Tech site LetsGoDigital has been studying Samsung's latest design patent for its Galaxy series and sees a 3D curved display as part of the phone series' future. In December 2018, the site discovered a flexible display Samsung intends to implement into its upcoming design that creates "a borderless Samsung smartphone," where the screen extends to the edges. This is what some would call a truly "bezel-less" design.
The 3D curved screen is designed as a flat display with curved modules on the edges, creating the 3D curved look. The curved design is not only aesthetically pleasing but would also make the smartphone more resistant to drops, bumps, and impacts. The 3D curved screen is met by way of a 3D curved back on the device, which means that the curvature of the front and back would be the same.
Essentially, Samsung would take its "curved edges" that consumers have seen in the Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S7 Edge, and even the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ and make the entire front and back of the device curved.
With making the display and back cover curved, Samsung would have to do something with the camera sensors and top speaker. The solution is all about embedding the cameras and speaker into the display, which is what Samsung has done with the optical, in-display fingerprint sensor in the Galaxy S10, the punch-hole Infinity-O and Infinity-U displays of the Galaxy S10 series, and the Infinity-V displays of the Galaxy A series.
With the Galaxy S11 renders, Samsung would take things a step further, integrating more parts of the smartphone into the display to create that full-display experience. Samsung would have to integrate the camera at a tilt in order to have it situated well within the flexible display -- a true engineering marvel.
Additionally, the curved design is there for more than just beauty; it's also there for the brains of the smartphone, to offer additional functionality. Previous patents filed by the Korean giant show the curved sides being used for app icons, while the top and bottom of the display are used as a music player, for example. This means that even the audio speakers will eventually be embedded into the display, leaving nothing behind in the desire to create the perfect screen takeover.
Samsung has been experimenting with curved displays and functionality for a long time. Prior to the edge displays and technology, Samsung experimented with the Galaxy Round, a device that offered a flexible AMOLED display. One of the neat features of the device was its ability to skip or play a song, or lower or raise the volume, based on rolling the device on a flat surface.
The flexible display was used for certain necessary functions of a smartphone, while rolling the device adds a certain playfulness to what many consider to be routine.
There are advantages to curved displays and curved back covers apart from just the pretty aesthetic. First, the device is easier to hold in hand, with the curved phone nestling into human fingers. Next, the curvature of the display and back cover prevent prying eyes from looking over one's shoulder.
Another great use for curved displays concerns reflection: devices with curved designs are better at preventing screen glare, making them better suited outdoors even in sunlight.
The screen glare issue is cut down not only because of the flexibility of the display but also because of its material design: while most displays are made of glass, which creates a glare in sunlight, flexible OLED panels such as those in the Galaxy Round are made of bendable plastic, a material that also reduces sunlight glare.
The 3D renders of what could be the Galaxy S11 may have some wondering if these can be believed. Sure they can. Ultimately, they reveal what Samsung is up to next, whether it arrives in 2020 with the Galaxy S11 or 2021 with the Galaxy S12. And yet, the renders themselves aren't an exact replica of what we'll see in Samsung's next big thing. So, with that said, renders are informative but they must be seen for what they are and appreciated for what they aren't.
The Galaxy S11 is expected to maintain similar screen sizes to that of the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+, though it could have a name change of some kind. Other rumors state that Samsung will take back the mobile chip throne with 5-nanometer FinFET technology in the 2020 smartphone alongside a smaller display camera punchole.
The Galaxy S11 could see the disappearance of the 3.5mm headphone jack in the Galaxy S lineup if the Galaxy Note 10 headphone jack disappears this year. Aside from this, Samsung could bring its brand new 64MP ISOCELL camera sensor to the Galaxy S11 in 2020, though the Galaxy A (and a mysterious Xiaomi Redmi phone) could see the newest image chip first.