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Samsung Galaxy Round boasts first curved display on a smart phone

Samsung Galaxy Round boasts first curved display on a smart phone

Samsung put a dent in phone design with its new Galaxy Round smart phone. The 5.7-inch HD display (1080p) and body are curved concavely to fit more comfortably in a user’s hand and bring far-flung icons and other screen elements a tad closer to the thumb during one-handed operation.

The curved design also allows the phone to be rocked when it’s on its back, an action that prompts the screen to show the date, time, missed calls, and battery life. Nudging the phone to see this frequently accessed data—a feature we’ve already seen on phones from Motorola, LG, and others—is much easier than fumbling with the power button to unlock the screen.

While the ergonomic benefits of a slightly curved screen seem a little dubious to me, our engineers have confirmed that phones with curved backs, such as the HTC One, have an edge when it comes to comfort and grip. The display is flexible, though it won’t move much since it’s attached to a stiff phone case. Samsung says it has a covering that makes it comfortable to hold.

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Curved characteristics aside, the specs of the Galaxy Round, which is currently available in Korea only, are closely aligned with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which also has a 5.7-inch HD display. (The Note 3 is in the final stages of testing in Consumer Reports’ labs.) Shared hardware includes: 2.3GHz Snapdragon quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 13-megapixel main camera with a back-illuminated image sensor.

The Galaxy Round is about the same size as the Galaxy Note 3, measuring 151.1 mm ⅹ79.6 mm ⅹ7.9 mm. But it’s noticeably lighter: 154g vs. 168g for the Note 3. The Round’s smaller 2800mAh battery may have something to do with it: The Note 3’s battery is 3200 mAh.

Samsung is keeping mum on whether the Galaxy Round will reach the U.S., but we’ll be keeping an eye on this intriguing phone—as well its imitators—to keep you informed.

—Mike Gikas

Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers or sponsors on this website. Copyright © 2007-2013 Consumers Union of U.S.

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