This Samsung Galaxy patent offers a tantalising glimpse of the future

Samsung’s next groundbreaking smartphone could be nothing more than one giant screen.

The firm filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) earlier this week for a button-free, (almost) bezel-free, headphone jack-free smartphone that should put it in the run to compete with the likes of the OPPO Find X and VIVO Nex – the closest to all-screen smartphones we’ve seen to date.

It’s clear that the biggest challenge when designing an almost-all-screen handset is finding a home for the front-facing camera. Both OPPO and VIVO claimed to have solved that by housing them in retractable trays, but that’s not overly practical and could lead to unexpected breakage if the handset dropped when the panel is open.

That’s presumably why Samsung is toying with the idea of keeping a thin bezel at the top, in which it can house the front-facing shooter, as well as all the tech required for its iris-scanning security feature. It can, in theory, then trim the fat off the remaining edges to achieve a screen-to-body ratio that’s greater than 90%.

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We weren’t able to uncover a reference to, or space for, a fingerprint reader on the device depicted in the render, which probably means that if it’s present it’s under the screen. That conclusion doesn’t seem too far-fetched, either, seeing as it’s no secret that Samsung has been developing an optical sensor for some time now.

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Best not get too excited, though. Samsung applies for patents on an almost daily basis and only a handful of them ever come to fruition. Could this be one of the few that do? It’s possible, but as we’ve seen with the elusive Galaxy X, even if the rumours flow for years, there’s no guarantee there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Do you think Samsung will launch an almost-all-screen smartphone in the near future? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.