According to the latest reports, Samsung will introduce an edge-to-edge display on its upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone.
The Korean tech giant is currently weathering the storm which saw its flagship Galaxy Note 7 withdrawn from stores. It faces an uphill battle to come back stronger than before, and is reportedly working on a new display for its next flagship smartphone, writes Kim Young-wong for The Investor.
Galaxy S8 to boast bezel-less display
Speculation is building about what new features Samsung will introduce for the Galaxy S8. Now it appears that a bezel-less, edge-to-edge display is on the cards. The new display will use OLED technology.
According to The Investor, a researcher for Samsung Display did not confirm that the edge-to-edge display would be used on the Galaxy S8. However, the source did say that a lot of money is being spent on developing the technology for future smartphones.
“Samsung Display would roll out a full-screen display whose display area ratio (a scale that measures space taken up by a display on the front part of a handset) reaches more than 90 percent next year,” said Park Won-sang, a principal engineer at the display-making unit of Samsung. Park was speaking at the iMiD 2016 display exhibition in the South Korean capital of Seoul last week.
Edge-to-edge screens coming to high-end smartphones
Most of the smartphones on sale today have a display area ratio of around 80%. According to the Samsung researcher, the company may increase this figure to 99% in the next few years. This would mean that almost all of the handset is covered with a screen.
The researcher also presented a Galaxy S7 Edge concept that had an edge-to-edge screen. The handset had no home button at the bottom, with that and most other sensors built into the display.
This sort of look is set to be the next trend in smartphones, including the Galaxy S8. Many of the top brands are allegedly planning to introduce similar designs.
Samsung’s arch-rival Apple is reportedly working on an edge-to-edge display for its iPhone 8. The next-generation iPhone is also allegedly going to be the first Apple handset that makes use of OLED technology.
Apple iPhone 8 to get a similar design
Rumors have been swirling for some time about Apple’s plans for the iPhone 8. After the iPhone 7 had kept the same basic design as its predecessors, speculation grew that the U.S. company was planning a major design overhaul for the iPhone 8.
The 2017 edition will mark the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, so it makes sense that Apple wants to make a splash. Introducing an OLED, edge-to-edge display would certainly be one way of doing so.
However, neither Samsung nor Apple will take the crown as the first brand to introduce a bezel-less display. That accolade has already been claimed by Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi.
The company has just launched a new handset called the Mi Mix, which has an LCD with a 91.3% screen-to-body ratio. The smartphone is also packed with impressive components such as a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset.
What next for premium smartphones?
While some people have been enthused by the edge-to-edge display, the Mi Mix is only being marketed as a concept phone. It seems likely that Samsung and Apple will continue to work on the technology until they can bring out more polished devices in the future.
Most commentators believe that Xiaomi wanted to grab the headlines with the Mi Mix, but never intended the handset to reach the mass market. The company has seen its popularity with users decline in the past few years and needs to build some hype around its brand.
Nonetheless, it is impressive to see Xiaomi pushing the envelope regarding smartphone design. Many people even claimed that the company had stolen iPhone 8’s thunder, by including some features that Apple is reportedly working on for its next smartphone.
The benefits of the edge-to-edge display are not just aesthetic either. As the Samsung researcher said, the larger screens would make for a better, more immersive experience when using virtual reality devices. This is especially true of headsets, including the Samsung Gear VR and the Google Daydream VR.
The Investor also cites an unnamed Samsung Display researcher who said that the company is developing a bendable virtual reality device. It will reportedly sport a flexible OLED display and could be manipulated to cover your eyes completely when you wear the headset.
By all accounts, it seems that we are moving towards a new standard of design in high-end smartphones. With edge-to-edge displays, premium devices are about to take a leap into the future. The battle is now on to see which smartphone maker can develop the best technology.