The whole point of being port-less and bezel-less might seem to be aesthetics only but it really isn’t. Instead, what it is about is preparing for a wireless future and a full view display that covers the whole surface. Starting with the lack of bezels, different smartphone brands have adopted several approach. As long as bigger screens continue to be the favourite amongst todays consumers, going bezel-less we still remain a strong point. To achieve bigger screens without necessarily bumping up the size of your smartphone going bezel-less is the way.
According to this report from IDC, the bigger screen phone are selling more which indirectly gives a hint to a bezel-less future.
With the Notch
There is the aged Samsung curved infinity display that eliminates the bezels at the side. The bezel reduction soon got to the vertical apices and this saw the introduction of the notch early by Essential. Later on, iPhone X took the notch and made it main stream and several other smartphones took after that. However, the cut out notch by iPhone gradually went down and the the circular kind from Essential was revisited with some modification made to form the halo notch, water drop notch and dew drop notch. Just recently this was made into the infinity-V, Infinity-U and Infinity-O notches from Samsung.
Dropping the notch, there were other designs that went for a pop up selfies cameras in order to have a bezel-less screen like on the Vivo Nex and Oppo Find X. On the other hand, the dual screen featured on Meizu Pro 7 was put to good use on the ZTE Axon M to eliminate the need for a front camera thereby creating more visual space up front. Then there is the punch hole camera on the Hauwei Honor View 20, Samsung Galaxy A8s and expected to be on the Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone. All in a bid to reduce bezels and a reference to a bezel-less future. Innovations like the under display fingerprint scanner further serve to bolster the bezel-less movement. Even the switch to the 2:1 aspect ratio or something close was so as to further reduce bezel.
Substituting the conventional speaker
Other occupants of the top bezel includes the sensors and speakers still all have to be relocated to further bring the totally bezel-less screen to reality. There is no denying the part Chinese OEMs have played or would play in the future of achieving a bezel-less screen. In the past, which was once yesterday’s future, Xiaomi whipped up a tri bezel-less smartphone named the Xiaomi Mi Mix which used a Cantilever piezoelectric ceramics acoustic technology to replace the speaker at the top together with an ultrasonic proximity sensor to deliver a smartphone with a screen that goes all the way up. Their latest in the series – Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 comes with a sliding back and a screen that fills up the almost the entirety of the surface.
The Vivo Apex 2019 adopts soundcasting screen while Meizu have what you they call piezoelectric inducers for vibrating sound from the screen. Bagging the right as world’s first bezel-less and hole-less which is where the future of smartphones is headed.
Taking off the buttons
Taking on the port-less part of things, it is clear that this is aimed to have a totally wireless experience with your smartphone and it is headed that way with the release of the Meizu Zero and Vivo Apex 2019 concept phone. What started as reduction in holes as in the removal of the audio jack. Then the Xperia series was popular for adopting the side fingerprint scanner which served as the power button eliminating the button from the equation. Only now, the present port-less smartphone adopts a pressure sensitive panel for the trio of volume and power button at the usual position with click-like haptic response. All of this was a gradual inclination to preparing us for where we are today. Other features like wireless charging helped out in achieving this present feat of hole -less and port-less smartphone.
Before now, wireless charging only existed as a supplementary form of charging and not quite as fast in comparison with charging using you cord. To solve that problem Meizu introduced its 18W wireless Super mCharge and Vivo a magnetic connector that can also serve for data transfer. There are two smartphones with the bezel-lesss and port-less title, although, you can say one being the the other from Vivo is just a concept phone at the moment. Then you have to talk about the Vivo Apex 2019 having an all screen fingerprint scanner which works for anywhere on the screen.
Replacing the SIM port
You still have to mention the eSIM (embedded sim) which takes the need for the conventional SIM port all preparing for the port-less future. All you got to do is get the details of the carrier on to your smartphone using the carrier’s app or just scanning a bar code which download the information to your settings. This way you can have multiple carriers on your phone but can only use one at a time. Already available on different carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Truphone and coming to several other carriers. Before the port-less smartphone debut, the latest iPhone flagship iteration (XS, XS Max, XR) offers eSIM as the second SIM option.
In terms of connectivity, there is the 5G, WiFi 6 Bluetooth 5.0 and there is the magnetic connector from Vivo. You have other options like Airdrop and W-USB as a means of transferring files. While there are fast wireless ways of connecting device together, the future still holds even better potentials in the realm of connectivity.
There is no denying that there are countless advancement in smartphone world that has happened and is still happening pointing towards a port-less and bezel-less. Although, there are still tiny microphone holes on the smartphone which invalidates the hole-less claim. A lot of work still has to be done perfect the port-less and bezel-less smartphone like having the front camera behind the screen would be nice. Plus the whole sound thing still need much improvement among other things.