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Samsung shows off flexible OLED phone prototype (hands-on)

Samsung shows off flexible OLED phone prototype (hands-on)

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Samsung gave us a brief glimpse during its keynote today of its first phone using a flexible display, and now we've just had the opportunity to handle the device for ourselves. The phone, which is a nameless prototype, has a screen that falls off towards the rear edge of the device on the right side. Samsung hasn't quite figured out yet what to do with this extra screen real estate, but for now the phone displays landscape-oriented notifications along the edge. The idea is that you'll be able to read text messages, stock tickers, and other notifications from the side of the device even if you have a case covering the screen.

As you would expect, representatives were very reluctant to give us any specifications on the prototype. But they did reveal that the screen is about five inches across, with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a resolution "about" 720p. We were also informed that the prototype isn't truly a phone — it lacks a radio, operating system, camera, and most any other feature you'd find in a phone. Instead, in its current form, the prototype is more like a touch-capable digital picture frame that uses a low-power processor to cycle through images of a mocked-up UI. The phone certainly feels like a prototype: it's poorly made of plastic, and it felt completely hollow within. We're skeptical of the utility of a flexible display on a phone, but it certainly makes for a cool tech demo.

Samsung flexible OLED prototype phone


Jeff Blagdon contributed to this report.