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Samsung says it makes the world’s best holes. Yes, holes. Holes so good they even get a brand

'Iris Ring' cutout in OLEDs let smartmobe cameras focus on the main game without being distracted by peripheral matters

Samsung’s Display business has claimed the mantle as the maker of the world’s most advanced holes.

The company today announced that independent science safety company “UL” has just “verified its new OLED hole display as having image quality low in color deviation in terms of ‘hole area clarity,’ providing a balanced level of uniformity across the portion of the display surrounding the camera hole.”

OLED hole displays matter because they allow a selfie-shooting camera to be embedded below a smartphone’s screen, rather than requiring a larger “notch” or reducing the amount of front-facing real estate devoted to a device’s display. Samsung has used OLED hole displays since at least the Galaxy S10.

As Samsung explains, it’s no mean feat to get cameras working well when shooting through a holey screen.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G

iFixit horses around with Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G to discover glue in abundance


Samsung has therefore used “high-performance lasers to advance the display punching and design engineering around the hole.” That approach is needed because: “Sometimes, processing can stain the panel here, which can be seen as slightly different coloring on the display areas at the periphery of the hole compared with other parts of the display. Such tarnishing is unacceptable when 5G smartphones are now making heavy demands on high-resolution and high-speed content, requiring an enhanced level of image quality throughout a display.”

The company had UL measure “deviations of color, brightness, and saturation by pinpointing 12 spots on the periphery of the hole to establish precise definition and uniformity around the hole display area, resulting in a measurement of two or less Delta E.”

“Even though a lower Delta E figure would imply less color deviation, the human eye can barely distinguish any difference in color or clarity when the Delta falls below two,” Samsung said.

Samsung OLED screen with hole

A galaxy Note 20 with one of Samsung's world-leading holes. Click to enlarge

Samsung Display’s veep of mobile display marketing Dennis Choi said this all matters because 5G phones will be used to stream high-quality video and we can’t have that spoiled by less-than-brilliant holes.

The company also feels its hole tech matters because it "provides extremely clear contrast between the display area around the hole and the hole itself."

Samsung has even branded the hole, naming it "Iris Ring" because "the display here features a verified uniformity of image quality, based on the understanding that human eyes tend to look more healthy and attractive when the eye’s iris and snow-white sclera are in stark contrast."

The Register hopes that readers of this story ask for demos of the hole when next shopping for a Samsung handset. Assuming the world climbs out of its current hole. ®

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