The Galaxy S10 series of Android flagships will feature "genuinely bezel-less OLED panels," South Korean outlet TheElec reports, citing insiders close to the world's largest smartphone maker. The company's next high-end handsets will lack top bezels and front chins, according to a machine translation of the claims. The devices will also sport two holes drilled into the upper portion of their displays which will house a dual-camera setup, sources claim, adding that the second module in that system will actually be an infrared scanner.
While Samsung was unable to integrate the two cameras below the displays of its upcoming Android flagships, it reportedly managed to do so with the proximity and light sensors. The Galaxy S10 line is also expected to once again feature an under-screen LED indicator. The front-facing camera innovation is primarily being attributed to Samsung Electronics Sister Company Samsung Display that internally refers to it as a "Hole in Active Area" solution, insiders claim. The cutouts for the two sensors are drilled with a laser, whereas the hardware being used in the manufacturing of the said Super AMOLED modules is said to have been procured by Korean firms SFA, Phil Optics, and Wonik IPS.
While the two holes won't be identical to conventional notches, Samsung is already working on ways to hide them whenever their existence might inconvenience users, as per the same report. The technology juggernaut is understood to be particularly concerned about the video viewing experience offered by such panels and plans to fill the empty space above the two holes with black (turned off) pixels in order to mask it. The software managing the unconventional display design won't use the notch support Google introduced with Android 9 Pie, though the Pie-based One UI Samsung presented last week should be pre-installed on all Galaxy S10-series handsets. The unconventional front-facing camera setup still hasn't been set in stone as Samsung continues refining it to this date, in addition to thinking about alternative configurations should it end up facing manufacturing issues, the same report claims.
Background: According to a number of previous rumors, the Galaxy S10 family will consist of three model, with the base one supposedly marking Samsung's return to flagship flat screens for the first time since the Galaxy S7 launched in early 2016. The concept of camera holes has already been rumored about for several weeks now, having first been hinted at this summer after one industry insider claimed Samsung managed to develop a design that will "end" notches. Whether the rest of the industry truly ends up embracing that aesthetic in a swift manner remains to be seen, especially as no other display manufacturer is believed to currently have the ability to manufacture such panels in time for 2019 Android smartphones to use them. Apple may be a different story due to its financial prowess, provided the Cupertino-based juggernaut be willing to partner with Samsung on another iPhone display.
Impact: Samsung appears to be closer than ever to realizing its vision of truly bezel-less handsets, though the two camera holes believed to be drilled into the Galaxy S10-series displays will still prevent those flagships from having a 100-percent screen-to-body ratio. Regardless, the South Korean manufacturer will presumably be looking to move those two front-facing sensors below its mobile displays as quickly as possible and may even be able to achieve that goal by 2020 and the Galaxy S11 family.