Smashed smartphone screens could finally be a thing of the past, thanks to a new development from Samsung.
The Korean phone maker has unveiled an ‘unbreakable ‘ OLED screen, that will eventually appear on smartphones.
In tests, the prototype screen was able survive being dropped 26 times from a height of 1.2m with no damage whatsoever. The display also made it through a further drop test set at 1.8m – nearly six feet.
Developed by Samsung Display, the Korean firm’s screen technology arm, the new screen was certified as ‘unbreakable’ by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
UL is the official testing company for the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor), which was set up to ensure safe and healthy working conditions.
The screen has passed rigorous durability tests based on military standards from the U.S. Department of Defense, says Samsung.
Along with the drop test, the screen survived temperature tests set at a high of 71 degrees C and a low of -32 degrees C.
As well as being used in smartphones, the flexible panel will also eventually be used for tablets, in-car displays and portable games consoles, as well as mobile devices used by the military.
Samsung isn’t giving away too many details but says that the smash-proof panel was developed using an unbreakable underlying layer, with an overlay window securely attached to it.
In contrast, current flexible display products attached a glass-covered window to their display which often breaks when it takes a heavy knock.
“The fortified plastic window is especially suitable for portable electronic devices not only because of its unbreakable characteristics, but also because of its lightweight, transmissivity and hardness, which are all very similar to glass,” said Hojung Kim, general manager of the Communication Team at Samsung Display.
Samsung is expected to unveil its latest device – the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 – at an event on 9 August 2018.
Leaks suggest that the new handset will look similar to last year’s Galaxy Note 8, with an almost edgeless display, and very slim top and bottom bezels. Reports suggest that the the device will feature a fingerprint scanner below the camera, rather than next to it, as is the case with the Note 8.
The cameras themselves also appear to have been revised, and one of the dual-lenses is now slightly larger than the other.