Smartphones come in many designs and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: a rectangular display. However, LG and Samsung new technology for smartphones could change that forever. The brands announced two phones with a curved display, Galaxy Round with vertical edges curved towards you, and G Flex, deeply curved on a horizontal axis. The two entities have announced two similar and yet very different phones only withing weeks of each other. So which one will be the best?
The truth is that these innovative smartphones will not bring huge user benefits, being more like a solution looking for a problem. Although the LG and Samsung new technology is interesting, from a usability point of view it does not give much. However, the two companies are chasing each others’ tails much like Korean companies. The rush to create a curved smartphone isn’t a coincidence, and both giants heavily invested in OLED displays.
The key to this new LG and Samsung technology is that the glass that sits behind the display has been removed, allowing a more flexible and less fragile display. This innovative display could one day allow devices to be truly flexible, if only the batteries and other components could support them. The plastic gives some bendiness, but the bits are the limiting factor, as they are able to tolerate less deformation. If you were thinking about folding your bendable phone and stuffing it in your breast pocket, think again. The LG and Samsung new technology just isn’t that evolved
To give you a clear image on this screen technology, let’s talk numbers. The Samsung display has a radius of curvature of 400 mm and a maximum deflection of just 18 degrees (5 mm), while the LG has a modest radius of curvature of 700 mm. The advantages of these gentle curves are not many, although LG describing its panel as unbreakable, because there isn’t any glass to shutter. This means that when the phone drops, the flexible display will suffer fewer costly repairs. Moreover, the thinner and lighter screen may make room for a bigger battery, although with the new battery technology that will not be necessary.
Although the LG and Samsung new technology is not a revolution, it is a start. Both companies have accomplished a lot in this area, and this technology has a lot of potential if you think about cars, for example. The curved glass will allow designers to become a lot freer and imagine different things. In 50 years, we will look back at this new technology and the impact it has on the world. That potential just doesn’t lie in the form of a smartphone.