Samsung Galaxy Round officially announced

News Paul Briden 10:37, 9 Oct 2013

Samsung has announced the Galaxy Round for launch in Korea on October 10

Samsung has officially announced the rumoured Samsung Galaxy Round with a curved OLED display – a world first.

Of course it’s not actually round, it’s curved across the width of the display (when held vertically), but perhaps if you put a bunch of them next to each other you could make a circle?

The 5.7-inch Super Flexible AMOLED features a full HD 1920x1080 pixel resolution. That is the same resolution and size as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 and indeed the rest of the design and spec does follow in the footsteps of that S-Pen stylus-toting device.

It has the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage and microSD support. As far as connectivity is concerned it carries all the usual: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, microUSB, 3G and 4G LTE Advanced.

Meanwhile the camera tech is a 13-megapixel shooter on the back and a 2-megapixel setup on the front. It should all be sounding very familiar.

The visual design is somewhat similar to the Galaxy Note 3 as well, as it has the faux leather soft-touch material and fake stitching around the edge. It’s a thin strip of a handset though at only 7.9mm thick. It’s a wee bit lighter than the Note 3 at 154g but the rest of the proportions are about the same at 151.1mm tall and 79.6mm wide. The battery pack is rated at 2,800mAh.

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is onboard together with TouchWiz. There are a few unique tweaks – you can control music playback by tapping the sides of the device and a “Gravity Effect” allows you to roll the phone on a flat surface to see the time and notification alerts.

How much will all this gimmickry cost you? Well it’s only going on sale in Korea at first, from October 10, and it’s being priced locally at 1,089,000 Korean Won, which is about £631.

Naturally there’s no word from Samsung on when we might see the phone available outside of Korea, if at all. Prior to the launch rumours suggested the phone would be a limited run handset as curved OLED manufacturing is still in need of further development before serious mass production can be tackled.

October 7 2013: 15.14

Samsung officially reveals 5.7-inch flexible OLED panel [Update]

No sooner has LG let the cat out the bag regarding its 6-inch flexible OLED tech and nearby neighbour and rival Samsung has followed it up with official confirmation of its 5.7-inch flexible OLED equivalent.

As well as confirming the tech, Samsung has also confirmed that it will launch a phone which implements it. Although no further details have been outed officially, the news follows word from Korean newspapers and the rumour mill that such a device will launch in the next week, will be called the Samsung Galaxy Round and will feature a similar spec to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

The fact that the flexible display size at 5.7-inches matches up with the Galaxy Note 3’s display lends a bit of extra weight to that latter allegation. Other rumoured specs include a quad-core chip, though there’s no specific suggestion it’s the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 found in the Galaxy Note 3, but it does seem like a sensible idea.

 Another alternative proposition is a rumoured Galaxy Note 3 Limited Edition.

Contrary to earlier rumour, which pegged Samsung’s flexible OLED phone with a 1280x720 pixel resolution, PhoneArena reports the 5.7-inch panel supports a full HD 1920x1080 pixel resolution, just like the Galaxy Note 3’s Super AMOLED setup.

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October 7 2013: 12.06

Samsung’s first flexible OLED smartphone could be launching this week, according to rumours, and the company may be planning to reveal it with the name Samsung Galaxy Round.

The Galaxy Round name was revealed, alongside the possibility of a launch this week, by Korean news sources but it’s since emerged that Samsung has been granted the Samsung Galaxy Round trademark for “tablets computers, telephones” by the US patent and trademark office.

This suggests that not only is the flexible OLED device real, but the Galaxy Round name is accurate and it’ll likely be getting a launch outside of Korea. Some have suggested that due to the flexible OLED technology still being quite experimental and tricky to produce Samsung will probably only produce a limited run of devices, but hopefully some of these devices will be available to an international consumer base rather than just those in Samsung’s home of Korea.

While we could see a limited run of production for this first flexible OLED handset, it’s thought that in the long term the technology, which uses a plastic substrate rather than glass, will not only make phone screens more durable but will also be cheaper to produce.

It appears with the first batch of flexible OLED devices from Samsung and LG we are seeing conventional, rigid-chassis smartphones which simply switch normal glass displays for more durable flexible tech - we're not at the point of bendy screens just yet, although they can apparently be arranged as a permanently curved display in this fixed format.

According to rumours, the Samsung Galaxy Round could feature a similar spec line-up to the current Galaxy Note 3 with a quad-core processor (though it’s unclear if it will be a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, as found in the Note 3), Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and 2GB of RAM. It’s thought it will have an 8-megapixel camera instead of the Note 3’s 13-megapixel setup, however and the display will be a  4.7-inch panel, possibly curved and with a slightly lower 1280x720 pixel HD resolution.

Some reports suggest the phone may or may not have S-Pen stylus support and Samsung has apparently been trying to decide what kind of price point at which to position the limited-run device. We’ll have more as further details emerge.

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