What are the ‘bezel-less’ smartphones?
You must have heard of ‘bezel-less phones’. As most of the smartphone makers have decided to go bigger in design and screen so now is the trend to go for bezel less.
With 5-inch displays starting to become the baseline for smartphones and 5.5-inch and 5.7-inch screens becoming more and more common and even higher, up to 6.4-inches for the recently-launched Lenovo Phab 2 Pro the race doesn’t stop here.
Many people might resist putting in a phone with a display bigger than 5.7-inches simply because they cannot comfortably handle them in their hand or put them in their pants pocket. Well that was the story of last year and what appears in 2017 is the solution that promises to offer large displays without increasing the overall bulk of the phone. That solution: bezel-less smartphones.
What does Bezel mean?
Bezel is a term used to describe the outside frame of a computer, monitor or any other computing device. This is important for product developers and designers in evaluating the overall perimeter of the device/component and its possible ramifications. Newer device designs such the iPad have extremely narrow bezels, allowing for more screen. This has become an increasingly important design factor for consumers.
Electronics such as tablet computers and smartphones are increasingly moving toward a bezel-less design. The bezel serves to hold the screen in place, and perhaps also reduce unintentional inputs on a touch screen. However, new designs are increasingly reducing the need for the former, while the latter problem can often be solved with software. For example, when the iPad mini was introduced, its thin bezel led Apple to adapt its software to ignore inputs in which a user is simply resting a finger on the screen.
Why are bezel-less phones so appealing?
Phones with very little border around their faces mean that their displays run up right to the edges and this is what is appealing. Functionally, though, a bezel-less phone doesn’t necessarily add anything, though it can (and does) on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, for example. An all-phone screen also increases the chances that you’ll accidentally touch the display while you’re holding the phone.
These phones look like all the futuristic tech you imagined when you were kids, with their superthin, supersleek and superminimalist design. Though the feature hasn’t reached mainstream popularity just yet, there have been a handful of phones that have aspired to the look like the Xiaomi’s Mi Mix and Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
Xiaomi launched its Mi MIX concept phone in late 2016 in China, which almost got rid of bezels on the top, left and right sides entirely. This got a huge response worldwide, even though the phone itself is not slated to be made available outside of its native country. Xiaomi even went so far to launch an all-new White color variant at CES 2017, hinting that this bezel-less phone project isn’t just a one-off thing.
Xiaomi’s bezel-less phones aren’t the only ones making headlines lately. The Samsung Galaxy S8 rumor and if this leak turns out to be real, the S8 will have basically no bezel on its left and right sides. This would appear to be yet another change for the Galaxy S lineup, but it’s also something of an evolution for the phones, as previous Galaxy S models have been designed with smaller bezels.
The Galaxy S8 might have some competition in this space, though. Rumors about the upcoming LG G6 seem to suggest it won’t have much of a bezel for its display, either. The screen is also supposed to have an 18:9 aspect ratio, compared to the normal 16:9 format. That means LG wants to have a different concept for the G6 display, and combining a taller screen with not much bezel could make for a very interesting look for the phone overall.
Reports are also coming in that at least one model for Apple’s iPhone 8 could launch with a larger curved screen, which may get rid of most of the bezel borders. The rumors center on how Apple wants to use OLED screens in the iPhone 8, with some reports claiming that the company will launch a high-end 5.8-inch version with a wraparound display.
All of these devices with their near bezel-less designs have yet to be confirmed, of course, so there’s no way of telling if the majority of the most popular smartphones will launch with this design cue or not. You need to wait until each one of these devices are officially announced, but there does seem to be quite a bit of proof that “bezel-less” will be the big design trend of 2017.