Samsung isn't expected to implement a notch design in its future smartphones, but it will want to increase the screen-to-body ratio of its devices to keep up with the competition. To that end, a report out of South Korea says that Samsung will utilise a new technology it has been developing that will see the earpiece integrated right into the display.
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The thinking is the technology will find its way into the Galaxy S10, which is expected to be unveiled in March, but could even be launched as early as CES in January. The report adds that Samsung uses its sound-emitting OLED technology in a 6.2-inch panel, which coincidentally is the size expected for the S10. The panel will use vibration and bone conduction technology to transmit sound in the 100 - 8000Hz range that can only be heard when pressed to the ear.
The entire panel won't be able to transmit sound, like Sony's OLED TVs, but just the top half of the display will feature the technology. It's not a completely far-fetched idea either, as Samsung has already demonstrated its "Sound integrated into display" technology at the Society of Information Displays conference in May.
Removing the earpiece will free up some space at the top of the Galaxy S10 to increase the screen real estate area. There will still likely need to be a bezel to house the front-facing camera and sensors for facial recognition because as we said earlier, Samsung is highly unlikely to adopt a notch design.
Samsung wouldn't be the first to market with sound-in-screen technology though, as Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo has recently implemented it in the NEX smartphone. Samsung's efforts however would be available on a much wider scale, as the Vivo NEX is only available in China.
The Galaxy S10 is expected to introduce some brand new features such as an in-display fingerprint sensor (something that has been rumoured since the Galaxy S8) a super-sharp 600ppi display and maybe even a triple-lens camera.