Samsung imagines a smartphone with a second “invisible” screen

Samsung imagines a smartphone with a second “invisible” screen


Why not integrate a second screen on the back of a smartphone? If you’ve always dreamed of a two-sided phone, good news, Samsung is thinking about it too. But the realization of the project is not guaranteed.

And if the future did not necessarily belong to folding smartphones? This is obviously a question Samsung is asking. As witnessed a patent filed with the World Intellectual Property Organizationthe Korean manufacturer would indeed consider building a smartphone with two screens, one of which would be placed on the back of the phone and “disappear” when not in use.

A two-sided smartphone

Rather than having a simple glass or aluminum surface, the smartphone imagined by Samsung would have a second display area on the back which, a bit like an Always-on screen, would turn off completely when it is not active and would blend more or less completely into the phone shell. To be precise, there would indeed be a glass on the back of the phone, but the latter would be transparent and would only serve to protect the screen. In patent legal parlance, Samsung details its idea of ​​a phone that would ship “a first display device which is disposed on the first surface and outputs a screen in a first direction; and a second display device which is disposed on the second surface and outputs a screen in a second direction“. It is this second display device that could be “at least partially transparent so as to visually expose at least a portion of an internal area of ​​the second surface“.

According to the images shared by Samsung, this second screen could have several functions. When turned off, it would display a Samsung logo like other phone cases; but once turned on, it could make it easier to take self-portrait photos or display contextual information like the number or nature of notifications. The secondary screen would occupy approximately 60% of the surface on the back. If the idea tells you something, it’s normal. This second screen is reminiscent of that of the Z Fold 4. The idea of ​​a “double-sided” smartphone had also been explored by Nubia with its Nubia X presented in 2018.

What about fragility?

Samsung’s idea (and therefore Nubia’s) has the advantage of leaving more room for the main screen since it is no longer necessary to integrate a photo sensor on the front of the phone, the main module being able to very well take successful selfies thanks to the second screen acting as a digital viewfinder. On the other hand, it poses quite obvious problems, practical question and durability. First, powering two displays (even if one is off 95% of the time) is likely to drain the battery faster. More annoyingly, a smartphone covered with screens on both sides will be inherently more fragile. Whichever side it falls on, the risk of breakage will increase. Not ideal in a world where the focus should be on the repairability of smartphones and not their fragility.

The filing of a patent by Samsung does not necessarily mean that a product is in the pipeline, the Korean manufacturer having submitted tons of them which have never led to devices. It just means that Samsung engineers are working on this project in their labs. Maybe the manufacturer wants to release a future Galaxy Fold with an invisible exterior screen, who knows. In any case, it will be necessary to wait a few years before knowing whether or not Samsung has implemented the ideas set out in its patent.

Advertising, your content continues below

Advertising, your content continues below