Google Is Bringing Back The Phone Bezel (But Maybe That’s A Good Thing?)

Google Is Bringing Back The Phone Bezel (But Maybe That’s A Good Thing?)
Image: Getty Images

We are in full rumour mode in the lead up to the release of Google’s Pixel 4 and as always, there’s a leak causing a stir. This time, it’s not a headphone jack-less design or a missing microSD slot. No, it’s even more shocking. It’s the return of the bezel.

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For better or worse, an increasing number of smartphone manufacturers have embraced the notch. Making its debut on the Essential Phone before exploding into the mainstream with the iPhone X, it allows phones to have a 'bezel-free' display without compromising the camera, sensors or other front-facing components. Some people consider notched displays to be a necessary evil. Others think they're an abomination. Whichever viewpoint you prescribe to, it turns out you can have an edge-to-edge screen without relying on a notch - all you need is a pop-up camera. Genius.

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If you’re still wondering what the heck a bezel even is, it’s basically the buffer zone between a smartphone’s screen and frame (sometimes creepily called a ‘forehead’ and ‘chin’).

In the last few years, the trend has been to move away from this design, aspiring to have fully responsive faces, which culminated in the disastrous finale of Samsung’s curved phone screens. It’s sort of like an infinity pool but just for smartphone displays. Eugh.

The latest design leaks show, while small in terms of bezel options, Google’s ready to bring them back to the Pixel in 2019.

Punters haven’t responded well to the design rumours, stating the design looks particularly average.

But hey, I am going out on a limb here to say, it’s time to bring back the bezel. It’s nice to be able to rest your finger on the screen without it opening five apps and it doubles as a nice buffer to limit screen damage after any dramatic phone drops.

So, in defense of bezels, did they ever really do you wrong?

” excerpt=”Google has typically kept things pretty simple with its smartphone range. But with the market clearly wanting larger and smaller display options, many smartphone makers are now creating a three-model strategy with small, medium and plus-size displays. Google appears to be following suit with the Pixel 4, according to rumours and leaks. Here’s what we can expect from the Google Pixel 4.”]

[Via The Verge]


  • No problem with a bevel here. I too prefer the grip space.
    I’m not going to like the price though.
    If a phone is over AUD$500, it’s not on my shortlist.

  • Yes! Long live the bezel!
    I’m not in dire need of a new phone yet, but I’ve been keeping an eye out and keep getting disappointed with the shrinking bezels. The Razer Phones were a breath of fresh air with their speaker-bezels, and if it weren’t for terrible camera reviews I might’ve jumped on a Razer Phone 2 already.

  • Notch is a terrible idea. Give me a bezel over a notch any day. Also “It’s nice to be able to rest your finger on the screen without it opening five apps” exactly.

    I like the look of this one!

  • I prefer a small bezel, especially at the side. Using an S8+ and the “edge” display is a pain as it registers touches all the damn time (even though edge apps are turned off). Manifests as touches on the screen proper not registering. Move my fingers from the edge and the touches in the centre of the screen work again *sigh*.

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