I want my bezels back

Back when the Pixel 4 XL was Google's latest Android flagship, JR Raphael wrote a great piece on the insanity of smartphone screen notches and holes: The enduring absurdity of our smartphone bezel obsession. He pointed out the compromises punching holes into and cutting out screen areas in the name of no bezels imposes for little or no design gain, which often defeats the whole point of making those changes in the first place.

In the later article No, the Pixel 4’s bezels are not a major crime against smartphone design, Andy Boxall discussed why having bezels is not an issue and the dislike for bezels is largely irrational.

Beyond aesthetics, there are drawbacks to using a device with thin or no bezels.

I can’t tell how many times I inadvertently touched unwanted user interface elements of apps on my old Pixel 2 XL phone and my current Pixel 4 XL, which have some bezel. For example when I grab the device ringing for an incoming call, which often results in a declined call because I touch the wrong areas close to the edges of the screen.

Bezels actually have advantages as they can accommodate the parts screen notches and holes house, such as cameras and sensors.

I use only Google phones, despise screen notches and holes, and wish Google focused on substantial features such as improving optical zoom (Super Res Zoom doesn’t qualify) rather than chasing questionable design decisions and fads with collateral damage like missing bezels.

The Pixel 4 XL was Google's last phone with bezels and no screen mutilations. What I hoped was a fad turned into a design trend and later Pixels came with screen holes.

My Pixel 4 XL is close to the end of life and I need to replace it with the upcoming Pixel 7 Pro. Guess what? It has a screen hole, I'll have to deal with it and get the device anyway.

Stop mutilating screens. I want my bezels back.


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