By Simon Hill


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Bezel-less phones on table

A bezel is the name of the frame around displays, like those on your TV or smartphone. TV and computer monitor manufacturers have long been shaving down these edges to offer frame-less designs, and it looks like the smartphone bezel may soon become an endangered component as well. In the quest to give us bigger and better screens without creating clownishly huge phones, manufacturers have the bezel firmly in their sights.

Talk of a bezel-less phone has been swirling in recent months, and the screen-to-body ratio has been steadily climbing in many of the top new releases. The bezel-less look is distinctly futuristic and, despite some compromises, we are creeping inexorably toward it. We decided to compare some of the top phones to see who can boast the smallest bezels right now.

Here they are, ranked from the thinnest bezels to the thickest. Jump to our table at the bottom to see how all of them compare side by side. You may notice that our results vary from what the manufacturers report, but that’s because we always use the same formula to calculate it and they don’t.

oppo find x hands on front
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 86.9 percent
  • Screen size: 6.42 inches

This stunning, glossy beauty is the closest anyone has come to an all-screen front thus far. The huge 6.42-inch AMOLED screen has virtually no bezels, just a slim chin at the bottom; the back is a shiny expanse with no camera bump in sight. The camera array is motorized, and it only rises up when you tap the camera icon, taking 0.5 seconds to complete its journey. Once deployed, you have a 25-megapixel front-facing camera and the unfortunately named O-Face facial-recognition system facing you and a dual 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel rear camera. It’s an innovative approach that allows for a very minimalist design. Oppo promises the mechanism is hardy, but we do expect it to collect grime, which also means the phone isn’t water resistant. The Oppo Find X also packs cutting-edge specs, but it costs upwards of $1,000.

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vivo nex s front facing cam angle
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 86.2 percent
  • Screen size: 6.59 inches

Vivo, a pioneer of the pop-up camera concept as a way to increase a phone’s screen-to-body ratio without the need for a notch, showed off a concept phone at Mobile World Congress. But the Vivo Nex S is a real product that you can buy, though you’ll probably have to import it from China if you want one. It looks pretty conventional on the back, with a dual camera module that pairs a 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel lens, but the front is mostly screen with a tiny chin at the bottom. There’s an 8-megapixel, pop-up selfie camera at the top left. The Vivo Nex also boasts an in-display fingerprint sensor and technology that uses the display itself as a speaker. It’s an innovative package, though it lacks water-resistance, wireless charging, and NFC for payments. The price is around $700.

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  • Screen-to-body ratio: 84.9 percent
  • Screen size: 5.71 inches

The Essential PH-1 from Android co-creator Andy Rubin’s company instantly won praise for its edge-to-edge screen design. For a long time, this was as close as we’d gotten to the front of a phone being entirely screen. You’ll find the thinnest of bezels on the sides and top of the screen, which has rounded corners, like the LG G6. There is still a fairly big bezel on the bottom, though it doesn’t visibly house anything — the fingerprint sensor is on the back. The Essential PH-1 raises an obvious design problem with bezel-less design where does the front-facing camera go? The designers decided to include a curved dip at the top of the display that eats into the screen. It’s an interesting move that has divided opinion, but regardless of whether you like it or not, this smartphone ushered in a new design direction and a leap forward in terms of screen-to-body ratio.

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iphone xs max and xr photo galleries apple hands on 2
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 84.4 percent
  • Screen size: 6.5 inches

The iPhone XS Max sports the biggest screen we’ve ever seen in an iPhone and also boasts Apple’s highest screen-to-body ratio to date. The fact that this phone packs in a screen that’s a full inch bigger in the diagonal than the iPhone 8 Plus, yet comes in a smaller body, tells you a lot about the new edge-to-edge, notched display design that Apple has employed. It has that superwide 19.5:9 aspect ratio and the same OLED tech that graces all the best phones nowadays. The 2,688 x 1,242-pixel resolution also enables it to match the iPhone XS when it comes to sharpness, with a pixel-per-inch count of 458. The sizable notch prevents Apple’s biggest from climbing any higher in our chart, but it’s an impressive bid for bezel-less supremacy.

