Samsung gets all curvy first with the Galaxy Round

Samsung beats LG to the punch by releasing their own curved phone first
Samsung throws a curve ball with the Samsung Galaxy Round

Poor LG, they can’t catch a break. Just a day after the company officially announced the mass-production of its curved OLED display for smartphones, its fellow South Korean rival Samsung returned fire with the official announcement of its first curved smartphone.

Dubbed the Samsung Galaxy Round (we guess the Galaxy "Curve" was out of the question, since BlackBerry already has first dibs on the moniker), the Android smartphone is almost the exact replica of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The specs are similar, including a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 13MP camera. It even comes with Samsung's TouchWiz interface as well as the one-handed operation modes.

And if you're thinking that it'll look quite different, guess again. The dimensions of the Galaxy Round are similar to its Note 3 sibling and it even has a similar "pleather" backing. In fact, the only difference between the Galaxy Round and the Note 3 seems to be the curved 5.7-in Super AMOLED 1080p display. From an ergonomic standpoint, it should fit nicely on round faces (tough luck if you have bony cheeks).

As practical as that sounds, we were still hoping to see the phone bend a little more for us. Think Samsung’s Youm display, which showcased the potential of bendable screens and devices during CES 2013.

Roll out

A curved screen isn't the only thing that the Galaxy Round offers. It has a feature dubbed "Roll Effect” that gives you a quick glance at the time, notifications and other useful information when you tip the phone and roll it on its back. Another similar feature, called "Gravity Effect", lets you rock the device with your fingers to see a music interface that will highlight your tunes.

They sound like interesting features but beyond that and the curved display, the Galaxy Round doesn't seem to bring much else to the table. In fact, considering the timing of Samsung's announcement after LG's own and the similarities between the Galaxy Round and the Note 3, it seems like Samsung is playing a game of "me first". 

Rumours of a Samsung smartphone equipped with a curved display have been floating on the web for a while and it was pegged for a release date in Q4. However the LG announcement and @evleaks leaked press shots of the Samsung Galaxy Round earlier today would have likely accelerated the Samsung’s announcement plans for the curved smartphone. 

If you have the urge to press this yoga-friendly phone against your cheeks, you'll be sorely disappointed. Samsung Singapore confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy Round will only be available in South Korea for now. It'll be available from tomorrow through SK Telecoms, beating LG’s launch of its rumoured LG G Flex smartphone by nearly a month. Our heart goes out to LG.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow via Ars Technica