November 22, 2013

The Benefits of a Curved Phone

Eric Griffin

Benefits of a Curved Phone

Curved phones are about to be all the rage right now. I couldn’t help but think: why? Aside from a new feature manufacturers can pitch consumers on, it turns out there are a number of real-world benefits curved screens protector offer on a phone:

Nearly unbreakable

Curved phones take advantage of a plastic substrate display, which allows the material to bend and flex without cracking (watch the LG G Flex bend). Aside from the cool factor – this means when you drop your phone, the majority of the shock will be absorbed by the flexibility. Cracking your screen may be a thing of the past.

Larger screen in the same length

Samsung Patent: Curved DisplayThe more you curve the display, the more screen real estate you gain in the same size footprint. While the LG G-Flex gains only 1/16″ (or about 1.5mm) due to it’s minimal curve, the possibilities are endless. See the image to the right, where Samsung demonstrates how they would utilize the edge of the screen for a contacts app. Of course, the issue of errant touches driving you crazy arises when your phone is one giant screen on all sides, but Apple was able to solve this on the iPad Mini Retina by recognizing whether your thumb is resting on the display or whether you’re intentionally interacting with it, so I don’t think this will be an issue by the time curved displays are mainstream.

Optimal viewing angle from all areas of the screen

By curving the display, every area of the screen is equidistant from your eyes. This helps eliminate first-world problems, such as “screen-edge visual distortion and detail loss.”

More ergonomic

A gentle curve, like the one seen on the LG G-Flex, has 2 ergonomic benefits. First, when holding the phone to your ear, the microphone is closer to your mouth (much like a boom headset). Second, the phone fits better in your pocket, compared to other “phablet” (or “Fonblet” as Samsung is trying to call it) devices like the Galaxy Note series. The curve conforms nicely to your thigh, provided you have it turned the right way in your pocket.

Time will tell if this is a technological breakthrough that makes us think back to how we lived with “flat” screens, or if it will be a trend that comes and goes on a few ill-fated devices, only to never to be seen again. What do you predict?

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