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Huawei Honor 8X review
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 84.3 percent
  • Screen size: 6.5 inches

Last year’s Honor 7X was an impressive package for just $200 and we’re equally impressed with the sleek, colorful Honor 8X. Clearly, the bezel-killing design trend is alive and well at the midrange to the budget end of the market and this phone places impressively high on our list. It partly achieves such a high screen-to-body ratio by having a massive 6.5-inch display, another rarity in lower-priced phones. This is a big phone, with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, and there is still a small chin at the bottom of the screen and a notch carved out of the top. The 2,340 x 1,080-pixel resolution is adequate and the specs are impressive for a device this stylish and affordable.

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1189763 autosave v1 3 samsung galaxy s8 device 6
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 83.6 percent, 84.2 percent, and 83.9 percent, respectively
  • Screen size: 5.8 inches, 6.2 inches, and 6.4 inches, respectively

With a 5.8-inch curved “Infinity Display,” the Galaxy S9 is one of the best-looking phones on our list. Its bigger brother, the S9 Plus, actually boasts a slightly higher screen-to-body ratio with its 6.2-inch screen. There is still a thin bezel top and bottom, and an even slimmer one around the sides, though it’s not really noticeable when you look at the phone head-on because of those sloping edges. Samsung ditched the home button with the S8 and used Android’s standard navigation icons on the screen, so the bottom bezel is empty, but the top bezel still contains the iris scanner, proximity sensor, earpiece, and selfie camera. These are some of the biggest screens on the market, but they’re packed into svelte bodies — largely because of the 18.5:9 aspect ratio.

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Oneplus 6 review
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 83.8 percent
  • Screen size: 6.28 inches

The latest flagship killer from OnePlus has jumped firmly on board the notch trend. It has a smaller notch than the iPhone X, but there is still a bezel at the bottom of the big, attractive AMOLED screen. The specs inside are cutting edge — with a Snapdragon 845 and buckets of RAM, this phone offers unparalleled power and performance at this price. For just $530, it’s the best value prospect on the market. The notch houses the front-facing 16-megapixel camera, but you can hide it if you prefer. It lacks water-resistance and wireless charging, but there’s very little else to criticize about this stylish smartphone.

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LG V40 ThinQ Review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 83.6 percent
  • Screen size: 6.4 inches

LG embraced the notch and looks to be moving closer to an all-screen device with each release. The V40 ThinQ brings the notch to the V Series, but also retains a small chin under the screen. Despite being a big phone with a 6.4-inch screen, this is a very light device. It has that wide 19.5:9 aspect ratio that’s growing steadily more common and a 3,120 x 1,440-pixel resolution. Since it’s also an OLED screen, this is one of the best options around for fans of movies and games. You’ll also find five lenses in the cameras in this device, three for the main camera, and two for the front-facing camera, so it’s a versatile choice for photography fans.

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Asus Zenfone 5 review
Simon Hill/Digital Trends
Simon Hill/Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 83.6 percent
  • Screen size: 6.2 inches

There’s no denying the resemblance to a certain Apple phone here, but Asus has actually managed to achieve a higher screen-to-body-ratio than the iPhone X because its notch is 26 percent smaller. The company claims it has a 90-percent screen-to-body ratio, but by our calculations it’s actually 83.6 percent. The 19:9 aspect ratio has enabled Asus to pack this large screen into an impressively small body. There’s still a small bezel at the bottom, but this phone does look and feel very nice — and it comes in at half the price of the iPhone X. In fact, if you opt for the Zenfone 5 with its midrange processor, rather than the Snapdragon 845-toting 5Z, then it will cost you even less.

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Xiaomi Mi Mix review
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 83.6 percent
  • Screen size: 6.4 inches

You may not have heard of this huge phone, but if you have, it was almost certainly because of the edge-to-edge display. Xiaomi claimed a 91.3-percent screen-to-body ratio, but when the phone landed, it turned out to have very thin black borders around the screen, on the sides and top, resulting in an actual body-to-screen ratio of 83.6 percent. It was still top of the charts at the time, and Xiaomi deserves credit for being in the bezel-less vanguard, but it has now been surpassed. Xiaomi “solved” the selfie camera conundrum by housing it in the fairly large bottom bezel, which is an awkward place to put it.

