The sleek Elephone R9 does away with bezels almost entirely

Over the past couple of years, Chinese smartphone maker Elephone has sought to bring powerful Android experiences to those on a budget. The company's P9000 phablet is perhaps its best-known export in the West, with a 5.5-inch FHD display, octa-core SoC and 4 GB of RAM amounting to a pretty good package for $250. The company does like to borrow ideas from the major players, which can sometimes spill over into outright copycats. But the new Elephone R9 seems to offer a sleek, near-bezel-free experience without looking too much like Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 at a glance. 

As detailed on its website, Elephone has gone with a 0.6mm bezel rather than the completely bezel-less design language of past devices to enhance the holding experience. Where a lack of bezels sounds great and looks even better, it's an idealistic approach that Elephone customers have often found to be a hindrance. Accidental key presses galore, Elephone believes a super-thin bezel is the happy median its users are looking for. 

There's no official word on the specs as yet, though rumor has it that the Helio X20 will provide the power. There's expected to be 4 gigs of RAM, 32 GB of storage and a 3000 mAh battery, while the 5.5-inch display will probably be 1080 x 1920 in resolution. The dual-SIM device will likely run Android 6.0 Marshmallow off the bat.

None of the details are final, but we'll have more on this forthcoming phablet as and when it becomes official. 

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