Samsung says its wraparound phones are 'around the corner' (Take that, Lenovo)

A day after Lenovo wowed phone fans with a prototype of a flexible phone you bend around your wrist, a Samsung executive confirms two similar styles for 2017.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Editorial Director, Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Thought Leadership, Speed Desk and How-To. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica led CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Content strategy, team leadership, audience engagement, iPhone, Samsung, Android, iOS, tips and FAQs.
Jessica Dolcourt
Watch this: A phone you can bend around your wrist

The fact that Lenovo beat Samsung with a public concept design for a bendable, flexible phone that wraps around the wrist has got to sting. After all, Samsung was the first to market a curved-screen phone.

Lenovo's surprise demo of the CPlus prototype on Thursday in San Francisco at the company's Tech World wowed the crowd, who pressed together for a closer look at the articulated plastic handsets behind glass. (CNET got to try it on. Check out the video here.)

A flexible phone you can wear on your wrist is finally here

See all photos

Just a day later, Gregory Lee, who heads Samsung's North American efforts, publicly promised two bendable designs for 2017, Recode reported Friday. This isn't the first we've heard of Samsung's plans; in fact, it confirms a similar report from earlier this week.

Foldable and wearable designs have been in the works for years, and Samsung first demoed a flexible display, called Youm, in 2013. But making a flexible phone is harder than it looks.

The trick is to make internal components that can bend with the floppy display, says Lenovo CTO Peter Hortensius, who discussed the CPlus to a group of journalists at Tech World.

"These things need to be super flexible and super strong. They are not there yet," Hortensius said.

Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment.