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Second Display

(External Display)

Some phones have a small secondary display that can show the time, new notifications, and other information while the phone is otherwise idle. This smaller display uses less electricity than the main display, allowing it to be always-on without hurting the phone's overall battery life.

On a modern smartphone, the second display might be on the front, above the main display, or on the back.

Many old-style clamshell phones have secondary external displays on the outside, so that the user can see who is calling before opening the phone to answer an incoming call. The display therefore shows Caller-ID information during an incoming call. Most such phones use this display to show the time and/or status at other times.

Last updated Feb 10, 2017 by Rich Brome

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.

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