LG, Samsung, Apple or Essential: who did 'all-screen' best? (poll results)

We asked you recently whose approach to a "bezel-less," "all-screen" or whatchamacallit panel with minimum amount of side, top and bottom bezels can be named. Nearly all major manufacturers went that route with at least one handset, and some with whole lineups, so it's a growing trend that is likely to become the norm next year, and even go to the midrangers, so it's important to judge whose approach may stick with users better. 

Almost half of our 4413 respondents chose Samsung's thin strips and curved edges as the best solution to the all-screen conundrum, with LG a runner up at a quarter of the votes. Next in line is Xiaomi with its impressive Mi Mix 2, and the rest is split between Apple's notch-y iPhone X, and the Essential Phone, whose screen cutouts are a tad challenging for devs to work around.

Who did 'all-screen' best in 2017?

Essential Phone

In years past, when phone makers touted their phones as bezel-less, they usually meant thin side rim, but after it became clear that Apple is working on an "all-screen" phone with OLED display last year, there was a rush to trim the top and bottom bezels, too, as nobody seemed sure how exactly it would look like. Nearly all major brands pierced the 80% screen-to-body ratio this year, but had different approaches to the "all-screen" solution in terms of shapes and forms, and we wanted to know which one is your favorite so far.

From the LG G6, through the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 or the Essential Phone, all the way to the upcoming iPhone X, and even the Mate 10, phone bezels aren't what they used be. Almost every major manufacturer, save for Sony and HTC, outed handsets with great screen-to-body ratios this year. 

Barring Sharp, which has been making georestricted to Japan headless phones with its EDGEST design for a good while, it all arguably started with the Mi Mix last fall, when Xiaomi released a handset that had the top and bottom bezels shaved off to a minimum, and a screen with 17:9 aspect ratio. 

The ratio then moved to a more standard 18:9 Univisium aspect with the LG G6, then to 18.5:9 with the Galaxy S8 and Note 8, and to 19:9 with the iPhone X. If we extract the on-screen navigation strip or the status bar surrounding the notch of the iPhone, those gravitate towards the 18:9 mark, too, so we can say that this is the new normal for a high-end phone screen, and next year it will likely move down to the midrangers as well, like it or not. 

This new aspect ratio is a bit misleading, as it allows phone makers to tout that they've housed enormous screen sizes in very compact bodies, but, since the handsets are taller and narrower, in terms of screen area the 16:9 standard would win for the same screen size any day of the week. The ways that phone makers approached the task to make "all-screen" phones with high screen-to-body ratios, however, differ drastically, and nowhere is that more visible than in the bezel-trimming solutions.



1. redmd

Posts: 1963; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

The main advantage of 18:9 aspect is ergonomics. Contents will just catch up later.

43. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

It really doesn't need to. All movies are pretty much filmed in 21:9 which is the ultrawide screen resolution that some monitors have now as well. 18:9 is far better than 16:9 in that respect. Plus the 2:1 nature of it is great for multitasking and multiwindow. Finally, games don't care, they can usually scale to whatever because it is actively rendered. Content is already there, more will just make it better.

44. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

Even TV series seems to start using wider aspect ratios, like the new Star Trek series.

2. Cat97

Posts: 2022; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Apple and Essential are the only ones worth mentioning. Mostly Apple, it is the only phone that "feels" truly bezel-less, and also of a nice smaller size. The other ones may have other qualities, but bezel-less is not one of them.

4. wando77

Posts: 1169; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Well I'm holding a note 8 and it feels pretty bezeless to me. I'm not talking for Apple's design. The side bezel are as grim as they ever were

31. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Yep. When I'm at home or the office, I take the case off and just use it and you can clearly see and feel that its pretty bezel-less. Even though it has bezels on the top and bottom, it looks pretty good. The V30 also looks very good, and looks exactly like how I imagine the S8+ would look without a curved display.

