Shrinking edges: Has Apple created the design trend for 2017?

Shrinking edges: Has Apple created the design trend for 2017?

New iPhones are always a hot topic of discussion, and this holds particularly true this year, for Apple has added a radical, newly designed iPhone - the iPhone X - to its minor refreshes, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. This is the iPhone that Apple has always wanted to introduce. In addition to a few other features, one thing is apparent: There is hardly any bezel around the display. has Apple pushed other manufacturers in a tight spot?

There have long been rumors and renders that showed the iPhone X with its basic features: a notch could be seen on the top edge of the nearly bezel-less display. Anyone can come up with the superlatives in Apple’s show, and people who have watched it live may still hear it as a quiet echo in their heads.

apple keynote iphone x 10
The greatest iPhone of all time - at least, according to Apple / © Apple

Now, this is where people like to interject and say that Apple was not particularly innovative: Sharp, Xiaomi, LG, Samsung and, lately, Essential have already introduced smartphones with next-to-no bezels. Xiaomi and Essential were the biggest contenders: The former positioned the selfie camera below the display and, to compensate, reduced the upper bezel to one or two millimeters. On the other hand, Essential left the selfie camera at the top, but settled for a small bezel in exchange. Curiously, it remains below the display, but in an unused area.

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Xiaomi Mi Mix and the Galaxy S8 / © NextPit

Apple has opted to follow the Essential route: A small notch above the display provides room for a selfie cam and sensors; otherwise the display stretches to the edges - even on the bottom. It looks great and may not look big in many apps - for example, you could hardly guess that the small notch would lead to problems when surfing and messaging. On the other hand, there may be some unpleasant surprises in landscape mode - The Verge published some interesting screenshots regarding this. For instance, the Safari browser shows two white areas on the side so that the website does not disappear behind the selfie cam area (ostensibly, it does not protect the scroll bar from disappearing).

However, this neglect is already gone in videos: Videos in Apple’s presentation always ran in full-screen mode. One thing was apparent, however: The videos were always very dark on the left near the selfie cam. Was this intentional? I would lean toward a yes, because in a half-second, you would recognize how the video looks when you see a bright background - in this case, a sunset; not very sleek.

Of course, there are always two opinions for such matters.

Samsung and LG have found another solution to remove the small edges. The display edges are reduced by approximately two millimeters on the side and a few more at the bottom. These efforts resulted in displays without a bezel and yet, smartphones that are easy to handle.

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LG V30, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 / © NextPit

The intention to fully remove bezels around the display actually seems questionable. On the one hand, one or two millimeters always remain; on the other hand, the practical use seems doubtful. Either it disfigures the display geometry (Essential, Apple) or questionably moves the position of the components (Xiaomi). Perhaps this would have been the best method:

Of course, pictures of these bezel-less smartphones look great - especially when they show pictures of the camera and virtually coalesce with the environment. Lately, such pictures have also turned out well with classic smartphones. And what about Samsung’s S8 advertising campaigns? They also showed that the smartphone was supposed to be "invisible".

Apple has finally made bezel-less displays a design trend of 2017 with the iPhone X. It’s hardly imaginable that future high-end smartphones will return to large bezels, but at least this was already the case before for LG and Samsung. It doesn’t look like we'll be going back to small display borders. Apple’s notch solution may not be the best, but it does hint at one sign: the days of bezels are numbered.

But manufacturers must still find out which solution is the best: Is it a small bezel on the display? Should there be small bezels on top and/or the bottom? What do you think? Share your thoughts below!

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  • Dean L. Sep 26, 2017 Link to comment

    So apple is not first to bring features to market. So what. What Apple does though is enhance the user experience which many tech writers see as a positive. Google is learning this but many of the manufacturers aren’t which is what degrades the Android experience. All of the manufacturers, Apple included, can learn from one another to make the user experience polished.

    • Dazzler Sep 27, 2017 Link to comment

      Yeah half the battle with Android is the length of time it takes for manufacturers and telcos to release the updates after Google releases them.

