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back to article Samsung touching up ROUNDED, CURVY plastic enhanced MODEL

Samsung has launched what it describes as the "world's first curved display smartphone", the Galaxy Round. This is despite the fact that Samsung built the last phone with a curved screen only three years ago. You can't get your hands on one yet, though – the new handset, which has a flexible 5.7-inch high-def display, is only …

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Curved screen vs curved TFT/LCD panel

I think the Nexus S used the display cover (the glass etc) to give the impression of a curved display, while the TFT panel itself was still flat, whereas this panel is actually curved itself - although I might be wrong....

Steven R

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Curved screen vs curved TFT/LCD panel

If you can't make all the components curved it will probably be thicker overall - can't really see the point on such a small screen and more a case of we could so we did.

"We were too busy thinking if we could we didn't stop to think if we should..."

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Re: Curved screen vs curved TFT/LCD panel

You are right. I had the Nexus S and you could see that the actual display panel was flat. There was just a slight curve to the glass covering.

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Holmes

This also highlights the only advantage iPhone users have

They get to see what the iPhone in two years time will look like by just checking out todays top end Android models - hardware and software.

Cupertinos photocopiers worked hard today. Again.

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Re: Curved screen vs curved TFT/LCD panel

I can't see the difference on my 'S', but iFixit confirms what you said. But as I mentioned elsewhere, what I like is the screen protection and the smooth contour of the back. REAL pocket friendly.

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Facepalm

Re: This also highlights the only advantage iPhone users have

@Bob Vistakin

There's always one, isn't there?

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No discernible utility?

Perhaps the curves help it fit in the pocket better, wrapped around one's thigh.

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Re: No discernible utility?

Or help it break better if you put it in your pocket with the concave side out...

It's a strange decision to make: 'flat' is a design that is hard to beat in most things. Curves/bends are best suited to fulfilling a specific purpose. They are nice on a spoon for example, but less that desirable on a knife.

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Only if you're

Kate Moss.

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Happy

Re: Only if you're

Yeah, I should have qualified that a little better huh :)

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Re: No discernible utility?

"Or help it break better if you put it in your pocket with the concave side out..."

So don't put it concave side out? In the summer I often carry my phone in my front trouser pocket since there's usually nowhere else for it to go. This curved shape should be a lot more comfortable than the flat slab of most phones. The curve should also help avoid scratches because if you accidentally put the phone screen-side down on a flat surface only the edges will actually be making contact. It's a feature I've missed since HTC stopped making phones with 'chins'.

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Alert

Re: No discernible utility?

Putting it in your pocket wrong.

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Re: No discernible utility?

Sure, but it's just an unnecessary step. It seems like a backward design decision to reduce use options by half. Thinking about how to carry something that previously didn't require thinking about isn't a Great Leap Forward in user friendliness.

Maybe it won't make any difference. Time will tell, it just doesn't seem like an advancement. Personally I'd rather have seen a thinner case or larger battery. One of those two things had to be sacrificed to make the curve.

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Re: No discernible utility?

It's an easy decision for me (I have the Nexus S). But I don't have either a case or screen protector, so I always pocket it with the screen inwards. The 'S' also tapers the body quite nicely, making it even more pocket friendly (with the screen facing in). But what I most appreciate is that if it slides across a flat surface (desk top, table top, floor) it rides on the corners of the housing, leaving the screen unscathed. I'm not an excessively active person, but I do want a phone that will handle everyday life without the need to add a cover. I've dropped my phone a few times, but at two+ years old, it still looks almost new.

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Re: No discernible utility?

Damn, that reminds me of when I used to carry a pager. Set it to 'vibrate', strapped it inside my belt, and kept speed dialing.

My S' really does fit nice, with its melted corners. I suspect this on would do as well.

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Re: No discernible utility?

I suspect you haven't carried one. The 'S' curve is minimal, but the blended curves on the back of the phone make the 'unnecessary step' so natural, that you aren't aware of it.

Are you a guy? Do you carry a wallet in your hip pocket? Do you always put it back the same way? If you've answered 'yes' till now, then you understand the 'natural' part of how you stow it.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I really like the built in scratch protection. But I also really like the organic shape. I'm willing to give up cubic centimeters if the resulting product - albeit larger overall - is more comfortable to carry.

