In 2019 Samsung (SSNLF) plans to take its Infinity Display technology to the next level by achieving a very coveted higher screen to body ratio. Samsung plans to do this by reducing its top and bottom bezels on their flagship phones. When reducing or removing bezels, phone manufacturers have been plagued with the task of figuring out what to do with the largely essential front facing camera.
As Selfies are still very much in vogue, phone users still demand that their devices are equipped with a high-quality camera to take selfies with. Those photos are taken the easiest when there is a camera on the front of the device.
The solution up to this point has primarily been the “notch”. The notch is a blacked out segment of the display. This segment houses the front-facing camera, earpiece, and other sensors depending on the phone. Phones, like the iPhone and Google Pixel 3XL, weren’t first to feature the notch, but they have brought this design choice into the mainstream. For the iPhone specifically, its notch houses its front-facing camera and Face ID sensors.
Smartphone companies like Apple and Google have gone all in on the notch hoping their design choice will appease the majority of users. Customers can enjoy more screen than ever before while still keeping their front-facing camera. The only problem is that notches aren’t exactly aesthetically pleasing to the eye. In fact, some people are so repulsed by the notch they have vowed to not upgrade to a newer phone until technology eliminates the need for it.
Public perception of the notch divides people into two camps. The first group is those who tolerate the notch and eventually get used to it, and then there are those who abhor the notch, and the design choices phone manufacturers are making in pursuit of nearly all-screen displays on phones.
Samsung’s approach is to forgo the notch all together. Their next line of Galaxy phones is set to offer various cut-outs or “hole-punches” in their displays for their front-facing cameras to be placed. This approach is vastly different from Apple and Google’s notches which are rather large and obtrusive. While Samsung’s solution is by no means perfect, these hole-punches are going to be much smaller than most notches and probably easier to forgive by users.
Even with these new designs that are admittedly intriguing, the smartphone market has plateaued across the board. Phone manufactures feel that adopting radical designs needs to be considered to stay relevant and help rekindle demand.
Samsung Galaxy S10 is set to be revealed next month on February 20th and only then will we see if this new hole-punch design will be embraced by the masses. Unfortunately for Samsung, the company Honor has beat Samsung to the punch by releasing their own hole-punch display phone the “View 20” giving us a taste of what Samsung has in store for its user base.