02
Sep

This is the latest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see What Effect Do You Think The Samsung v Apple Case Will Have On The Industry?

Rumor has it that Motorola will release a phone without a bezel by the end of the year, and we kinda-sorta buy it. The trend has certainly been moving that direction and bezels are becoming increasingly narrow, but we've never had a phone that truly had an edge-to-edge screen with no bezel at all. It simply hasn't been technologically feasible to eliminate it altogether for mass-produced devices.

The advantages would be obvious: first, you could pack a significantly larger screen into the same size package, and second, it would look super sleek. Of course, they would need a little bit of bezel at the top for the speaker, though that would only require a few millimeters. Assuming that's the case, hypothetically speaking, would you give up a front-facing camera in exchange for virtually no bezel?

Would You Give Up A Front-Facing Camera To Have A Bezel-Less Phone?

View Results

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Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • yarrellray

    I enjoy the front facing camera on every phone I have ever owned. I won't have any desire to have a device without that feature...

  • P.p

    what about holding it? If there really will be no bezel at all, and especially if the phone will be super thin, a little bit of your fingers will alaways be blocking the edges of the screen.

    • AaronGingrich

      As somebody pointed out in the original post, palm recognition could take care of that. I agree that it's a risk though... didn't include it in the post because I didn't want to dilute the focus.

    • Mick Galt

      I agree.. A FFC and speaker hole only need a few mm of space..

    • Dan

      I agree, how do you not touch the screen? Maybe the edges of the viewable space are not touch sensitive? Like a read (display) only bezel. Make the screen all the way to the edge but make the first ~20 pixels all the way around non-touchscreen? (would need to be incorp'd to next version of OS most prob.) Kinda like programming Xbox games how you cant have any text in a xxx pixel border around the screen so that any screen cropping wont obscure important stuff (but for different reasons like aspect ratio in that case, still an example of programming rules that adapt to screen constraints)

  • http://www.slideshare.net/samirsshah Samir Shah

    I think it may be possible to have both (the front facing camera being activated when needed).

    • AaronGingrich

      It has nothing to do with being activated. It's a matter of space. You can't put a FFC in the screen itself.

      • Dan

        what if you could have a transparent screen (like samsung glass) that went transparent in a circular window to allow the front facing camera to shoot through when required? - Way off I agree, but as demonstrated this year, more than possible.

        • RajivSK

          Possible, and completely awesome. Not that I ever use the FFC..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710725171 Karthik Nayak

    that means , no sensors?

    • Anthony Branch

      That's what I was thinking. You are going g to have to get rid of more than just the camera, you will have to kill the sensors too.

  • http://twitter.com/wststreet KGY

    What if you make the back camera flip sort of like the screen does on a digital camera? I don't actually need an FFC, but then again I don't mind the bezel either.

    • David Keith

      I don't mind the Bezel on my EVO LTE but I have never used my Front Facing Camera either. So this poll needs another option, "don't care" or "neither"

      • LewisSD

        There is an "i don't care" option and its called not voting.

        • mgamerz

          That completely ruins the point of having a poll if you exclude a set of people that you want. It's statistics - having an option that doesn't satisfy you does not discount your opinion, however this poll is.

        • krzystoff_oz

          in that case why did you take the time to comment, if you don't care enough to click on the poll ?

    • SeanM

      So kinda like put the camera near the top of the phone, then if you want to take a front picture, it detaches from one side and swings up over the top of the phone?

      • http://twitter.com/kuyanyan Yanyan | RR

        Or have one pop/slide up from the body to show the FFC similar to how some P&S cameras hide the flash? The corner would be a good location given the size of most phones now.

    • TSON1

      Can you see the future?

  • IncCo

    I think it should still be possible, seeing as the sensors needed have to fit as well..

  • JonJJon

    I don't really use the front facing camera on my phone and now that I have a Nexus 7 I can use that solely for any Skype/G+ hangouts etc when out and about. However I don't mind s bezel so long as it isn't like an iPhones hideous bezel. Saying all that the moment I go for a bezel-less phone I know I'll go hmm I need to use my FFC but can't now :-P lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/RobJohnson90 Rob Johnson

    No, bezelless phones sound stupid to me, I already press shit on the right side of my screen with my hand when i'm trying to press stuff on the left side with my thumb. I don't even want to imagine how bad that would be with no bezel!

    • btod

      and palm recognition software will not be good enough distinguish the two at a reasonably high accuracy. I agree, keep a couple millimeters of bezel at least.

