Flexible displays a while away for Samsung Galaxy phones, expert tells T3

Hopes for a bendable Galaxy S4 screen have faded as Samsung focuses on full HD display

Samsung’s focus with the Galaxy S4 will be a full HD, 1080p display, with flexible tech not ready to meet those standards, according to one expert in the field.

Smartphones with flexible screens have been a future tech dream for years now. However, speculation over the past few months had suggested that Samsung could shock the world by including it in the long-awaited Galaxy S4 handset, to be unveiled later this week.

It was always an outside bet, but when Samsung unveiled its progress with flexible, bendable and foldable screens at CES, many started believing an imminent launch could actually be on the cards.

Those hopes seem to have faded as we move ever close to the launch event, but we caught up with the flexible screen experts at NPD DisplaySearch to find out why Samsung’s awesome YOUM technology isn’t quite ready to take centre stage.

Calvin Hsieh, who is NPD DisplaySearch's Research Director, told us that while the progress with bendable screens is considerable, it cannot yet yield full HD panels, which will be have to be Samsung’s focus with the S4.

He said: “It is less possible that the Galaxy S4 will have a flexible display. They are not qualified to reach premium panel spec (Full HD) yet.”

“The S4 has to have a full HD, 1920 x 1080 to compete with other handsets on the market.

“Flexible AMOLED needs a mature polyimide TFT backplane and thin film encapsulation for endurance and reliability as well as spec and price."

So if there was any lingering hope that we may see the world’s first flexible screen smartphone on Thursday in New York, that probably puts paid to it.

While Samsung is making progress with the flexible screen tech, as evidenced pretty spectacularly in the video below, there seems to be no chance that it’ll sacrifice a full HD screen in order to make that happen.

What surprises will Samsung have up its sleeve for the Galaxy S4 launch on Thursday? Join our live blog at 11pm UK time to find out.