With the Xiaomi Mi Mix was born the real obsession of the manufacturers to bring mobiles whose front frames are very thin (as a reminder, Sharp already made its pintos a few years ago ). This year we have attended proposals that sought the same thing, to attract customers who sought the so-called “no-frames” mobiles.
However, the companies are ambitious and do not pretend to stay on mobile phones with reduced frames, but offer mobile phones in which the screen occupies almost 100% of the front. That would mean, a priori, to sacrifice some elements, such as the speaker or camera for self, but there are always solutions that can satisfy potential customers.
An edgeless mobile phone would have some drawbacks
Although there are probably many people who would like the screen to be 100% front (or 95% as little), this would have some drawbacks to take into account. The first is the most obvious, a loss of resistance to falls. We all know how fragile the screens are, and even without touching the ground, they often end up breaking into a silly fall.
With a mobile whose frontal has no frames this would be even worse, because the surface that absorbs the impact would be much smaller and, consequently, the screen would suffer more the effects of the fall. The solution would be to install flexible screens such as the LG G Flex (not necessarily curves), so that, before an impact, they may deform slightly to avoid breaking (that or buy a case).
The other drawback that would most often occur would be involuntary touches. In today’s mobiles frames prevent, for example, touching some unwanted part of the screen when we write a message or are playing. No doubt, this would worsen the experience of use, but perhaps some manufacturer offers a solution similar to the Galaxy have this year (they prevent, by software, the involuntary touches on their sides).
What could be done to make front-facing phones without frames feasible?
Although the evolution has been enormous in a very short time to reduce the frames almost to a minimum expression, getting the screen to occupy almost 100% of the front is a much more complicated task, and to do this, they will have to do real maneuvers of engineering. Let’s look at some possible solutions to this unknown.
The return of the sliding mobiles
Surely many here remember the sliding mobiles (I come to mind, with much affection, that Xperia X10 Mini Pro that I had), in which the keyboard was hidden and you had to slide it to appear. As you can see in the video of the tuit above, the solution that shows that prototype (non-functional) is to slide to show the camera and the speaker.
It seems to be a fairly feasible solution that would stretch the screen to the edges without giving up these essential elements. The only problem (if you want to see it as such) is that to answer a simple call you would have to make an extra gesture (that of sliding the phone), but if any manufacturer dares with this, it would have to prove it.
Everything under the screen
Xiaomi My Mix
Already the first Xiaomi Mi Mix gave a partial solution by placing the speaker of calls under the screen. This was possible thanks to a piezoelectric element that, through vibrations, managed to get the sound to our ear. The case is that to stretch the screen to the four edges, it would have to do something similar with the frontal camera.
The difficulty that this would mean makes this solution the least viable, since it should be placed in such a way that it does not prevent the tactile function in that area and, when it comes to making a selfie, the crystal does not interfere. Luckily, if a manufacturer wanted to opt for this solution, it would find some way to do it with some time (and a lot of money).
The island, the least aesthetic solution
Essential phone 1
This solution already exists, we saw it first in the Essential Phone and, later (and in a different way), in the iPhone X. It would try to put both the speaker and the front camera (and sensors, which is actually the lower of the problems) in the center of the upper edge of the screen so that this one gives a small detour by these elements. We would encounter two main problems.
The first is that aesthetically it would not look too nice (although here, as in everything, it is a matter of taste) in a phone that, presumably, will be quite expensive. The other problem would be that the notification bar would be very wide (see Essential) and would prevent full-screen games or apps from taking advantage of the whole diagonal.
Sacrifice the camera for selfies, make the back sensor work
Another possible solution would be to completely eliminate the front camera and put the speaker on the screen (again, see the Mi Mix). For the selfies, the rear camera could be used, which would take advantage of its higher image quality, but if you think that you could not see before taking the photo, there is a solution for that too: a back screen.
First, it was Yota who, with his electronic ink back screen, offered us options (to read by saving battery). More recently Meizu, with its Pro 7, would reduce its size and make it more useful. The solution we propose is that the back screen covers a good part of the back of the mobile and is tactile so that we can focus, see and shoot with it (basically, it does the same function as the front screen).
Obviously, this would have some repercussion on the battery (the more you use that screen, the more it will spend), but it would be a pretty viable possibility if someone wants to make they are frontal not have frames. What solution would you make if you were to make a mobile without frames?