Samsung says it is working towards creating a truly all-screen smartphone − with no hole-punch cutout. But it probably won’t be here for a while.
The South Korean firm has just released a trio of Galaxy S10 smartphones, and each of the handsets has a small cutout in the top-right corner of the screen, which is where the front-facing camera (or cameras, in the case of the S10 Plus) sits.
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As Max Parker explained in our S10 Plus review, the hole-punch is a divisive design choice:
“To try to get the highest screen-to-body ratio possible (here it’s 93.1%), Samsung has removed much of the phone’s top bezel. As such, the front camera now sits in a pill-shaped cutout in the corner of the screen… I remain torn over this type of notch.
“The screen here is glorious, but the cutout does get in the way. Apps that are overly reliant on white colour schemes result in it standing out significantly; I’ve found it difficult to stop my eyes from constantly being drawn to the black cutout.”
What’s more, some apps and games treat it like a notch, leaving a big black bar at the top of the screen. According to the Korea Times, Samsung has committed to killing off the hole-punch.
“The Infinity O display signals an important direction in display technology. We will keep trying to reduce the size of the punch hole so that users cannot see any cameras on the smartphone display in the future,” Yang Byung-duk, the vice president of Samsung’s mobile R&D division, reportedly said this week.
Unfortunately, this apparently isn’t likely to happen within the next two years. Our best guess is that Samsung could embrace the popup selfie camera, like the Vivo Nex.
According to Yang, however, Samsung has enjoyed seeing consumers experiment with different wallpapers that either disguise or accentuate the hole-punch cutout.
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“We have seen so many fun wallpapers using the hole punch of the Galaxy S10 on online forums like Reddit,” he said.
“While we were designing the hole-punch cutout, display engineers never expected that it could go viral online. Now we are enjoying those brilliant wallpapers.”
Do you love or hate the hole-punch? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.