I am going to take a page out of Cliff Wade’s book and write out an opinion of my own regarding smartphones and this trend with having little-to-no bezels.

I couldn’t care less if my smartphone didn’t have bezels.

I’m a graphic designer by trade, so many people think I would be all over the idea of smartphones having tiny bezels, or even no bezels at all. The thing is, when it comes to smartphones, I want function over form. This is a tool I use constantly. I’m not holding it in the hand to look good, I’m holding it to use it.

Function over form

I’ve tried out several phones with small bezels, like the Samsung Galaxy S8, and I found myself accidentally pressing and touching parts of the screen I didn’t intend to touch. It was getting annoying fast.

I pictured myself trying to use devices with the small or zero bezels while holding them in landscape mode. I’d be gingerly pinching the edges as to not cover any screen while watching YouTube or Netflix. How is that practical?

 

Android smartphone bezel size comparisons
This image is floating around social media right now, furthering the fact people care so much about bezel sizes. (I added the KEYone myself, for humour.)

With the lack of bezels, now it’s harder to have other options up front, such as a finger print scanner (which I prefer on the front), or dual front-facing speakers. Yes, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have front-facing speakers, but I then see nothing but complains over the bezels being “too large for 2017.” Seriously?

The BlackBerry Motion was announced, and there again, people complained about the bezel sizes. Yet, so few see how that space is being utilized as for navigation buttons, a finger print scanner, etc. If anyone understands function over form, it is BlackBerry.

Also, what about durability? Why are so many demanding to have a smartphone’s screen stretch right to the edge of the device, making that same device so easily fragile?

What happened to framing?

You asleep yet? by Laura Graves
“You asleep yet?” by Laura Graves

Besides my desire for more function over looks in a smartphone, I wonder what ever happened to enjoying a framed picture? I look at bezels not only as a place to grip the device, but as a nice frame surrounding the screen on the phone.

Final thought

I think this trend with smartphones needs to back off. Let’s continue to make batteries larger and last longer. Let’s keep improving the cameras to capture special moments faster, and with better quality.

Please, stop worrying about bezel size.



  • I don’t care about having thick bezels if that is the only way to have a full-rectangular display (no rounded edges), allows front-facing speakers/fingerprint sensor, and of course 3.5mm headphones jack too.

    And there are many other things I don’t mind having (or not having) on my phone such as physical navigation buttons (not just the home button), thick body (I can tolerate up to 10mm thickness) and of course physical keyboard. I also don’t care about not having a front-facing camera. I just hate selfie or more accurately never had to use the front camera in my phones so far.

    • I do prefer the newer sleeker styled devices with no home/physical buttons and a thin body, but bezels and headphone jacks are trivial to me, as well. I go for camera quality and timely updates, so I had to go with the Pixel 2 this time around. Hopefully, with its good camera and 3-year promise of new OS updates, I’ll have no need to upgrade til the Pixel 5, or whatever Google decides to call their Pure Android lineup 3 years from now.