Have you ever noticed that almost every flagship today touts how thin the bezels of their phone are, or better yet, how their phones do not have bezels at all? Yes, Samsung, I’m looking at you.
Anyway, I recently looked up ‘are bezels on phones important’, and the most fruitful result I got, came from a random user on Quora. According to them, ‘bezel is a term used to describe the outside frame of a computer or any other computing device’. Not only that, but the user also explained that bezels serve the important purpose of letting developers know just how much they can cram into a phone. Basically, the bezel setup give developers a small taste of what an end product might look like.
Don’t get me wrong, making sure bezels do not become too thick is important, especially if you want to maximize the display. However, bezel-less phones do not hold any practical use whatsoever. Think about it:
photo from mashable.com
No bezels = Fragile phone
Now, I’m not saying that all bezel-less phones break easily. But unfortunately, the most popular example of the bezel-less model, the Samsung Galaxy S8, reportedly breaks or shatters after a fall of about five feet. Compare this with older phones that do have bezels, which boast better durability. When the entire front of your phone is just a glass display, you risk scratching it, easily.
How are you supposed to hold it?
No, seriously, it sounds like a minor thing to worry about, but for the longest time, the bezel served as extra ‘leg room’ for our fingers. Especially if we had huge hands or long fingers. In turn, we only grasped the phone at the bezels because we didn’t want to damage the display. But if the entire front of the phone is the display, how do we hold it when we’re taking pictures? Or what about if we’re one-handing it? What if our hands are too small or too big to hold it the way it’s supposed to? There’s too many factors that go into creating a bezel-less phone that seem to not be considered.
Do you even need it?
Finally, and the last thing I do wonder about, is if we even really need bezel-less devices. As far as I’m concerned, this whole movement to remove bezels feels like a fad. Nothing that we really need to do. Traditionally, other than being the frame of a technological device, the bezel also hid the speakers, sensors, and the cameras. In theory, having a bezel-less phone means that you’ll have to hide it another way, which means wasted space. Besides that, and most importantly, do we actually gain anything useful from the extra display screen space provided by removing bezels?
All in all, I don’t really have a problem with keeping bezels thin or smaller. Thick bezels do make things look cheap. Thus, keeping them to a minimum enhances the look. On top of that, thin bezels allow for smartphones to maximize their display space (to a degree). But can we just stop there? A bezel-less phone still, to me, feels like one giant gimmick.