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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  1. Steven Raith

    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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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..."

    2. Duke2010

      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.

    3. Bob Vistakin
      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.

      1. Ted Treen
        Facepalm

        Re: This also highlights the only advantage iPhone users have

        @Bob Vistakin

        There's always one, isn't there?

    4. rpstrong

      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.

  2. Buzzword

    No discernible utility?

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

    1. Don Jefe

      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.

      1. Fibbles

        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'.

        1. WonkoTehSane
          Alert

          Re: No discernible utility?

          Putting it in your pocket wrong.

        2. Don Jefe

          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.

          1. rpstrong

            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.

          2. t.est

            Re: No discernible utility?

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

      2. rpstrong

        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.

    2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Only if you're

      Kate Moss.

      1. Don Jefe
        Happy

        Re: Only if you're

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

    3. rpstrong

      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.

    4. Tom 7 Silver badge

      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!

  3. Ol'Peculier

    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.

    1. Neill Mitchell

      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.

    2. Amazon Wageslave

      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.

    3. davidp231

      Re: Been there, done that.

      Good old Nokia 8110.

  4. Harvey Trowell

    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...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pringle, surely?

      Cheaper?

    2. Spiracle

      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.

      1. Don Jefe
        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.

  5. TeeCee Gold badge

    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?

    1. Daemon Byte

      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?

      1. fixit_f

        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.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          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 :)

          1. rpstrong

            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.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            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.

          3. t.est

            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.

          4. phy445

            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...

        2. t.est

          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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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.

      1. Shades
        Thumb Up

        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!

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: EU Bananas Myth

      Nice try, but too obvious.

      1. tony
        Happy

        Re: EU Bananas Myth

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

  7. Longrod_von_Hugendong

    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?

    1. Seanie Ryan

      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

      1. magnetik

        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 !?

        1. t.est

          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.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    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"

    1. Splodger
      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.

    2. t.est

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

  9. MrMur

    Arse-pocket shaped would be much better.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

        1. Hieronymus Howerd

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

          Stab yourself in the eye with scissors and it hurts.

          1. Michael Thibault

            Are you (all) speaking from experience? Is it actually painful, or is it a case of humour-impairment?

  10. Mark #255
    Black Helicopters

    could it be...

    Perhaps it's curved so that when you put it face down on the desk (Touchwiz has an option that this action mutes the phone - ideal for meetings), it's not going to get scratched and there's less muffling of the microphone for the covert tapping app installed by the security services.

  11. djstardust Silver badge

    Another day

    Another Galaxy variant. What's tomorrow's one going to be?

    1. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: Another day

      Different, and of interest to different people (or perhaps no one).

      I quite like Samsung's approach of making every variation they can think of and letting me see if I like any of them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another day

      Well it's got to be come iPhone 5C copies and some gold versions plus expect the Galaxy (one) Finger edition and perhaps one you can unlock with your nose?

      1. Darryl

        Re: Another day

        I see the idea of having multiple choices still terrifies the iFans

        1. Random Coolzip

          Re: Another day

          Yes, that's the real reason they hate the 5C -- too many choices, and there's no way to distinguish which are the 1337 ones! Thank heavens for the 5S, and the shortage of gold ones.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Another day

            You know, I had never thought of that before but it is actually a good point. Obviously I am not iPhone fodder.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    upping the game to the detriment of the competition

    Now Apple will have to make a phone that's curved in both axes in order to avoid allegations of copying and to claim the crown as most innovative phone maker.

    or would that be a load of spheroids....

    1. Bod

      Re: upping the game to the detriment of the competition

      They won't need to. They can release a curved phone that obviously is the same style, patent it and USPTO will grant it despite prior art and even if Samsung et al have their own patent. It'll go to court, fight out and even if Samsung win and get a ban on Apple, Obama will overturn it as Apple is of benefit to the US economy supposedly, plus he probably likes his iThings, then Apple will win a ban against Samsung and round we go to the next product.

    2. Michael Thibault

      Re: upping the game to the detriment of the competition

      >Now Apple will have to make a phone that's curved in both axes... to claim the crown as most innovative phone maker.

      Cool! And you can carry it on top of your head, freeing up a hand so that you can hold up both cup and saucer simultaneously. Or whatever other pair of things might interest you.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rounded corners

    First step towards getting rid of the infamous 'rounded corners'... they'll shortly be releasing a spheroid phone, so _no_ corners :)

    Then again it could just be so that the poor yoof of 2day don't have to move their poor little thumbs so much when typing on the touchscreen keyboard... that extra 3mm of physical movement must be damaging to their health!

    Damn I'm getting old... my second phone was the nokia 8110i, and a great phone it was too!

    1. Martin Budden
      Coat

      Re: Rounded corners

      they'll shortly be releasing a spheroid phone, so _no_ corners

      but, it's *all* corner!

  14. Regtools

    "The first curved phone, of course, was the Nexus S,"

    I think you have forgotten the Nokia 8110, in 1996!

