A Study in Bezel: Which phones are closest to the “bezel-less” dream?

Smartphone manufactures have accomplished a lot in recent years. They’ve implemented quad-core processors, 16MP cameras, 6″ displays, insane battery life, blistering data speeds, and super slick designs. One thing that remains to be untouchable is the bezel-less phone. A phone that has so little bezel that it appears to be all display. Some manufacturers are getting close, others have a long way to go.  Who is closest to the bezel-less dream? Let’s find out.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “bezel” it is the area around the display. Some phones have a lot of bezel, and they can feel like a lot of space is being wasted. This is why sometimes two phones with the same screen size can feel dramatically different in the hand. Minimal bezel can make a phone with a big display easier to hold. To find out what phones have the least amount of bezel we needed to find the area of the face and subtract the area of the display. Doing this allowed us to find the percentage of the face of the phone that is taken up by the display, and in return the percentage that is bezel.

Below is a list of the top Windows Phone 8 devices available today. They are ranked in order of most to least bezel.

  1. HTC 8S = 44%
  2. HTC 8x = 43%
  3. Nokia Lumia 810 = 41%
  4. Samsung ATIV Odyssey = 41%
  5. Nokia Lumia 820 = 39%
  6. Nokia Lumia 920 = 38%
  7. Samsung ATIV S = 33%

As you can see, the Samsung ATIV S has the least amount of bezel. This is good because it also has the largest screen in the list. When holding the device it doesn’t feel like it’s as big as you would think because there is no wasted space around the display. The HTC 8S doesn’t have a very big screen, but it has a lot of bezel. This makes it feel larger than what it really is. Bezel makes a difference.

Do you hate it when a phone has a lot of bezel? Do you even care?


  • PoohGQ

    I really prefer less bezel but I can see how some would prefer a little more bezel as I’ve hang up my phone once too often with my palm or thumb.

  • Sondre Krumsvik

    I still think the htc 8X is the best looking windows phone yet.

  • Edgar Cervantes

    I personally hate it when a phone has too little bezel. It becomes uncomfortable to hold and use because you keep touching areas of the screen you don’t mean to touch. They could come up with a good solution, like the iPad Mini’s. It doesn’t recognize your finger if you hold it near the edge of the device.

    That being said, I also don’t like them with a lot of bezel. I think the 8X is perfect.

  • JB

    The phone should be able to project a “virtual bezel” of black (or any color) of dead screen space around the edge of the phone that you can adjust based upon personal preference, hand size, etc…then when displaying video, the projected bezel should disappear to maximize screen area.