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LG explains why it dislikes curved display panels, and why there isn't one on the G6

Posted: , by Ray S.

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LG G6 is among the first 'all-screen' phones we're going to see in 2017

LG G6 is among the first 'all-screen' phones we're going to see in 2017

The biggest design trend in phones this year is going to involve manufacturers using massive display panels, while shrinking the bezels around them to almost nonexistence. LG is first out of the gate with exactly such a proposition: its 2017 flagship, the G6, is ready to roll, and guess what – it's rocking a stunning 5.7" screen in the body of a phone no bigger than last year's 5.3" G5!

Samsung and Apple are both believed to also follow similar design approaches with their own flagships later in the year, but if we take a closer look at the rumors, there's an important detail that pops up: while Samsung and Apple are expected to implement curved display panels into their handsets, LG is unapologetically sticking with a good old flat one. Hate it or love it.

Curved display panels are a sophisticated subject: while they serve a mostly aesthetic purpose, some could argue they help manufacturers build phones with better screen to body ratios – allowing bigger diagonals in narrower bodies. This claim does have some weight, although we could argue how much of a benefit there is in inflating the diagonal figure while also skewing the picture along the edges. Anyway, it appears that LG has had some bigger considerations when it came to whether it should join the curved panel bandwagon, or stick with a 'classic' flat screen. Here's what made LG's product team ultimately decide on mounting a flat LCD display.

LG gave us the opportunity to spend some quality time with members of the team who made the LG G6 possible, and you may be surprised at some of the arguments they had against curved screens. 

REASON #1: Curved "edge" screens are uncomfortable to hold

LG argues that using 'edge' screens and 'edge' interfaces can be tiring cause muscle strain.

LG argues that using 'edge' screens and 'edge' interfaces can be tiring cause muscle strain.

According to LG, curved "edge" screens, not unlike the ones Samsung is using in recent phones like the Galaxy S7 edge, are simply uncomfortable to hold. And while Samsung has made tangible improvements in terms of comfort when operating an 'edge' handset, the experience is not yet ideal. The Galaxy Note 7 introduced some welcome progress in this area, but... well, you know how that ended up. Not only are curved screens more uncomfortable, LG says, but they can also cause more tension build-up and tiredness in hand muscles when used for longer periods, which may or may not be the case, we aren't sure. Let's say there could be some truth to this if some sort of 'edge' interface is in place, requiring you to interact more with border areas of the screen.

A side effect of the edge panel can also be an increased number of accidental taps, which could prove to be annoying, indeed.

REASON #2: Curved "edge" screens are easier to crack

Curved glass along the edges of a handset could mean frequent trips to the service center. | source - Cnet

Curved glass along the edges of a handset could mean frequent trips to the service center. | source - Cnet

It's hard to argue here – curved screen panels do seem to be easier to crack. Because more of the expected parts of the phone's body are now made of glass (read: the sides and edges), LG says there's an increased risk of screen cracking, should you hit or drop your device. Makes sense. Is the fancier look of the phone worth the bigger risk of shattering, and increased costs of service? That's obviously the customer's call.

So LG believes that by using a flat touchscreen panel on the G6, it's doing consumers a favor by delivering a handset that is both more comfortable and reliable. Both points make a lot of sense, but what we're wondering here is if these design decisions are going to truly resonate with customers, enough to make them look away from Samsung's (and later Apple's) shiny, curved pebbles. Time will tell, but until then, we're just going to enjoy LG's more pragmatic approach with the undeniably awesome G6.

