Samsung is preparing to release its next giant smartphone, the Galaxy Note 4, in just a few months, according to a new report from The Korea Times.
Based on early rumours and reports, the Note 4’s high-resolution (and potentially curved) screen is likely to be its standout feature.
Samsung is expected to release two versions of the Note 4 — one with a regular, flat screen and another with a curved display, according to the report.
Previously-leaked specifications from GSMArena suggested the Note 4 would release with a 5.7-inch screen with a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution.
That means Samsung would pack about 515 pixels per inch (ppi) into the Note 4’s screen. To put that number in perspective, the iPhone 5s’ 4-inch display has a pixel density of 326 ppi.
Some experts have argued that pixel density is a useless specification for smartphones since the human eye can only discern a certain level of detail on a smartphone-sized screen. But on a larger phone like the Note 4, however, a higher pixel density may prove quite useful.
While The Korea Times might be right about the flat-screened phone, it doesn’t seem very likely that we’ll see a curved Galaxy Note 4 anytime soon. The English-language Korean newspaper reports that model will only be available in niche markets, similar to the Korea-only launch for the Samsung Galaxy Round.
That’s assuming Samsung is actually planning to launch a curved Galaxy Note 4 at all. For years, tech sites have claimed Samsung would release a curved, flexible, or foldable version of its phablet, and we have yet to see such a device hit the market. It’s only slightly plausible now because Samsung has already released its first curved smartphone for consumers, the Galaxy Round.
None of this directly influences the Galaxy Note, but it shows that Samsung is at least funelling some resources into getting its new tech into consumer products. The company also claims that it will release tablets that can be folded in half next year.
Still, curved isn’t the same as flexible. Curved simply means that the phone’s screen is slightly rounded, which is supposed to add ergonomic benefits. For example, Samsung and LG have claimed their respective curved phones could fit more easily in your pocket since the rounded shape feels more natural against your leg. It’s also supposed to make it feel more comfortable to hold against your face.
That said, the benefits of curved display technology aren’t immediately clear and still seem to be gimmicky at this point, according to one analyst.
“The curved screen we’ve seen on smartphones haven’t added much to the smartphone other than the novelty factor,” Avi Greengart, research director for consumer platforms and devices at Current Analysis, said to Business Insider in a previous interview.
Other than its super high-res and potentially curved screen, the Note 4 is expected to release with a faster processor and a better camera. Samsung will probably unveil the device in September during the IFA conference in Berlin, as it traditionally has done in the past. The Korea Times believes Samsung will also release its own alternative to Google Glass and some new smart home services in September as well.