10. TerryD

Posts: 560; Member since: May 09, 2017

I have an S7 Edge and the curved screen serves no practical purpose for me and only makes a screen repair more expensive, at the same time as preventing me putting a tempered glass protector on it. It does however look really good, so if this is just down to looks then then Samsung win in my opinion. Apple would actually have to have a product that I can see in real life before I can make a judgement on that. I'm not a fan of paper launches.

23. DFranch

Posts: 562; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

I really grew to hate the curved screen on the S7 Edge. I just replaced it with an LG V30 and it's such an improvement. V30 is pretty bezeless, and doesn't feel too tall like the S8 or Note8. Don't get me started on the Devil horns on the iPhone X.

25. Nutcase4u2

Posts: 53; Member since: Oct 15, 2015

I like the look of the curved screens, but they have no added functionality for me personally. That being said, if I could have the V30 form factor with the Samsung quality AMOLED screen (flat preferably) I would be in tech heaven. Since I can't I went ahead and got the Note 8 with the hopes next gen won't be so tall.

33. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

And how exactly does it make it more expensive? Apple charges far more than what it has ever cost me to get a Samsung phone fixed. Don't you have carrier insurance? When I broke my screen on theS6 edge, it only cost me $175, to get the whole phone replaced with a factory refurb. I had amint condition phone again. With apple, they charge mor ethan that just for a "REPAIR", and you have to keep your same damage scared up phone you dropped and damaged that cause the screen to be broken. Oh and even after paying more than $125 for Apple-Care, if your phone is damage beyond reparability, it costs you roughly 50% the retail price to get it replaced, which is even higher. Stop smoking them drugs dude. But in fairness, maybe you live outside the USA. And I am sure carriers outside don't have insurance, but I am sure you can buy it. If not, well sucks to be living where you live.

12. DRS1977

Posts: 681; Member since: May 27, 2015

The X's bezels are huge, it is the worst of the lot.

16. darkkjedii

Posts: 31764; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

You're just posting for attention.

45. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

Stating real facts is now a bad thing? Oh right, forgot what time we live in. Global RDF....

55. DRS1977

Posts: 681; Member since: May 27, 2015

@ darkkjedii, just stating the facts, sorry that hurts your feelings little man.

17. xeroxchap

Posts: 68; Member since: Oct 11, 2016

Cat97.....which apple phone are you talking about exactly? The one that has not even been finalized yet? Hmmmmmmmmm..... Sheeple Alert!

22. gigicoaste

Posts: 466; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

even quoted and still hard to talk about unreleased product.. especially the way it feels. :)) Same bad as PA.. let me know when you get the phone so you can share how it feels in hand. Also feel free to check the screen ratio to body, this will tell you more about which phones have narrower bezels.

34. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Huh? Well "feeling" something doesn't mean you actually have to touch it. You do know that...right? I "feel" is a bit dramatic and I'm not touching or even seeing him. He can "feel" however he wants. Even the Essential physically looks as it has less bezel than the iPhone X. He can feel however he wants, but he has eyes and is the cloud of RDF is that thick in his mind, let him enjoy his imagination. It's his preference, no matter how dumb he may sound it though. We all like things that may be considered dumb to another. But it shouldn't matter because we are all an individual and we can like whatever we want and we don't have to give 2 craps about what another thinks about it.

29. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Well we can tell you are easy to mislead. For one, it has a bezel all the way around, while most of the other phones do not. Also, its because you want to change what the word bezel-less means. Bezel-less by its true meaning, just means it has less bezel. And the S8's, at least one of them is 84% bezel-less. The S8's have no bezel on the sides whatsoever with the covered display. Yes many don't like the design; so what. But the point is, it has less bezel than the phones listed accept for one. The S8's have the overall best design and it has been award such. Even though PA won't report on it. Because making Samsung look better than Apple, because they are actually doing things better than Apple; would go against their biased nature. You can like whichever you want, and justify it however you like, but the numbers are the facts and they are not subject to preference.

