When Samsung released the Galaxy S8 devices in 2017, the company moved the goalposts in a significant way in terms of smartphone design. Until then, “bezel-less” basically meant a smartphone had very thin side bezels or used something like “curved” glass to enhance that effect. Samsung pushed things out on the top and bottom bezels, greatly enhancing the size of screens while keep overall device size in check. In response, Apple introduced the “notch” later in the year to further minimize the top bezel while still providing a place for hardware like a front-facing camera, various sensors or a phone speaker. That design is now getting widely copied. A recent sketch from Lenovo points to the evolution of the display to get rid of bezels and notches altogether for the Lenovo Z5.
The sketch was released by Lenovo Vice President Chang Cheng via Weibo and reveals what some are calling an “all screen” smartphone design for the Lenovo Z5. The display stretches to the top and bottom edges similar to today’s side edges. Missing from the front of the device is a “notch” and any sign of bezels or buttons. Sources have noted that companies have been finding ways to get creative with hardware that needs to go on the front of a device. In some cases that may be achieved by doing things like moving a fingerprint sensor to the back of a device and we will likely see fingerprint-on-display technology implemented or companies may switch to an entirely different technology like facial recognition. In another case, Xiaomi got rid of the phone’s earpiece speaker through piezoelectric technology.
There are still some hardware examples that seem like they would be a bigger challenge for manufacturers to figure out what to do with in search of an “all-screen” display. The two biggest would be the front-facing “selfie” camera and the package of sensors needed to detect conditions to the front of a phone.
Do you think an “all screen” smartphone is possible?