Samsung patent reveals possible waterfall screen and projector for Galaxy Note 20 line

Samsung patent reveals possible waterfall screen and projector for Galaxy Note 20 line
Samsung has yet to start shipping the Galaxy S20 series but that doesn't mean it is too early to start discussing the Galaxy Note 20. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has approved Samsung's request for a patent for some new technology that we might see first on the Galaxy Note 20 later this year (via PatentlyMobile). Illustrations that accompany the patent reveal a display sporting a waterfall screen with physical buttons that protrude through the glass.

Samsung receives a patent for physical buttons that protrudes through a waterfall glass display

The technology covered in the patent would allow Samsung to include what the patent calls a bent edge display (similar to what Huawei did with the screen on the Mate 30 Pro) but allow for the use of physical power or volume buttons by having them protrude through cutouts made in the glass. The manufacturer seems to have covered all of the bases since it received a patent just last month for a phone sporting a bent edge/waterfall screen that uses virtual touch controls. Huawei decided to go with virtual touch controls for the Mate 30 Pro. Regardless of whether Sammy goes with physical or virtual buttons, the one constant with the two patents is the bent edge/waterfall screen.

The patent also included some interesting information including the possibility that a future Galaxy phone might feature a holographic projector that displays a stereoscopic image in the air. Other possible features include an electromyography (EMG) sensor, an electroencephalogram (EEG) sensor, an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor, and a fingerprint sensor. EMG tests are used to find neuromuscular diseases. EEG sensors monitor the electrical activity of the brain while the ECG sensor, like the one found on certain smartwatches, looks for abnormal heart rhythms.

The USPTO awarded Samsung patent number 10,561,027. It was originally filed in the states during the first quarter of 2018 and filed in South Korea during the first quarter of 2017.

Traditionally, the Galaxy Note series includes new features that couldn't be added to the Galaxy S series because of time or pricing constraints. This year's Galaxy Note 20 could sport an in-display selfie camera that would allow Samsung to reduce the phone's bezel size some more. Powering the phone will be the 7nm Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform although there is an outside shot that a Snapdragon 865+ could be ready in time. As we noted the other day, this chip is slated for Q3 production (July-September) and with Samsung aiming for a July or August release, this might not work out time-wise.

There is no reason not to expect the rear camera module on the Galaxy Note 20 to include "Space Zoom." That is the periscope-based telephoto system that offers 100x hybrid zoom on the Galaxy S20 Ultra's 48MP telephoto camera. We should also see the Galaxy S20 Ultra's 108MP camera that uses 9:1 pixel binning to produce sharp 12MP images with less noise. After we include the now-standard ultra-wide camera and a Time of Flight (ToF) depth sensor, can Samsung do anything to differentiate this setup from the one on the Galaxy S20 Ultra? Already, some tipsters are saying that the Galaxy S20 Ultra's rear camera module will be used on the next Galaxy Note.

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We would also expect some new features for the Galaxy Note 20's SPen, and a hike in the capacity of the phone's battery. The Galaxy Note 20+ could end up with a 5000mAh battery which would be a 16.3% bump from the 4300mAh battery employed by the Galaxy Note 10+.  The Galaxy Note 20 might end up with the same 4000mAh battery used on the Galaxy S20. This would represent an increase of 14.3% from the 3500mAh battery found on its predecessor.

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