Samsung is expected to launch at least three flagship smartphones next year, including the Galaxy S11, Fold 2, and Note 10. But when it comes to design changes, only Fold 2 is expected to get significant changes, according to a recent report.
The Galaxy S11 and Note 11 may be very similar to their predecessors, although Samsung might add separate changes to help consumers differentiate all their phones. However, Samsung also works on smartphone designs unlike anything seen on the Galaxy S or Note series so far.
Like all other smart phone vendors, Samsung works on phones with true all-screen designs. The selfie camera remains the only forward-facing element that cannot be removed or placed under the screen at this time, even though everyone in this business is looking at the camera below the screen. Top and bottom bezels are also present in many devices today, although the flagship handset has thinner bezels on the entire screen.
Samsung might not adopt the waterfall display design that Huawei introduced this year with Mate 30 Pro, but it is one way to minimize the side bezel, even though it involves extreme curvature of the display that might be more susceptible to accidental damage. And Samsung is also looking for ways to permanently remove the top and bottom bezel.
The Dutch blog LetsGoDigital discovered a Samsung patent application from earlier this year that shows a mobile design that displays a “3D” cover that goes beyond the four edges, and envisions how such a device would look based on Samsung’s illustration:
This cellphone does not have a physical keypad, but a virtual one is placed along the edge of the screen in some of the images included in the patent. There is no selfie camera cutout, which implies that the selfie camera is placed below the screen. Whereas for curved edges that exceed the type of curvature available on Galaxy S10 and Note 10 phones, the patent says that the device will display “increased impact resistance in bent areas.”
Samsung is not the first company to study such a smartphone design, with the design of the Apple iPhone cover display revealed several years ago in similar patent documentation. However, all of these smartphone makers may be waiting for other technological breakthroughs so that such designs come true.
There are at least two things that need to happen before a cellphone with a cover display becomes real. Screen makers must make displays with built-in selfie cameras, and glass makers need to make stronger glass. A crucial third innovation concerns wireless charging, which will allow handset makers to discard the charging port as well.
Like other patents, no one knows when Samsung will start producing mobile phones like the concept shown in this illustration. But it might be safe to say it won’t be next year.