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apple iphone x review hands on
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 82.9 percent
  • Screen size: 5.8 inches

Apple’s special iPhone X (pronounced ten) has an almost all-screen design. It’s a gorgeous 5.8-inch OLED panel with curved corners and the thinnest of frames. Apple decided to include an indented notch at the top that’s packed with sensors, a speaker, microphone, and the front-facing camera. With a resolution of 2,436 x 1,125 pixels, this is the sharpest display we’ve ever seen in an iPhone. The Super Retina display actually has an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, which makes it the widest screen we’ve seen, but that cut-out at the top does eat into a portion of the picture. Apple got around the problem of removing the TouchID fingerprint sensor by replacing it with FaceID, which uses the front-facing camera to identify your face before unlocking. The iPhone XS features an identical design.

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lg g7 news thinq hands on precarious
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 82.6 percent
  • Screen size: 6.1 inches

LG has been gradually pushing the screen-to-body ratio higher with each new release, but in the G7 ThinQ, it does so by adopting the notch. The 6.1-inch display has an impressive resolution of 3,120 x 1,440 pixels and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, but surprisingly, it’s an IPS LCD rather than an OLED screen. We prefer OLED in general, but there is a handy super-bright mode in the G7 that’s great when you’re outdoors, and it boasts an impressively loud speaker. There’s still no escaping the derivative design.

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pocophone f1 by xiaomi front
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 82.2 percent
  • Screen size: 6.18 inches

The Pocophone F1 by Xiaomi offers a lot for somewhere around $300, though you’ll have to import if you live in the U.S. or U.K. It has an IPS LCD screen that’s 6.18 inches in the diagonal. The respectable 2,246 x 1.080-pixel resolution translates to 403 ppi, and there’s an 18.7:9 aspect ratio. The deep notch digs into the display and there’s also a bezel at the bottom, but the screen-to-body ratio is impressive for a budget phone.

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huawei p20 pro security scaremongering front center opinion
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 82 percent
  • Screen size: 6.1 inches

The triple-lens camera in the P20 Pro grabbed most of the headlines, but Huawei also adopted a notch in the display, enabling it to melt the top bezel away. There’s still room for a lozenge-shaped fingerprint sensor below the screen, but this is the closest Huawei has come to a bezel-less design so far. The huge, 6.1-inch AMOLED screen has a resolution of 2,240 x 1,080 pixels, with a strange aspect ratio of 18.7:9, and you’ll find a whopping 4,000mAh battery to power it.

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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 80.8 percent, 81.9 percent, respectively
  • Screen size: 5.99 inches, 5.99 inches, respectively

The original Mi Mix from Xiaomi was one of the first to sport an edge-to-edge display, but the follow-up is significantly different. The screen size has dropped by just under half an inch, and the aspect ratio has changed to 18:9. It still has an impressively large proportion of screen on the front, but its screen-to-body ratio is lower than the original. There’s a frame around the display and a sizable bottom chin that houses the selfie camera. The Mi Mix 2S is slightly smaller, shaving a wee bit off the bottom bezel to score a slightly higher screen-to-body ratio.

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best lg v30 cases
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 81.2 percent
  • Screen size: 6 inches

LG has continued the trend it started with the LG G6 in its LG V30, which actually has an even higher screen-to-body ratio, though not by much. This 6-inch display is also an OLED panel, like the iPhone X, but it boasts a resolution of 2,880 x 1,440 pixels, making it one of the sharpest displays around. It’s also Dolby Vision– and HDR-compliant. LG has put the fingerprint sensor around the back of the phone, but there is still a small bezel top and bottom. The top bezel houses the front-facing camera, speaker, and other sensors. The screen has rounded corners and a very gentle curve at each side. The V35 ThinQ features the same design.

