Samsung beat its competitors to the punch with the Galaxy Fold, which was the world's first foldable smartphone to hit the market, and while it ran into a number of snags in its rush to claim the title, it's since honed the tech for its foldable follow-ups: the Galaxy Z Flip, and Galaxy Z Fold 2.
Now, Samsung has joined the likes of Sony and LG, and is beavering away on the next frontier – a transparent smartphone, and here's what it could look like:
The concept smartphone has been created by Giuseppe Spinelli in collaboration with LetsGoDigital, and is based on a Samsung patent that was filed back in January and published at the end of August. The device utilises an OLED display that allows light to pass through; something Samsung has already achieved with its 55-inch transparent OLED displays.
While LG has its own patent for a transparent smartphone, it also appears to be exploring another radical design with the LG Wing inspired by its LG VX9400, so Samsung could easily swoop in and claim another world first.
While the transparent design is a novel concept, it poses a number of issues – like the lack of housing for the internal components. The handset would need a huge bezel, or shrunken innards on a scale that doesn't exist yet to achieve what we can see in the concept images.
- Samsung Galaxy S21 gets ESSENTIAL upgrade that leaves iPhone 12 in the dust
- The very best phones, ranked
Sony's first attempt to make a transparent display was the Sony Ericsson Xperia X5 Pureness in 2009, but the display was barely usable and the chassis was pretty unwieldy.
The tech has obviously advanced significantly since then, so perhaps we'll see this roll out in tablet form first, with chunky bezels to cram the components into. Either way, the race is on to see who'll be the first to make a transparent display on a smartphone a reality.
- Black Friday 2020: shop the best deals