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Re: No discernible utility?

Its to replace the fag packet in your rolled up sleeve - A burberry background and you've got a proper chav phone!

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Re: No discernible utility?

You're actually wrong about the battery. Li-Po batteries could be shaped curved if needed.

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Been there, done that.

So where does Nokia's curved "Matrix" phone fit in with the history here? I had one before the turn of the century so a fair while before the first Samsung product.

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Re: Been there, done that.

The Nokia banana phone did not have a flexible display forming the entire front surface of the device. The case was curved, but it had a flat LCD display.

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Re: Been there, done that.

Samsung are boasting about the first curved smartphone. That Nokia (my first ever mobile, god I feel old) was many things, but smart wasn't one of them.

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Re: Been there, done that.

Good old Nokia 8110.

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Pringle, surely?

If we must compare it to a crispy snacking item, that curvature has more in common with a pringle than a taco shell for me. It'd make for a very open taco, anyway...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pringle, surely?

Cheaper?

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Re: Pringle, surely?

A better comparison might be the round teabag, which also had absolutely no practical benefit but was the pivot around which a marketing campaign could be built. It's the sort of stunt which happens when markets reach saturation.

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Happy

Re: Pringle, surely?

Maybe they can stack them for improved transport and to get increased retail shelf density. Those were the reasons the Pringles shape was developed.

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Once upon a time......

All smartphone displays were plastic. These used to scratch and require the use of screen protectors which also screwed up the display as a side effect. Any flexing of the phone chassis would cack the screen as it had little rigidity. They were, in a word, crap.

Then a miracle happened. Someone made displays out of hardened glass. No scratches, no stick on placcy layers, no ruined LCD bits.

Now, could someone please explain why the f**k we would even talk about going back to plastic displays?

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Re: Once upon a time......

because a large proportion of the plebs that buy samsung galaxy eye candy can neither stop smashing said hardened glass nore resist the urge to spend large sums of money for gloating rights?

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Re: Once upon a time......

From the Book Of Ledswinger, verses 14-15

14:1 "Then a miracle happened. Someone made displays out of hardened glass. No scratches, no stick on placcy layers, no ruined LCD bits."

14.2 And yay, the people did shout praise and thank god, turning away from Nokia's small but mighty 5800, and the people did make a great feast of burnt offering for the iPhone. But a new plague did spread across the land, when the miracle device did then get dropped but a single cubit onto unfertile earth. In that moment the work of satan was done, and the perfectness of the display was ruined forever.

15:1 The people wailed and rent their garments, and did yet gnash their teeth at the hundred quid plus bill for a new screen and digitiser. The prophets of the people's false idol that was called Apple were thus yet multipled, but the people were deceived still, and laughed yet at the thought of plastic screens.

15:2 Base and cursed with cartoony graphics was the iPhone, yet the people did worship King Steve and did demand yet more of the same. In return for tribute the false king did yet churn out more of the same, and the people did lap it up, and the king's house was full of silver. And even then the king did not pay his tithe to the US treasury.

15:2 The priests of expensive and undurable chattels did rub their hands and take the name of Nokia in vain, and poured scorn on those who claimed plastic might yet serve the will of god. And the wicked continued to insist that all should buy flat glass slabs from the temples of Orange and O2, ignoring that one size does not fit all.

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Re: Once upon a time......

Thats probably one of the best comments I've seen on El Reg for quite a while. I'd upvote it more if I could! Bravo!

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Re: Once upon a time......

I'm pretty careful with my phone but I put some huge scratches in the gorilla glass on my S4 within 2 weeks of owning it thanks to reassurances that it wasn't possible to scratch it - I had a case but didn't bother with a screen protector. So trust me, the unscratchable glass ain't what it's cracked up to be.

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Re: Once upon a time......

Yeah, maybe you don't want to slide it across a brick patio face down next time...

Seriously, you have to really try to scratch Gorilla glass, I'm on my 4th iPhone, which like the S4 also uses Gorilla Glass, and none has ever had even the tiniest scratch on the front glass. I don't even think twice about keeping it in my pocket with change, though if I needed to carry wood screws I'd probably use my other pocket :)

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Re: Once upon a time......

