Samsung to use flexible OLED screen on Galaxy Note 3?

by: Andrew RoachApril 22, 2013


Samsung is getting closer to commercializing the first devices featuring a plastic-based (flexible) display. According to a report from the OLED Association, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be on show at the IFA 2013 Berlin show in September, and its plastic screen could be one of the phone’s most talked features.

According to OLEDA’s research, the screen of the Galaxy Note 3 will be made out of a thin plastic material that is not only shatterproof, but also lighter and thinner than current glass substrates.

The screen of the Note 3 is supposedly going to be similar to the Youm displays showed off at CES back in January. However, that doesn’t mean that the Note 3 will necessarily feature a curved screen like the prototypes we’ve seen so far. The screen is more likely to maintain a flat shape.

Whilst the screen of the Note 3 is said to be around half an inch larger than the Note 2, a plastic substrate would make it much thinner and lighter than its predecessor. According to a diagram by the OLEDA, a plastic-based screen would be half the weight of a glass-based OLED panel and an amazing less than a third the weight of a similarly sized conventional LCD display. Needless to say, moving to plastic would enable massive weight reductions, potentially enabling manufacturers to pack heavier batteries without making phones cumbersome to hold.

NOTE 3 article_FPD panel structure comparison

However, there’s a warning in the report that makes us wary. OLED A doubts that Samsung will be able to deliver full HD RGB resolution on plastic, and, even if it is, low yields are likely to limit the number of units that Samsung is going to be able to sell. The Note 3, while not as popular as the Galaxy S4, is likely to sell tens of million of units, making it crucial for Samsung to ensure a steady supply of displays. Therefore, it’s possible, says the report, that Samsung will only sell the plastic-based display version of the Note 3 in certain markets, offering versions with a conventional, glass-based display in most markets.

With about five months until IFA, Samsung still has time to iron out the kinks. All eyes will be on the Koreans to see if they can kick-start the next revolution in mobile displays.

  • Interesting….

  • vampyren

    Samsung is becoming the new Apple in a good way. Now days i mostly see new innovation and new thinking from Samsung. Like S4 has so many new features that its mind blowing and that is beside the new design that cover pretty much the whole front with a nice 1080p screen. I’m already thinking what the heck can they

    add for S5 :)
    I been a apple fan for a long time but now i’m shifting to Android after i got my S3 and now i order my S4. Will be fun to see the new iPhone and its added features, Apple must be under allot of pressure to add some features that will appeal to the hardcore users this round i think. Sure they always sell allot but this time i believe many experienced people will jump boat unless the phone has bigger than 4′ screen and offer much much more Software features.

    • Brick

      I’ll give you $10 ( that’s 8 more than what sammy is feeding you) if you just…off

      • vampyren

        Waoo dont strain yourself with that intelligent comment.

        ps. i dont need anyone to pay me to write what is true. I did the same about iPhone but now its time for a new king to step up and take the reign.

      • Babs Oyed

        I’ll give you grass to eat. That’s more nutritious than the steaming iTards Apple feeds to it’s iSheep

  • prak sopheak

    sound exciting for note 3

  • Shatter proof is fine, but the more important feature is scratch proof. Is it?

    • Jason Bailey

      Damn I need a shatter proof phjone for the mrs. She smashed her note 1 screen in December (in time to get a note 2 for xmas), and she has now dropped and smashed her note 2 screen. They are damn expensive to replace as well.

    • vampyren

      I dont think there will ever be a scratch proof commercial product, these are scratch resistant but never scratch proof. I always use protection just to be sure, would hate myself if i got a scratch on this baby. Even if i never use anything else in my pocket i have seen the screen get small scratches before.

  • mrband

    Shut up and take may money! ;)

    • Babs Oyed

      Shut up and munch on grass. It’s good for iSheep.

  • All is well. I’d love shatter proof! The only thing is that having plastic displays in certain markets with lighter weights and bigger batteries, and glass displays in other markets won’t work. Cause then the glass one is thicker and heavier with less space for the bigger battery. And then it’s a total different phone. So either plastic for all, or Oled for all.

  • Uh huh more plastic. Unless its a foldable display this is a huge deal breaker for me. I dont want to tap on a flimsy cheap feeling display in a craky case. Am I the only one?

    • bionicFan

      That’s a good point about the screen not feeling as sturdy. With Samsung’s plastic cases, the glass screen was probably providing most of the rigidity for the phone. Maybe if they do go with this plastic screen, they will have to go with a metal case as some rumors have already proclaimed…

      • Exactly, its just way to early to utilize this tech. We need a cylinder shapped body with a retractible display or a foldable unit. Then im buying one, until then its poor use of tech with a bad tactile “feel” I wont buy it.

      • Adjustable

        Samsungs have always had an inner magnesium alloy frame. Its why they can use so much plastic.

  • Joshua Percell

    Why would they put a flexible display on something you are going to use a stylus on? It doesn’t make sense…

    Edit: then again, if it’s a stiff flexible screen then I guess it shouldn’t be too much of an issue…

  • I think samsung should make the note 3 5.5″ traditional amoled. and a completely different flexible phone for people who want it. Samsung can then make the flexible phone very expensive to handle the supply problem

  • Babs Oyed

    Let’s hope we can get the youm screen here in the USA if it’s indeed much better than the current OLED and if it comes in full HD resolution

  • harrold

    what bout da s pen?!?!!?

  • Roberto Tomás

    I was reading an article on about this — they said the opposite about the resolution being an issue: 升级至FHD全高清级别应该是理所当然的事情
    “Upgrade to FHD (full HD level) should be the natural thing/a matter of course”

  • Benmartin1974

    I had been thinking of ordering a galaxy note for ages. I read plenty of reviews and this one was useful , I got my delivery last week and am very happy. I Would highly recommend to anyone still unsure#