I Want My Bezels Back

JR Raphael wrote a great piece on the insanity of smartphone screen notches and holes: The enduring absurdity of our smartphone bezel obsession. He points out the compromises punching holes into and cutting out parts of screens in the name of no bezels imposes for little or no design gain, which often defeats the whole point of making those changes to screens in the first place.

In the article No, the Pixel 4’s bezels are not a major crime against smartphone design, Andy Boxall later discussed why bezels are not an issue and why the dislike for bezels is largely irrational.

Beyond aesthetics, there are also practical drawbacks to using a device with thin or no bezels. I can’t tell how many times I inadvertently touched or activated unwanted user interface elements of apps on my Pixel 2 XL Android phone, which still has some bezel. This typically happens when I grab the device ringing for an incoming call, which often results in a declined call because I touch the wrong areas close to the edges of the screen.

I use only Google phones and I’d prefer they focused on providing genuinely useful features such as true optical zoom (no, Super Res Zoom doesn’t qualify) rather than chasing questionable design decisions and fads with collateral damage like a missing bezel. From the first Pixel 4 leaks and rumors it seems the device might have some bezel and no notch. There’s some hope.

I want my bezels back.

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