    • ltredbeard

      I can honestly say I've never had this happen. Maybe I just have big hands.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

      I agree, bezels give me grip on a mobile device and I also like front-facing cameras for Skype.

      • Drazyw

        Wtf. Who the heck grips their phone by the bezel like a tablet? Ive never seen anyone do that.

        • http://profiles.google.com/patrickscott52 Patrick Scott

          Typically, if you're holding the phone in the palm of one hand with your fingers and thumb gripping each side, your fingers would be slightly touching the side bezels. I think this is what he means.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

          When I hold it landscape I do and I like play games landscape.

    • ColeHarris

      You must be one of those people that holds your phone like this:

      • GazaIan

        What is that toy?

      • http://www.facebook.com/RobJohnson90 Rob Johnson

        Nope, try again

      • Mr_Vault

        I used to have a phone like that, then my Dad got a job.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1712821667 Andrei Poenaru

    I have never actually used the front camera. My carrier block VoIP apps so Skype or anything similar for video calls are out of the question, and when I'm at home or somewhere I have Wi-Fi, I can always use my laptop's webcam - of course, then there's the fact I'm much more of a text person, which means I use video calls maybe once or twice a year... So yeah, sure, bring it on!

    • Himmat Singh

      And what carrier is that?

  • Dion

    Who the hell uses those horrible front-facing cameras anyway?

    • That guy is an idiot

      People who have relatives abroad. People having a lot of meetings. People with more perspective than you.

  • silaslenz

    I want a small bezel at the sides, but none (except speakers) at the top and bottom.

    • http://pandu.poluan.info pepoluan

      My sentiments exactly!

  • Equis HM

    Just an idea but they could always put it under a glass and separate the top bar making it 2 different lcd screen that can be modified for specific task a battery widget, signal, digital logo, clock, location, app shortcut. giving space for The ffc , sensors and still have a full size for the rest of the phone

    • http://them3blog.wordpress.com/ Abel

      patent it, before apple does

    • warez

      Not the best solution but it's a great idea.

  • Sheldon H Henderson

    I use mine to get a great shot when I'm also in the picture. Turning the phone around and guessing where the best shot is is a hit or miss. I don't like having to take several shots for the same picture. So, no, I wouldn't want to lose the front facing camera to be completely bezelless. I see no need to do it from edge to edge. Just lose the other sides and it'll still be freakin' awesome.

  • Simon Belmont

    Nope, because I actually do video chat a lot when I'm traveling. It's a great way to stay in touch and feel closer to a loved one.

    I don't see what the craze about bezel-less phones is. I am one who also prefers to put a nice case on his devices, so a bezel-less design would make that obscure the screen slightly.

  • http://digg.com/users/OmegaWolf Silver Fang

    I think that's avery dumb idea. Wouldn't a phone with nothing around its screen be rather fragile? Also, I use my front camera for mug shots.

  • http://pandu.poluan.info pepoluan

    I voted "I'm Difficult" because even though I can (and will gladly) live without a forward face camera, having no bezel will simply be a nightmare of usability. Currently I can use my phone single-handedly. But without a bezel, there will likely be a lot of spurious 'touches' on the sides.

  • hitch

    hell with the camera. what about cases? I how can you protect a phone like that and still have it be usable?

    • HamishEdmondson

      This is true. I don't personally use a case but the majority of smart phone users I know do, so this is something they really need to think about. Perhaps this kind of design won't really be workable until they develop some significantly tougher materials. If it can survive big drops without cracks or scratches then I think cases will be basically redundant, but we're definitely not there yet.

  • CodeMonkey

    I'm difficult - I'd give up FFC for no bezel and no Motorola interface. Make it pure Android and I'll forgive the lack of FFC

  • http://www.facebook.com/hudspeth Mathew Hudspeth

    I hate cases and don't use the front camera, so I'm game. As for the speaker, that could fit between the screen and the top frame. I'm imagining a GNex where all the black shiny front is screen, but there is still the plastic border all the way around.

  • Himmat Singh

    "...but we've never had a phone that truly had an edge-to-edge screen with no bezel at all."

    But doesn't the photo shown above have an ever so slight bezel?

    • Kelvin Davis

      That's a fake from a movie....

  • Kelvin Davis

    Has no one considered that the screen could be sunken in somewhat so that the sides are still covered, yet the screen still goes to that small ridge? And that width wise, it may be edge to edge, but not height wise?

