Were you hoping for more flexible "flexible displays" by now?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Earlier this week, we learned about the Samsung Galaxy Round and the new, curvy display that Samsung is hoping will wow the world. We've been hearing about "flexible" displays for quite some time now, especially since the influx in reports we saw earlier this year regarding the invention of graphene. Although researchers and manufacturers have been finding many uses for graphene, flexible displays were one of the uses that seemed to be easily attainable. Of course, when we say flexible displays, we're probably thinking about bendy, twisty, actual flexible material.
Instead, we find ourselves with the Samsung Galaxy Round. Although the plastic used for the screen is clearly flexible in some way, shape or form, it's not exactly the "flexible" we had imagined seeing when we saw Samsung's flexible screen display earlier this year during CES 2013. Perhaps you remember seeing some of images, similar to the one above, of a smartphone screen that was so thin it was seemingly able to fold and bend as easily as a piece of paper.
The more I think about it, however, the more I think that a flexible display like the one seen on the Galaxy Round, which is set upon a fixed frame meaning that it couldn't (or rather, shouldn't) bend that much, is probably a good first step. I honestly wasn't sure if the world was ready for such bendable, flexible displays. Not so quickly, anyway. It's too much of a drastic change, and I honestly don't know if many people would buy in to it given the current state of smartphone displays. But the way the Galaxy Round is designed, the change is so subtle that it will probably take people who haven't heard about the device, but are seeing it for the first time, to take a second glance at it and try and figure out what exactly makes it look so different from other smartphones. I mean, it does look almost identical to the Galaxy S 4, except.. rounded.
The Galaxy Round's design is a design that I think will catch on sooner than one might initially think - especially with other manufacturers also developing similar designs at the same time. Just a few days prior to the Galaxy Round becoming an official device, LG had been discussing how they would be releasing the first curved smartphone sometime in early 2014. With demand for larger phones doing anything but waning anytime soon, what do manufacturers do? The gap is closing in between larger-sized phablets and small, 7-inch tablets - so what could give larger smartphones the appeal they need to continue to grow larger and still fit comfortably in the hand? Slightly curved displays.
I think eventually we will see the paper-thin, flexible displays that we had dreams of seeing earlier this year, but I don't think we will be seeing them any time soon. As consumers, we want change, but when it comes to such a drastic change such as that it doesn't seem that many people would go for such an idea from where we are today. Would some people be interested in such a product? Definitely! I myself would love to try out a bendy, flexy phone. But for now, I'm satisfied seeing the progress with devices like the Galaxy Round. I consider it a step in the right direction, and would think that it has more appeal to everyday consumers than a truly flexible display would have at this point in time.
What are your thoughts, readers? Were you disappointed to see that a truly flexible display isn't available yet, or do you think that the Galaxy Round is a better design at this point in time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Image via Digital Trends, Wikipedia