Samsung is constantly experimenting with smartphone design, always trying new things even in the face of market stubbornness. The latest Samsung Galaxy phone patent shows a full-screen device with a reverse notch.
Samsung Galaxy Phone Patent offers new Reverse Notch
The reverse notch, apparently so called because it lies above the screen instead of within it, a difference from Samsung's previous notch found on the Galaxy Fold, for example, houses a camera, speaker, and two sensor cutouts. Samsung says in the patent, filed on October 7, 2019 with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), that it is maximizing full-screen real estate without detracting from the full screen to accommodate the necessary cameras, speakers, and sensors. You can see the full-screen phone with reverse notch design below.
The reverse notch: consistent with Samsung's full-screen vision
Samsung is committed to full-screen devices. As far back as the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ two years ago, Samsung traded in the home, back, and task manager buttons in favor of virtual on-screen buttons. The full-screen experience is easy to create regarding functional buttons, but keeping the full screen while incorporating sensor, speaker, and camera cutouts can be a challenge.
Notches have taken off as a smartphone design trend because they allow manufacturers to still have necessary functional cutouts while leaving room for OEMs to isolate them from the display. The one flaw to notches has been design. Notches are functional and have a purpose, true, but no one wants to see an eyesore cutout at the top of the display because notches serve a purpose. Chinese OEMs have emerged with what are called "waterdrop notches," cutouts at the top of the phone in the shape of a teardrop, but most manufacturers go with the traditional bar notch — a basic bar shape, not understanding that notch design matters as much as phone design in general. The teardrop notch doesn't house very many cutouts and sensors, while the bar notch provides more room to place more cutouts.
The reverse notch is a more elegant take on design than the notch of Samsung's Galaxy Fold. Notches have been placed within the display, but the reverse notch lies above the display, out of the way of the full-screen experience Samsung knows smartphone users crave. There's nothing so distracting as to look up to the middle or right of the top portion of the display and see a notch cutting off a segment of the screen.