    • Freak4Dell

      That'd be awesome, because it'd be built-in protection for the screen, but people would undoubtedly whine about how we're going back to the past with the recessed screens.

  • http://gabenative.com/ elegantgabe

    Yes, absolutely. This way they could use a big display in a small device. I really dislike big smartphones like the Galaxy SIII. I mean they are just too big to carry them in my trouser pocket.
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  • jordanjay29

    Don't have an FFC on my phone now (yes, it's that old), so it wouldn't bother me. Take me to the future, Motorola!

  • http://www.impulsivestudios.com/ Justin Myers

    I would imagine if there were a bezeless phone that the speaker would actually be on the opposite side of the phone. So, when you answer the phone, just turn it around and place it against your face. The proximity sensor would then turn off your screen on the opposite side. Also, they could have some way to implement the FFC into the display somehow... IDK

  • http://twitter.com/Darkmyth_pt Darkmyth PT

    No bezel on the sides would look cool i guess, but i need the cam sorry

  • alex

    What is a front facing camera? I think I have used it maybe 3 times over the past 2 years.

  • evomaniac

    how would you hold the phone with out touching stuff.......Stupid

    • h_f_m

      I agree. Bezel helps usability.

    • tylerbrainerd

      People keep saying this, and what's weird is I don't touch the front of the phone at all when I'm using it. Either it's flat in one palm or held between two. At most, I press against the sides of the phone with my fingers and palm. But I never touch the front at all, bezel or not.

      Tablets are another story.

  • DrMacinyasha

    I think we're more likely to see side bezels go away on phones, but top/bottom bezels stay, keeping space for a status LED, front-facing camera, speaker/microphone, etc.. That way we also still get some holding room for when holding the device in landscape. That's not to say we'll still see iPhone 4S-sized top/bottom bezels, or even Galaxy Nexus-sized. Probably a bit smaller than the latter.

    • AaronGingrich

      Exactly my thoughts.

    • GraveUypo

      yep, that's what i was gonna say.

    • HamishEdmondson

      That makes a lot of sense actually, I can definitely see you being right.

    • Rinkesh621

      Similar to this. This is concept of what would have been S3 but it's not a bad start, since you don't have to lose most of the functionality like proximity sensor, light sensor, and FF camera. Besides, it'll be something new for a change, by removing bezel. I'm sure if it doesn't work with consumer, companies won't make it.

      • TareX

        Exactly. It seems that everyone's hating the front cam 'just because'. About your concept, what I really hate about the Samsungs (Nexuses aside) is how they blatantly display their logo on the FRONT of the phone. This needs to go away.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=80202342 Chris Hall

          Honestly, seeing as how design patents are being used against them right now, the technicality of ornamentaiton (in this case, their logo being prominent) may be their design saving grace.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1089030105 Davíd Clarke-McKoy

      im picturing a phone with a collapsible screen that you'd open from the bezel at the top and bottom and when closed it'd be like the size of a pen in your pocket... I think I watch to much scifi

    • Michael

      Or they could be embed in the screen, by killing some pixels, maybe in the middle of the notification bar.

  • ari_free

    I doubt they are that literal about the no bezel. We may see a drastic reduction of bezel without giving up the camera.

  • DCMAKER

    first off you should have a question for i never want a bezelless phone...how are you supposed to hold it without touching the damn screen? I hate using my EVO 3D without a case especially for games because i can't help but hit it....bezelless is just stupid

  • NexusFTW

    I think what may be released is a phone with all glass front with no buttons. (may be with cutouts for speaker)

    • tyguy829

      you mean the galaxy nexus?

  • Vamsee

    You can have FFC that slides-out when you ever you need it. You don't have to sacrifice FFC for bezelless phone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667020551 Jose Torres

    I have the feeling that they figured out putting the front cam underneath the digitizer, same with the other sensors that normally go on the bezel.

  • Tim

    Yes, and Moto should patent having no bezel on a phone, forever limiting apple to keeping a thick bezel on their phones.

    • Rinkesh621

      I agree, because this bitch ass Apple will take it in 2 years and fill a patent years ahead (as any industry does it) and will sue everyone and their mothers... If I saw tim cook on the street, I will deck him.. Patent that!

  • http://twitter.com/whatisajimmy ok

    I just want Moto to put their cool circular M logo at the top in metal and put the speaker inside of it (cutting a few horizontal slits in it), and put the notification light around it so it glows. Like wtf that would be so hot and save so much space. And then the bezel could be eliminated the bottom, left, and right sides of the screen.

