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Here’s how Samsung could respond to the iPhone X’s notch

by Justin Herrick | January 22, 2018January 22, 2018 8:00 am PST

Displays with thin bezels are on the rise, but maybe we’re not too far from completely eliminating them. It looks like there’s one company that would like to make a push for all-screen fronts sooner rather than later. Samsung recently filed a patent that reveals various front-facing components built into a mobile device’s display. While the technology probably won’t be ready in a consumer-ready product for quite a few more years, it’s an indication of where Samsung sees the mobile industry going over time.

The latest round of flagships have fully embraced the 18:9 aspect ratio or something similar. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8, Essential Phone, LG G6, and Apple iPhone X have seen screens stretched and bezels shrunk. If this patented technology ever becomes a reality, it could lead to bezels being ditched entirely.

Take a look at this illustration, which shows what Samsung would like to do:

Everything you see has been integrated into the display, from the home button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner to the usual setup at the top. Samsung’s new patent is about putting the camera, ambient light sensor, earpiece, and iris scanner within the display.

Apple attempted to implement Samsung’s idea, but the company ended up putting the camera and components into a notch at the top of the display. Essential, too, couldn’t figure out a way to get the camera on its own rather than in a small drop-shaped piece that dipped into the display. Both the iPhone X and the Essential Phone also have bezels that are still noticeable compared to Samsung truly slimming down the sides with its Infinity Display technology. Samsung has experience on its side that could help move advancements along and give a future Galaxy S or Galaxy Note model an all-screen front from top to bottom.

In-display fingerprint scanners are about to become mainstream, so packing other components in a similar fashion is the logical step. It’ll make mobile devices more visually appealing for watching videos or playing games while reducing the overall footprint.

Remember, we’re not anywhere close to this technology becoming part of any real product. Samsung just got the patent and will now go to work figuring out whether this is something consumers actually want.


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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