Samsung Electronics has become the first manufacturer to unveil a smartphone with a curved screen.
It is a variant of the Galaxy Note which moves the Asian giant a step closer to achieving wearable devices with flexible – even unbreakable – screens.
Curved displays are on the frontline of Samsung’s innovation war with rivals such as Apple and LG Electronics, as the South Korean firm seeks to expand its lead in the slowing market for high-end smartphones.
Galaxy Round — a 5.7-inch concave handset that fits the curve of a user’s palm — has hit stores in South Korea but Samsung did not say when the new phone will be available globally.
Curved screens — billed as lighter and thinner than current display panels — are at a nascent stage in display technology, which is shifting towards flexible panels that are bendable or can even be rolled or folded.The new phone — powered by Google’s Android system and featuring a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor –is priced at about 1.08 million won ($1,000), Samsung said.
The new phone allows users to check information such as missed calls, text messages, remaining battery life and the current time and date more easily when the screen is locked.
When listening to music, users can switch between songs on a playlist by placing the phone on a flat surface and pressing down on the left or right side to tilt the device, which automatically detects the movement.
The curved screen is made of plastic, instead of the glass that is commonly used in smartphones, and as a result the handset is slightly lighter.Samsung said the phone weighs 154 grams (0.33 pounds), 10 percent less than the firm’s similar-sized Galaxy Note III oversized smartphone.