Samsung Galaxy S10 May Offer Great Innovative Features For A True Bezel-Free Flagship Phone

Samsung Galaxy S9
Samsung isn't exactly hip to the idea of display notches that seem to be proliferating in the smartphone market. In fact, the company has gone out of its way to mock manufacturers that have relied on the notch to expand the size of their display screens while minimizing bezels.

Now we know the reason why Samsung is so confident in its ability to criticize others, while not seeming like a hypocrite for potentially falling into the same "notch trap" in the future. Samsung Display held a small event in Shenzhen, China this week in which it talked about advances it's making with OLED displays.

The first and most recognizable tech that Samsung will implement on future devices -- like the upcoming Galaxy S10 -- is the use of fingerprint under the display technology. In addition to discussing it in Shenzhen, Samsung has detailed this optical fingerprint reader in a WIPO patent filing titled “Electronic Device Comprising Biometric Sensor” that became public this week. 

samsung fingerprint sensor 2
Samsung patent for an under the display fingerprint sensor (Figure 1)

There is the acknowledgment of under panel sensors, which could include the front-facing selfie camera(s), ambient light sensors, etc. There's also talk of Haptic on Display technologies, which would allow for pressure sensitive game "buttons" that would appears on the display when needed. It wouldn't be able to provide the full experience of a physical add-on controller accessory (like what's available on some of the current gaming smartphones on the market), but it does provide a much better experience that what's currently available for haptic-feedback in current smartphones.

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(Figure 2)
Finally, the Sound on Display technology would allow audio to be transmitted through the display itself without the need of a physical cutout for the earpiece speaker at the top of the display.

Put all of this technology together, and you have all the makings of a smartphone with minimal bezels all around with no display notch. And you also don't have a physical pop-up camera module -- as used by Oppo and Vivo -- that could be prone to failure or physical damage. All of these technologies would be worthy of the true "breakthrough" device that Samsung wants to present with the Galaxy S10.

Galaxy S9 sales haven't exactly been as strong as Samsung has expected, and part of that has been due to the iterative design over the past few years and complacency from customers. But if Samsung can knock it out of the park next year with a dazzling Galaxy S10, it could see its fortunes rise in the flagship phone market.