    • GBGamer

      I want the old logo(from the 50's) if they are gonna do that.

  • Nate P

    Couldn't the speaker just be on the top of the phone or something? It doesn't have to be on the front.

  • Doan

    I would give up a front-facing camera, because, undoubtedly, a few years later, they would have figured out how to incorporate a front-facing camera into a bezeless device, anyway.

    That, and I've rarely had a use for a front-facing camera.

  • Alex1x

    Give me no bezel, rid side buttons with led sliders, maybe 1physical button on top, quadcore S4, 2gb ram, nice improved lense rear cam, jellybean/NEXUS...I would line outside to purchase asap.

  • http://photo.katzmatt.com Matt Katzenberger

    I'd do it for Tony Stark's phone.

  • warez

    People. Think about it. If the bezelless phone is real that means Moto has solved all the problems, they are not sacrificing any standard component because they know the disadvantages of this. And don't take literally the bezelless thing.

    • Kellic

      Yes because they solved the battery life problem before making a nonremovable battery in the Droid 4.

      • warez

        Yeah you are right but I think that's a totally different situation. I mean, we are talking about a front facing camera, they can't manufacture a top phone without this am I wrong? Just saying and hoping.

  • http://www.facebook.com/benmarvin Ben Marvin

    Since I'm not one of those Facebook whores that takes a bunch of pictures of themselves, I don't use the FFC very much. But I did use it today as an emergency mirror to put back in a contact lens that fell out and it was very useful. So no, I wouldn't give it up. Also, I could care less about a bezel-less phone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vivecuervo7 Isaac Dedini

    I have a feeling that this will (assuming it's legit) become a niche device, so it's really only for people who don't need that extra grip, or the front facing camera. The Galaxy Note only proved that niche market phones do work with Android, and this is the great thing about the brand - choices. Doesn't matter if it seems stupid or useless to you, it still fits the need of another perfectly. I'm a +1 for this, but Motorola hasn't ever been my favourite brand, so it'd need to be pretty amazing.

    • niels

      im sure they've figured out a way for people to hold the phone normally and have a screen that goes to the edge.

  • Kellic

    No. Because my hand overlaps around the phone to curl around it and hold it.

  • LewisSD

    My guess is that it will still have a front facing camera on a very narrow top bezel. Otherwise where would they put their logo lol?

  • raindog469

    I don't get what the big deal is about a phone that's all screen. I want *more* physical buttons, not fewer. I'll keep buying QWERTY sliders until either they stop making them or someone realizes some Americans want clamshells too.

    The more my phone can do, and in particular, do without me having to look at the screen, the happier I am. Aesthetics are for high school girls and turtlenecks.

    • http://visionaforethought.wordpress.com/ Oflife

      I have a slow, but versatile Sony Xperia Pro, with the best slide out keyboard you have ever used. (Mind you, I have never used a Moto droid 4.) A very rare phone the Xperia Pro, but excellent for business.

    • Freak4Dell

      If you run for President, I will vote for you.

      The war against buttons sucks. Physical QWERTYs seem to be a dying breed. Capacitive buttons were annoying, but tolerable, and now they come up with this on-screen crap. Then, in order to make up for all the screen real estate all this junk takes up, they just make the phones bigger and bigger.

      • GBGamer

        I love on screen buttons, but I agree with you on the QWERTY point. Love those.

  • http://www.facebook.com/YAYSAVERGN Eric James Salcido

    No. If you can fit a earpiece on the phone, you better damn well be able to fit a front facing camera. They take almost the same space. That leaves no excuse for no front facing.
    I feel this is similar to the battery argument. I thought the Original Razr was a terrible design choice, if they had filled the back and used all that space for battery, it would be much better, and you know what they did? For me, I want usability and usability is more important than sexiness.

  • jim

    ive seen a lot of videos on transparent touchscreen displays. i am not saying this phone would have anything like that, but just speaking of the future. how hard would it be to have a camera behind the screen on a phone with no bezel? just a little circle near the top. you could have a black back behind the screen, and the camera would have a heavily tinted lense cover, or a mechanical part that slides to display the camera when in use.

  • http://www.facebook.com/byron.knowlton Byron A. Knowlton III

    What a ridiculous step in the wrong direction. Many people waited years for us to get 2 way video in the US. Europe had it many years before we did but carriers didn't want top allow that amount of streaming data. Even until recently AT&T reluctantly allowed use of face time on their cellular network. This is just another stupid idea! I wouldn't buy it.

