Smartphones with curved screens have become quite popular in recent years. This is due to the fact that many smartphone manufacturers are offering a smartphone model with a curved screen.
Even Motorola is currently plotting a return to the premium phone market and has a new release with a curved display in the form of its Edge series, which is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 processor, with 6GB of RAM, 128GB internal storage, and a 4,500mAh battery.
The ubiquity of curved screens in the smartphone market might come as a surprise to some people. But it shouldn’t be, because this was a long time coming.
It was back in 2013 when the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) predicted that smartphones with curved screens were on their way.
True enough, Samsung launched the Galaxy Round that very same year, in turn starting something akin to a revolution: the rise of the curved-screen smartphone, which was made possible only by rapid advancements in technology.
The development of flex and rigid PCBs (printed circuit boards) was a crucial milestone, because they provide a way for printed circuit boards to be connected which makes it possible for curved screens.
Today’s PCBs are also much smaller in comparison to the ones that were made many years ago when electrical circuits — the precursor to PCBs — were built by attaching lots of individual wires to various components.
Now, the smaller PCBs are everywhere and have enabled manufactures to create even more advanced smartphones.
Due to the fact that flex and rigid PCBs are becoming more advanced and more easily accessible, it’s likely that we will see an increased production of curved-screen smartphones in the future.
That being said, the question now is: Are smartphones with curved displays worth it? Below are some pros and cons to consider:
Pros Of Curved Smartphone Screens:
They Have Larger Screens
One of the biggest advantages to having curved displays is a bigger screen, as the curvature at the edges allows for thinner, and at times unnoticeable, bezels.
This provides a better viewing experience, which would be perfect for someone who enjoys watching movies or playing games on their phone.
A larger screen will also provide more space for the icons of the different apps that are installed on the phone. This extra space will make it easier for you to have a more organized and less cluttered interface.
They Look Sleeker And More Elegant
The aesthetics of a curved display is eye-catching, to say the least, because it makes a smartphone look extremely sleek and futuristic.
The curved screen also creates the illusion of a slimmer smartphone that adds a layer of sophistication to the phone’s appearance.
In other words, smartphones with curved screens tend to look way cooler than their flat screen counterparts. And by being sleeker they also fit into pockets much easier, without ruining the shape of jackets or pants.
Cons Of Curved Smartphone Screens:
They Are Fragile
As discussed in a previous post, bezels are important to maintain a phone’s structural integrity and to house its front-facing speakers and cameras.
These are the reasons phones can’t be 100% bezel-less. However, phone manufacturers are working around these limitations by curving the screen and making bezels as thin as possible.
This makes smartphones with curved displays far more fragile than smartphones with flat screens and thicker bezels.
That’s because there’s more glass on a smartphone with a curved display and less structure to protect it. So, if it drops, it’s highly likely that the glass will break, and necessitate an expensive repair.
They Don’t Fit Snuggly Into Cases
Something else compounds the above problem of breakage vulnerability: Cases don’t fit as well on smartphones with curved displays as they do on smartphones with flat screens.
The problem, again, is the thinner bezels, which means there’s less bezel for the case to latch on to and ensure a snug fit. This makes it extremely difficult to protect a phone that is already fragile, to begin with.
They Don’t Really Offer Anything Of Value
Aside from improving a phone’s aesthetics, curved displays don’t really provide anything in the way of improved performance or added functionality.
In fact, its most touted feature — pulling commonly used apps to a separate panel — can be done on most smartphones already via home screen customization.
Even edge lighting, pioneered originally by Samsung, is a redundancy in light of customizable ringtones and vibration alerts.
For something that adversely affects a phone’s structural integrity, it would be reasonable to expect at least one ‘wow’ feature in return. Unfortunately, curved-screen smartphones don’t offer anything close to that — at least not yet.
That said, some smartphone owners don’t mind a phone vulnerable to breakage as long as they get a bigger screen and better aesthetics in return.
Usage preferences aside, though, the cons of having a curved display so far outweigh the pros.
But with technology advancing at such a rapid pace, and PCBs getting better, more flexible, and more powerful, the future certainly looks promising for smartphones with curved displays.
If you have any comments or questions about smartphones with curved screens, please feel free to share them in the comment section below.