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Galaxy Round: Samsung's curved screen Android smartphone (gallery)

True to its word earlier this month, Samsung has taken the wraps off its first curved OLED display smartphone, the Galaxy Round.
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By Liam Tung, Contributor on
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True to its word earlier this month, Samsung has taken the wraps off its first curved OLED display smartphone, the Galaxy Round.

Announced on Tuesday, the 5.7-inch display device is similar in design and size to the recently launched Galaxy Note 3, though instead of lying flat on a table, Samsung's curved OLED display technology means the Galaxy Round can roll much like a rocking chair. 

At 7.9mm thick and weighing 154g, the Galaxy Round is also slightly thinner than the Note 3, at 8.3mm thick and 168g in weight.

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The roll effect

One feature made possible by the curve is what Samsung calls the roll effect, which lets the user check things like battery levels, the time, and missed calls by simply tilting the device while it's lying on a flat surface. When the device is rocked, the information will appear on the screen (shown above), and then disappear once it lies flat again.

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Specs

The device's specs bear something of a resemblance to the Note 3 too: there's Android Jelly Bean 4.3 onboard, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a two-megapixel front-facing equivalent.

There's also 32GB of storage, 3GB of RAM, a 2,800mAh battery, as well as wi-fi and NFC.

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South Korea only

As predicted, the Galaxy Round is set to launch exclusively in South Korea first with the carrier SK Telecom, though there's no word yet when — or if — it will reach other markets.

The Galaxy Round will support the SK Telecom's LTE and LTE-Advanced network, which has allowed Samsung to tout wireless download speeds of 150Mbps on special LTE-A editions of its phones, such as the Galaxy S4 variant that was launched exlusively to South Korea.  

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An easier grip for phablets?

There's been speculation as to what advantage a curved device might actually have compared to a flat counterpart. Samsung points to a fairly workaday benefit: while having the same size screen as the Note 3, the Round is more comfortable to hold, it says.

 

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Reference designs

The Galaxy Round is different to the curved display reference design devices that Samsung showed off at CES earlier this year (above).

Rather than a display that wraps around the front and edges of a flat-backed device, like in the reference designs, the Galaxy Round is curved in a similar style to Samung's curved TVs — inwards towards the centre.

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