Samsung announces Galaxy Round with flexible, curved display and Note 3 specs

Samsung announces Galaxy Round with flexible, curved display and Note 3 specs

Summary: We read rumors that Samsung and LG were working on flexible smartphone displays and it seems Samsung is first out of the gate with the Galaxy Round launching in Korea.


Samsung makes Galaxy devices across the size and form factor spectrum and today announced the Galaxy Round smartphone with concave front display. It basically looks like a Note 3 that was put into a back pocket and sat on.

We have seen smartphones in the past with convex curved glass panels, including the Galaxy Nexus, but this new display from Samsung is actually a flexible OLED model. LG is also working on a flexible OLED panel.

Looking at the specifications of the new Galaxy Round, we see it looks to be comparable to the new Note 3 with a 5.7 inch full HD Super AMOLED display, 3GB RAM, quad-core 2.3 GHz processor, 13 megapixel camera, and S Pen functionality.

The Galaxy Round is a few grams lighter, likely due to the 2,800 mAh battery rather than the 3,200 mAh one found in the Note 3.

I'm not quite sure why you would want a curved display, but it may make the phone feel a bit better when resting against your face. Then again, I usually use the speakerphone or a headset with my Note 3. Samsung may also be using it like the Gear, a first product to test out new technologies and functionality.

Samsung Galaxy Round android flexible display
(Image: Samsung)

Samsung is taking the physical design of the Galaxy Round and adding software enhancements that include the ability to view information by tilting/rocking the device. You can even control music by pressing down on one side while it rests on a table. The rocking motion plays previous or next tracks.

Like many features of Samsung phones, these may be considered gimmicky. Then again, there is a wide range of user experiences and Samsung has been quite successful at targeting a broad market of Android users.

The Galaxy Round will initially be available in Luxury Brown in Korea with more colors and availability soon.

Related coverage:

Topics: Mobility, Android, Samsung, Smartphones

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  • And can someone please explain to me why I would even want one of these?

    What is the purpose of this curved monstrosity? I have no innate desire for this crap. Can somebody tell me why I would even want a curved screen? Oh wait, I know, so that when I am sitting on the bus, the person on the left and on the right of me can't see me type in my password because the screen is curved away from their face and towards me? Brilliant, I'll take one. Where do I sign up?
    • Innovative solution to protect glass from drop impact

      This is probably the most innovative way to prevent breaking of glass when the phone is dropped by accident..
      • Except that it won't

        Glass isn't springy. A curved display simple means the edges act like levers on a drop, putting more shear pressure on the center of the glass.
        • FTA: "Flexible OLED"

          "We have seen smartphones in the past with convex curved glass panels, including the Galaxy Nexus, but this new display from Samsung is actually a flexible OLED model. LG is also working on a flexible OLED panel."
    • "Hey, Check out my new phone"

      "The display is CURVED! How cool is that?!"
    • Well the most obvious reason for it is... they can patent curved screens and curved cases before Apple can claim they 'invented it'.

      Its a bit like Samsung patenting any direction 'swipe to unlock' after losing to Apple - Apple are now stuck with their antiquated sideways-only swipe to unlock.

      A lot of this new Samsung tech may appear frivolous but it's all there for the long haul in the patent courts.
      Lord Minty
      • They can no more patent curved screens that Apple can patent curved corners

        Which, BTW, they didn't (which you'd know if you knew what you were talking about, which you don't).
        • Actually, they did.

          It is called a "design patent".
          • patently stupid

            ((( Actually, they did. It is called a "design patent". )))

            Actually, they didn't. Rounded corners are a single element among many dozens of elements comprising Apple's design patent.
          • Thanks, saved me some typing.

          • stupid patent

            Oh yes... elements like RECTANGULAR with rounded corners. And bezels. Because that's SO original. The only innovation I've seen from Apple in years has been from their lawyers.
    • At least Samsung is trying new things.

