The next big wave of mobile device design might be ditching the borders and going with a sleek bezel-free design.
Beauty may be immortal, but style is ever-changing.
Mobile devices, phones chief among them, have become something of a fashion statement in recent years. And since style can lend some substance, smartphone producers worldwide have been testing out new designs and technologies to improve their market share.
Some of these changes are purely aesthetic. Other changes utilize new technologies, and whether we realize it or not, they could be the stepping stone to the next big design that everyone emulates.
We may be on the eve of just such a design: the bezel-free phone.Smartphones ditch the borders and are going #bezelfree #phoneswithoutbordersClick To Tweet
You may not be familiar with just what a bezel is, but you’ve seen one. Many, in fact, since a bezel is simply the border that holds just about any monitor or touchscreen in place.
It’s one of those things that you see all the time, but never spare a thought for. Of course, with a wave of phones without bezels incoming, you might start.
At this point, you might be wondering: Is it good? Is it bad? Why do or don’t we need bezels?
Rest assured, I plan on answering all of that and more. Let’s start with the pros and cons of this relatively new phone design.
Pros and Cons of the Bezel-free Phone
While the new wave of designs does require some innovative technological solutions, many see the ‘upgrade’ as marginal. While not controversial, the notion has created discussions with both criticism and praise.
But as far as I understand it, here are the pros and cons of bezel-free phones:
- Strong visual impact: Clipping the borders looks cool, not unlike an infinity pool.
- Novel user experience: Visual content can now stretch to the edges of the screen.
- Comfortable grip: Ditch the parts that make up the border and you get a more comfortable design.
- Interactive frames: Adding in a wraparound screen can eliminate the need for buttons entirely.
- Little demand: There is a chance that few people even want this, which could really cut into the market share for developers.
- More screen, less structure: Bezel-free phones aren’t conducive to cases, making them more fragile than their bordered counterparts
- Difficult handling: With the way we’re used to phones, holding a bezel-free phone without interacting with it might be difficult.
Ok, that may be a rough list, but those are the most common pros and cons that I could find. At the end of the day, though, it seems like it will all come down to personal choice.
Either way, I think that smartphone technology as a whole will benefit from this experiment in design. Some companies may lose money, but along the way, they are sure to come up with some innovative ideas. And ideas are something we can take with us into the future.
Is Bezel-free The Future of Mobile Device Design?
Bezel-free designs are, to put it mildly, difficult to make.
The main reason for this is that bezels aren’t just for looks; they’re functional, and to do without them takes some intricate design work.
In all LCD touchscreens, the liquid crystal display is placed between two pieces of glass. The bezel seals those two pieces, enabling the LCD to function. A sealing edge is basically mandatory, even with an OLED display, so bezel-free designs need to find a way to seal the screen without using a border.
To add to their problems, developers will also need to get over any issues related to misoperation. If you remove the border, you basically take away the spaces that we all tend to use to grab the device. To that end, however, developers may be able to get away with using margins in the same way that tablets ignore palms when taking input from a pen or stylus.
Currently, we can look forward to bezel-free designs from Sharp, Nubia, and Samsung Galaxy brand phones. From what I’ve seen, there are some huge 5.5″ displays on the horizon, and that should make the ‘bigger is better’ crowd very happy.