End of the road for bezels?
The year’s major smartphone design trend involves shaving off the frames around phones
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After trying to be insanely slim (and giving up after a while), phones have now got into bezel-slashing mode. The frames around the displays are getting narrower by the day, with displays running right up to the edges. This allows phone makers to utilize even more screen space into the same form factors.
Those in favour of minimal bezels say it makes phones more compact, while those against this claim it makes them fragile by increasing the area of the device that can be damaged easily (the reasoning is that bezels do protect the display in case of a fall). It is true that thicker bezels have protected phones during falls. Yet it’s also true that bezel-less phones look more distinct and compact.
Here are some devices you can consider if you are looking for a phone that is sleeker and more beautiful than anything you have owned thus far.
Perhaps one of the most underrated smartphones, the Nubia Z11 comes with good hardware, including a 5.5-inch display with Full HD resolution, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 6 GB RAM with 64 GB of storage (there is a memory card slot too). It packs in an excellent 16-megapixel camera, which offers a variety of shooting options as well as the optical image stabilization feature. This remains one of the first smartphones in India to come with close to no bezels on the sides of its display. It is not as compact as the Galaxy S8 and G6, but it still turns heads in its black and gold avatar, and is perhaps the most affordable narrow-bezel device out there.
One of the highlights of the G6, an Android flagship phone from LG, is its near bezel-less display. LG has managed to squeeze a 5.7-inch Quad HD display into a frame that is compact. It might not be the flashiest device in terms of design but it’s handsome enough, with its glass front and back, and an aluminium frame. It packs in impressive hardware: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB storage (with a memory card slot) and dual 13-megapixel rear cameras. We would recommend it for the display, the camera that can give stunning HDR photos and well-detailed low-light photos, and its robust battery life.
Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+
The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are the most bezel-less devices you can buy right now, with displays even tapering over to the sides. They are among the most eye-catching phones out there. The Galaxy S8’s 5.8-inch display and 6.2 inches for the Galaxy S8+ come in frames and form factors that would do 5.5-inch display devices proud. Round that off with Quad HD resolution, a terrific 12-megapixel rear camera, powerful Exynos processors, lots of RAM (4 GB or 6 GB, depending on the variant), and 64 GB storage, all packed into a gorgeous body that is glass at the front and back and metal on the sides.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
The S7 Edge pretty much laid the foundations of the newer Galaxy S8 and S8+, squeezing a 5.5-inch display into a form factor that was remarkable for its time, and removing the bezels from the sides of the screen. The display tapered over on to the side spines, hence the name Edge. The phone isn’t short on specifications, with powerful Exynos processors, a Quad HD display, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB storage (there is a memory card slot too) and a 12-megapixel camera that almost matches the one on the newer Galaxy S8/S8+ in terms of optical performance. Add water- and dust-resistance, and the veteran seems like a good deal even now.
Xiaomi Mi Mix
CNY 3,499 (around Rs34,500)
This is expected to be launched in India soon. The reason for the high level of interest: “zero bezel”. It packs in a large 6.4-inch display into a frame that was marginally larger than the iPhone 7 Plus (5.5 inches). Xiaomi has removed a large portion of the bezel at the top of the phone, changing the location of components like the front-facing camera, the speaker and the proximity sensor. It packs in some good specifications as well. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, 4 GB RAM and 128 GB storage (there might also be a 6 GB/256 GB variant) and a good 16-megapixel camera.