      At least Samsung is trying to innovate. I like my iOS devices, but these days Apple wouldn't know innovation if it slammed into them like a freight train. Those of us heavily invested in their ecosystem are still waiting for them to catch up to everyone else after stagnating for several years. Bigger pixels on a camera sensor? Yeah, that's never been done before... *cough* Apple's idea people must have all retired to their own islands after the initial rabid success of the iPhone. Maybe Apple should start recruiting Samsung's designers to replace them. Apple got fat and lazy counting their money.
      • Neither, apparently, would you

        As usual, your superficial analysis and understand evinces a near total lack of understanding of the technologies involves in these devices.

        No innovation?!? First with ARMv8 in a package that not only is first out of the gate, but for a number of reasons will still be ahead of the pack once other vendors start shipping chips. (Which will probably be awhile, since 64-bit is essentially useless on Android.) M7 motion co-porcessor, allowing extremely low power motion input, heralding a new wave of interactive apps that require no user interaction and use almost no battery. Leading edge GPU, etc. etc.. You know, all the things that require an in-depth understanding of technology to see that they are innovative, since they aren't on the outside of the case.
        And good job showing you don't understand the optics involved in the larger pixel CCD used in the iPhone. CCD pixel size effect responsively of the camera system, dynamic range of the optics, frame rate, and low light capabilities of the phone far more than adding greater numbers of pixels. Which is why the 8MP iPhone still generates pictures on par wight he 41MP Nokia. You claim it was done before the the extent done in the iPhone? Name the phone.
        As to Samsung designers, seeing as how they get almost all their design cues from Apple, your call is absurd. Perfect example is this pointless use of flexible OLED panels. They serve little to no point in this device, since their main feature, dynamic flexibility, is not even used!
        How about you head-on over to Anand's article on the A7 before you start opining on matters you could stand to learn a bit more about?
        • Careful deus

          mommy's gonna take your computer away again if your bad.

          Why would you start trashing Bill. He's one of the more well rounded apple supporters.
          • Because he's wrong.

          • His "well rounded apple support"

            And because his "well rounded apple support" involves mentioning that he own a given Apple product, and then proceeding to bash it.
      • trying

        ((( "At least Samsung is trying to innovate. I like my iOS devices, but these days Apple wouldn't know innovation if it slammed into them like a freight train." )))

        For Pete's sake, replace your iOS devices with Samsung copies already, and stop mooing about how Apple isn't innovating. Meanwhile, those of us who can tell the difference between an innovation and a gimmick will be enjoying iOS 7 on our 64-bit chips.
    • Astonishing - one great advantage not mentioned about the curved screen!

      I've read many, but not all, of these comments - so, forgive me if someone else has brought this point up - however, I find it astonishing that no one has mentioned one great advantage of this, or any concave-curved screen (also, it should not be described as 'flexible' if it remains in a rigid form, after all it does not bend in your hand !) which is that when you look at it from whatever angle you will get no unwanted reflection, especially from bright light sources - very annoying with most of our shiny smartphones. It is basic physics; light falling onto a concave surface will be reflected back at a point very close to the screen, much closer than your eyes, with a convex curve the opposite would be true and you would be exposed to the myriad of light sources around you - like a wide angle camera image. This is the reason why my BMW car dashboard has a curved glass in front of the speedometer and other gauges - so the essential information can be easily seen and read in all light conditions ! And on this rather large phone screen, it is even more important... so this is an an inevitable marrying of design and practicality. Other than this, I tend to agree the curved phone seems to benefit from various other advantages, being large it is easier to manipulate in one hand than if it were flat, greater ergonomy as it fits closer to human form - whether leg or body (would not necessarily agree with the 'butt' comment on this) and I presume it will afford some protection to the screen from scratches, or damage when placed face down, or dropped. Plus, it is original, which is what a lot of these smartphones are about !
  • Because

    Since it's a large phone, it can fit in your hand easier. In the pocket, it curves around your leg or butt allowing a better fit in the pocket. For better or worse, it's innovation. At least by today's standards.
    • Curvature

      Remember your geometry? The curved surface will be less than it's linear width. In other words, for example, if the curvature was a semicircle, the width in your pocket would be less than the diameter, 2 *r of a flat screen, and not 3.14 * r.