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Keeping Things (Not so) Straight: LG and Samsung’s Curved Phones

By in Gadgets, Mobile on October 28, 2013
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While everyone has been so caught up with the whole Apple versus Samsung race for global smartphone supremacy, a different kind of war is starting to wage on the Far East. Korea, the birthplace of the Galaxy makers, saw a new Samsung competitor. LG Electronics daringly came out with their own devices that is said to top up the features presented by Samsung. The two have been butting heads for many years now, and the next chapter of this epic face off seems to be the Battle of the Curved phones.

This trend in product design is called ‘curved display.’ Previously released smartphones uniformly displayed the flat design. Both LG and Samsung started to take a different turn with respect to their products’ silhouettes – an arc that supposedly serves a stylistic, artistic, and ergonomical function.

Charged-up Affair

The core issue about creating a rounded, more flexible AMOLED display is not necessarily the materials or the technology of the screen itself. What’s limiting the development of curved displays is how the design affects the battery of the device. According to Arc Technica, there has been no actual innovation in terms of the inside of the battery. All of the recent changes to the charging mechanism of the devices were geared towards its size and how it fits to a larger device, not the chemistry and make-up of the batteries’ interiors.

For example, if the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 were to be installed with a curved display, a lot of the phone’s internal parts have to be removed. Design-wise, there is so much reduction in the spatial dimensions and chip real estate that will occur if a phone was to be ‘curved’. HTC One, a smartphone with an above average 4.7-inch scratch resistant display (full specs available at https://www.o2.co.uk/shop/phones/htc/one/) is virtually impossible to curve without actually downgrading its Boom Sound or Noise Cancellation features.

Flex’ more or be ‘Round’?

Recently, LG confirmed that it will challenge Samsung’s attempt at a curved phone with its very own 6-inch handset called the LG G Flex. After years of advertisement wars and head-on marketing attacks against each other in South Korea, this means a showdown.

Engadget noted that although both support the ‘wearable’ trend of curving the display, there are massive differences between Samsung and LG’s products. LG G Flex has a much wider screen, clocked in at 6-inch while the Samsung Galaxy Round offers a standard 4.7-inch of flexible display. Aesthetically, the LG G Flex curves from top to bottom while the Galaxy Round bends sideways from left to right.
LG and Samsung’s Curved Phones
Bending Over Backwards

Aesthetically speaking though, many industry experts are questioning the very thought process of the makers of these phone. While it does serve the purpose of adding ease of use to many consumers with its design, the larger question remains. Is there really a deep need clamored by the market for curved phones? Is this just innovation for the sake of innovation, and if yes, is that a good thing?

Samsung doesn’t shy away from creating new technologies. Curved design is not an entirely new thing though; its OLED TV sports a curved design as well. Albeit not very consumer-friendly with regards to the price, the OLED TV has received positive reviews with critics in the electronics industry, and experts look forward to how exactly the company will be able to replicate the same tactic (or gimmick, as naysayers would say) to the mobile platform.

The patent dispute has ended between LG and Samsung, but the white flag has not been thrown from either side. Together, the two companies are ushering in a new era of mobile design which could very well dictate how gadgets will look like in the near future. Until then, and until both phones have been released and proven their worth, we remain skeptical.

Will you be buying the Samsung Galaxy Round or the LG G Flex? Is it worth to get curved phones?

About the Author

Lily Sommers is the resident gadget and style guru for Techie Doodlers. She adores her iPhone 5C, mainly because she has an infinite number of phone cases with colors ranging from ‘Alpine’ to ‘Zinnwaldite Brown’ to pair it with. On her spare time, she likes to Tweet (@LilySommers) about geeky things like Doctor Who, the latest phones on O2, and comic books.