A patent filed by Samsung seems to suggest the smartphone manufacturer plans to one-up the iPhone X’s controversial ‘notch’ bezel by embedding the sensors and speakers directly into the screen.
The patent depicts a flexible OLED screen with strategically-placed holes for the camera, speakers, facial sensor et al. Such a design allows for a maximum allowance of screen real estate, omitting bezels entirely. Additionally, Samsung’s patent shows a hole for the home button as well, suggesting their new device will not use iPhone X-style gesture controls.
Some of the diagrams also display text automatically wrapping around the embedded elements, which is sure to assuage readability and visibility concerns. The device does seem to offer the same ‘cropped display’ setting that the X has as well. This allows users to display images and videos only in the middle section of the screen, an area untouched by the cutouts.
Samsung earlier announced that the chip being used in this year’s flagship S9 phone would offer “hybrid face detection,” which could point to further attempts to cement their own version of the iPhone X complete with Face ID and Animoji-like features.
Notably, the patent does show an alternate design incorporating a small notch for the camera, which causes the device to resemble the Essential Phone. Samsung also recently filed a patent for the Galaxy X, which seems be a re-imagined flip phone.
Reports suggest that Apple may be taking strides to shrink or remove the notch by decreasing the size of the iPhone X’s Face ID sensor. Could this mark the beginning of a race between the two tech titans to create the phone with the most screen real estate?