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The Galaxy S10 will look amazing, but we’ll have to keep waiting for the design we really want

Galaxy S10 Design

After ignoring the iPhone notch design trend for a year, Samsung will soon unveil a flagship phone design like no other. The Galaxy S10 will come in various versions that each featuring the same all-screen, notch-less design. Infinity-O is what Samsung calls displays with tiny bezels and a camera hole at the top, and the first device featuring such a screen is already official. But the smartphone design we really want won’t be available until 2020 at the earliest, according to one of the most trustworthy leakers in the business.

For years, smartphone makers have been trying to increase the sizes of their screens. At first, a bigger screen size meant that the phone would also be taller and wider than before. Then the fingerprint sensor moved to the back and bezels started to shrink, allowing vendors to fit bigger displays into smaller devices. Curved edges and notches further helped reduce the footprint of smartphones and simultaneously increase the size of the screen.

The iPhone X design that Apple introduced last fall was an immediate hit and all major smartphone vendors out there copied it. Nobody was able to really match Apple’s design though. Most Android phones featuring screen notches do not have 3D facial recognition, and all of them have bottom bezels. But after copying the iPhone X, smartphone vendors have started coming out with different all-screen smartphone designs of their own, including phones with smaller notches, camera slide-out mechanisms, and even dual-screen phones.

Samsung skipped the notch and moved straight to a design that will offer a design that is much closer to truly being “all-screen.” To make the camera disappear, Samsung and everybody else will have to find a way to place it under their displays. The technology needed to truly hide cameras isn’t mature enough to debut next year, but 2020 phones may deliver it. That’s something Samsung insider Ice Universe said a few weeks ago. And now he posted the following render on Twitter, commenting on the rumored design of Sony’s XZ4 model.

The new Sony flagship is supposed to feature a display with an impressive 21:9 aspect ratio. That’s beyond the expected 19:9 aspect ratio of the premium Galaxy S10 phones.

That doesn’t mean that Sony’s handset will have a camera under the screen, just that the phone could be even taller than its competitors. The render above shows us what a Galaxy S11 could look like, assuming that Samsung will be able to hide the selfie camera under the screen. But it’s not an image of the unannounced Sony handset. It’s pretty clear we’re looking at the shape of a Galaxy S handset, complete with curved edges and headphone jack at the bottom.

Samsung isn’t the only company trying to get rid of notches and camera holes. 
A Barron’s report citing Nomura analyst Anne Lee said that Apple’s 2019 will likely have the same design as this year’s iPhones, but then Apple will move to a better design. “We think 2019 could be the last year the iPhone uses the iPhone X design architecture, in preparation for initial hardware specs for 5G (sub-6GHz) and AR (augmented reality), before greater architecture upgrades in 2020F for 5G and a more comprehensive AR system,” Lee added.

It’s unclear what kind of iPhones Apple will launch in 2020, or whether they’ll have the true no-compromise, all-screen design we all want. In the meantime, the closest thing in 2019 will be the Galaxy S10 with its gorgeous Infinity-O screen. Samsung is rumored to launch the Galaxy S10 on February 20th, while in-store sales are expected to start on May 8th.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.