If you have any interest in the latest technology or the phone world, you’ll have no doubt noticed that curved TV screens are starting to become more and more prevalent. This is perhaps because of the jump to 4k and higher screen sizes in higher end TV’s, but the precedent of the first has led to many successors. With the release of the Galaxy Note Edge, this trend appears to be on its way to the phone world, or at least Samsung phones in particular. Are curved screens a good thing, and more importantly are curved phones the future?
We’ll start with the reasoning behind a curved screen, with a any sized display if you sit at distance from the screen the distance from your eye to the screen will vary across the display, with the shortest distance being dead on ahead and the longest distances being the two sides of the screen. This starts to become a significant gap in distances once you’re using screens which are of 60 or more inches, with the distance being sometimes close to half of a meter. This can supposedly create a slightly distorted feel.
That’s where curved displays come in, by adding a subtle curve to the device it supposedly fixes this problem, making your eyes travel very similar distances to each side of the screen. So, is it an amazing advancement of technology? Not really. The problem with this theory is that for it to be truly beneficial there is just one perfect viewing spot in the middle. Anything to the left and right will supposedly increase the distances, making watching a movie or playing games with more than one person a little problematic.
So, if curved displays don’t fix that problem, what do they solve? Honestly, besides a slightly nicer experience when you are dead on ahead of the TV, it mainly just adds an extra layer of aesthetic to the device.
So, why is the Galaxy Note Edge curved? Honestly, mostly for the look. In a world where pretty smart phones like the iPhone sell better than the best of the best as far as internals are concerned, it’s an easy selling point for a device, and by being the first Samsung can potentially create a market first.
What about technical advantages? There aren’t really any to speak of. The Galaxy Note Edge is curved in a way that means even while watching a QHD video with the phone side ways the curve wouldn’t have this magical benefit. It also meant a few compromises were made to port and speaker positions because of the lack of real sides to the device. Does that make it useless?
No. As previously mentioned having a phone that looks as good as the Galaxy Note Edge does might be enough of a selling point on its own, and it more than tempted even me to want to try out the Galaxy Note Edge to see what interesting things can be done.
So to answer the titular question of whether or not curved phones will become the future, I think the honest answer is no. They create slightly interesting experiences and look different (and perhaps better) but while curved screens aren’t the norm elsewhere, the benefit of switching all of a phone manufacturers phones over to curved would definitely outweigh the benefit.
Fear not if you like the curved screen though, as it will no doubt always remain a Samsung series and we might even see some innovative replications from other device makers, but for now there is no reason for it to go too much further than that.