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Story timeline

This story is part of: LG at MWC 2017(17 updates)

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posted on 26 Feb 2017, 13:03 46

1. MisterQ (Posts: 56; Member since: 13 Feb 2015)

I agree with LG

Curved screens are a big gimmick and increase cost unnecessarily

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 13:21 18

10. kumar1234 (unregistered)

Curved screens on Galaxy phones looks stupid and ugly. Only curved screen phone that actually looked good was Note 7 which was such a low quality dangerous phone that various countries have to ban it.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 13:39 8

19. Zack_2014 (Posts: 515; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)

@kumar1234 Stupid and ugly like your face and country. All I see is your ugly negative comments trying to put down Samsung, which all in all does not make any sense.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 13:43 9

23. kumar1234 (unregistered)

@ Zack_2014. LOL @ you. You sound so saulty and agitated. Now look at my beautiful and peaceful avatar and let your anger be pacified. You belong in 2014 not in 2017.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 13:45 3

27. maherk (Posts: 4847; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

He doesn't even belong to 2014, that backwards mentality is way too old even for 1990.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 13:51 1

30. Zack_2014 (Posts: 515; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)

@kumar1234 LOL if having a number 2014 makes me belong to 2014. By this statement you should belong to 1234 xD
Take a grain of salt and rub them to your eyes when Samsung tops every other electronics company out there.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 14:11 3

36. kumar1234 (unregistered)

@ Zack_2014, Actually that's a good one. Well done.

If you think Any company's success or failure will make me happy or sad then I have to say you have zero idea about me. And if you think you can get me by trolling my favorite tech company and showing the "success" of your favorite company then I'll say LOL @ you. Try harder because that's the kind of person I'm. You will never make me angry or agitated by saying something against my favorite company or showing the success of your favorite company. You know why?

Because unlike You ( and most of Samsung fanboys here ) I don't associate any company with myself. Try harder buddy.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 14:34 4

41. drunkenjay (Posts: 1075; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)

you know thats bs.arent you kumar123 who got banned for trolling and being an apple fanboy?

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 14:50

45. Highside (Posts: 173; Member since: 31 Jan 2017)

I post the truth. TRY READING! I HATE Apple. I currently have a a G5 and a S6. I'm AMERICAN. Not a kumar.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 14:54 1

46. kumar1234 (unregistered)

@ drunkenjay, I unregistered my previous account. People here can testified that ( just ask darkkjedi or maherk or tedkord). The real proof is that I'm still using my old account's email. Bad try drunken idiot next time try harder. Maybe when you're sober. Lol.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 21:18 1

57. tedkord (Posts: 14114; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

Couldn't keep away, huh. That new years resolution went quick.

posted on 27 Feb 2017, 01:42

66. kumar1234 (unregistered)

Yeah, I love you sooooo much that I just couldn't keep way.

posted on 27 Feb 2017, 02:51

68. drunkenjay (Posts: 1075; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)

dam getting triggered much? like that time when you trashtalked samsungs oled displays but apple uses them? please reply to that comment please. I would really like to hear from your point of view why apple would use such lowly tech.

That is coming from an iphone 7 plus user.

posted on 27 Feb 2017, 06:49 1

69. kumar1234 (unregistered)

Triggered? Lmao. That's what you like to think. I owned you with my comment you just replied with a really dumb comment. Seeing how you reply to my every comment is clear that you get triggered every time you see my post.

As for oled I said Pentile OLED screen are pure trash, if Apple use Pentile OLED you'll see me trashing Apple too.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 13:45 12

26. maherk (Posts: 4847; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

You know you don't have to be racist towards someone simply because you don't agree with their opinion?
I don't think I would ever agree with Kumar on anything, but that doesn't give me the right to bash his race or his people because of that.

I don't get it with you people who takes things personal when someone attacks your favorite company.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 19:32

56. MomoSimon (Posts: 25; Member since: 23 Feb 2017)

What? Country? There has nothing to do with his country.

posted on 27 Feb 2017, 02:35 1

67. AlikMalix (unregistered)

I don't know if my opinion matters: I'm an iPhone fan... but I love the G6 design. That screen to body ratio is way overdue for any smartphone manufacturer (especially iPhone). I also love that they rounded the edges of the screen - it would look horrible if they made sharp corners (like all phones today)....

