Curved screen on Samsung Galaxy Round not a gimmick, says DisplayMate

Ever since Samsung announced the Galaxy Round, the world’s first smartphone with a curved ‘flexible’ display, almost everyone has written off the curved screen as a gimmick, saying it doesn’t offer any advantage for the end-consumer. However, the folks over at DisplayMate, who are considered the experts on mobile displays and came away impressed with the Galaxy Note 3’s display, think the curved screen is actually more than a gimmick.

“There is widespread misunderstanding regarding curved displays. They aren’t simply a marketing gimmick as has been widely reported,” Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies. According to DisplayMate, the curved 5.7-inch OLED display on the Galaxy Round has multiple benefits, such reduced reflections and glossiness, and a visually striking experience thanks to the use of a plastic substrate for construction.

Here’s a rundown on DisplayMate’s findings:

  • Concave screen: The curvature on the Galaxy Round is fairly small — the left and right edges of the screen are just 2.66 mm (0.10 inch) higher than the center. “So the effect is subtle, but it’s very important.”
  • • Improved screen privacy: Screen privacy is improved because the curvature makes it harder for other people to see the screen.
  • • Lower reflectance: A curved screen cuts down on reflections. The curvature directs reflected ambient light “coming from behind away from the viewer’s line of sight. This is very important because you want to minimize the amount of ambient light that is seen reflected off the screen.” The screen also magnifies the size of objects reflecting off the screen which “substantially cuts down on the interference of light reflections.”
  • • Glossiness reduction: Flexible OLED displays are manufactured using a flexible plastic substrate, “so they don’t have the glossy cover glass used on virtually all existing mobile displays.” And without the cover glass, the OLED display appears to be right on the surface of the screen, which is “visually striking.”

Of course, these advantages of the curved screen will extend to LG’s G Flex as well, which LG launched as a competitor to the Galaxy Round a couple of days ago, and DisplayMate’s conclusion should help hold the naysayers and detractors at bay. We’re working on our review of the Galaxy Round, in which we’ll be sure to let you know our own experience on the curved display.

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