Do It Yourself Gadgets Technology

What is the Difference between Bezel and Bezel-Less Displays

What is the Difference between Bezel and Bezel-Less Displays
Written by prodigitalweb

In order to quickly understand what a bezel is, you can imagine the frame around a photograph. When it comes to talking about electronic devices like televisions, smartphones, tablets, etc, you should know that the bezel can include almost all the necessary things on the device’s front panel that is not the screen. Bezel frames add structural integrity to the device. But nowadays, the major focus of the technological trend is to generate vivid and bigger screens. Remember that the recent trend aims to provide people with the best possible screen for all devices. Manufacturers are reducing the bezel’s size to increase the size of the screen. The reason is that a phone needs to be easy to hold in the hand, and it has to fit the user’s pocket. Let’s dive into the article to learn what is the difference between bezel and bezel-less display?

What is a Screen Bezel?

It is actually the frame or border that surrounds the display on a laptop, tablet, phone, or other devices with a screen. The bezel separates the viewable area of the screen from the outer edges of the device. Bezels are available in various widths. While a few of them are thick, a few are thin. Some bezels are so thin that you cannot even see them.

It consists of plastic, metal, or glass. The bezel will match or complement the materials that are used on the device’s rear casing. As a bezel is used around the fragile screen, it can work as a protective buffer, while separating this from the exterior edges. You should know that when you drop your smartphone mistakenly, most impacts occur on the exterior edges. The bezel can come with necessary tech elements, such as:

  • Speaker
  • Front-facing selfie camera
  • Proximity/ambient light sensor
  • Notification LED
  • Fingerprint scanner

Bezels on Displays:

Bezels serve as the border between the physical frame and display of your device. They are the most crucial consideration when designing electronics. Bezels can improve the durability of a device and protect the glass displays from damage.

Historically, this term — bezel indicates the rings around watch faces. Bezels used to have decorative gemstones. Sometimes, bezels were made with gold and silver and became an important part for watch design. Conversely, since the mid-2010s, tech companies started to decrease the bezels’ width on electronic devices. 

A Brief History of Bezels:

When tablets and smartphones arrived on the market, a lot of them came with enormous bezels. At that time, it was very normal. Laptops, computer monitors, and televisions also had thick bezels to hold the essential connectors and wires. Several people had CRT televisions that came with black or grey bars around the original screen.

Manufacturers have spent plenty of engineering resources with the aim of decreasing the bezel size. Their target is to gain a better screen-to-body ratio, which will be able to measure how much of the device’s body the screen takes up. Suppose the screen-to-body ratio is 60%. It indicates that the bezel has taken up some portion of your device’s front side. On the flip side, a 90% screen-to-body ratio means that the size of bezels is very thin.

However, tech companies now want to remove the bezel by following the current technological trend. Displays are improving continuously through technologies such as OLED. Therefore, device makers are willing to increase the size of the screen on devices. In addition, they wish to provide people with a better experience in video-watching as well as in gaming. But they are unwilling to make devices heavier. Besides, manufacturers do not want to make the devices in a way that these become difficult to hold in hand. That’s why they want to reduce the size of the bezel and maintain a reasonable size.

Another reason is that having thinner bezels will make your experience of looking at the display more immersive. For instance, when you watch a movie at home, having a thick and black frame around the film will definitely break your immersion. Do you use multiple monitors for productivity? Then, remember, bezels will be a significant consideration. Do you want to use monitors with thin bezels? If yes, then you will find switching between monitors less jarring.

How Bezels are Getting Smaller:

Device manufacturers are trying to decrease the bezel size. But how exactly are they doing that? When it comes to monitors or TVs, companies reduce the size via improvements to the manufacturing process. In previous times, these served as a way to add structural integrity. Thus, these ensure that the displays remain in place. But in recent times, because of modern strides in engineering, it has become possible to cram gigantic displays in TVs with barely an inch bezels.

