Oppo’s bezel-less phone, Is it really narrower than a standard phone with bezels?


oppo bezel-less phone hands on

Oppo haven’t been shy and tried to hide their bezel-less device away, but rather let it bask in photographic glory on any occasion they see fit. The following images are the most revealing hands on photos of the bezel-less Oppo today.

This isn’t the first, and nor will it be the last time we see Oppo’s bezel-less phone, but it is these photos give us the most detailed look at the smartphone ahead of it being officially announced.

While many phone makers are striving to build a phone with 0 bezel to the left of right of the screen, only a few phones have been close, but still retain a little meat here and there.

oppo bezel-less phone hands on

Oppo’s new thin phone does away with the traditional black (white) bezel on the face of the device, instead allowing the edge of the screen to wrap around the sides and and meet a metal chassis.

oppo bezel-less phone hands on

While the design is in fact a bezel-less one it isn’t a borderless design. The metal chassis does poke out a few mm on either side of the phone adding protection against accidental drops.

So finally a bezel-less phone, but does the design actually make a narrower device? Without knowing the dimensions we cannot really say, but a few observations suggest that the new Oppo won’t be much narrower than a standard design with minimal bezel.

oppo bezel-less phone hands on

The application icons in ColorOS seems to be more inboard than usual. Our Oppo N3 (running ColorOS) has less of a gap between the application edge and bezel, around 4mm, than there is on this new Oppo phone, which looks considrably more than 4mm in these photos. So while in fact the phone hasn’t a traditional bezel the applications have been move inboard creating unused space. Then that metal frame does poke out much more than on a more traditional phone adding more width.

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oppo bezel-less phone hands on

Obviously Oppo have had to make these changes. If the apps were closer the edge we would continually press them by mistake, and if the metal frame wasn’t there to protect how long would this phone actually survive?

So that begs the question, is the pursuit of a bezel-less phone really necessary, or do our current devices with very minimal bezel really offer the best in design, comfort and protection?

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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68 Comments

  1. Paul Sleight
    April 25, 2015

    In actual use I don’t think it really matters, so long as there is some dead space to avoid accidental touches. My Mlais m52 has quite wide bezels, about 3.5mm + 1.5mm frame, but as I am typing I am concentrating on the screen and not the surrounding area. Same when watching videos. The biggest benefit would be a narrower phone for one handed use.
    Now that I’ve had this phone for a while, I’m sure the next one will be a 5 or 5.2 inch screen with normal slimish bezels or a 5.5 if someone can really make one the size of a normal 5incher.

    • antidumb
      April 25, 2015

      palm rejection is real, i understand people who never try this will doubt it, until i try myself with note edge, it really work no accidental touch while your thumb playing with main display

  2. Steve B
    April 25, 2015

    obsession with bezels is still an obsession.

    • aleubalton
      April 25, 2015

      It helps huge phones being not so huge…

      • Joe mont
        April 25, 2015

        Having a 3:2 screens helps a great deal more.

        • aleubalton
          April 25, 2015

          Wider phones are less comfortable for one handed use, that’s why all phones are 16:9… 3:2 is only good for tablets…

          • balcobomber25
            April 26, 2015

            Have you ever used the Meizu Mx4? It has great one handed use and it doesn’t have 16:9, it has 5:3 aspect ratio.

            • aleubalton
              April 26, 2015

              It also has really narrow bezels. Also, I consider all phones above 70mm wide not easy to hold in one hand. Meizu mx4 measures 75mm wide, so it’s not good for one handed use, at least in my opinion.

            • balcobomber25
              April 26, 2015

              You must have small hands then, I have used it and think its one of the most comfortable phones to use one handed.

            • aleubalton
              April 26, 2015

              I don’t have small hands at all, but i’ve tried a lot of phones, and I’ve arrived to the conclusion that the perfect size for a phone is around 140mm tall and 70mm wide. The wider the phone, the harder it is to use with one hand, that’s just common sense.