41. karll1

Posts: 23; Member since: Jun 12, 2013

Following your logic, you forgot to mention the Xiaomi phone? "Feel" is completely subjective. You may love the thicker side bezels and notch at the top of the iPhone, but some of us prefer the thinner side bezels and symmetry of the Samsung and LG phones.

47. tedkord

Posts: 17512; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

"Feels bezel-less", has more bezel than the others. The RDF is a magical thing.

3. wando77

Posts: 1169; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

You're seriously claiming it is all down to Apple? Samsung started the minimum bezel with the edge phones and the s8 is just a natural progression from the s7 edge. Also, sharp and the mii mix will have been sketched up LONG before Apple 'Rumours' about small bezels. And looking at the designs and going by the votes, the only company that appears to have rushed through their design is Apple.

13. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Right, they won't have supply chain problem if they plan it since last year

15. cmdacos

Posts: 4388; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

If Apple actually had been working on this for as long as falsely implied here and still came up with the worst design where your view is impeded by a unibrow then that is hilarious. A thick border and a unibrow do not make a bezeless phone. Sorry. One of the worst screen to body ratios of these contenders, lol.

5. Tones

Posts: 77; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Got a mi mix 2 and I love it..the screen size it's fantastic. Much better looking than Apple's attempt

6. haruken

Posts: 311; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

Saying that Apple started it by having everyone rush on rumors is very stupid. Time for a history lesson -Note 3 increased its screen size but kept the same body as the Note 2, by reducing the bezels. That was 4 years ago. -Note Edge was a first step in removing the side bezels, which today has become a standard for Samsung bezeless phones. -S6 Edge Plus/Note5 have, according to PA, 80% screen to body ratio. That was 2015. The S8/Note 8 are literally the natural evolution of Samsung devices since 2013. Nothing, nothing to do with Apple.

20. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Yet another iPA author following in the path of victor with presstitute BS...

35. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Exactly. The Note especially has always had pretty thin bezels for its size. Even smaller phones had far thicker bezels. In order to increase screen size, without overly increasing the device size, you have to remove bezel and make components smaller into order to fit the area properly. Which to me is where Apple made a huge mistake. It looks like they designed the phone first with the X, and then made some serious mistakes in not changing the phone design to fit the hardware better. All they had to too was make the casing a bit taller and the notch could have had the same design, but it wouldn't have been in the display area. That is a total screw up and the fact Tim Cook signed his name on this BS, means Ive is doing some serious time on his knees. Samsung considered it, but was smart enough not to do it. I wonder if Apple stole the idea from Samsung? After all either one could have seen the other prototypes or drawings. Samsung started the bezel reduction because every year they increased phone size pretty much every year and reducing the bezels kept the phone growth very marginal and it gave us time to adjust to phone getting bigger over time vs Apple jumping from a 4" 5 series to massive gigantisaur 6 Plus at 5.8. While Samsung went from 5.3", to 5.5, then 5.7, to 6.2 then 6.3. It was a gradual progression. It gave our muscle memory steps of progression and getting use to size over time, while Apple jumped a full 2"+ in one model to another. And yet all the Apple fanboys were hating on the Note, saying it too big; yet never said such about the iPhone 6+, even though its 5.5 inch display, made the phone larger than Samsung Note 5/7 and S6 plus; while those phone all had larger displays. Apple sucks at design and basically only nailed it one time and that was the 5S. Yet Piyath claim we are haters. Piyath, you don't have to be a PA douchebag.

8. plasteek

Posts: 265; Member since: Jun 07, 2015

nothing but a notch !

9. TerryD

Posts: 560; Member since: May 09, 2017

Well it cant be Apple because they haven't done it yet.

11. Hollowmost

Posts: 425; Member since: Oct 10, 2017

Galaxy note 8 design is top notch

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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