At-a-glance updates and notifications without draining your battery? It could be on the way for the Galaxy S7, according to a new patent.
Samsung’s working on an Always On Display, which would keep a part (or even all) of the phone’s screen active at all times. That would make it easier to read notifications without having to wake up the phone first.
This kind of screen tech only works with OLED displays, as they don’t use backlights like LED screens. Because an AMOLED screen lights up each pixel separately, it would only use power for the parts being shown. Leaving most of the screen switched off would use as little as one percent battery per hour with the mode enabled.
According to SamMobile, the patent has arrived just in time for the tech to turn up in the Galaxy S7. It’s general enough to be applied to the standard Galaxy S7, too – not just the S7 Edge.
It doesn’t look like Always On will be forced on you, in case you don’t like leaving notifications on display for everyone to see. Current rumours say it’s a screen mode that can be switched on and off, so you can keep private messages hidden behind the password screen.
It wouldn’t be the first time a phone has had at-a-glance info onscreen all the time; Nokia’s Glance Screen and Motorola’s Ambient Display have been around for a few years now.
Arguably the e-Ink-equipped YotaPhone is the only phone with an always-on screen, so it will be interesting to see what Samsung’s version will look like.
We’ll know if Samsung has had the time to add the tech to the S7 when it reveals all at MWC in two weeks’ time.