Samsung’s newest patent suggests that an upcoming smartphone, possibly the Samsung Galaxy A82, will enjoy a new sliding action. As always with these patents, take with a pinch of salt as they may come to nothing - but this one kind of makes some sense. Why? Because the sliding action keeps the cameras on the phone hidden until you need them.
The patent shows a double slide action where moving the screen down will reveal a selfie camera while sliding it up will allow the phone’s main cameras to leap into action. Hiding the front-facing camera makes a lot of sense, it means there’s no need for a notch, punch-out or under-screen camera leaving the screen to do what it does best- displaying stuff.
It’s perhaps less useful to have the main cameras hidden and could, potentially, mean that the snapping ability of the A82 (if this patent actually becomes a real product) might be a little compromised compared to other phones. That’s because the space is a little more limited than with a traditional camera, which these days all seem to need some sort of bump to do their thing well.
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Where this all seems to make less sense is that the renders produced by notable leak site LetsGoDigital include a speaker concealed by the slider. That would mean to get the best possible sound you’d need to slide the screen up, revealing the rear-camera. That’s fine, but for speed reasons you would expect the sliding to activate the camera app, which would be annoying if you really want to watch Netflix. On the plus side it would potentially offer quite good sound, with a much larger speaker than you find on most modern smartphones.
Another negative of this design would be the likely loss of water resistance. While you could certainly offer some protection from spills, this kind of articulated screen would almost certainly open the body of the phone to some ingress of water. It’s entirely possible Samsung has found a way to manage this, but it may also mean your phone is less able to survive that potential toilet drop.
For those of you old enough to remember the Nokia N95, there is a certain joy to slider phones. In Nokia’s case you could answer calls this way, and that could possibly be a feature of this device too, although it makes a lot less sense on a large phone. The advantage of the N95 was that it was tiny before being opened up, whereas this design doesn’t significantly lengthen the phone.
If the company does resume the A8 series (the last one was 2019) then this could be yet another incredibly stylish but lower cost handset than the flagship Samsung Galaxy S21 range. These A series phones usually offer a lot of bang for the buck, and are well suited to people who don’t need ludicrous performance from their phone.