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A mobile world without "borders"...is it a good idea?

Sprint Product Ambassador


photo credit: samsung.com


I've been a Sprint Product Ambassador for the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge (Note 4 w/ edge screen), Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy Note 7 (had to be returned) and the Galaxy S8 Plus. I hope to be an Ambassador for the upcoming Sprint Galaxy Note 8 (stay tuned). I've also used and owned devices from other manufacturers. The trend I'm seeing in the market is that big screens = good. Big devices = bad. 


OEMs are coming up with devices that shrink the bezels in order to deliver more screen without more device. What's more, the OEMs are also engineering the side edges to be beveled down to nothingness which makes the devices more comfortable to hold. Thin edges makes the devices easier to hold, but brings your fingers closer in on the screen surface. Did anyone actually consider using the device in their mad dash to create the display nirvana?


I'm here to tell you that I've had some...less than stellar...experiences using "bezel-less" devices. The main reason is because we are a touch-screen world. More screen means more touch-able area. You just can't get around the fact that use our hands and fingers to hold a device whilst in use. When you're wrapping your fingers around a device with a thin side frame they will come in contact with the touch-screen. And things will happen, often unintentionally. 


Anna Scantlin's article on PhoneDog.com essentially echos my observations and experiences:

"I had my reserves at first, mostly because I had a less-than-stellar experience with the Galaxy S7 Edge. With the Edge features turned on, I experienced constant accidental palm and finger registries. They were much less frequent when I turned them off, but it still occurred from time to time."


The upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 8 promises to deliver maximum screen with minimum device bulk. Samsung has been pioneering device design and driving the market for several years. With the Galaxy S8 S8+ they essentially pushed the "Home" button, and their own fingerprint sensor right off the edge of the device and onto the back plane. The Galaxy Note 8 will follow suit. There's no longer enough bezel on the front of these modern devices to support buttons.


Check out the rendering for the upcoming Xiaomi Mi MIX2 (no plans to support on Sprint):


credit: androidauthority.com


How do you hold such a beautiful device when you need to actually place a call? What about hearing a call? Or music? Where are the speakers? Where's the selfie camera (Heaven forbid I can't take a selfie!)? What about light sensors that make our modern devices easier, better to use in low and high lighting conditions?


Will the side frames of these devices also become extinct in an effort to make the phablet more phab-ulously easy to hold? And if so, will OEMs do away completely with physical buttons when there's no longer room for volume rockers or sleep/power buttons? Will all buttons be pushed to the back plane of devices? What happens when the front screen is no longer enough? Will we see secondary screens appear on the back? Will buttons get pushed into oblivion?


What's been your experience with large screen / thin bezel devices? Are you in favor of more screen, less bezel / frame? Or do you prefer devices that strike a balance between screen and frame in favor of usability? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.


Until next time,

Ninja CJ



Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee