This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

First Look: Curved Samsung Galaxy Round surprisingly comfy

About Video Transcript

First Look: Curved Samsung Galaxy Round surprisingly comfy

2:16 /

The arched Galaxy Round is Samsung's most comfortable phone to hold and carry to date, and top-tier specs make it extremely competitive...for Korea.

At long last, one of Samsung's curved AMOLED smartphone displays has made it into a finished product, and lo, it is named the Samsung Galaxy Round. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET, and I'm gonna tell you why the Round is more than just a gimmick. Let's start with the phone's shape. There's a pretty subtle curve from edge to edge which does indeed make it conform well when you hold it up to your cheek, and stuff it into a pocket; but its thicker spines and subtle inward angles also make it a lot more comfortable to hold for longer periods of time than, say, a straight-edge phone like the Galaxy Note 3. This comes in handy if you're reading, or playing games, or watching a movie. I can definitely hold it one-handed in both landscape and portrait mode without fumbling the phone. You may ask if the curved surface affects visibility and typing. I found that it did distort reflections, but in a positive way making them less distracting. My typing, however, was very slightly off since the screen looks flat, but it actually isn't. However, it's a pretty minor adjustment, and one that I got used to relatively quickly. Now the Round isn't without some gimmicks. If you enable motion-control settings, you can tap the side of the phone to skip around musical tracks, but it only works for tunes I had on my phone, not for any streaming songs. Also, you can press and hold down the side of the phone for several seconds to see details like time and battery levels. Or you can just go to the lock screen the usual way, and find out the same details faster without chasing your phone around on a flat surface. Beyond the bent HG screen, Samsung did well to keep the Round high-end. It has almost the same specs as the Galaxy Note 3: Android 4.3 with Samsung's TouchWiz interface on top, a 2.3 gHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, and a 13-megapixel camera. There's no stylus of course, but that's an optional feature anyhow. The Round's biggest problem, in my opinion, is that it's limited to South Korean carriers for now. However, for about $1,300, you can get it from US distributor Negri Electronics. With the LG's rival G Flex coming into AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, you'd better believe that Samsung will have an arched phone for the US market soon. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET. Be sure to check out my deep dive with the Samsung Galaxy Round at CNET.com

New releases

The tiny Samsung Portable SSD T1 pack a crazy punch
1:59 January 23, 2015
CNET editor Dong Ngo shares some of his inspiring thoughts with the one-of-a-kind and totally awesome Samsung Portable SSD T1 driv...
Play video
'Star Wars' supercut shows every GUI in the 1977 film, Ep. 189
4:24 January 23, 2015
This week on Crave get a glimpse of the future with drug-trafficking drones, a solar-powered plane circling the globe and Russia's...
Play video
This costly cooker is a culinary master
1:48 January 23, 2015
Replace your current stash of small appliances with the $299 Instant Pot Smart.
Play video
You built a time machine... out of a rice maker?
1:47 January 23, 2015
It won't send you back to the future, but the Tim3 Machin3 from 3 Squares will cook rice and quinoa quickly and automatically.
Play video
Netpicks: What to watch this weekend
1:53 January 23, 2015
For a really, really limited time Amazon is giving away its award-winning show, Transparent.
Play video
Panic sweeps nerd nation over Apple Watch battery life
3:00 January 23, 2015
The Apple Watch battery may not be as magical as some hope, T-Mobile will look past customers' bad credit scores, and more electric...
Play video
Wink Relay smart home control pad falls short of its potential
2:28 January 23, 2015
The benefits of an in-wall smart home control panel seem obvious, but too many limitations and still in-development features hold this...
Play video
NHT SuperBuds: $99 in-ear headphones won't get you high, but they go low
1:39 January 23, 2015
The cannabis-themed SuperBuds are a well-designed and affordable earphone geared toward those who listen to bass-centric music
Play video