With its new Galaxy S10 lineup, Samsung has got very close to designing a phone with a screen that extends seamlessly from edge-to-edge. But in the long term, the company aims to create a phone with a "perfect full-screen" by embedding the cameras and sensors underneath the display, according to Korean news outlet Yonhap News Agency.
Samsung's Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ have an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that's embedded in the display, but the phones' selfie cameras and facial recognition sensors are located in a hole-punch cutout near the top of the screen. Samsung calls this its "Infinity O" display, and it allows the company to expand the size of the phones' screen without sacrificing its front-facing cameras.
While Samsung considers this Infinity O display to be a milestone, it's working on a full-screen aesthetic for future devices, according to the report. But it likely won't appear in new smartphones anytime soon.
"Though it wouldn't be possible to make (a full screen smartphone) in the next 1-2 years, the technology can move forward to the point where the camera hole will be invisible, while not affecting the camera's function in any way," Yang Byung-duk, the vice president of Samsung's Mobile Communication R&D Group Display said in a briefing to Yonhap News Agency.
Apple, Google, and other phone makers have worked around this problem in the past by adding a larger cutout located near the top of the phone, which is now commonly referenced as a notch. Samsung's previous generation Galaxy S9 didn't have a notch, but instead had a bezel that stretched across the top of the phone above its screen.
Of course, Samsung probably isn't the only phone maker trying to eliminate notches and hole punches. At the very least, Apple has brainstormed new smartphone designs, as its patent for a phone with a wraparound display indicates.
There's no telling when Samsung would be able to launch a full-screen phone. The Korea-based electronics giant showed off its flexible display technology as far back as 2013, but only debuted its first foldable phone in 2019.
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