Samsung Galaxy Note 4 could be thinner due to new patent

A patent received by Samsung in Korea could mean a thinner design for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The patent awarded to the manufacturer, replaces the digitizer for the S-Pen with a number of sensors that use ultrasound. Three of the sensors record two-dimensional data, while four sensors record three-dimensional data.

Samsung patent replaces the digitizer with a ultrasound

Samsung patent replaces the digitizer with a ultrasound

The use of an ultrasound pen is not entirely new, as a similar technology can be found on the Qualcomm Snapdragon MDP 805 Tablet, a slate for developers that we told you about back in April. While that tablet is costly, use of ultrasound to replace the digitizer should allow Samsung to knock a few bucks off the price of the phablet.

Another advantage to using ultrasound is that it can slim down the device by as much as a millimeter. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is 8.3mm thick, so losing a millimeter there could really produce a nice svelte profile for an upcoming version of the Galaxy Note. However, it might be too late in the game for Samsung to use this patent for 2014, so we might have to wait for the Galaxy Note 5 to see a slimmed down phablet from Samsung.

Thanks for the tip!

source: SamDownloads (translated)

Related phones

Galaxy Note 4
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 3.7 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3220 mAh(20h 3G talk time)

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23 Comments

1. brasstax

Posts: 539; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Hmmmm

2. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Don't think I'm gonna give you a like for that ;)

3. vuyonc

Posts: 1088; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Interesting.

4. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

But, but, why does Apple keep making their device thinner? They should just make the battery better.....say the robots. Now it's hmmmmm, interesting.

6. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Did the article confirm that Samsung would make the Note thinner with this tech? Did any Android or Samsung user say that they hoped it would be thinner? For all you know Samsung could use the space saved to increase battery size and keep the same thickness. In other words, you're just a butthurt troll.

7. vuyonc

Posts: 1088; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Difference is this might not compromise battery size, unlike Apple.

8. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

This is different because it's getting thinner due to the removal of a layer on the display, not because of making the battery smaller. Also, this doesn't mean they'll make the device thinner, they could keep it the same size and increase the battery size to take up the same thickness of the digitizer. So, it'll either be thinner while keeping the battery the same size, or be the same thickness while making the battery bigger. It's a no compromise solution.

20. Krjal

Posts: 411; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

I mostly agree except that the compromise might come in the form of a worse digitiser experience especially for designers and artists. I*hope* it's just as good as a Wacom digitiser but we won't know until it's actually out there to test.

22. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

I assume Samsung is smart enough to not downgrade the experience in the next device of their highest quality product line. I could be wrong, but I'd really like Samsung to not take away what little faith I have left in them.

5. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Speaking of batteries, I wonder what the battery draw would be for the ultra sound system? I hope this isn't a case of get one benefit (reduced thickness) at the cost of another (increased battery draw).

10. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Now that's a legitimate point. It could also be that Samsung won't wind up using this, but filed the patent as an option to keep certain other companies from filing it to ban others fun using it.

16. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Prophylactic application of patent law…. Kind of what MS has done to the Android OEMs. In this iteration, it would be to Sammy's competitors. I wonder if Sammy doesn't have market research that shows increased perception of utility of stylus? Anyhows, it is an interesting concept (ultra sound applied to tracking stylus movement). I wonder how it reacts to background noise? I have parking sensors that are based on ultrasound on one of my cars, and every time a motorcycle runs past, the sensors go off. I doubt it will make its way to the Note 4. Note 5 is certainly a possibility, though.

12. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

They could use the space saved to make the battery bigger, which would more than make up for the higher battery draw. Hopefully they figure it out well...

15. Vexify

Posts: 570; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

Hopefully something gets figured out. One thing that stopped me form upgrading to Note 3 was my friend could only get literally 5-6 hours out of his.. Better off with my old Nexus until Note 4

23. skymitch89

Posts: 1451; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

That must be 5-6 hours of nearly non stop usage. I can easily get 12-15 hours on mine and still have at least 40% battery. And last week I was able to get almost 2 days off my battery. It's all in how it's used and the settings that are set. I can turn on a bunch of settings that'll dramatically drain the battery, but I don't need/use them.

9. james.blunt.1973

Posts: 41; Member since: Dec 15, 2013

I don't care if it's thiner, 8.3mm is enough for that size, seems balance...

11. yahia_malka

Posts: 186; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

I think there won't. Be a note 5 , there will be a note Fi guess

13. somad

Posts: 169; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

So if it's thinner, what about the battery?

14. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Samsung always manage to make bigger battery and better battery life even with thinner devices. (See Note 1 vs Note 3)

17. scotjo

Posts: 6; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

What if I just want to use my finger? Will that work? I may not want to use an S-Pen all the time.

19. DroidInMyPocket

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

You can always use your finger if you want.

18. thartist

Posts: 45; Member since: Jul 14, 2014

Use that extra mm for battery! You're gonna need it with a 2k display!

21. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

Poor dolphins will suffer from this. Fortunately, this crap will flop.

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