Could the Next Smartphone be Double-Sided? Samsung Thinks So.

Because two screens are better than one.

1. 8. 18 by Dom Galeon
Samsung
Image by Samsung

Double-Sided Smartphone

When it comes to smartphone screen design, Samsung seems to be bending possibilities more than other mobile phone manufacturers. Or at least, they beat the others to it. The South Korean tech giant was the first to launch a phone with a screen that curves at the sides. The company also filed a patent in 2017 for bendable screens to use in its upcoming foldable phones. Now, Samsung wants to make its smartphones double-sided, adding a second screen on the back of the device.

In a design originally submitted for patent at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in April 2017, Samsung put forward three potential smartphone models including one that has a screen on the back.

Image credit: Samsung/WIPO.

The other two designs feature a screen that curves at the bottom and a display curving all the way around the phone’s right side. For all three designs, sensors work to identify how the smartphone is being held. In the case of the back screen, a sensor can tell if the user is looking at the front or the back display.

Back-to-Back

An extra screen on the back of a smartphone has its uses, supposedly. The most obvious of which is that users need not flip to the front to check an incoming call or text message. Notifications can be quickly viewed using this alternate screen, in a manner that’s perhaps better than in Samsung’s existing curved screen phone models.

However, Samsung isn’t the first or only smartphone maker that’s considered the idea of a phone with a screen on the back. In 2015, a crowdfunded, dual-screen smartphone project called the Siam 7x surfaced. Then, two years later, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Meizu released a phone with an additional, smaller screen at the back, almost similar to the one in Samsung’s patent.

While Samsung hasn’t confirmed if any of these new designs would make it to production, the idea of a dual-sided phone seems particularly interesting. Judging by when Samsung filed for the patent for the curved screens in their Galaxy Edge models, it only took a year or so before a phone sporting the design made it onto shelves. So perhaps it will only be a couple of years before Samsung’s newest smartphone sports two screens instead of one.


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