Report: Samsung Galaxy S8 may go into full-screen mode

First, phone screens grew, and now it's time for the bezels to shrink and disappear. That seems to be what phone makers have decided, at least. Samsung has been working in that direction with the Edge line of Galaxy phones, but according to a report from Bloomberg, the company plans to take the bezel-reduction concept all the way to its logical conclusion with its upcoming Galaxy S8 handset in 2017. The site says the S8 will drop the home button entirely and offer up a screen that completely covers the front of the phone.

The bezel, that edge around your monitor, television, or phone, has long confounded electronics manufacturers. It's a convenient spot for necessary things like cameras, light sensors, or microphones, but its presence keeps devices from looking as magical and futuristic as they often appear in movies. Now, though, it seems phone makers might finally be able to make this technological fantasy work.

Problems like ignoring unintentended touch input have made the full-screen concept difficult to achieve, but if Samsung's engineers have it down, it could very well make the S8 an impressive piece of tech. In addition to squeezing out the bezel one millimeter at a time, Samsung intends to embed a virtual home button in the lower section of the screen, which would make the S8 the first edition in the Galaxy line to ship without a physical home button. The Xiaomi Mi Mix handset already has a 91.3% screen-to-body ratio, but the hypothetical Samsung S8 would be the first phone to reach that magical 100% figure.

After the debacle with the Note 7 earlier this year, which cost Samsung billions of dollars and 17% of its yearly net income, the company needs the S8 to be a winner. Bloomberg says the company is aiming for a March release date for the phone, but more stringent testing may push the release back a month. Any revenue lost in the delay will be insignificant compared the the potential dangers—both physical and financial—of another exploding phone.

Comments closed
    • albundy
    • 3 years ago

    why not just completely get rid of the screen…and the phone itself? invisible phones for everyone! just pay them $1000 and pretend that you are holding one,.

    • cynan
    • 3 years ago

    Don’t worry! The intelligent-yet-bound-to-be-imperfect software designed to determine when to ignore edge touch input is only implemented as a fail-safe. The sides of the oh-so-stylish case-de-jour (aka, Samsung Pseudobezels ) that most users will, most of the time, have their shiny new $800+ shatter-prone smart phone nestled securely in will play the primary role in this function.

    I mean why build a phone with redundant features like enclosures if users are just gonna put on aftermarket ones anyway?

    • Kretschmer
    • 3 years ago

    Phone repair shops are salivating at the news…

      • Zizy
      • 3 years ago

      Nope.
      The phone has full glass on the front already, having pixels all the way to the edge won’t change anything. There will be even less repairs as the home button becomes part of the screen – one less point of failure.

    • Kretschmer
    • 3 years ago

    I might be a dinosaur, here, but I prefer dedicated real estate for the buttons on my Android phones. I’d rather not have to monkey around with my apps and risk accidental input just to go back or home.

    And I would much, much rather have additional features and durability than a whiz-bang bezeless phone, as I’m slapping a case on it anyways within 30 seconds of purchase.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    We have some S7 edges at the office for GearVR setups and I pity anyone who actually has to use them as a daily phone.

    Using software algorithms to work out whether you’re tapping the edge of the screen or just holding the phone normally is bound to occasionally fail, and since you’re holding the phone all the time, the occasional error on behalf of this detection logic inevitably feels like it’s getting it wrong most of the time.

      • Disco
      • 3 years ago

      I have the S7 edge. I will agree that the edges cause a problem initially, but you get used to it pretty fast and just grab it in a way that it doesn’t trigger the edges. Not too hard. But it still comes up as an issue if I hand the phone to someone else to take a group picture (for example) and they consistently touch the edges and make taking the photo difficult.

      It’s not without its issues, but I love the edge access to app and contact shortcuts, and the night time listing of time and alarm along the edge. Makes it completely visible from the side – don’t have to pick up the phone to see the time etc.

      Now that I’m used to it, I wouldn’t go back/buy the regular S7 (which my wife has).

      Not sure how I feel about no physical home button… we’ll have to see how it works.

      my 2 cents.

        • DPete27
        • 3 years ago

        Since my last phone was a Moto X (no physical home button, in fact the home, back, and windows buttons are all in the screen) and my current phone is a S7 with a physical home button and the back/windows buttons are in the bezel, I have a pretty good experience to draw from:

        S7: I personally don’t like the physical home button. I have a daunting feeling that it will eventually break. I do like the back/windows buttons integrated into the bezel (although, being left handed, I wish they were flipped). See below for reasons.

        Moto X: No physical home button = no physical parts to break = good. Having the home/back/windows buttons inside the screen allows for less bezel on the bottom of the phone. It does result in less “view-able” area of the screen when the those icons are being displayed though. And I had the occasional issue with the phone not knowing when it needed to display the icons. Typically not a big deal, since swiping down from the top edge of the screen activates the home/back/windows buttons display.

          • BillyBuerger
          • 3 years ago

          I second the Moto X, no button thing. I have the Moto X and can’t say I really miss having a physical button to push. I personally like to keep my phones small. And not having a button means I get a reasonably sized screen without a huge phone.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 3 years ago

    But can it catch fire?

      • Generic
      • 3 years ago

      Only after a halt, will it catch fire.

    • CuttinHobo
    • 3 years ago

    So there won’t be a front camera, right? That might be even more courageous than removing the headphone jack. Ballsy!

    Still, can it succeed in today’s selfie-obsessed culture if it doesn’t have a front camera? Maybe it has a rear screen to act as a viewfinder for the camera! :p

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 3 years ago

    Samsung [i<]8[/i<]? Is that how many "goddesses" it took to work their magic to create a bezeless phone?

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    So the entire front of the phone will be occupied by the display?

    BIG DEAL!!!!

    I want a phone with ALL external surfaces used as the display! Maybe I can grow an extra pair of antenna eyes so I can simultaneously look at both front and back of the phone.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    I’m sure it’s gonna be so good it’ll blow you away.

    • DPete27
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]Problems like ignoring unintentended touch input have made the full-screen concept difficult to achieve[/quote<] This was one of the reasons I opted for the S7 instead of the S7 Edge. The other reason was that the S7 Edge was another 1/2" longer and that's too damn big to fit in my front pocket while I'm sitting down.

      • meerkt
      • 3 years ago

      If edgeless screens become more common, the obvious solution is having a border in the GUI.

        • DPete27
        • 3 years ago

        Wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of an bezel-less screen?

          • meerkt
          • 3 years ago

          I think the purpose is to look cool?

            • BillyBuerger
            • 3 years ago

            Well, it’s not necessarily a bad design. You have a huge screen to the edge which looks nice for viewing things. But there’s a built in buffer along the edge where it ignores touch input. As long as the OS and apps understand this and don’t put things that need input into that area. So if it’s done well, it could be good. But it could also not go so well and just annoy people. It’ll be interesting to see how they do it.

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    These thin phones are great.. for the addon case manufacturers who get paid extra just to make cases that allow you to actually hold the phone without it slipping from your hand.

      • DPete27
      • 3 years ago

      Yeah, it will be interesting to see how case manufacturers figure out how to protect the phone when there isn’t any bezel for the case to grab hold of.

        • meerkt
        • 3 years ago

        Maybe Samsung will make the phone durable enough by itself.

        (Yeah, right.)

      • JMccovery
      • 3 years ago

      Like with my Note 4, without the Defender on it, trying to use it without dropping it is so annoying.

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