Forget about slider phones: Samsung files sliding display patent

The Samsung sliding display patent.WIPO/LetsGoDigital

We’ve seen numerous slider phones in the last 18 months, with devices from Xiaomi and Huawei ruling the roost. These phones mostly feature the same slider design that’s been a fixture since the feature-phone days.

But a new Samsung patent filed at the World Intellectual Property Office and spotted by Let’s Go Digital suggests a rather different take on the sliding design. The patent shows a bendable screen that actually slides into place. Pull the screen down and you expose the phone’s forehead, containing the various sensors. Flick the screen back up, and it covers the forehead, hiding all these sensors and giving a full-screen experience.

Pulling the screen down to expose the camera and sensors also results in the bottom portion of the screen being folded and tucked away into a recess in the phone. Check out the patent filing image below for a better idea of how the Samsung sliding display works.

The Samsung sliding display patent for a smartphone.WIPO/LetsGoDigital

It’s an interesting approach to full-screen smartphone displays, and means you’ve still got a more conventional candybar form factor as opposed to a traditional slider that’s composed of two halves.

One potential downside to Samsung’s sliding display design is that the screen will likely need to be made out of plastic, as foldable screens made out of glass aren’t commercially viable just yet. A plastic screen is more susceptible to scratches, so you can expect plenty of nicks after a few weeks of use.

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We’re not sure about any significant IP rating with this mooted design, as water could seep into the display recess if it isn’t adequately sealed. Then again, this design doesn’t have a hinge, and we all know the first iteration of the Samsung Galaxy Fold could be affected by dust in the hinge. So I’d put my money on this being easier to seal for dust and water resistance than foldable devices.

It might not be a long-term solution either, as Samsung and several other manufacturers have confirmed work on under-display cameras. Still, it’s interesting to see brands thinking about yet another full-screen solution, joining the likes of punch-holes, notches, and pop-up cameras.

Would you buy a phone with a sliding display like this? Let us know in the comments below!

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