Furthermore. I don't like Samsung devices particularly because it's running Android (personal preference - don't get upset), but the curved screens that Samsung introduced with S6 were a leap forward in design. I like the way they look - Samsung edge phones are most modern looking among all phones. They don't "look stupid or ugly"!!! Curved screens looks great. But, from practicality of a curved screen, in my opinion, it's a more negative than positive (if there is a positive). The often times that I hold and use a Samsung "Edge" phone - I find it cumbersome and impractical. Again, just my opinion, if you like it or got used to it - good for you.

Mark my words, if Apple copies the "edge" screen for their next iPhones and not provide a flat screen version - I'd be extremely disappointed and probably irritated enough to try this new LGG6 instead....

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 13:29 7

12. rick_mobile (Posts: 338; Member since: 13 Dec 2010)

I have to agree with this, while the phone looks gorgeous, I finally grew tired of how uncomfortable it is to hold.
finally ordered an LG V20 and will put the s7 edge on ebay soon

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 14:16

39. Highside (Posts: 173; Member since: 31 Jan 2017)

LG just committed suicide. F THEM.
The G4/G5 were great, then LG copied craApple.
The S5 was awesome, then Samsuck copied craApple.
Now, every phone is a insult to everyone who can think for themselves.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 13:29 17

13. The_Godfather (Posts: 196; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)

Grapes are sour for LG. They simply can't pull it off and here they released a list of excuses lol.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 13:46 1

28. Hyperreal (Posts: 322; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)

LOL, not true. I agree with LG. I hate curved screens and i hope S8 is not that much curved because i may buy one. Its a stupid gimmick which makes using your phone more problematic. I am sure this trend will go away some day. Only Samsung fanboys believe that there is a purpose of using a curved screen.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 13:47 1

29. Hyperreal (Posts: 322; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)

If they wanted to make such a phone, they would do it.

posted on 27 Feb 2017, 13:27

70. tsp38 (Posts: 35; Member since: 04 Jun 2015)

LG definitely is not at Samsung's level on popularity and name, but their technology is not lacking, in many of their divisions. (like screens and others) I'm sure, if they really wanted to, they could have came up with a curved screen as well.
I think it comes down to preference, really.. some people might enjoy the benefits of the curved screen, some don't.
I've been using the Galaxy S7 Edge and I agree completely with LG's reasons. and top of that, I can't stop making unwanted registers with my palm and other fingers when I grab it or hold it in certain ways, so that's annoying for me too.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 13:52

31. torr310 (Posts: 1084; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)

I agree with LG. Hope they succeed.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 21:26

58. kamejoko (Posts: 227; Member since: 10 Nov 2011)

because lg can not make curve screen at this time. lg phone and google pixel no have curve screen but have sky price.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 22:21

62. Mobilephile (Posts: 161; Member since: 25 Nov 2012)

LG's excuse #1 is subjective. Excuse #2 is unproven. Try holding a Huawei Magic and then tell me it's a gimmick. You wont.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 13:04 7

3. kiko007 (Posts: 5383; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)

That's nice. Now.... explain why you (LG) chose to omit several key features in several key markets. Do you see Samsung or Apple doing crap like that? Hell no....So why are you (LG) doing it?

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 13:36 1

17. Subie (Posts: 1337; Member since: 01 Aug 2015)

I don't agree with that either. It's just being cheap to save a few bucks in certain markets. Now if the didn't have access to "hi-fi dac" tech that would be one thing. But to deliberately not give it to North America or Europe = slap in the face IMO.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 13:44

25. kiko007 (Posts: 5383; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)

Exactly. I don't know why, but it seems like they mailed it in for the Q2 and Q3 period as far as flagship sales go, and decided to cut costs in select markets due to projections. Considering how the S8 is going to be a monster, I just don't understand why LG would willingly discriminate like that. Oh well, S8 or HTC it is then until the fall rolls around I suppose.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 13:07 9

4. maherk (Posts: 4847; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

LG is sounding more and more like the annoying cousin who hates on everything you have simply because he can't get it.
1st it was the 835, now curved screens?

They did the same last year with the removable battery, yet they ditched that idea, fast forward to next year, and they will offer a curved edge screen when they realize that even though it is useless in terms of features, people still want them because they look futuristic and cool.

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