Samsung’s never-ending diversification of its Galaxy range has taken a new twist today.
The release of the Galaxy Round, a device which packs a curved, flexible display, is another case of Sammy looking to be all things to all people, after the hefty, camera-focused Zoom version and the super-sized Mega editions.
By rights, tech fanatics should be excited.
Flexible displays for smartphones have been in the offing for years, but this is the first time we’ve actually seen one on a commercially available device.
The rolling sides, which allow users to view key information by simply nudging the handset, are clever, but hardly revolutionary.
And Samsung’s PR flimflam fails to cut to the truth: That while there is an element of genius at play, this is very much a gimmick.
Curved displays look odd on TVs, but the idea of watching a movie or even a brief YouTube clip on a 5.7-inch smartphone version is simply off-putting.
Samsung can talk all it likes about “exclusive experiences”, but the reality is the only exclusive experience available is being able to brag to mates about owning one of these bizarre devices.
And with so many great smartphones out there, that’s not exactly something to get too excited about.
The main question is why this technology has found its way onto a phone, but wasn’t deemed worthy of the critically panned Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
That device’s flatscreen is one of a number of weak features and by using curved display tech, surely Samsung could have countered some of the arguments against its adoption?
It may have driven costs up, but it’s already an expensive luxury, so why not go the whole hog?
Instead, we’re looking at the tech on a phone that has little practical use beyond showing that Samsung is working on making flexible screens viable.
That’s laudable, but it really is starting to feel as if the Korean giant is doing its R&D on the wider public, rather than sussing this stuff out in the lab before launch.
Wouldn’t it do just as well to have a smattering of products, rather than a roster that even the most committed Samsung fan has trouble keeping up with?
Either way, it seems this is a direction the wider smartphone community is interested in exploring.
LG has said it has similar tech ready to roll, while Apple’s rumoured iWatch is expected to have a flexible display.
It does all feel as if no one really knows why such screens have been developed, though.
Perhaps it’ll take a product like the iWatch to show the world how these things are supposed to work.
Because the Galaxy Round singlehandedly fails to fulfil that role. It’s just a very clever, but very clear, gimmick.