Wood screws have, unfortunately, declined in quality over the years. When I was young, I wouldn't think twice about mingling them with pocket change - but today, I'd carry them separate.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Once upon a time......

Depends. I work with Kevlar and hardwood, and need some pretty aggressive abrasives. Even a few particles of those in a pocket can scratch gorilla glass. I carry my phone in my shirt pocket, in a case, with a screen protector, and under my boiler suit, but I still get scratches on the screen protector from time to time.

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Re: Once upon a time......

Yepp,

And all those Androits preaching, -iPhones have no gorilla glass, Android phone has and won't scratch or break as iPhones.

Lolilolilol, who did u say had a RDF? ;p

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Re: Once upon a time......

Well i'm on my second... and it's scratched a lot. But not in a disturbing way. I keep it in my pocket with my keys. With the screen of or looking at the backside, it's very noticeable. With the screen on there is nothing to see.

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Re: Once upon a time......

Need to interject with a bit of materials science here. Gorilla glass is not significantly different in hardness to other glasses. Where it wins over ordinary glass is in its resistance to cracking - yes I am being serious. I know there are lots of tales of how easily these screens break, but if were made from ordinary glass then they probably break in your pocket.

Glass breaks really easily because tiny cracks in it surface open up easily and this process gets easier as the cracks get larger. Gorilla glass and related materials (Apple uses something similar, but not Corning's ape themed product) is specially treated so that the surface swells and closes up any cracks in the surface - this makes it much harder for the cracks to spread. If enough damage is done so that the crack is larger than the thickness of the swollen region then the crack will spread like wildfire.

Mines the white lab coat in the corner...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: EU Bananas Myth

Nice try, but too obvious.

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Happy

Re: EU Bananas Myth

Not 100% sure what you're getting at there.

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WTF

Have Samsung finally lost it? WTF is the point of a phone shaped like that? Have they moved from cheap to novelty now?

That will presumably break when someone sits on it?

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Re: WTF

agreed.. and now , your touch movements have to be in 3 dimensions. so when you swipe, you have to go left to right and also away from you and back again to remain in contact with the screen.

but hey, at least they can say now that they "innovate" and come up with something on their own without copying... even though it is completely useless, its THEIR useless

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Re: WTF

"you have to go left to right and also away from you and back again to remain in contact with the screen."

Er, dunno about you but my thumb makes an arc when I move it left to right. What kinda weird thumbs do you have !?

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Re: WTF

Well it does, but not in a "U" shape as the screen is, unless you actually hold your phone in a very odd way.

When moving the thumb away from your hand, this probably is a improvement. Unlocking phones are usually from left to right, that means lefties will love it.

There is however another aspect where this may be an improvement. On big screens it's sometimes difficult to align the screen so that you don't have a huge light reflection in it. This would work more like a parabola so unless the light is from your face behind you could actually have less distractions from reflections in the screen.

But I assume that's it.

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Anonymous Coward

Not so much a myth - EC Commission Regulation No 2257/94 was valid between 1995 and 2008, and stated: all bananas must be "free of abnormal curvature"

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Pint

Indeed...

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/5705717/Bent_bananas_not_a_Euromyth_after_all

Beer, 'cos it must be that time by now.

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Not only banans, cuecumbers where also included. I thing they even specified how much it was supposed to be curved.

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Arse-pocket shaped would be much better.

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A fine idea. Would you see a range of phones to accomodate variations?

Galaxy Curve Athlete: Very right curve for the pert buttocks of a fit body

Galaxy Curve Slack: Slightly less curved for more everyday behinds that could do with a bit of exercise

Galaxy Curve Hambeast: I think that one speaks for itself.

Galaxy Curve Waterproof V: WIth a V shaped back, this sits firmly in the cleft, and is water proofed to prevent sweat damage.

Galaxy Curve Anorexia: A normal flatphone but enabling the excessively thin to buy into the Curve brand (you can see I'd have been great in marketing).

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Anonymous Coward

Put it in your pocket the wrong way around and it's more likely to damage then.

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