The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is already the peak of current smartphone technology. But we've just learned what Samsung plans to do next.
Spotted and turned into some attractive renders by the team at LetsGoDigital, a recent Samsung patent details that we'll see a future foldable from the company get a display its hinge.
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The patent is titled "Electronic device including indicator," was filed in March and published by WIPO on October 1. The idea is introduced with a lengthy preamble that explains how essential smartphones are, and how important it is that they are easy to use.
In describing what the patent is for, it's explained that a foldable may not display notifications as easily as a slate-style phone, particularly when folded up or if the front display is blocked by something. Which is where the titular light indicator comes in.
The indicator runs the length of the hinge piece between the back of the phone and the front cover display, and is covered with a translucent plastic layer for protection. Contained within are six light modules containing several different colored LEDs, which will allow the phone to display multiple colors and lighting patterns.
In essence, it's like a more advanced version of the basic notification LED that activates when an alert goes off. If the phone is in silent mode, turned upside down or left in a way where you can't see the cover screen, then this would help draw attention to the newly arrived message.
The document uses illustrations of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 to demonstrate the point of the new patent. However, this patent mentions rollable devices as well as foldable ones. So Samsung is obviously taking its rollable phone concept seriously.
Patents are not guarantees that an idea is workable, let alone that the designer will eventually use it on a product. But this seems like an idea that's entirely achievable, and that could appear on a future foldable device from Samsung.
After the launch of the Galaxy Z Flip 5G and Galaxy Z Fold 2 in July and August, respectively, Samsung once again asserted its current dominance in this still-young part of the smartphone market. Apple's long-rumored iPhone Flip is still just patents and concepts, and while other Android foldables like the Motorola Razr or the Huawei Mate Xs exist, there isn't really a product that can challenge Samsung right now.
The next big phone launch we expect from Samsung won't be until next year, however. February is typically the time when the company launches its new Galaxy S range, and that's when the Samsung Galaxy S21 will most likely make its debut.