Edge-to-edge displays
New Samsung S7 (R) and S7 edge smartphones are displayed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Feb. 21, 2016. REUTERS/Albert Gea

After trying different sizes, smartphone makers seem to have settled on a 5-inch display size for flagship devices and 6-inch for their larger variants. The challenge in today’s time is to endow phones with competitive features within this display size.

Smartphone makers have responded to it by designing displays with innovative features such as 3D Touch on the iPhone 7.

2017 could see another trend emerging — major smartphone companies are expected to endow their flagships with edge-to-edge displays. The Samsung Galaxy S8, Apple iPhone 8 and LG G6 are all expected to come with Edge-to-Edge displays having curved edges on both right and left side of the device.

Smartphone makers such as Samsung might forego the traditional approach to Edge smartphones and endow the edges with added functionality. The Samsung Galaxy S8, for example is rumored to have a Bixby button next to the camera for its artificial intelligence based voice assistant.

The iPhone 8 is also expected to have an edge-to-edge display, but without the S8's usable curved edges. Rather, the display configuration would be used to provide the user with a larger screen and the only purpose of the edges would be to eliminate the bezels.

LG is also expected to make the most of an edge-to-edge display. A recently discovered LG patent shows a wraparound edge-to-edge display covering the smartphone’s entire upper body, effectively eliminating even the top bezel. This design could be indicative of added functionality, which could mean a camera control button, a voice rocker or a sensor.

The trend started with Samsung’s S-series and Note series Edge handsets, which used to come with a display which was curved on one side and flat on the other. The curved edge would be endowed with limited functionality, which the user could access easily. But, Edge handsets till date haven’t provided any different features than their flat-screened siblings, something that is expected to change with the 2017 flagship line-up.