Samsung and LG phones with rear second screens show up in new plans

Fancy a screen on the rear of your smartphone? If the latest patents from LG and Samsung are anything to go by that could well become reality.

The patents, filed at the American patent office, were spotted by Dutch site Mobielkopen and included sketches of handsets with large displays on the front, and smaller displays on the rear.

Samsung's second screen design (filed in December 2016) is the larger of the two, taking up about half the space on the rear of the phone. There's no sign of a fingerprint scanner though, so either it's planned to be built into the display, or this handset will rely solely on face recognition.

It also appears to be the thinner handset, with power and volume keys on one side, a USB-C port on its base and no sign of a headphone jack.

Meanwhile the LG design (filed in June 2016) features a smaller second display on the back, which sits above a camera block and what appears to be a centralized fingerprint scanner.

The overall design of the phone looks chunkier, but there are no buttons or ports on show - either LG opted to exclude these features from the patent application, or its planning a port and button-less smartphone.

We've already seen HTC take a step towards losing physical buttons on the flagship U12 Plus, so it's not outside the realms of possibility.

Second screens from Samsung and LG (credit: Mobielkopen)

Not the first time

This isn't the first time we've seen multiple displays on a smartphone. LG has form in this respect as it introduced us to second screen smartphones with the V10 and V20.

They featured a small display above the main screen on the front of the handsets, although LG has moved away from this particular implementation with more recent V-series handsets.

However, Russian firm Yotaphone offered handsets closer to the patents above, with the original Yotaphone and the Yotaphone 2 featuring large, e-Ink displays on their rears.

Things didn't work out for Yotaphone though, but perhaps these new, refined designs from LG and Samsung can spark a second screen smartphone resurgence.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.