The Samsung Galaxy S10 is one of the first phones with a ‘punch hole’ camera – this is the little circular cutout on the screen that houses the front-facing camera and other sensors.
It’s a neat innovation that does away with the need for an intrusive notch on the front. But Samsung is already talking about the next breakthrough.
The firm’s ultimate plan is to create a phone with an all-screen front. That would mean no bezels, no notch and no hole punch whatsoever.
The camera and speaker would be housed under the screen, just like the S10’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner. However, this is a way off yet.
According to Yang Byung-duk, Samsung’s vice president of research and development, this futuristic tech is still at least two years away.
Until then, the South Korean firm is working on reducing the size of the punch hole. Which means the Galaxy S11 – which should be unveiled in about a year’s time – should have a smaller hole punch on the screen.
Samsung hopes to shrink the hole punch until it effectively becomes invisible. Hopefully by then it will have perfected the tech needed to place the camera and speaker under the screen.
Byung-duk also said the firm is working on turning the screen into a speaker in order to do away with the usual perforations at the top. It wouldn’t be the first to do this – LG’s G8 ThinQ already has a vibrating screen that effectively works as a speaker.
It’s all part of a minimalist drive to reduce the phone to its bare essentials – basically just a screen that you carry around.
How this sits with Samsung’s plans for foldable phones isn’t quite clear. The firm recently admitted it’s working on two more foldable devices, which this tech could dovetail with. Or it could debut on a new range of device altogether – Samsung is also considering rebranding its Galaxy Note range of devices.
Whatever Samsung decides, it seems it’s all change on the mobile front.