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Samsung is working on embedding selfie cameras into the screen

Samsung's patent imagines a future where bezels are an afterthought and every front-facing sensor sit under the glass.

Published onJanuary 18, 2018

  • A recently published patent shows a Samsung device with a near-100 percent screen-to-body ratio.
  • To achieve this, the patent shows the selfie camera and other front-facing sensors placed under the glass.
  • Images and videos, along with text, look to wrap around the holes that will accommodate the sensors.

In the quest to make smartphones completely free of bezels, manufacturers like vivo are trying to implement under-glass fingerprint sensors. But what about the other sensors on the front of our phones? In a completely bezel-free world, where would the front-facing camera sensor go? Samsung may have a good solution— sticking the selfie camera and other front-facing sensors underneath the display glass.

Spotted by LetsGoDigital, the patent shows holes in a flexible OLED screen for not only the selfie camera, but the earpiece and other sensors. This allows the display to almost take over the top of the phone, with text wrapping around the holes. However, it appears that people will have the choice of using the full display area or a smaller area to view images and videos.

Interestingly, the patent shows another hole at the bottom to accommodate a home button, though Samsung has shifted to software buttons with the Galaxy S8 and onward. Perhaps it is indicative of the company’s intentions to one day place a fingerprint sensor under the front panel.

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I am a bit concerned about the earpiece, though. The Xiaomi Mi Mix also did away with the earpiece and relied on “cantilever piezoelectric ceramic acoustic technology” to deliver sound to your ears. The problem was that we did not find it to be a good alternative, and Xiaomi seemingly agreed, since it brought back the earpiece for the Mi Mix 2.

Another possible concern is whether the holes are superior to just sticking a notch at the top of the display. Folks who own the iPhone X seemingly got used to the quirky look, and with HUAWEI possibly embracing the notch for its next smartphone, the design looks to be relevant for the near future.

Either way, this is just a patent, so there is no guarantee we will see this come to life. That being said, let us know your thoughts on Samsung’s possible design direction in the comments below.

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