Itty-bitty bezels are all the rage for high-end smartphones. Samsung's Edge series (which ostensibly includes the Note 7) shrinks them with curved screens, manufacturers like Sharp have crazy designs that smoosh everything down into the bottom of the body, and pretty much everyone is trying to make the edges of their devices as small as possible. But no one has reached the holy grail of this idea: a phone that's basically just a screen on the front. JDI, a Japanese technology supplier, is working on it with their latest design.

The company just introduced a new 5.5-inch, 1080p mobile LCD panel that has the same kind of super-skinny bezels we've seen on high-end phones for the last few years, but on all four edges. (Compare this to LG's similar design, which still needs a sizeable space on at least one side.) The screen panel uses a combination of high-density wiring and "new processing and module assembly technologies" to keep an equal bezel of only a few millimeters on every side. JDI is planning on mass-producing the screen for sale to mobile manufactures starting in March of next year.

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A similar design from LG - note the controller electronics on the top edge.

The display is just one part of the puzzle to make a phone that's nuthin' but screen - aside from the limited size and resolution options, conventional handset design still needs to place at least one camera, speaker, microphone, and light/proximity sensor on the front of the device. But with phone makers and OEMs continually looking for new ways to make their devices appealing and interesting, we'll certainly be seeing some eye-catching results sooner rather than later.

Press Release

August 9, 2016 (Tokyo, Japan) - Japan Display Inc. (JDI) today announced the development of a "Full Active" Display (XO), which has slim bezel design on all four display sides, and introduced into a 5.5-inch Full-HD LCD display for smartphone devices.

The "Full Active" display was achieved by adopting a new high-density wiring layout, and new processing and module assembly technologies. Combined, these new technologies enabled JDI to reduce the width of the bottom bezel to be as narrow as the other three sides.

This newly-designed LCD module structure will allow the size of a smartphone device to be nearly the same as the display size. It is expected that these features will contribute to create entirely new smartphone products.

JDI aims to start mass production of this display by the end of March, 2017.

JDI will develop LCDs for various products, not only for smartphones, with this new platform technology.