When it comes to talking about touch-focused devices, such as smartphones and tablets, it is more challenging to engineer a smaller bezel. Such devices come with multiple physical elements like cameras, fingerprint scanners, facial recognition scanners, and speakers. Tech companies have attempted every possible way in order to remove the bezels from the device’s front side. For instance, they put fingerprint scanners under the screen. In addition, they add “notches” and “hole-punches” to minimize the area consumed by the front-facing camera. A few premium smartphones come with curved displays which wrap around the phone’s sides.

Laptops are another product category where you can see the size of bezels are getting thinner. Currently, Apple brought an impressive iPhone notch to the newest line of Macbook Pros. As the Macbook Pro comes with a large HD camera module, this company used the notch design to obtain the space required for it.

Most of the laptops need to be equipped with an integrated webcam. Therefore, several laptop manufacturers are willing to add a small camera module onto a thin upper bezel. A “nosecam” under the display can be found on some laptops. In some models, you can see it underneath a key on the keyboard.

How Bezels Affect the Performance And Usability Of Your Devices:

Before learning “what is the difference between bezel and bezel-less displays”, it is important to learn how the performance and usability of your device can be affected by bezels. Although skinny bezels look sleek, the chunky borders had practical purposes, along with framing the screen. Let’s see how bezels affect the performance of devices.

  1. Phones:

Some years ago, thick bezels were very normal on smartphones. But these days, the latest trend is bezel-less designs.  The target is to maximize the screen but minimize the metal or plastic framing. Thus, modern smartphones do not sacrifice the display size. Instead, they have more compact overall footprints.

The iPhone 13 Pro is a good example. The display size of this model is 6.1 inches. But compared to 5.8″ iPhones, it is simpler to grip. The slimmer bezels permit sleeker aesthetics. Also, when you play games or see content on your smartphone having slimmer bezels, you will have an improved experience.

The major drawback in this case is that smaller bezels will leave less space for speakers, front cameras, and sensors. Device makers need to handle this via hole punches, notches, and pop-up selfie cams.

Above all, it can be stated that the minimal bezel design of modern smartphones helps to improve ergonomics as well as aesthetics.

  1. Tablets:

If you use tablets like iPads, you will get the same benefits from thinner bezels as in the phone. iPad Pro comes in a slim bezel, enabling you to become productive on a 12.9″ device. The benefit here is that it can be handled comfortably. Additionally, the model will look super slick on your couch or desk.

On the flip side, chunkier bezels which are available on Amazon Fire tablets are suitable for kids. These devices are simple to grip. But the amount of screen area which is visible gets reduced. Based on the requirements, tablet bezels are representing a trade-off between immersion and mobility.

  1. Laptops:

In recent times, you have seen a significant reduction in the bezel size of laptops. Ultrabooks are available with non-existent side and top bezels. While it is capable of freeing up space for a larger display, it is able to keep the overall chassis compact. Still, laptops require some bezel space for webcams and sensors on top and bottom. If you have a normal or touchscreen laptop and it comes with extremely thin bezels, you will find your device harder to open without any type of accidental touch. Above all, you can say that the modern thin-bezel laptop design makes the device more portable and improves the viewing experience. There is only one thing you need to keep in mind is that smaller bezels should have a higher price tag.

  1. PC Monitors:

When it comes to monitors, screen size is more important than portability. Therefore, ultra-thin bezels are more desirable. Several monitors come with minimal bezels on all sides for immersive effects whether you are doing office work, or gaming.

It permits placing many monitors side-by-side without any virtual bezels. However, the ultra-thin bezel monitors have some ergonomic design considerations. For buttons, smaller bezels leave less space. Also, these leave less space for on-screen display controls. The display will be more fragile for protection without thicker framing. But monitors will get a slick look because of thin bezels. Also, thin bezels enable expansive multi-display setups.

  1. Televisions:

As with monitors, thin bezels have succeeded in making their market on modern televisions also. Sony, LG, Hisense, and other TV brands follow this technology with the aim of delivering a more immersive viewing experience in your living room. Also, it is possible to arrange large, thin bezel screens side-by-side into seamless video walls, which can be seen in lounges and sports bars.

