but you have that process backwards...

  • ...had the display flowing over the edge of the phone's sides so you could place a phone on a table and have only the edge display info.

  • by Fuzzums (250400) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @04:13PM (#45084881) Homepage

    [x] play games on phone
    [x] use internet on phone
    [x] take pictures with phone
    [x] ...
    [ ] bend phone
    [ ] break phone
    [ ] use phone to actually call people

  • One question I wonder: will Apple follow suit? So far there has been no indication they are even attempting flexible/bendable screens."

    Your google-fu is weak [pcmag.com], submitter. Apple is indeed looking at this technology and have filed several patents. Samsung though beat them to market; but it's a pyrric victory at a $1000 price tag.

    • by Krojack (575051)

      More like Apple will file a patent suit and claim Samsung stole it from them thus getting an import ban. We all know how those always work out in Apple's favor.

    • A flexible or bendable screen is different from a screen that comes pre-curved and doesn't flex at all, I reckon.

      I fail to see the point of this curved screen, honestly. Maybe it's better if you carry a large phone in your pocket?

      Sometimes it's not worth being first. They may as well have come to market with a phone that's covered in mushrooms, or one that drips motor oil. This is pretty random stuff, here.

      But maybe they'll prove me wrong once they actually reveal how it works.

      • My S4 Active would be cumbersome if I wore tight pants. I don't so it doesn't bother me. The S4 Active has a 5" screen. The Round would, seemingly, have a 5.7" screen. If it were flat and someone who wears tight pants would have it in a pant pocket then that someone would probably have to be overweight because that makes for a larger curvature. Not what I like to see in tight pants.
    • by smash (1351)
      Looking at this technology and figuring out an actual use case, and dumping gimmicky garbage on the market simply to be "First!" are two entirely different things.
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Why Google it when you can Slashdot it?

      Have other people do the work for you, and get lots of comments on it that are even worse thought out than your original query sorry submission.

  • Those warriors from Samsung have curved screens. Curved. Screens
    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      And this isn't the first one. I have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus with a curved screen, although it is curved from top to bottom, vice left to right.
  • Gimmick (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Princeofcups (150855) <john@princeofcups.com> on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @04:17PM (#45084929) Homepage

    What is this besides a gimmick? How does a curved screen make anything better? Is there anyone out there who ever said, "this would be much better if only the screen were curved?" Answers are "nothing," "it doesn't," and "no."

    • by mythosaz (572040)

      A dozen posters above you have already mentioned that our hands and pockets are curved.

      That makes your answers, "A design improvement," "It's more ergonomic," and "scores of people who were involved in the testing of this phone."

      Also, please don't order one. More for the people who do.

      • by gutnor (872759)

        Well it seems that Samsung finally managed to copy Apple Reality Distortion field.

        A screen, curved like my hands, I need one now.

      • by smash (1351)
        So you're saying that the curve is meant to match the highly variable and easily modified "curve" of an arbitrary user's hand? I.e., it is sub-optimal for the curve of 99.999999999% of hands out there?
    • Re:Gimmick (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anubis IV (1279820) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @04:38PM (#45085247)

      I don't know about you, but my thumb is a fixed length, and it pivots at a joint. As such, if I have my hand at a fixed location on a flat surface, my thumb can only touch about a thumb's length of that surface. If the surface were curved, however, my thumb could touch much more of the surface area, since more of it would be within reach of my thumb. That would also allow the screen to be larger (and thus have more content) without sacrificing the convenience of being usable with one hand.

      But that's just me. Maybe you're just a regular Inspector Gadget with telescoping thumbs and whatnot.

    • My answers are "durability", "see below", and "yes". Unlike you, I also have reasons.

      Google's Nexus S had a curved screen ages ago. I had one, and it was great - it meant if my phone was placed face down, the screen never made contact with the surface, so there was less chance of scratching. It meant that if it was dropped, there was little chance the screen would be subject to direct impact, meaning less chance of cracking - my phone hit our tiled floors a couple of times, with no harm done.

  • Apple? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kipsate (314423) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @04:22PM (#45084995)
    Former Apple fanboy here.

    Off-topic rant first: It seems that user experience is no longer top priority at Apple. Why on earth did they screw the user experience for iPhone 4 and older models? The redesign of iOS 7, what a mess. It is inconsistent, mostly pointless, buggy, but worst of all it slows my phone down so much that scrolling has become jerky in any app. I remember playing with an Android Samsung phone a couple of years ago, and dismissed it mainly because of the sluggish user interface. Now my iPhone is like that. Good heavens.

    On-topic: Apple is no longer trend-setting but trend-following. Will they also come with bigger screens? Bigger displays? Better cameras? Sensors that actually work for gaming? You know, the stuff that other phones already have? Who knows, follow the trend, Apple...

    But personally I think a curved phone is a bit of a gimmick and Apple will not follow it.

    I really hope they get their shit together and start making inspiring phones that have the best software, hardware, design and most importantly the best user-experience of any other phone. You know, like in the old days. But I'm not holding my breath. Sigh.
    • by smash (1351)
      Because after 2 years your phone is off-contract, the technology is ancient, the battery is likely on it's last legs and apple are a company who wants to sell new products?
    • by mjwx (966435)

      But personally I think a curved phone is a bit of a gimmick and Apple will not follow it.

      If this is a gimmick, then Apple is likely to follow it (then claim they came up with the idea) because gimmicks is all Apple does.

  • by Skapare (16644) on Wednesday October 09, 2013 @05:04PM (#45085627) Homepage

    Rather than a foldable display, I'd rather have a display that can simple be pulled to a larger size or pushed to a smaller size (small enough to hide). This will, of course, require some much more innovative technology. But I think we will have it by 2050.

  • Most people don't hold their phones properly, this won't help. The optimal for a sub-Phablet is the Index twist method, but with the curve suggested by this new design, your fingers won't be able to form properly or will cramp up, so it's back to the "standard" non-ergonomic way. Perhaps some variant of the pinky-curl/ring twist method used to properly hold a phablet could be modified, but looking at the numbers, I suspect only about 30% of most users will have hands the right size to use that hold.

    Obviousl

  • Boosh! [slashdot.org]

  • One question I wonder: will Apple follow suit? So far there has been no indication they are even attempting flexible/bendable screens."

    Samsung is already infringing. The iSteve dreamed about this once. Besides, everyone know that only Apple can innovate!

  • and it came out of Samsung about 2 years ago.

  • They made the Nexus S what, over three years ago?

  • It looks like it has almost identical specs [gsmarena.com] with Galaxy Note 3 ($850), but $150 more expensive.

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