Samsung has been releasing lately several smartphones with a flexible display, including the Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Fold 2 foldable smartphones. However, a flexible screen does not apply only to foldable devices. For example, Xiaomi released lat year a bendable screen that wraps around the smartphone is the Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha which also introduced a surround display.
Samsung has been developing an amazing smartphone with a transparent housing, consisting of a 100% screen surface and a sliding camera system. But the device that Samsung has patented is much more advanced than Xiaomi’s Mix Mix Alpha.
The frame is not visible at all, not even at the top or bottom and not even around the camera system. The Samsung smartphone that LetsGoDigital reports on today consist of a 100% screen surface. It is not only the design where this phone is progressive, Samsung also seems to have some very special functions in development.
Samsung Galaxy with surround display
The brand new patented phone by Samsung Electronics at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in July this year and was published on October 29, 2020, and included in the database of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office), for the worldwide protection of the patented technology.
It has a curved display on the front with a flat-screen on the back and several semi-rounded displays on the edges. Samsung can use an AMOLED or LCD display but it has not been decided yet but we know that apps will be able to flow from one screen to the other.
For development, it was much easier to process multiple screens than one large display. The released documentation however mentions the use of one large wrap-around of the device screen. This makes it easier to adjust the display resolution and saves on power consumption.
Courtesy of 3D designer Giuseppe Spinelli (letsgodigital.com) he created a series of product renders, based on the images and documentation as patented by Samsung Electronics. These 3D color renders are for illustrative purposes only.
Samsung smartphone with a transparent housing
The housing is made of transparent acrylic or polymeric material. By making the housing transparent, and having it consist of two parts, it can be placed over the screen – which of course makes a big difference with all models available today.
All components are placed inside, under the surround display, and support columns are used. The components are not visible despite the housing being transparent.
Having transparent housing has several advantages, one example is the device adapting to the environment depending on external factors, such as the weather. The smartphone receives the weather information and displays it on the entire screen. Is it raining or snowing? Then the drops literally fall off your screen by predefined graphic elements are used for this. The smartphone can also explain your state of mind or provide information on your health and/or training performance.
Another interesting feature is the possibility of scanning the environment using the device camera, it detects the colors from the environment and shows an image similar to the environment. As an example, there is a lake within the camera range of the smartphone.
The color information of this lake is captured by the camera, then the device searches for a matching image over the web and displays them on all display panels, in this way making the phone completely camouflaging in the surrounding environment.
Are we in a Stadium? A Soccer Game? The camera will detect not only the color but the sounds and the content corresponding to the stadium and the teams playing,
The content displayed on the phone screen will then correspond to the place we are thanks to AI (Artificial Intelligence).
Do we always take the bus to work around the same time in the morning and we check the weather forecast in advance before we leave home? After a couple of times, our phone will recognize the patterns and then display the weather report on our neighborhood every day at the same time X. This will work the same for displaying traffic information etc.
Samsung Galaxy with sliding camera system
Another detail of this transparent phone is that this device will have a sliding mechanism to hide the cameras. By sliding the rear part of the housing down, relative to the front part, the camera system with flash appears.
The camera on the front housing its aimed to the back, allowing to take a regular photo and video recordings and since the device also has a screen at the rear, the phone easily can turn around to be able to take selfies or make video calls with the same camera system.
By using the sliding mechanism, the camera is not visible when you use the device folded being this the main difference from the Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha’s vertical camera strip. By consisting entirely of the screen, the device will have an amazing and futuristic appearance, especially in combination with the transparent housing.
The documentation also mentions a second camera module that is placed under the screen. This camera directs towards the front, so that it can be used to detect the user, to determine which displays should be switched on based on use.
For example, if the phone is lying on the table, or is it held in your hand? The device determines which display and/or displays should be activated.
The display not in use can show a photo of our kids for example. Thumbnails can also be displayed on the side surfaces
Another example mentioned in the patent documentation; a video is shown on the front, by turning the device over you will see the corresponding information of that video – think of the file name, recording date, video resolution, and file size. If we are with other people and we want to enjoy a movie together? We can decide to show the video on all displays at the same time or different movies displayed in split-screen mode.
The device will have many sensors placed under the display, including a fingerprint sensor and the speaker. On the patent illustrations, we do not see buttons or connectors are visible but the documentation states that the phone can be turned on and off via the screen by using a piezoelectric film sensor. This sensor generates a voltage (electrical charge) as in a touch screen, after which the display will be switched on or off.
There is no SIM compartment rather can be found in the eSIM (built-in electronic SIM) as in the Motorola RAZR 2019.
No USB-C connection is visible on the patent images however the documentation mentions the possibility of wireless and wired charging.
Samsung has patented many designs with dual display and a transparent display. Many of these smartphones are not yet available, but that does not mean that Samsung is unable to produce such phones.
The market must be ready for it, since this extra added value, is carrying a higher price.
Samsung competitors Xiaomi has the Mi Mix Alpha with a suggested retail price of € 2,500 for this reason it was supposed to be produced in a limited edition but was ultimately never brought to the market. The exorbitant price will make the sales practically impossible. However, that does not alter the fact that the technology is already there.
However, the question remains whether such a smartphone can deliver sufficient added value and when the price/quality ratio will be sufficient to actually put such a device on the market.
Samsung Galaxy Z Series
If Samsung will release this mobile phone, probably will be placed within the Galaxy Z series and the foldable phones, such as the Z Flip and Z Fold 2.
The Galaxy Z Flip 2 will be the next foldable device from Samsung, in the summer of 2021. Following the release of the Galaxy S21 series.
Last year, the Z Flip was introduced simultaneously with the S-series devices, however, Samsung seems to be making a small change in the coming year. The Samsung S21 is expected a month earlier than usual, while the Z Flip 2 will be released a few months later.
NOTE :The product images shown in this publication are created by the designer Giuseppe Spinelli (aka Snoreyn). The renders are for illustrative purposes only, this product is not for sale. The images are based on the patent drawings from Samsung Electronics.