After introducing a more subtle edge screen in the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung might be doing away with completely flat screens altogether in its next-gen Galaxy S phone. According to a new report from The Korea Herald, both Galaxy S8 models might feature curved screens, at the same 5.1- and 5.5-inch sizes as the GS7.
Sources said the company has already started securing display panels in two sizes — 5.1-inch and 5.5-inch -- from its own display-making unit Samsung Display, the world's sole producer of double-edged screens.
An improvement in yield rates of the hard-to-make curved displays is a key factor, the outlet says.
In a world where both GS8 models have curved screens, would the 'edge' brand go away?
The prospect of Samsung going all-edge for both Galaxy S8 models raises a couple of interesting questions. Firstly, the "edge" monicker would become largely meaningless, so perhaps we'd be looking at a Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus instead.
But the bigger question is just how edgy these edge screens are. There's a big difference between the curvaceous GS7 edge and the slightly boxier Note 7, the latter having much tighter curves that are far less visible at a distance. Any possible combination of edgy and not-so-edgy is possible.
I explored the possibility of an edge-only future for the Galaxy S8 line in a recent editorial:
"It's really hard to differentiate in the high-end space, and Samsung, with its curved SuperAMOLED panels, is in a unique position to offer one of the most eye-catching smartphone design features in years. People didn't buy the Galaxy S6 edge because they wanted to swipe in and launch apps a bit more quickly, or because they wanted to measure stuff. They bought it because it looked cool, and it looked cool in a way that no other phone could match.
"The success of the original S6 edge reportedly took even Samsung by surprise, and as such it was the S7 edge that took center stage in this year's lineup. Ads promoted the "Galaxy S7 edge / S7," with the flat S7 consistently playing second fiddle to its larger sibling in the public eye."
It's also been rumored that the Galaxy S8 could step up to a 4K display, in what would be a first for Samsung and a huge bet on the future of VR. Though a jump to Ultra HD resolutions would carry its own challenges in terms of performance and battery life, and's possible Samsung might follow Sony's lead and only run in true 4K mode in a handful of apps.
Nevertheless, curved screens all around and a huge jump in pixel density (and thus VR picture quality) could be what Samsung needs to keep up momentum after the iPhone 7 launch — not to mention the PR disaster of its Note 7 recall.
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