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nokia 8 sirocco hands on review mwc 2018 2
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 81.1 percent
  • Screen size: 5.5 inches

The Nokia brand has been resurgent under HMD Global, with the company rolling out an impressive lineup of Android phones with great build quality. The Nokia 8 Sirocco combines some modern design trends with a glass-and-metal construction that looks and feels expensive, slim bezels, and curved edges on the display, but it retains the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio. It seems squat at first, because the new 18:9 or larger aspect ratio is fast becoming standard, but this phone has a lovely feel in hand.

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Huawei Mate 10 Pro
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 80.9 percent
  • Screen size: 6 inches

The colorful AMOLED in the Mate 10 Pro is 6 inches, but sports a slightly lower resolution than some of the flagship pack at 2,160 x 1,080 pixels, though you’re unlikely to notice. It has an 18:9 aspect ratio, which is fast becoming standard. A thin bezel at the top houses the speaker and selfie camera, and there’s room for a Huawei logo at the bottom, but this is an impressively slim body for such a large screen.

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Sony Xperia XZ3
Rich Shibley/Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 80.5 percent
  • Screen size: 6 inches

Sony has refined its Xperia design in the XZ3, and this marks the first time is has adopted superior OLED technology in a smartphone. There are still bezels top and bottom, but the 6-inch display sports an impressive 2,880 x 1,440-pixel resolution for a sharp 537 ppi rating. It’s a standard 18:9 aspect ratio. Sony still has a ways to go, but it has shaved off some extra bezel compared to the XZ2, and the curved edges and OLED tech make this its best screen design yet.

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htc u12 plus in hand
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 80.3 percent
  • Screen size: 6 inches

There’s no doubt that HTC has been working on slimming down the bezels, because the U12 Plus has a much higher screen-to-body ratio than the U11 Plus or the U11. Packing a 6-inch, 2,880 x 1,440-pixel Super LCD screen, this phone has a slimmer frame all around. This was partly achieved by shifting the fingerprint sensor around the back, instead of including a lozenge-shaped sensor at the bottom of the screen, like the U11. The U12 Plus also features solid flagship specs, but the digital buttons don’t work as well as they should.

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iPhone XR
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 79 percent
  • Screen size: 6.1 inches

The most affordable of Apple’s new notch-toting trio is the iPhone XR, but Apple has definitely made some compromises in the display and design department to keep that price down. This is a 6.1-inch screen with the same 19.5:9 aspect ratio as its siblings, however the XR has an LCD screen instead of OLED and the resolution is 1,792 x 828 pixels, which matches the sharpness of the iPhone 8 at 326 ppi. It has the same notch as the iPhone X, XS, and XS Max, but the XR clearly has bigger bezels around its display and as a consequence it fails to beat a bunch of phones with more traditional big bezels top and bottom.

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Best Google Pixel 2 XL screen protectors
Julian Chokkattu / Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu / Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 76.4 percent
  • Screen size: 6 inches

The LG-manufactured Pixel 2 XL has the same 18:9 aspect ratio as the LG G6 and LG V30, but sports a larger, 6-inch screen. It’s a stunning OLED display that’s sharp and colorful, with a resolution of 2,880 x 1,440 pixels. There are still bezels all around the screen, but the larger bezels top and bottom house front-facing stereo speakers, so at least the space is put to good use. The fingerprint sensor is on the back, in the middle, just like its predecessor.

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Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact hands on review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 76.1 percent
  • Screen size: 5.7 inches

Sony’s long-awaited redesign shaves down the bezels considerably and rounds off the classic rectangular design. There are still fairly large bezels top and bottom, compared to other recent releases, but we much prefer the look and feel of this phone to last year’s Sony Xperia XZ1. The phone also has a curved glass back with a fingerprint sensor beneath the camera lens.

