A Look at Samsung's Curved Smartphone Concept and 4.99-Inch 1080p AMOLED Displayby Brian Klug on January 12, 2013 9:17 PM EST
I got a chance to look at some of Samsung Displays' new and upcoming products, probably one of the highlights of my CES 2013 experience. There's a bit to go through, but first up are their buzzworthy curved displays and a concept phone or two. I spent three years in my undergrad optical and electrical engineering education working on curving a CCD for use matching focal planes, and thus curved displays are instantly near and dear to me as interesting next steps.
Samsung was showing off a single-axis curve in their demo room. First is a larger size display with a relatively small bend radius. It's a hemicylindrical display designed for signage.
Next are two smartphone concepts. I've been wondering for some time what curved (not necessarily flexible) displays would enable or look like for a smartphone, and Samsung's concepts are actually pretty innovative looking. The two concepts have a bend on the horizontal or vertical axis — a bend on the right side, or bottom. Then a flip cover covers the planar section of the display while leaving the curved section exposed. This ostensibly allows glanceable information, notifications, and messages to be displayed without requiring a user to flip open the whole phone, and with AMOLED this section can be lit up without having to light up the entire display for saving some power.
The bend radius on these two isn't very extreme but looks like it could be a compelling example use case for a smartphone design. I don't expect either of these designs to come to market immediately, but it's clearly something on Samsung's mind for future products. The entire touch layer and display glass is curved with the display underneath.
[section and photo removed at Samsung's request]
Although we originally had more specific information, I strongly suspect the rumored 4.99-inch 1080p AMOLED display will find its way into whatever Galaxy S 4 ends up being.