Samsung might be considering the adoption of a display notch with one of its future smartphone models, suggests a design patent application recently discovered by LetsGoDigital. The sketches seen here indicate that Samsung’s take on the display notch would not be as intrusive and off-putting as some other cutouts implemented by manufacturers like Google, and instead, the notch would only house a single front-facing camera. The other sensors would be hidden inside the top bezel of the phone, behind a series of holes that would double as a loudspeaker.
This is not to say that Samsung will indeed develop a smartphone with a notched display, but this remains a possibility if the OEM will want to implement a more advanced 3D depth-sensing front-facing camera for AR applications and maintain its current Infinity-Display-centric design philosophy, assuming no other solution will be found. Nevertheless, it would be rather hypocritical for the Korean OEM to implement a large notch accommodating all of the necessary front-facing sensors, especially given Samsung’s recent mocking tone carried over Twitter in regards to Google’s implementation of the display notch for the Pixel 3 XL. Having said that, a smaller teardrop-like notch would probably be the biggest compromise Samsung would be willing to make as a workaround for what is arguably a non-issue in today’s mobile world, i.e., having a slightly thicker top bezel. This is, after all, the definition of sacrificing design for the sake of design or overcoming one design difficulty by creating a new problem masked as a solution which, in the end, might not pay off, due to the compromises of the imaging format.
On a more positive note, an OEM like Samsung is expected to consider all the angles but only time will tell what its future design philosophy will entail, come next year. A previous report suggested that the Korean OEM could come up with a whole new way of circumventing display notches all the while implementing a powerful front-facing camera and maintaining thin bezels, which could become a game changer for the whole industry. In the most wishful scenario, the OEM will manage to develop and showcase a viable in-panel camera solution next year, but nevertheless if this milestone would be achieved, it would likely be reserved only for the most premium smartphone models like the Samsung Galaxy S10, while other, lower-end devices could make the jump to a teardrop notch design to save costs.