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moto g6 hands on 10
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 75.4 percent, 74.4 percent, respectively
  • Screen size: 5.7 inches, 5.9 inches, respectively

The G series has adopted the modern 18:9 aspect ratio this year, and the bezels are shrinking, though they’re still way bigger than you’ll find at the flagship end of the market. The G6 sports a 5.9-inch IPS LCD with a resolution of 2,160 x 1,080 pixels. There’s a bezel up top for the camera, earpiece, and a few other sensors, and a big bezel below for the indented fingerprint sensor. The G6 Plus is slightly bigger, with a 5.9-inch display, but it has a lower screen-to-body ratio. Interestingly, the Moto E5 Plus, which is even cheaper, boasts a 6-inch display and a 76.7 percent screen-to-body ratio, though the resolution is just 1,440 x 720 pixels.

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Google Pixel 2 Review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 67.9 percent
  • Screen size: 5 inches

Surprisingly, Google’s Pixel 2 has even bigger bezels than the original Pixel, which scored a screen-to-body ratio of 69 percent. Both devices were manufactured by HTC, but the Pixel 2 does at least take advantage of the extra space with a pair of front-facing speakers. The fingerprint sensor is around back, just like its predecessor. There are bezels at the sides, but it’s the thick bezels top and bottom that catch the eye. The larger Pixel 2 XL was also able to pack in front-facing speakers, but maintained a much higher screen-to-body ratio.

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apple iphone 8 plus review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 65.6 percent and 67.7 percent, respectively
  • Screen size: 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, respectively

In general, the smaller the screen, the lower the screen-to-body ratio, and so it’s not a big surprise that the iPhone 8 has the lowest screen-to-body ratio on the list. However, even the 8 Plus, with its much bigger display, has big bezels. The round, recessed Touch ID demands a lot of room at the bottom and that seems to be matched by a thick band at the top, which only houses the small front-facing camera, earpiece, and sensors. Both Phones also have noticeably bigger side bezels around the screen than their competitors, but they may be the last big bezels we see from Apple in light of the notch trend.

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Table for comparison at-a-glance

Phone Screen size Aspect ratio Screen-to-body Ratio
Oppo Find X 6.42 inches 19.5:9 86.9 percent
Vivo Nex S 6.59 inches 19.3:9 86.2 percent
Essential PH-1 5.71 inches 19:10 84.9 percent
Apple iPhone XS Max 6.5 inches 19.5:9 84.4 percent
Honor 8X 6.5 inches 19.5:9 84.3 percent
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus 6.2 inches 18.5:9 84.2 percent
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 6.4 inches 18.5:9 83.9 percent
OnePlus 6 6.28 inches 19:9 83.8 percent
LG V40 ThinQ 6.4 inches 19.5:9 83.6 percent
Samsung Galaxy S9 5.8 inches 18.5:9 83.6 percent
Asus Zenfone 5 or 5Z 6.2 inches 19:9 83.6 percent
Xiaomi Mi Mix 6.2 inches 17:9 83.6 percent
Apple iPhone X and XS 5.8 inches 19.5:9 82.9 percent
LG G7 ThinQ 6.1 inches 19.5:9 82.6 percent
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 6.18 inches 18.7:9 82.2 percent
Huawei P20 Pro 6.1 inches 18.7:9 82 percent
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S 5.99 inches 18:9 81.9 percent
LG V30 and V35 ThinQ 6 inches 18:9 81.2 percent
Nokia 8 Sirocco 5.5 inches 16:9 81.1 percent
Huawei Mate 10 Pro 6 inches 18:9 80.9 percent
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 5.99 inches 18:9 80.8 percent
Sony Xperia XZ3 6 inches 18:9 80.5 percent
HTC U12 Plus 6 inches 18:9 80.3 percent
Apple iPhone XR 6.1 inches 19.5:9 79 percent
Honor 7X 5.93 inches 18:9 77 percent
Google Pixel 2 XL 6 inches 18:9 76.4 percent
Sony Xperia XZ2 5.7 inches 18:9 76.1 percent
Moto G6 5.7 inches 18:9 75.4 percent
Moto G6 Plus 5.9 inches 18:9 74.4 percent
Nokia 6.1 5.5 inches 16:9 73.2 percent
Google Pixel 2 5 inches 16:9 67.9 percent
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 5.5 inches 16:9 67.7 percent
Apple iPhone 8 4.7 inches 16:9 65.6 percent


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