    1. chr0m4t1c

      I think they forgot the word "smart".

      And I think, at the very least, you're forgetting the earliest landline phones, a lot of which had curved handsets.

      Curved telephones have been around for probably 100 years now. Curved smartphones not so long.

      I have to admit that I am wondering how well you can hold this to your head as it looks like there would be a gap between your ear and the earpiece.

      1. Don Jefe
        Happy

        I'm not sure what gloriously advanced planet you grew up on, but here on Earth the earliest complete landline handsets were two half spheres of iron connected by a straight wooden handle. It was brass and mahogany if you were upscale.

        They did have advanced voice activated features though. The phone lady did your dialing for you, provided inclement weather updates as well as acting as a hub for a localized social network that was far more intrusive than what we have today.

        1. Michael Thibault

          Ah, yes, but...

          >The phone lady did your dialing for you, provided inclement weather updates as well as acting as a hub for a localized social network that was far more intrusive than what we have today.

          I doubt that last claim. The scale was smaller and the culture was verbal—rather than digital—and the content gleaned was transient—so always current, yet ephemeral. These aspects of the network arguably contributed to social peace and civil relations within society at that time—largely because there was a good chance you knew where the person listening in on your conversations actually worked. And lived.

  15. Tromos
    Joke

    One for the drinkers

    Combo phone and hip flask

  16. Yag

    Curved glass? Apple (may) already have patented this thing last week

    "The invention relates to a building made using building panels where the building panels may be glass, may include a plurality of glass layers, and may be curved. The building may include glass fins and glass beams for support, and a glass roof. The glass building panels, glass fins, glass beams, and glass roof may be connected together by a plurality of fittings."

    Now they just have to prove the new Samsung can be used as building material. Not that difficult.

  17. DougS Silver badge

    Glad to see this useless product is finally out

    I'm sure there is probably a market for this, not a big one but Samsung likes to fill every niche so they probably don't need to sell a million of them to meet the goals they have for it.

    Mainly I'm just glad to see a phone using a flexible screen finally released so idiots will quit thinking it means a phone they can fold up like the old flip phones.

    1. Don Jefe
      Happy

      Re: Glad to see this useless product is finally out

      It is funny now, but the old Motorola flip phones were unbelievably advanced tech in their day. You may as well have been holding a tri-corder. People didn't believe they were real phones. They had to call someone on it themselves to validate its existence.

      I'm pretty sure my Granny thought I had gotten into witchcraft. She used mine one time and never wanted anything else to do with it. She would always ask if I was calling her on my 'spy phone', she didn't like it one bit. Times sure have changed from 25 years ago.

      /reminiscence

    2. Matt Piechota

      Re: Glad to see this useless product is finally out

      "I'm sure there is probably a market for this, not a big one but Samsung likes to fill every niche so they probably don't need to sell a million of them to meet the goals they have for it."

      Shame on them for offering different models to suit different people. The nerve of Samsung!

  18. Matt Piechota

    Curves

    The screen on my Galaxy Nexus (US Verizon) is slightly curved, so I'm not sure where first is coming from. This is only maybe 1-2mm over the length of the phone though.

    I think it's us hammy dudes here that don't see the use of this. If you're a tiny little thing (wee little lass, for you UKers*), it'll fit in the front pocket of a pair of jeans a lot better.

    * Yes, I know that's really Scotland, settle down.

  19. andarot

    O ye flat-earthers of little faith

    Once upon a time nearly everyone thought the earth was flat, and when it was suggested that it was actually curved/round, people took great exception - almost as much exception as the readers of The Register to the non-flat/how-dare-it-be-curved screen.

    It's amazing how strong the resistance is. No one has thought that the advantage of the curved screen may not lie in its utility, but in its power to reflect the world. A flat screen/page wh. has lasted for thousands of years is actually a very "rigid" way of looking at the world. A curved screen is a more flexible way, a way more reflective of the solidity of objects - and I suspect we are all going to be seeing a lot more of it, because we're going to prefer looking at it.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Galaxy Curve

    Normal angled curve is good. But will I have to 'blow to unlock' it gratifyingly a la micromax?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who Gives A...

    I appreciate that I'm adding to the number, but 66+ comments discussing mobile phone models and a stupid curved gimmick.

    Too many people with not enough in their lives and too much time to waste.

  22. Tom Richardson

    No discernible unity?

    If you move your thumb from side to side you will observe that the tip describes an arc, not a straight line. If the curve on this unit is right, operating it will be a lot ergonomically easier on the hand and thumb to use one-handed. And we all know what's useful for.

  23. jof62

    D.O.A

  24. Enrique2SIM

    Galaxy Round = New Samsung Flagship

    Hi everyone,

    Besides its curved screen, it has very interesting specs. Actually I think it is the new "flagship" of Samsung...

    Here you can check its specs:

    http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_round-5766.php

    Regards

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