Manufacturers have come up with a number of ways to get rid of smartphone bezels: Apple put a notch up top, Samsung punched a hole, Vivo removed the selfie camera and made it into a popup, and Oppo made a sliding phone.
Samsung knows all those solutions are just stopgaps toward what’s eventually a smartphone with zero bezels, and it’s already working hard to make it real.
As Yonhap News Agency reports, Samsung’s display R&D VP Yang Byung-duk notes that while a “full-screen” smartphone might not be possible in the next two years, there’s a chance technology will have progressed to the point where manufacturers can make the front-facing camera essentially invisible.
The executive’s comments come less than a month after Samsung unveiled its latest flagship device, the Galaxy S10, which has what’s called an Infinity-O Display, with a “punch hole” camera cutout on the top corner instead of the notch.
While Yang regards the Infinity-O display as a milestone for Samsung, he notes that the company plans to put the camera underneath the display eventually, which would remove the need for cutouts — or for that matter, popup cameras and sliding mechanisms such as those used by Vivo and Oppo.
Long story short, Samsung wants to be the first company to create a screen that genuinely has no bezels surrounding it. But despite this ambition, it’s become rare for the company to become the first in anything. It wasn’t the first to release a phone with an in-display fingerprint sensor, and it wasn’t even the first to come up with the punch hole display design — Huawei sub-brand Honor got there first with its View 20 phone.
Yang doesn’t say when Samsung’s full-screen display might arrive, except that it’s definitely not coming in the next one or two years. Which is all to say it’s anyone guess when it could come. Then again, a rival company could get there first, as what’s happened before.