Two years ago at CES, Samsung unveiled its YOUM flexible display technology for the first time. Late last year, Samsung shipped the Note Edge, its first ever product to use the technology. At CES, this year, Samsung was also selected as an Innovation Award Honoree thanks to its YOUM technology.
Samsung first shipped a curved screen with the Galaxy Round, in October 2013, although that phone wasn't using YOUM technology. According to Samsung, the bended YOUM display represents a major leap forward for curved screens.
The new YOUM-based display in the Note Edge has a 5.6" diagonal in total, with 5.4" representing the flat surface. The curved edge is 7.5 mm wide, including the bezel. The display comes with a 2560 x 1600 resolution.
The bended part of the screen uses a multi-curvature design to make it easier to grip the phone. It can also be powered on or off separately from the flat surface of the screen, thanks to the AMOLED technology on which it's based, which allows Samsung to turn off or on individual pixels.
The bended side provides certain alerts and notifications, which Samsung believes are easier to see when keeping your phone in a case that can show the side of the unit.
According to Samsung, the Galaxy Note Edge display consumes 30 percent less power than the Galaxy Note 3 display, even though it has twice as many pixels.
Another advantage of the YOUM display is the higher durability with accidental drops, thanks to its high flexibility. This is a feature that Samsung hasn't tried to promote too much so far, even though almost every smartphone user who has experienced an accidental drop and resulting crack of a phone knows how important higher durability is. It could be argued that higher durability is, in fact, a much more important feature than being able to see your notifications from the phone's side.
The reason Samsung is not promoting it too much is likely because the phone still comes with Gorilla Glass 3 protection, which isn't as durable on impact. The YOUM display on its own may be durable, but it's probably not very resistant to scratches, which is why Samsung must have decided to go with Gorilla Glass 3 on top of it anyway. If Samsung can figure out how to make phones with durable YOUM displays that don't break and don't scratch, it could be a game changer for the whole mobile industry.