      My S7 Edge is currently on 7.0 even though 7.1 was released by Google almost a year ago and 8.0 is now out.

      It's a 1 year old phone that might only get 1 more major update, meanwhile the 2013 iphone is already able to get the latest software right now...

  • Dazzler Sep 26, 2017 Link to comment

    Ignoring the fact that apple are last to the party yet again and haven't 'created' any trends in smartphones since the 4, I really hope that smartphones go back to a 16:9 ratio with straight edges.

    I would consider my S7 Edge to be the perfect screen size and format for me, I'm not a fan of cutouts or rounded edges in the corners of the display like this year's Samsung phones, I would have rather minimize the bezels without changing the screen shape too radically.

  • Mark G. Sep 24, 2017 Link to comment

    WILL YOU STOP promoting Apple, they are not innovating anymore, they never planned to bring out a different IPhone but were forced to by Samsung superior design and popularity.

    Apple is not leading the smartphone evolution, it hasn't for over 10 years. They no longer have the title of "doing things better because it's all in house" most manufacturers of Android devices have mastered the Software/hardware melding, and to a better standard than Apple.

    Apple is purely interested in ripping off "Cool hipsters" and people who believe they are in the cool gang, when in fact were all laughing at them, stupid 🐑.

    I understand that it may be of some benefit to inform us of Apple products, & that your probably getting paid considerably more from Apple to promote their products but understand that this is a Android related newsfeed.

    Starting to get annoyed with the Apple is leading the way, great design innovation -
    🍏 📱 = 💩 💩 💩 🤒 😨🤢😫👺💀👹☢️☣️⛔

  • Some Tech Guy Sep 24, 2017 Link to comment

    LG G6, Essential PH-1, Samsung Galaxy 8 all were released with minimal bezels before Apple. They followed, not lead.

  •   12
    Deactivated Account Sep 24, 2017 Link to comment

    Apple’s notch is hideous, samsung’s FPS placement is terrible, Essential’s double height status bar and “booger” front facing camera are horrible.

    A terrible trend in my opinion, a small amount of bezels to handle the basics are badly needed until manufacturers can come up with methods that don’t involve these very negative so-called solutions.

  • nightflyer2131 Sep 24, 2017 Link to comment

    I didn't want to say anything but stop pls stop this is a waste of a article write something better if not don't write at all you are insulting us and embarrassing your self when you write crap ok crap so stop it !

  • Francesco V. Sep 24, 2017 Link to comment

    Apple didn't create any trend, it just used the trend created by others. How can AndroidPit go so nuts?
    This glass-everywhere trend will stop when tech writers will stop following Samsung and Apple as rats would follow magical pied pipers.

  • Greg1100 Sep 24, 2017 Link to comment

    Typical lock down crapple- copy a pre existing phone and make it out that they came out with it first.

  • ljhaye Sep 24, 2017 Link to comment

    Galaxy S8 & Note 8 are the best implementation for thin bezels. Although I'm afraid Android manufacturers are going to choose to copy Apple's humongous notch philosophy and Face ID "solution". The sooner we get away from Apple's design philosophies the better.

    "Be together but different "

  • Nik Ol Sep 23, 2017 Link to comment

    How can Apple be creating anything regarding thin bezel, when others have done it for ages?

  • Reg Joo Sep 23, 2017 Link to comment

    Completely Bezel-less isn't a good idea. Smaller bezels, ok. The S8 is about as small as you can go, without potential damage from a moderate height/slip-up. Also, you better take a polishing cloth, you're gonna need to wipe those edges frequently. For me, there would be too many risk, with a naked bezel-less phone. Mfgrs are taking too many risk in the durability of their phones now, with smaller bezels, glass backs for the sake of style/ wireless charging(when a glasses grade ploycarbonate, would do much better), thiness( If you could hold your phone 2~3 years ago, what's wrong with you now?). Too many compromises, for the sake of style now.

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