According to a Samsung patent application filed with WIPO in March and published earlier this month, the Korean OEM entertained the idea of creating a selfie-oriented smartphone equipped with a secondary rear-facing display. Specifically, the patent describes a handset featuring a flexible display that wraps around the top edge of the device and stretches across the upper part of its rear panel. The rear-facing panel seems to act as a viewfinder for selfies captured with the main camera, and presumably, the design at hand could render the concept of a front-facing sensor obsolete.
Additionally, the patent shows that the part of the flexible display which wraps around the top edge of the phone offers some functionality of its own, including access to music playback controls, notifications, and an area for swiping to unlock the device. The rear-facing panel also seems to have a similar image format as the one seen on the opposite side, though its size and orientation are different. Moreover, the device has been envisioned as giving users the option of swiping images back and forth between the two panels, although in certain situations some cropping seems to occur. As for selfie shots, the rear camera is the main focus here and there’s no mention of a secondary unit or a dedicated shutter button, though the front-facing display seemingly acts as such when capturing selfies. The patent also exemplifies how the rear panel could be useful when using the main display as the viewfinder in a more conventional manner, with the secondary screen having the ability to show animations in order to retain the attention of children while they are photographed.
As usual, patents don’t guarantee any given design will be pushed into production, but nevertheless, the sketches at hand show a more unique use of Samsung’s flexible display technology compared to what has surfaced in prior patent applications, i.e. foldable handsets and other types of gadgets involving rollable panels. The images seen in the gallery below also show a very different approach to smartphone design compared to what various OEMs have created over the past year or so, particularly in regards to how it's yet another Samsung-created method of circumventing display notches.