MemberSeptember 18, 2021 at 10:09 am
The main display users will be looking at is the 7.6in 2208 x 1768px AMOLED one. It also has a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic that is stronger and resists scratches better than previous models. It’s bright and punchy with good handling of colours and is useful when watching YouTube videos, reading eBooks, and so on.
There is a visible crease in the middle of the screen, and you can feel it when running your finger over it, but most of the time your fingers won’t be touching it. And, much like hole punch notches, eventually it adapts quickly to its presence.
At the top of the right-hand screen is another camera, a 4MP f/1.8 under-display camera for taking video calls. Rather than make this a simple cut-out, Samsung added a layer of LEDs that copy the surrounding pixels to make it less visible. But while the camera is harder to spot when someone else is using the phone, it remains quite visible when holding it; like looking at something through a mesh screen door.
Both the main display and the outer display support Samsung’s S Pen stylus (£44, Samsung.com), but not the one found on previous Note devices due to a risk of damaging the screen. Instead, users will need to pick up the new S Pen Fold or Pro (£99, Samsung.com), which slots into an optional phone case rather than inside the phone’s body akin to the Note range. Unfortunately, Samsung did not provide us with a stylus to test, but in a brief hands-on, the pen appeared to work decently.
When not passively consuming content, the large display (which is essentially a side-by-side dual-screen phone) can be used in a number of ways. Apps that have been updated, like WhatsApp, will display its main screen, a list of chats on the left and the one the user has selected on the right. Or the Camera app will show the viewfinder on the right and a list of recently-taken photos on the left.
Samsung says that 100 of the most-used apps will be optimised for large-screen use by the time the device is launched on 27 August. Those included will be; Amazon, Google Meet and Maps, Teams, Netflix, Twitch, Twitter, YouTube, and Zoom – many of which were not available when we tested it.
Some apps like Instagram and TikTok load in the middle of the two screens and have large black bars along the right and left to fill the empty space. Samsung said that both of those apps will be getting updates, but users may have to wait for longer until more niche software is properly optimised for a multi-window experience.