While everyone eagerly awaits Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10, Apple’s “iPhone 11,” and foldable phones like the Galaxy Fold and Mate X, Chinese companies continue to push the limits of smartphone design.
Chinese tech giant Oppo has unveiled its newest mobile innovation: a display that curves around the edges at such an extreme angle that you can’t see any visible bezels.
Dubbed the “waterfall screen,” the curved glass wraps around the left and right sides of the phone at an 88-degree angle and is even more aggressive than the curved screens on Samsung Galaxy phones and the OnePlus 7 Pro.
Here’s what the new phone screen looks like in action:
OPPO “Waterfall Screen” mobile phone demo（1）
Oppo teased several images of the new screen tech, comparing it to the all-screen Find X it released last year. If you’re a sci-fi fan, you’re probably geeking out like crazy at the sight of an all-glass slab with such narrow bezels.
The screen tech looks impressive, but I’m skeptical it’s practical.
We’ve already seen phones with curved displays registering unintended touches. And durability? A curved display that’s glass on the edges is completely unprotected if impacted.
Then, there’s also the top bezels. As many people on Twitter have pointed out, making the side bezels curve and virtually disappear into the phone’s frame has been done before, but what about the top bezels? They don’t look too sexy.
The phone display is still a prototype, so Oppo could improve on the design. Or maybe it’s all for show and the “waterfall screen” ends up only as a proof of concept.
However, Oppo has proven itself to be quite ambitious and daring in the mobile space. The company was the first to demo ultra-fast charging and then release it in a phone.
Then, it announced the world’s first 5x optical zoom camera for smartphones. Earlier this year, it went further with a 10x optical zoom camera.
Oppo was one of the first phone makers to sell an all-screen phone with motorized pop-up selfie camera like the Find X.
And most recently, the tech giant took the wraps off a prototype phone with a selfie camera underneath the screen.
Practical or not, nobody can accuse Oppo of not trying new things. The “waterfall screen” may end up a total gimmick, but it looks futuristic AF like everything else the company’s trying.
As smartphone sales plateau — how do you even compete when even $150 phones are pretty good? — companies will need to pull out all the stops to convince consumers to upgrade.