  • Maraka

    Bottom and top bezels on phones are too big I will like this

  • http://visionaforethought.wordpress.com/ Oflife

    As I guessed on the other AndroidPolice article on this rumoured phone, I think it may well be a slider, or at least, it would be cool if it was. You slide the screen down to expose the front camera and other essential sensors. And if it has a keyboard, then I imagine this is even more likely. IE, the bezel less feature is mainly for when browsing content or watching videos, not so much videocalls or other non entertainment purposes.

  • Freak4Dell

    I'd give up a front facing camera, yes, but I wouldn't give up a bezel for a bezel-less phone. I like having somewhere for my fingers and palms to rest without constantly touching the screen.

  • mgamerz

    Without a top bezel there's going to be little to no practical way to put a case on the phone. There will be a bezel. there will always be a bezel.

  • mikeym0p

    In class last year I drew up the perfect solution, in my wild dreams I'd patent it. Could I not just upload it to deviantart and have copy rights?

  • TareX

    It seems that hating on the front cam is the cool thing to do in this poll. No thanks. I'd rather be able to video call my family when I'm on the road, in a park, at a tennis court, or any goddamn time I want, than have a slightly cooler looking phone. It's still feasible. They'd only need a slither of an upper (and lower, for cosmetic reasons) border for the front camera.

  • rcrow490

    IMO, the glass can go to the edge, but that doesn't mean the screen does. Sensors will be behind the glass, as well as the camera. Just have to have room for the mic and speaker.

  • http://twitter.com/iPutTweetsHere Jonathan Dickson

    It seems like most people are wrapping their fingers around the front of the screen when they hold it. I press the sides with my finger tips, so this seems like a good idea to me. I don't know if I would want to give up a front facing camera though. It would be perfect if there was no bezel on the side, but just tiny ones on the top and bottom for the camera, notification light, and speaker.

  • jusatin

    I've never used the front facing camera, so why not :P

  • Ryan Petko

    I really don't see this being the greatest idea... especially if taken to the potential extreme as the tiny picture depicts. For one, i'm pretty sure having some spare room helps protect the functionality of the display should it be dropped. Secondly, depending on how you're holding the phone (not just in landscape mode), you could wind up getting unintentional touch responses along the edge of the screen where your fingers may be overlapping the edge and barely coming in contact.

  • http://tech-trip.com/ Tech-Trip

    Judging by the poll results, it looks like the result is synonymous.

    I always had a feeling it was the teeny girls in all of us that want features like a 'front-facing camera' to flaunt ourselves to the world.

    But if I can make do without the Bezel why not!

    • FrillArtist

      Ummmm....FFC is necessary for video chatting and mobile video blogging not just "teeny girls".

  • Michael

    I don't think that's a requirement. You still need to place a speaker on the front of the phone, so you can easily place a front camera next to it. No need to get rid of it. It's just a matter of where these would go: above the screen, basically keeping a small top bezel, or in the screen, by killing some pixels, maybe in the middle of the notification bar. Probably first choice is more realistic. You can't have a no bezel phone anyway, because it would mean the phone is a rectangle with sharp corners. You kind of need a think top and bottom bezel in order to allow the curved corners, unless you want to kill the corners of the screen, like where the time is displayed...

  • http://twitter.com/SuperTicTacToe Super TTT

    Don't know if you guys have seen this, but a redditor mocked up some 3d representations of what a bezel-less Android device might look like, check it out. I'm definitely sold.

    Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/z8vno/made_a_mockup_of_a_almost_bezel_free_android/

  • PINJ

    No F*ckin Way

  • DanielM426

    stupid poll, obviously there will still be a front camera and all of the other things we've come to expect.

  • oneillperson

    I still have yet to own a phone with a front-facing camera :/ But I imagine I'd use it a lot if I had one.

  • FrillArtist

    What a stupid poll. There will always be a FFC unless a different, be enter technology comes along.

  • krzystoff_oz

    they could easily do both by embedding the camera in the screen. then, going a huge leap further, I predict we'll see devices in the near future will have a flexible screen that acts as both an image display and receiver, (in the same manner a speaker can also be used as a microphone).

  • Sage

    Can't they just have the camera INSIDE the screen? Doesn't need to be a perfect rectangle block.

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