On the other hand, TVs with thinner bezels will have less material to grip the TV. So, you may not be able to move the TV easily. Because of the very thin bezels, wall mounting becomes more delicate. The reason is that these TVs come with less structure to anchor onto brackets or articulating arms. In order to have a theatre-like experience, you should go with thin bezels but you need to accommodate the handling challenges.

What is the Difference between Bezel And Bezel-Less Displays:  

Should You Buy A Device With A Thin Or No Bezel?

Apart from display size and resolution, there are many other factors you need to consider. These are as follows:

  • Intended Usage: Whether you are someone who wants to have an immersive entertainment experience, then thinner bezels are good to go. These bezels are ideal for those who watch movies and play games on their devices. If you are looking for a device to use for productivity work, some bezels will be useful in order to avoid accidental screen touches.
  • Portability: Larger screens come in sleeker design because of the thinner bezels. Moreover, the design of the model becomes more compact. Thus, laptops and tablets become simpler to maneuver. However, extremely thin bezels do not make devices durable.
  • Ergonomics: Bezels let you hold your device easily without accidental interactions by offering grip space. But devices become clunky because of thick bezels.
  • Durability: Fragile screen components are protected by bezels. If your device has super thin bezels, the screen of your device becomes more susceptible to cracks and scratches, if you mistakenly drop it.
  • Esthetics: Minimal bezels ensure that your device will have a modern look. But you will find chunky bezels outdated. So, it is necessary to consider what design you need.
  • Features: Bezels can house speakers, front-facing cameras, sensors, buttons, etc. Ensure that thinner bezels have to come with all the essential features.
  • Price: Bezel-less or thin-bezel designs in a device are always the main reasons for making the device expensive.

What is a Bezel-less Display?

It is a design trend where the size of the bezel is minimized, or the bezel is eliminated completely in order to deliver a more immersive viewing experience. In recent years, this trend has become popular in the industry of smartphones and tablets. Edge-to-edge screens are seen in the latest flagship devices from Apple, Samsung, and Google. These screens have a thin strip of bezel at the device’s top and bottom.

A Bezel-less Future:

People are likely to go towards a future where devices will be available without bezels. For instance, you can find several “edgeless” monitors that have bezels but these are invisible to the human eye. Due to the advancement of technology like under-display cameras, you can even view bezel-less phones later.

Although there are some concerns regarding shrinking bezels, such as making devices difficult to grip, some people agree with the growing size of the display. Generally, people keep a lot of content on their smartphones. That is why a bigger screen is the first and top-most priority for consumer electronics companies.

What are the Benefits of Bezel-Less Devices?

These are the advantages of Bezel-Less devices:

  • Gorgeous Futuristic Looks:

As the time is moving forward, technology is growing exponentially. Because of this, you might have seen bezel-less edge-to-edge displays in recent times. While these displays look stunning and gorgeous, they look futuristic. The bezel-less design introduced a new form factor. That’s why this trend changed the entire scenario of smartphones. As a result, these days, the look of the thin screens are becoming premium.

  • Utilization Of Space:

Due to this new trend—bezel-less screen, the way of using the space available on mobile devices is transforming. Previously, the 16:9 ratio displays used to come with huge bezels. But it covered excessive space on the screen. As a result, the entire screen looks bulky. Bezel-less screens are available in various ratios and sizes, including 18:9,18.5:9,19:9, etc.

  • New Innovation:

As bezels covered maximum space on smartphones, device makers started to look for new alternate solutions in order to place the sensors, front camera, and earpiece. This improvement is available in new models from Vivo and Oppo companies. In order to maximize the screen, Vivo company has placed a fingerprint sensor under the display. Also, the company placed a pop-up front camera. On the flip side, Oppo places front and back cameras by following a separate motorized mechanism. This approach also enables the model to place IR face scanners. However, other companies avoid motorized cameras. And to do so, they go with a notch at the screen’s top.

