Handheld Devices

Curved screens and gold trim to hit the Samsung Galaxy line

Samsung's been talking about flexible displays in smartphones for more than a year, but now the company's about to finally release an actual bendy product--along with an iPhone 5s-esque golden Galaxy S4.

Curved and potentially costly

Reuters reports that Samsung will introduce a smartphone with a curved display in October, citing Samsung mobile business head of strategic marketing D.J. Lee. Although the Reuters story had no other details, other reports out of Korea and China have said that the device will be a limited edition of the Galaxy Note 3.

According to ETNews, the phone will be marketed as "unbreakable and light." Those are both benefits of flexible display technology, though it's unlikely that you'll be able to bend the phone yourself.

Samsung first announced its flexible display technology, called "Youm," in April 2012. The company has shown how a flexible screen could wrap around the side of the phone, providing notifications even when the screen is covered. But it's not the only company interested in the technology; Samsung also faces competition from its Korean rival LG and from Corning. (Earlier this year, Corning warned that flexible glass could be years away, while Samsung is reportedly using plastic for its flexible screens.)

A limited edition Galaxy Note would be an important milestone for the technology, but it doesn't mean we'll all be sporting flexible displays anytime soon. ETNews claims that Samsung is producing the devices on pilot lines, and will decide whether to invest more in manufacturing depending on the market response. Reuters notes that cost, thinness and heat resistance have been major hurdles.

Bling bling

Speaking of products you'll probably never own, Samsung is also releasing Gold Edition Galaxy S4 smartphones in the Middle East. Judging from the company's Facebook post, these phones will have a gold trim and either a brown or pink bezel. So it's not exactly like Apple's iPhone 5S, whose optional gold-tinted plating complements a white bezel, and runs from the trim to the back of the device, but it's probably close enough to raise a few suspicious eyebrows.

It's unclear if the Gold Edition Galaxy S4 will ever show up in the United States. In the meantime, you can combine your love of curved screens and gaudy status symbols with Samsung's $15,000 curved display television.


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