Oppo goes round the bend with 88-degree curved ‘waterfall’ display

UPDATE: Oppo had confirmed the ‘waterfall display’ design with a tweet from its official account, showcasing the new screen to body ratio in all its glory. 

The company wrote: “Taking borderless smartphone innovation to new heights, we’re thrilled to give you a first look at ‘Waterfall Screen’ technology. What do you think the screen-to-body ratio is on this prototype?”

Here you can see app icons wrap right the way around the unspecified handset in question. Looks pretty awesome, right?

Original story continues below…

Dubbed the “Waterfall Screen” by Oppo, this startling display curves around the handset at a near right angle — but would you buy it?

Images show that the display curves around the phone’s body to a far greater extent than any device before, surpassing the curved edges of screens on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S10 or the Huawei P30 Pro.

It certainly looks immersive when it’s in action, as shown in the video below, with the wallpaper and even the app icons following the smooth curves of the screen. But it’s bound to be a divisive design among smartphone fans, as far more modestly curved screens have been greeted with scepticism.

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Curved screens aren’t new by any means — take the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, for example, which was released in November 2014. It’s become increasingly associated with premium phones, with the extra slivers of screen being enough to set apart costlier handsets from the multitude of indistinct black slabs you can buy. But we’ve already had some reservations about this design flourish, despite never trying out one as extreme as the Oppo’s Waterfall Screen.

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A key problem is that of accidental touches being registered by the screen. This occurred in our experience with the Samsung Galaxy S10, which even took note of palm prints pressed against the sides of the device — and as you can imagine, being misinterpreted can be very frustrating. What’s more, the curvature makes it a little more difficult to hold comfortably and securely when compared to the grip afforded by straight sides.

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While it does arguably look more attractive and immersive, you’ll find that few apps really take advantage of the curves. So while the home screen looks great, when you’re watching videos or playing games there’s no real advantage above having a flat-screened device.

We recently reported that the Vivo NEX 3 is credibly rumoured to have a heavily curved display as well, so despite our misgivings it looks like we could be witnessing the start of a new design trend to rival the notch in its divisiveness.

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