LAS VEGAS — Curved. Bendable. Immersive.
These are some of the tech buzzwords we’ve heard countless times this week from companies showing off products here at CES. They’re referencing smartphone and TV displays that can bend slightly and create a more immersive experience for your eyes.
I just had my first experience inside the CES tech zoo — also known as the Central Hall here at the Las Vegas Convention Center — and spent some time holding LG’s new G Flex smartphone and standing in front of Samsung’s bendable high-definition TVs, both of which are coming out in 2014.
I don’t get the hype of these bendy-curvy displays and I won’t be shelling out extra money for them — at least not yet.
I told the LG and Samsung representatives that I wasn’t sold on bendable displays and they both used the buzzword “immersive,” to try to convince me otherwise.
For the smartphone, some of the other benefits include the “ergonomic” feel in the hand and what the LG rep called “pocket-ability” — which, I guess, means it fits better in your back pocket. But really, how many people actually do that?
I’ll admit that yes, it did feel nice in my hand. And yes, when I put it to my ear, the mouthpiece was a tad closer to my mouth, which is intended to create better call quality.
But these are incremental benefits. They don’t do much for me, and I didn’t come away all that impressed.
I liked the bendable TVs a little better, but could only tell the difference in the displays that were giant — an 85-incher, for example — which is much larger than most normal people have in their living rooms.
Other than being “immersive,” the Samsung rep spoke about field of view and how the bendable display creates better viewing angles all round the room (see diagram to right).
Samsung hasn’t announced pricing for these new bendable TVs, but you can bet that they’re going to be quite a bit more than the typical flat-screen TVs.
You may have different needs. Perhaps you have a big family and people compete for the best TV viewing angles. Or maybe you watch a lot of media content on your phone and like the “immersive” aspects of a bendable smartphone display (you can barely tell the difference, in my opinion).
But based on my initial experience here at CES, my advice is to keep it flat.