Let's put curved displays on smartwatches instead

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| November 14, 2013

So, curved displays. Are they all the new rage? Are these the types of displays we should expect to see from here on out? Both LG and Samsung have offered up their services in creating their own devices with the type of technology, both with varying degrees of "What?" reactions across the board.

Their unveiling, though, seems to have sparked the conversation even more than its constant undertones before their unveiling. We've been talking about curved displays for a very long time, and considering the hype they were getting before they became a reality, there seemed to be a lot of attention on the subject. It would have seemed, back then, that people actually wanted them.

Now that they're here, though, I haven't honestly seen the same sort of reaction.

Samsung's Galaxy Round, which offers a curve from side-to-side, is a pretty respectable device on its own merits. It's certainly not just a device that expects the curved display to hold all the weight of the device's expensive price tag. The internals, and the curved display itself, are worthy contenders in the mobile market.

The same can honestly be said about LG's G Flex. It isn't a cheap device, and the G Flex's curve (which is from top-to-bottom) isn't meant to be the only aspect of the device that you turn to when thinking about picking it up. It's just a bonus. Or, as some would say, just like in the Galaxy Round's case, a gimmick.

But, not everything can be a gimmick, right? I don't think these curved displays are gimmicks. Like I said, and as we've all known for quite some time, we have known they were coming for quite some time. And to be honest, I think manufacturers are doing it because they saw people liked the idea. Or, they're just trying to fulfill their own sci-fi dreams, in which case I'm okay with that.

Whatever the reason, they're here, and while the displays themselves may not be gimmicks, that won't stop the manufacturers from marketing them as such. Not on purpose, mind you. Take LG, for example. With the G Flex, they want you to believe you're picking up an "IMAX experience" with your new, curved display. Nope. And that's just silly. So silly, in fact, that I can't quite help but think that maybe, just maybe, the curved display *is* a gimmick after all. How about tell me a real, tangible reason why I'd need or want a curved display? Because it's certainly not an IMAX experience.

Though, that would be great. People in airports seated next to me might not like it, though. Can you imagine that airplane ride? Awful.

I'm not sure there's a real reason why you'd want a curved display for a smartphone display, other than it looks awesome (or, hopefully it will some day). Futuristic, even. But, I don't know if I'd want to look at it for extended periods of times, multiple times a day on my phone.

I think I'd much prefer to have a curved display wrap around my wrist, and look great as a smartwatch. Come on, we've already seen plenty of concept art on the idea all over the place, and each one looks better than the last in most cases. And, if I'm being completely honest, there has yet to be a smartwatch to date that has blown me away with its physical design. (The Galaxy Gear was close, in some ways.) There are a lot of traditional watches that I like a lot more for their looks.

That would change with a curved display as a watch, I think. Don't get me wrong, just having a curved display doesn't mean it'll automatically look good, but I can't help but think it's a step in the right direction. Just look at the image at the top of the article. That looks super nice, that Home button notwithstanding.

For me, it's more about the fact that I wouldn't be looking at my watch for extended periods of time, but just for short glances, even with notifications enabled. You'd have to wonder how comfortable they'd be, though.

As it stands, as much as I want to see more curved displays so we can start living in the future now (whoo!), I believe I want them more on smartwatches than I do on smartphones. Maybe my mind can be changed with varying models next year. Only time will tell.

What do you think of curved displays? Do you think they work for smartphones, or would you like to see them on different devices, and not on our phones? Would you pick up a smartwatch with a curved display? Which company do you think will make the best one? Let me know!

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