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The War on Bezels

Removing bezels from TVs, phones and tablets can cause rather than solve problems in tech

Craig Grannell:

In phones, removing the bezel now appears to be some kind of holy grail, and, frankly, this baffles me. Sure, I don’t want a massive chunky bezel that makes a device seem like it’s rocked up from a 1985 concept video. But most of the time, I want a bezel in a screen-based device. A frame around content provides focus. And with a tablet, it provides somewhere for your thumbs to go, rather than them covering what you’re looking at and interacting with.

It’s also notable that in the Android space, attempts to remove the bezel have resulted in some horribly ugly creations. Companies triumphantly boast about stripping the bezel back, but on devices that retain a ‘chin’, thereby resulting in something that looks visually imbalanced. At that point, the breathless rush to remove the bezel has not only impacted on user experience, but also visual design.

I have an idea. Persuade the designers to make the phone thicker, so that the screen can curve over the edges but there’s still a bezel the user can hold. (Bonus: makes room for larger battery, less need to push rear camera out from body of phone.)

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