Samsung’s Unbreakable Screens Renews Foldable Smartphones Hype

Image Source:

Image Source:

It’s finally happening at Samsung. Last week, the Korean smartphone manufacturing company announced that they were finally able to develop the first fully unbreakable flexible OLED screen. These screens have already been certified by Underwriters Laboratories so they’re pretty much all ready to be mass manufactured and sold as smartphone components or used in other electronic devices.

The tests done by the US testing firm includes having the screen dropped from 1.2 meters off the ground, 26 times. Underwriters Laboratories’ findings conclude that the screen continued to work even after being dropped that much and that there is no visible damage on the new screen anywhere, which is amazing considering that the new screen is only protected by plastic and not glass like before. Other tests were also performed, such as placing the screen in extreme environments with very high (up to 71 degrees Celsius) or very low temperatures (down to -32 degrees Celsius). Successfully passing the testing firm’s extreme tests proves just how effective this new screen can be.

Best OLED Screen Yet?

Image Source: Samsung

Image Source: Samsung

This new technology may put Samsung in a farther position than it’s rivals, LG and Huawei, when it comes to creating the first seamless folding smartphone. While Huawei only had Richard Yu’s word that they’ll try to race Samsung and LG, LG already was experimenting with flexible screens since 2016.

In the video Samsung released, it highlights other advantages the new screen has against traditional glass-covered screens: the weight of a plastic-covered screen, for example, is lighter than those with a glass-covered screen. Samsung also claimed that glass can still break and damage the OLED behind it while plastic-covered screens allow the OLED to absorb hits without damage.

But this new screen is more impressive than anything that came before it: While the cover is only made out of plastic instead of glass so that it can be more flexible, it’s strong enough to withstand abuse such as being hammered by a mallet, as shown in the video. It also has improved transparency, according to a Samsung Display official, and can be installed on any device.

The Foldable Phone Race

The ZTE Axom M, a folding smartphone with two separate screens (Image Source: Droidpedia)

The ZTE Axom M, a folding smartphone with two separate screens. (Image Source: Droidpedia)

What this new piece of technology means is that Samsung is one step closer to creating a seamless foldable phone, as well as phones that have more durability than any of the previous smartphones. Of course, this tech isn’t just limited to smartphones but to other devices as well. We may even see future handheld consoles or a car’s display using Samsung’s new unbreakable OLED.

This tech may be the solution to the problem that foldable phones face: repeated folding that may cause creases to appear on the OLED screen. If Samsung can give this new tech more flexibility while keeping its current durability we might see that foldable smartphone people wanted in a couple of years, as Samsung has already reported that they have a “foldable screen” is already currently in development.

Be that as it may, the new OLED screen has just been recently certified by UL, and currently, there’s no mass production date for the screen yet, so seeing it used in any Samsung device coming out this year isn’t a realistic expectation. We might see Samsung devices use these screens as early as next year.

This news will probably renew the interest of those who have wanted a foldable smartphone before. The concept has been out there for so long and now three tech companies are scrambling to be the first to release one. This might also become the new gimmick for smartphones and dictate how manufacturers will design their phones in the future.