What's in it for me? Flexible OLED display phones explained

What's in it for me? Flexible OLED display phones explained
Now that the first flexible display phone panels are official from both LG and Samsung, let's examine what they are going to bring to smartphones like the LG G Flex and the Galaxy Round, or, eventually, tablets down the road. 

One of the big promises of the OLED screen technologies was precisely the fact that they don't need backlighting like the LCD ones, and can be laid on a plastic, instead of a glass substrate. That's where the "bendable" and  "unbreakable" adjectives in the flexible display description come from - since it is essentially a ziplock bag of sorts, the whole panel can fold to a certain extent.

The new substrate material also brings another added benefit - these display packages are much less rigid than their glass-enclosed counterparts, so when you drop the phone on its side, or even bang it screen-down on the pavement, it won't crack or shatter. As for screen specifications, Samsung already outed that its 5.7" display wonder will come with 1080x1920 pixels of resolution, so we don't even have to make sacrifices in terms of pixel density. Screen brightness and reflectivity are the big unknowns, but the nits shouldn't be less than what we have in the current OLED crop, while reflectivity might even be diminished further because of the plastic encapsulation. 

Since the flexible OLEDs themselves can bend, but the rest of the phone components can't, the first handset generations with those panels will likely benefit in other ways, though bendable PCBs and batteries are already in the works, as well as flexible RAM modules. Let's check out what we will be getting with those bendy phone screens from LG and Samsung in the immediate future.

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30 Comments

1. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Good stuff, Daniel. Curved display doesn't wow me much, thinner, lighter, cheaper, less reflective, and more durable does.

5. syedej123

Posts: 71; Member since: Jan 08, 2013

ALL Hail KOREAN giants SAMSUNG and LG :-) After them only only any brand can come after .

9. yudi.nemesis unregistered

Lol... there is nothing ground breaking about Samsung and LG flexible display, in 2010 Sony already announced the world first rollable OLED Display is just 0.08mm and with 4mm bend radius.

10. msa1988

Posts: 418; Member since: Mar 30, 2010

If it was such an innovation then where are they and why has no one heard of it?

13. artealis

Posts: 98; Member since: Dec 15, 2010

where are they now?? why no one talk about it? why we dont see it in the market? why sony keep struggling with poor display? first of this or that doesnt make it something. sells record and profit does. 2010 ohhh sony the 1st, 2013 samsung LG make 1st flexible display and sony?.... krikkk krikk krikk, i'm watching the moon and hear crickets sound singing out loud

14. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

So where are the flexible Sony products? Rolled under the terrible viewing angles? LOL.

15. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

If I told you that I was building a flying car and Ford came out with it first I doubt that I would receive credit for it. Being first to market with consumer grade product is everything.

16. syedej123

Posts: 71; Member since: Jan 08, 2013

Testing in the lab is not ground breaking ! making commercially available is what ground breaking.

19. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 883; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

What is wrong with u people? Sony fan says Sony did it first.. Samsung fan claims Samsung did it... Ok.. Lets say, Sony did it 1st... Did it benefit you in any way? Was it mass-produced? Did u ever use it? This article shows that Samsung & LG have started adopting flexible displays in real devices & is in mass-production.. Now it can be useful to us in near future. It can open doors to new innovation. (May be they can be used as unbreakable, waterproof, dustproof, durable, longlasting & not only in mobiles but also in desktops, laptops, TVs....) The least you can do is appreciate that these OEMs are making an effort to innovate & benefit the users.

28. SleepingOz unregistered

I was going to reply to your comment but seems like they already nailed you deep down. haha

21. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

oh com'on, Nokia already invented flexible phone and Flexible hardware not only screen, now that's a innovating thing + http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL7ASARTlJI

22. GoogleSafariFox

Posts: 100; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Dude, where are they now?? why no one talk about it? why we didn't saw it in the market? why Nokia keeps struggling? I mean why Nokia is Lying on their Grave LOL? NOBODY Cares about that when Poor Nokia tried that first. So in short, Samsung and LG are Successful with it. Now NOKIA FAILED Again for that! Keep it up Samsung!

25. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Its about who innovates first, its not about releasing in market. And how Nokia fail don't u see Nokia flexible phone in video. Put common sense in your brain, grow up then put comments.

27. Mittal

Posts: 494; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Its sad to see how you take your opinion to be a fact. Frankly it will be difficult to know who 'thought' of it first, who tested it first in the labs as there could be a company who tried it in 2005 but never went public with that info.... How can U tell ? Secondly if a company has the knowledge to create something like this but fails to cash in on it beacause of poor management desisions and let others go ahead, that makes them somewhat a bigger loser

30. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Again stupid comments, need to learn common sense.

2. Tomfromsouth

Posts: 84; Member since: Apr 02, 2012

Apart from it being thinner. I don't see it benefiting the end consumer. I can't conceivably think it would be more beneficial to me to have a curved screen. Great it doesn't break. But I still want it a flat form. So in my mind, it's only an improvement on the current flat form of the phone.

6. syedej123

Posts: 71; Member since: Jan 08, 2013

want a detail Article about Flexible and Bendable .

8. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

I broke my phones screen once because it feel out of my car and got slammed in the door. The screen was dead and half the glass fell out, It was a $250 repair. If it was a flexible screen odds are thescreen would of survived and it would of been a $20 repair. For any Samsung haters the device was an S3 and it survived with no damage or dents to the frame, and it was impossible to tell it was slammed hard with a car door after it was fixed. A device like the HTC one or iPhone would of been crushed/bent.

3. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2348; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Thats innovation :-)

4. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Thanks Daniel and PA team. I was li'l confused about flexible / bendable / curved displays and this helped me, I think this article is prepared for people like me. :) Good going..keep it up.

7. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

You were already using the flexible screen...

11. Fuego84

Posts: 357; Member since: May 13, 2012

The most useful thing a read here is that the screen might draw less power due to OLEDS not needing backlighting like LCDS and the screen should be more difficult to shatter. Now the screen being bendable will not be a deal maker for me I don't think I want to go around bending my phone anyways lol.

12. Android4Ever

Posts: 87; Member since: Aug 12, 2013

I think this a giant step forward in mobile technology...

17. Chris_Bakke

Posts: 246; Member since: Jan 23, 2013

Does anyone else hear the singers singing AMOLED, or is it just me?

18. techguyone

Posts: 214; Member since: May 18, 2013

Only real downsides I can think of right now would be how hard the screen is. i.E. does it scratch easily, that may be a bigger issue to resolve first, nice as the advantages are, you wouldn't want a screen that scratches very easily. Oh that and the limited lifespan of OLED

20. Chris_Bakke

Posts: 246; Member since: Jan 23, 2013

You mean like 3-4 years? I don't know about you but I get a new phone about every 1.5-2 years. So the degradation of the screen is not an issue for me.

23. GoogleSafariFox

Posts: 100; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Thanks a lot PA for this Clear Explanation. Now I can't wait for Samsung to release this. I've been waiting for them to release this in the market since they introduced it in early this year. LOL. Come on SAMSUNG! Please release it, We can't wait to buy it. This is so innovative! And USEFUL Too! So excited :)

24. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

Plastic is still plastic. The screen is made out of plastic so in turn it will scratch easier. You you make it too hard then it will not be flexible. There will be traded off. I will wait and see.

29. Ronny666

Posts: 128; Member since: Jun 08, 2013

If average person like u can think that far, I'm sure that their engineers can do more than u.

26. tttony

Posts: 29; Member since: Jul 22, 2012

Well.. We will see if this is innovation

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