Smartphones are evolving much faster than we anticipated ever before.
Since these little handheld devices are like the consciousness keepers of modern day human beings, they receive much-needed attention towards the technology and the aesthetic beauty more than any other electronic gadget we use on a day to day basis.
Smartphone manufacturers, along with improving the raw performance of these mobile computing devices, are now trying hard to maximize the screen real estate available for the user to interact with the device.
As the first step of this shift in the form factor, companies have started releasing smartphones with a larger 18:9 aspect ratio displays, which is generally termed as full view displays among the general public.
Whether it is a budget smartphone under Rs.5,000 or a premium flagship smartphone, many of the devices now come with a full view display.
In this article, we are discussing full view displays and what these panels bring to the table for an average smartphone user.
Let’s cut the chase and dive into the subject!
Aspect ratio is one such technical term which you must be familiar before discussing the raw numbers regarding the display sizes.
In simple terms, the aspect ratio of a display is defined as the ratio of its width to its height.
Now that’ll make you confused a bit right?
Aspect ratios are denoted as a number, for example, 16:9 in the case of earlier and some modern smartphones.
Going by the definition 16 has to be the height and 9 has to be the width, but your phone isn’t that big as what you might think.
Aspect ratios are calculated in landscape mode, the way you generally hold your phone while consuming media content.
Now pause and imagine the 16:9 aspect ratio – 16 being the height and 9 being the width. Sounds fair enough?
It has to be noted that aspect ratio in no way is related to the overall size of the display.
Full View Display
The full view displays are simply 18:9 aspect ratio smartphone displays.
These types of displays will have considerably thin bezels in the corners and taller screen.
If you own a smartphone that was released after the second quarter of last year, your phone is sporting one such display.
Take out your smartphone and hold it in landscape mode – you’ll notice the width of the display is almost twice the height.
There are various implementations of this 18:9 display such as notched displays, curved displays etc. which we will cover in the coming sections in detail.
- Screen to Body Ratio
As the title suggests, screen to body ratio refers to the size of the actual display in comparison to the overall size of the phone.
Full view displays or 18:9 aspect ratio displays exhibit excellent screen to body ratio when compared to the 16:9 panels.
Flagship smartphones such as the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 boasts about 93.4% of the screen to body ratio, thanks to its almost non-existent bezels and top and bottom chins.
More screen to body ratio equates to much larger screen real estate and subsequently to increased immersive experience while watching media/playing games on your smartphone.
- Notched Displays
Notched displays are a direct result of companies trying to fit in a larger screen to body ratio displays on their smartphones.
The front of a typical smartphone needs to house an earpiece, front camera, sensors and a microphone.
With the displays covering most of the front section, companies placed these hardware components in a small specific area known as a notch on the display.
The actual display runs around the notch, leaving a cut in the screen real estate at the top.
Water drop notches are the type of notched displays with only the front camera excluded from the display and the earpiece and other sensors placed just above the display.
- Curved Infinity Displays
Established smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung and Huawei has infinity displays on their smartphones which are just the 18:9 full view displays with curved edges.
It’s not just the edge of the glass, but the actual display is curved in order to provide a seamless display to body integration.
Such displays are only found on flagship smartphones as the curved display technology is very expensive and still in its infancy.
- Punch Hole Displays
Punch hole displays are the latest iteration of full view displays with a rounded cut out just for the camera on the panel and the display covering around it.
Huawei Honor View 20 is one of the first phones to be released in the market with a punch hole display.
More devices with similar display technology are rumored to be launched soon, including the Samsung Galaxy 10.
- Slider Smartphones
In order to completely eliminate the waste of screen space due to the placement of sensors and camera, companies have resorted to slider mechanism on their phones.
The sensors and the camera will be placed beneath the smartphone, and when the user slides up the frame, pops up to the surface.
Honor Magic 2, Xiaomi Mi mIx 3 etc. are some of the smartphones with slider mechanisms for delivering infinity displays which cover the entire front end of the phones.
Oppo Find X even had a motorized slider which housed the front camera to save screen real estate for infinity display technology.
Advantages of Full View Displays
- Infinity displays with 18:9 and similar aspect ratios are taller with slim bezels.
This enables the smartphone manufacturers to increase the size of the display without increasing the overall size footprint of the smartphone.
As a comparison, a 5.99-inch 18:9 display smartphone has a similar size of a 16:9 5.5-inch smartphone.
The slimmer bezels and taller display make it easy to hold the phone in the palm.
- Better VR support
Virtual Reality is turning out to be where the future of computing is headed to.
Even in the present, there are a lot of VR enabled content available on the internet for you to consume.
Since the VR applications like YouTube 360 works by dividing the screen into equal halves, a wider display allows for a better experience with VR headsets.
- Increased screen real estate is a direct advantage of having an 18:9 infinity display.
More display area means much better gaming experience and immersive media consumption.
Disadvantages of Full View Displays
- Letter-boxing issues
Since not all phones can afford the expensive punch hole displays at the moment, it is certain that they will ship with a notch instead.
The notch cutout forces the videos and games to be letter-boxed in order to avoid the awkwardness of having a blank space in the sides.
- On screen buttons
Earlier we had smartphones with dedicated hardware navigation buttons below the display.
But with a full view display, the bottom chin is very small to include the buttons, so the companies decided to include software buttons, which some users won’t like.
Display technologies evolve day by day and we’re yet to be on the receiving end of surprises in the upcoming days with the Mobile World Congress 2019 event scheduled next month in Barcelona, Spain.
We sincerely hope that you have imbibed some useful information from this post.
Thanks and have a great day ahead!