  • Seamless Experience:

You can have a seamless visual experience on devices having bezel-less displays. In addition, bezel-less displays offer a futuristic look to the devices. Are you someone who loves to play games or consume online content? Then, you should definitely love the edge-to-edge screen, as it can deliver an infinite display experience, which gets doubled by the superior colors which the display emits. You should know that Samsung’s Super AMOLED display is known as the best Quad HD display that is capable of emitting the best color in the industry.

  • Viewing Angles:

This factor determines the screen quality. Therefore, it is an important aspect to consider. Bezel-less displays can enhance the viewing angles by all aspects. Besides, these displays emit natural colors.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Bezel-Less Displays?

The drawbacks of these displays are as follows:

  • Easily Breakable:

Edge displays come with a risk of being broken. You should know that even some industry best protection, such as Corning Gorilla Glass will not guarantee you a 100% unbreakable screen. Bezel-less screens become more fragile because of the 2.5D curved design. Moreover, the repair cost is expensive.

  • Awkward Design And Screen Ratio:

Usually, normal smartphones come with a standard design. But this is not the case with bezel-less displays. You will see a taller screen in your modern smartphone with a bezel-less design, which may feel awkward to you sometimes. In addition, 90% of media content that is made for 16:9 screens will look stretched when you play them on bezel-less displays. It could be a drawback as gaming and media consumption become awkward on such displays. This could mean that the new design trend still requires time to settle down in the market. The reason is that consumers are not comfortable with this form factor.

  • Too Expensive:

You should know that a Bezel-less display, Infinity display or FullView display —— all three are immersive screens. But it is important to remember one thing: every new technology is expensive. The quality level and the method used to produce the technology makes the devices expensive.

  • Extra Expenditure:

If you are using devices having these types of displays, remember that screen protection is not perfect on them. You have to use external screen protection such as tempered glass. The displays consist of 2.5D curved glasses. Compared to the traditional glasses, these glasses can break more easily. However, these displays come with corning gorilla glass protection. But corning gorilla glass does not guarantee you a 100% shatterproof display. This is why you have to bear an extra expenditure like using tempered glass.

  • Uncomfortable To Hold:

If you want to gain the overall experience, remember that having a good display is not enough. Because of the height of these displays, you can face issues while holding them with one hand. In hand feel is the first aspect you have to consider, as you definitely do not want to compromise with comfort.

What about Bezel-Less TVs and Monitors?

Bezel-less monitors and TVs make a lot more sense compared to bezel-less smartphones. Remember that computer monitors and HDTVs do not have the same needs as a smartphone display. For instance, your TV does not need any front-facing camera. You only need the buttons if the remote is lost. Therefore, device makers are able to hide the buttons on the TV’s side or bottom. A bezel assists in framing a TV picture. But currently, we have bezel-less televisions, which are called projectors. The absence of bezel works excellently on a TV, as the wall behind the TV is capable of serving as a visual frame.

The Bottom Line:

Now you understand what is the difference between bezel and bezel-less displays. As we have mentioned the advantages and drawbacks of both bezel and bezel-less displays, you can now decide for which one you should go. For further confusion, or queries, do ask us via comments.

Frequently Asked Questions  

  1. What is the difference between a bezel and a bezel-less monitor?

Bezel-less does not usually indicate a total absence of bezel. Instead, it means a smaller bezel. You will still require a frame around the screen for structural integrity. Moreover, the bezel will house electronics like the front-facing camera on tablets and phones.

  1. Is Bezel-less TV good or bad?

A bezel-less display helps to enhance viewing angles in all aspects. These also emit natural colors. But these are easily breakable and because of the height of these displays, you can face issues while holding the devices with bezel-less display with one hand.

  1. What are the disadvantages of less bezels?

The drawbacks of these kinds of bezel is less protection against knocks and shocks. Keep in mind that protection is very important for smaller mobile devices that are used in a rugged environment.

About the author