At MWC, we were all introduced to some brand new hardware – a reboot, if you will – coming from LG. The LG G6 is the early favorite to be the best phone of the year. Of course, it is very early in the contest and not all players have entered the field just yet. But still, the LG G6 is one fine looking phone, due largely to the bezels that surround the screen. More specifically, the lack of LG G6 bezels.
Go bezel go!
You see, I’m somewhat of a fan of bezels to be perfectly honest. I even wrote as much just over two years ago on this very site. Bezels have a true functional purpose and I’m not so sure their demise is necessarily for the better. Bezels after all have a place in function and aesthetics. They make it possible to hold a phone, and not accidentally tap on buttons. They make it possible to pass a phone from one person to another without accidental taps removing what you’re trying to show that other person.
Bezels also frame the screen giving it a pleasing quality. When you go to an art gallery, paintings aren’t affixed directly to the wall. They’re framed, and some paintings have a matte over them as well. Bezels are a thing, and designed properly, they can be almost as beautiful as the painting itself. Don’t get me wrong; there isn’t a direct correlation between paintings and screens, but the point is, bezels aren’t always such a bad thing.
Tides are turning
But then, I saw this shot, courtesy of Kevin Nether, the Tech Ninja. The photo to the right is a comparison between a Google Pixel Plus, and the LG G6. Just looking at the sheer size difference between the two phones is striking. Considering the Pixel XL is .2” diagonally smaller, that’s near mind-blowing. Reducing the bezel around the screen makes the LG G6 smaller and easier to use one handed, which is pretty great, considering the size of this phone.
What LG is doing, is bringing a ridiculous screen to face ratio in order to make the phone’s footprint noticeably smaller. Rumors suggest the Samsung S8 is adopting a similar strategy. I get the sense that is going to be somewhat of a theme in 2017, and despite my early fandom of bezels – if one can actually be a fan of bezels – I find myself excited at the prospect of what’s to come.
Smaller is huge!
In short, we’re getting bigger phones in smaller packages. This is basically the best of both worlds – bigger phones in smaller flagships. Some tech media, myself included, have been calling for more powerful phones, but in a smaller thumb friendly package. To be clear, the LG G6 is not that, but it could be indicative of things to come. If phone faces can get smaller by eliminating almost all bezel, then we’ll be in a pretty good place.
But circling back to the LG G6, the fact that we’re getting this large a phone in such a small package has converted me. I’m totally on board the bezelless train. As the framing around our phones has gotten smaller and smaller, we’ve all adapted pretty well to holding and manipulating our phones accordingly. LG is taking that concept to 11 and it has produced a fine looking phone because of it.
Round and round we go
The G6 also deserves a shout out for the rounded corners in the screen. It’s true, I come from a webOS background, so rounded corners are nothing new for me. For those not familiar, webOS screens had software-based rounded corners, and everything just looked better. I loved the rounded corners so much I searched for and found an app called Rounder for Android which basically does the same thing. LG recognized that aesthetic, and good on it. If it also offers better impact resistance, more power to LG.
But at the end of the day, I’m happy that we’re striding into a future without bezels. Smaller big phones and smaller small phones alike will all be easier to use for it. As we get closer and closer to the full screen face of the phone, it’s an exciting transition. I’m fully converted, LG. You’ve made a believer out of me.