UPDATED September 2014: The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was launched on 3rd September without the predicted flexible display. Samsung did, however, launch the Samsung Galaxy Edge, a Note 4 variant featuring an edge to edge display.

For more information, take a look at our Note 3 vs Note 4 comparison.

With the Samsung Galaxy S5 officially on the market, Samsung lovers can now look forward to the Galaxy Note 4, which is expected this autumn. In fact, rumours have already begun to hit the headlines about the possibility of a three sided YOUM display being featured on the upcoming Note 4 phablet.

But what is a YOUM display? Will it be a success on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4?, or could it just be a gimmick? Here we take a look at the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumours…

What are the benefits of a flexible display?

One of the main benefits of a flexible display is that it’s generally more durable than our traditional static screens. The Note 4’s YOUM display will be made of plastic rather than glass, meaning that we won’t be left fearing a shattered or scratched screen when it comes to those little slips and trips.

Plastic displays are also lighter and thinner than the standard glass versions we’re seeing on our current smartphones. This obviously makes future handsets lighter and thinner themselves, letting them slide into our pockets easier than ever, which can only be an advantage.

What will the YOUM display do?

There are thousands of practical uses for a fully flexible display, but the Note 4 is being rumoured to feature just a three sided display, rather than a completely bendable one. But even still, the Note 4 boasts plenty of features that will implement the new kit in exciting new ways.

Samsung Notifications

During CES 2013, Samsung gave us a sneak peek at the YOUM display which we will be seeing on the Note 4, and notifications were up there as a primary function for the new feature.

On the curved area of the display, notifications will pop up as and when you receive them, allowing you to read them at a glance, much like a website ticker or the side-scrolling boards you see in sports arenas.

Even when locked, the phone will show when a notification has arrived, and by simply tapping one of the handset’s side displays, you’ll be able to view it without unlocking the entire device.

Replacing Physical Buttons on the Note 4

If a YOUM screen does make its way onto the edge of the handsets, we’re going to need to replace the physical buttons which are normally stuck onto the edges of our smartphones. This means that the YOUM display will have the capability to lock, unlock and alter the volume of the phone itself. Whether this involves a simple swipe is yet to be determined, but it’s a definite possibility on the Note 4. This is a decision which Apple also flirted with, after rumours came out about the iPhone not having a physical home button

Show Running Android Apps

Apps are obviously an integral part of our smartphones, and the YOUM display could well be used to help manage our Note 4’s activity within them. By using a simple gesture, we hope to be able to display all of our running apps, and then choose to turn them off, all with the use of one of the smaller side screens.

Time Display/Timer/Stopwatch

Displaying the time seems like a very menial feature for such an advanced phone, but it’s something that could be vastly improved by using a YOUM display. If the phone is locked, the side display could show us this simple information, meaning we won’t need to dwaste battery by waking the Note 4 up just to discover the time and date.

Small features like the stopwatch, timer or calendar could also be featured on this exciting YOUM display, letting us view appointments or notifications within seconds.

Are flexible displays the future?

So are flexible displays really the future? Almost certainly yes! Too many of us have become frustrated with our easily broken smartphone displays, and with the ever growing love for bigger screens, this seems like the most feasible option to keep our handsets growing.

We could even see fully folding displays hitting the market in a year’s time, echoing in a new era of large, easy to carry devices making their way into our pockets. So will the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 feature a YOUM display? We certainly hope so!