With innovation in the smartphone industry reaching almost to a point of stagnation, it’s important for the leading smartphone companies to inject some fresh blood into what’s basically become a who’s-got-the-bigger-muscles industry. And that’s exactly what Samsung and LG have up their sleeves, in the form of curved displays and flexible phones. For far too long have we had to write reviews on boring superphones on steroids, we finally have something excited to talk about in smartphones – curved smartphones.
Samsung Electronics announced that they would be unveiling a smartphone with a curved display in October and indeed, we saw the Galaxy Round making its debut yesterday. The smartphone features a 5.7 inch super flexible AMOLED display. Not to be left behind in what’s clearly going to be the next technology craze, LG also announced that they’re already putting curved displays into mass production. The South Korean company is also rumored to reveal a new smartphone based on curved display technology somewhere around November. But is it the right time for such a technology? Do we really need curved displays?
The applications for curved smartphones don’t push boundaries when it comes to simply increasing tech specs. Rather, they’re all about practicality. And it’s high time manufacturers started focusing on making smartphones indestructible. Because of the flex, curved displays have much better chances of absorbing an impact, thereby making a smartphone much more robust. Samsung demoed a product that had a display that curved down at the sides. The sides display important notifications like missed calls, messages and so on. In the Galaxy Round, we will see some neat stuff like Bounce UX and Gravity Effect which utilize the curved display.
Curved displays wouldn’t be much use without flexible smartphones. And even on that end, we’ve got work going on. Before long, you’ll be able to slip a smartphone comfortably in that tight pair of jeans. It wouldn’t be the fragile piece of gadgetry it has become today, what with all the expensive material being used and increasingly thin waistlines.
Curved displays have also forced innovators to come up with different solutions to existing smartphone components. For example the conventional Li-ion batteries could soon be replaced by the new polymer-electrolyte batteries that researchers have just come up with. These batteries are much more stable and are not prone to exploding like Li-ion batteries. Similarly, Gorilla Glass maker Corning is also working on a strengthened curved glass being called Willow. Of course there’s a long way to go before we see mature products utilizing this radical technology, but it’ll be getting all the support it can from us. We’ve heard enough about impractical processors and gobs of RAM being forced into smartphones.