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Samsung Galaxy Round

Samsung Galaxy S5 Candidate (SM-G900S) Surfaces Online with 2K Display and Android 4.4

Ladies and gentlemen, the day has come. The day all unsubstantiated Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors, questionable declassified reports and fishy anonymous tips start gaining credence. The day we stop dreaming with our eyes open for utopian features and begin asking the age-old question: are we looking at a full-on, major upgrade or a minor, incremental little boost?

Samsung-Galaxy-S5

Right off the bat, I’d like to make something very clear. The Samsung SM-G900S, which someone on the inside took for a quick benchmarking spin through GFX Bench, may not be the Galaxy S5. There’s no apparent connection between its model number and strings designated to hide the real, market names of the S3 and S4.

Instead, SM-G900S is oddly similar to SM-G910, the codename of Samsung’s first curved display handheld, the Galaxy Round. So why couldn’t this be a sequel of the Round? Simple, because it’s far too soon for Samsung to have that kind of follow-up so close to a commercial launch.

It’s not too soon however to put the finishing touches on the GS5, especially if rumors of a January formal intro are to be trusted. And they sure make sense, since it’s no grand secret the Galaxy S4 is no longer winning the big points at the box-office.

SM-G900S

But let’s assume the SM-G900S is indeed one and the same with the S5. What sort of specs does GFX Bench’s database suggests the phone will rock? First off, there’s pre-loaded Android 4.4 KitKat, a detail that definitely supports the theory we’re dealing with a genuinely top-shelf device.

Then you got a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, coupled with Adreno 330 graphics, which sounds like the high-end standard these days and thus not mind-blowingly exciting for a beast of the future. Or does it?

Well, the S800 inside the SM-G900S is no regular S800, being clocked at 2.4 GHz and therefore either an 8974AB unit or 8974AC. Sure, Snapdragon 805 would have been even better, but testing of that particular SoC is only slated for a February or March 2014 start.

SM-G900S-2

And now, the kicker. The Samsung SM-G900S boasts a display resolution of, drum rolls please, 2,560 x 1,440. Mind-blowing? You can say that again, albeit technically the S5 has minuscule odds of being the world’s first phone with 2K, 2K HD, QHD, Quad HD resolution, or however you prefer calling it. Chinese no-name OEM Vivo is close to snatching the honor, but hey, in the grand scheme of things, the Xplay 3S is to be a mere blip on Sammy’s radar.

Anything else the benchmarking test reveals on this very likely Galaxy S5 suspect? Not really, though many other pieces of the puzzle have been uncovered by various sources of late, so an all-metal body, panel measuring 5 or 5.2 inches (with resulting 587 or 565 ppi), 16 MP rear-facing camera and 4 GB RAM are in the cards.

The mythical 64-bit Exynos 6 CPU is in contention as well, probably as an “international” alternative for the upgraded Snapdragon 800, to be used exclusively in North America. So what say you, dear readers, full-on, major upgrade over the GS4 or minor, incremental little boost?

Via [GFX Bench]

Samsung Galaxy Round Lands In US (And Australia) After All, Costs North of $1,000

With all the recent hoopla (recent as in the past couple of years) surrounding so-called flexible smartphones, one couldn’t help but feel cheated when Samsung’s Galaxy Round became official at last.

samsung-galaxy-round

For one thing, the “curve” looked like a gimmick and nothing more. Granted, it does help a little with ergonomics and whatnot, but all in all it’s pretty useless. Besides, several reports pegged the Round as an “experimental” device meant to land only in South Korea in limited quantities, so what good does it do us folks living on the other side of the pond?

Well, as it turns out, stocks may not be so cramped after all. No, we’re still not holding our breaths for wide commercial launches on the Western hemisphere, but if you’re lucky you might just find a dozen or two units via a handful of fairly reliable online retailers.

Like Negri Electronics in the US. The seller that specializes in scoring rare gems like this one (don’t ask how) has kicked Galaxy Round pre-orders into gear a week or so ago and, theoretically, the phone should’ve started shipping this week.

Samsung Galaxy Round Negri

No idea if that indeed happened, but if it did the handhelds Negri initially had lying around sold like hotcakes. Thus, for now, the bendy mo-fo is listed as “backordered”, which is not necessarily bad news.

Chances are an extra batch of Galaxy Rounds will be up for grabs sooner or later and all you have to do is keep a close watch on Negri Electronics. That and break your piggy banks open, as the unlocked Round in black costs a whopping $1,129.50.

Clearly not everyone’s cup of tea, but hey, aside from the gimmicky curvaceous display, the 5.7-incher touts Full HD resolution, a 7.9 mm thin profile, quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB of built-in storage, microSD support, 13 MP rear-facing camera and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Talk about dreamy specs.

Galaxy Round Mobicity

Meanwhile, though no other retailer stateside has been in a position to guarantee Samsung Galaxy Round availability, over in Australia there’s MobiCity which has applied Negri’s M.O. almost to the letter.

Namely, the Aussies have opened pre-orders a while back and now have the curvy beast listed as “out of stock, backorder or contact us for ETA”. That’s the textbook definition of vague, yet you can still add the phone to cart and basically order it for shipping at some point in the future.

Unfortunately, the price tag down under is even more prohibitive for the regular Joe: $1,199.95, or $1,319.95, including all taxes. Oil barons across the world, unite!

Via [Negri Electronics] and [Mobicity Australia]

First Images of Samsung’s Flexible Display Smartphone Leak

The first impression of Samsung’s smartphone with a flexible display have appeared, just a few days after it was reported that the company was readying itself to launch the phone this week as Galaxy Round.  Although we heard of smartphones with flexible displays when it was rumored Samsung was considering it last year, LG has over the past couple of weeks appeared to be leading in the race to release such one-of-a-kind device.  LG on Monday announced the world’s largest flexible mobile OLED panel and it may have been spotted at GFX Bench last week.

SM-G910S

Samsung joins LG which is reportedly delaying its flexible display smartphone till November as among the first manufacturers to actually mass produce flexible displays for smartphones.  Up to this moment, we only had vague imaginations and a couple of exaggerated renders online to draw a picture of how a smartphone with such a screen looks like.  The images of an unknown Samsung Galaxy Android smartphone appear genuine – and the fact that they were acquired by @evleaks further legitimizes them.

There isn’t much about the phone itself though, but it is proof that the Youm concept designs that appeared during the 2013 CES is nothing close to the actual device.  The design of the phone based on the new images firmly places it in the Galaxy family and it bears all the identifying features of other Samsung Galaxy smartphones including the Home button and USB 3.0 slot.  Samsung announced plans to unveil their first flexible display smartphone in the coming days, most likely within the month, and immediately after, the moniker Samsung Galaxy Round surfaced out of Seoul.

This new Samsung Galaxy Android phone has a flexible display made from plastic and is 5.7 inches diagonally and 0.12 mm thick.  The display will bend around a circle with 400 mm radius.  According to a South Korean publication, the phone is estimated to cost 1 million Won which is roughly $930.

UPDATE: It appears the flexible display phone is a Samsung SM-G910S.  It is a massive phablet that will most likely have the same specs as Galaxy Note 3.

What do you think of the phone’s design and about flexible smartphone screens in general?

Sources: @evleaks via Android Authority