Motorola patents a crazy phone that’s all screen

Motorola patents crazy phone that’s all screen
While some companies are moving away from curved screen smartphone design, others seem to be taking things to new extremes. Our good friends at LetsGoDigital have unearthed yet another patent application, this time depicting something truly peculiar.

The story begins back in June 2020 when Motorola Mobility LLC filed a patent with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) for a device with a wrap-around display. The actual name of the patent filing reads “Unitary pre-formed fascia tension at least two sides of an electronic device housing and corresponding methods and devices.”

This might seem pretty boring but if you take a look at the drawings in the patent documents, you’ll get the idea. Motorola wants to make a phone that’s wholly wrapped in a display. You know, both sides! The patent was officially published on December 23th, 2021 giving a green light to this crazy design.

Another follow-up patent was filed in August last year and published on the same date in December. The second patent described a way to implement virtual buttons on this crazy concept all-screen phone. The screen covers most of the phone’s surface, so there’s no physical space for buttons, hence the second patent.

The drawings in the patent show a visible frame only on the top and bottom of the concept, housing the USB-C port, a SIM tray, and a speaker grill. Another speaker is placed on the top, next to the microphone and the sole physical button - the on/off switch.

The patent also describes stylus support for this concept phone (that our friends at LGD have named “RAZR”).

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Pros and cons of an all-screen phone

The visuals are, of course, a huge advantage with this design. It looks futuristic and there’s no other model like this on the market. That being said, other manufacturers such as Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi all have filed similar patents for a wrap-around display phone, so it’s not that original.

Another potential pro is that you won’t need to pay attention to how you hold the phone - there are no “back” and “front” sides per se. You just put it out of your pocket and the accelerometer tells the software how exactly you’re holding the phone in order to show the necessary information.

The potential disadvantages, however, are far too many and much too important than the pros. For one, such a design would be extremely fragile. And furthermore, using a case to protect such a phone would be a real pain, especially if you don’t want to cover some portion of the display.

Then comes the price. Building such a phone would require using a flexible OLED screen and a completely new design of the internal frame and electronics. This phone won’t come cheap, and that’s the last thing the customers need. There’s a reason the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is selling so well - it’s the first affordable foldable. We need more of those.

Nevertheless, kudos to Motorola for going to the lengths to file those patents and look into such an intricate design solution. The design could be potentially used in future patents, for example using a wrap-around display that rolls into the main screen as the device expands - something like the concept that Oppo showed some time ago but with a usable portion of the screen when the device is in a compact mode.

That’s all science-fiction at the moment because, as we all know, filing a patent doesn’t mean announcing or launching a new device. Although, with so many big manufacturers looking into wrap-around display technology, we might be onto something here. What do you think about it? Would you buy such a phone?

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