            • balcobomber25
              April 26, 2015

              To me I can use up to about 75mm one handed. But it really depends on the phone.

            • aleubalton
              April 26, 2015

              Well we can agree to disagree heh 😛

        • April 25, 2015

          The phone having a wider aspect ratio will make it easier to hold with one hand? Well darn, I never knew nothin’ like that before!

  3. Guaire
    April 25, 2015

    Whole point of narrow bezels is putting larger displays on smaller phones.

    Right now 3mm side bezels considered very slim. Under 4mm most of people won’t complain about bezels. Very few actual handsets have under 3mm bezels.

    I guess that Oppo’s actual bezels could be 2 to 2.5mm range considering others.

    Without that distortion thing I would like it better.

    • antidumb
      April 25, 2015

      no! who said that, 3mm bezel means 6mm more wide and that significant
      it still bezelless even without glass distortion, like sharp aquos is 1,7mm and letv max is 1.6mm

      • Guaire
        April 25, 2015

        I believe confusion arise from bezel term. Let’s forget the bezel for a moment.

        Sharp Aquos Crystal 67mm wide and it has 5″ display.

        Also I read about their claims about LeTV Max. It has 6.33″ display and device is 83.5mm wide.

        These displays has 16:9 ratio. So a 5″ inch display (at 16:9 ratio) has 62.3mm width, while a 6.33″ display (at 16:9 ratio) had 78.8mm.

        I guess they didn’t count metal frame’s width.

        I said 3mm considered as slim, because of LG G3. It’s 5.5″ display is 68.6mm wide, device is 74.6mm wide.

        • antidumb
          April 25, 2015

          yes i also count that too, not every display precisely cut exactly like its ratio

          for example latest news about COO of letv post their phone bezel letv max against mi note you can see it’s almost a half mi note’s 3mm bezel, if that 2.4mm must be wider

          G3 has fat bezel, G2 more awesome

          • Guaire
            April 25, 2015

            G2 disguised it with black borders on white background. But G3’s top and bottom parts is larger than G2.

  4. Paul Sleight
    April 25, 2015

    In actual use I don’t think it really matters, so long as there is some dead space to avoid accidental touches. My Mlais m52 has quite wide bezels, about 3.5mm + 1.5mm frame, but as I am typing I am concentrating on the screen and not the surrounding area. Same when watching videos. The biggest benefit would be a narrower phone for one handed use.
    Now that I’ve had this phone for a while, I’m sure the next one will be a 5 or 5.2 inch screen with normal slimish bezels or a 5.5 if someone can really make one the size of a normal 5incher.

    • Guest
      April 25, 2015

      palm rejection is real, i understand people who never try this will doubt it, until i try myself with note edge, it really work no accidental touch while your thumb playing with main display

  5. Roberto Tomás
    April 25, 2015

    I think it is great, a beautiful visual upgrade… but in terms of technical improvement Im sure there is little there. maybe.. just maybe, it is useful for phablet-class phones, where every mm thinner means a more compfortable phone in the hand

  6. balcobomber25
    April 25, 2015

    I want bezels on my phones. I think phones without them are hideous looking.

    • mf1gt3r
      April 25, 2015

      Different strokes for different folks my man. I hate the looks of Nubia Z9, I love the looks of Galaxy Edge, I also hate the looks of this Oppo, buh I surely do love all 3 Letv phones. But I know you will agree with me on this, thinner bezels are generally prettier.

  7. Steve B
    April 25, 2015

    obsession with bezels is still an obsession.

    • aleubalton
      April 25, 2015

      It helps huge phones being not so huge…

    • Joe mont
      April 25, 2015

      Having a 3:2 screens helps a great deal more.

    • aleubalton
      April 25, 2015

      Wider phones are less comfortable for one handed use, that’s why all phones are 16:9… 3:2 is only good for tablets…

    • John Awesome
      April 25, 2015

      The phone having a wider aspect ratio will make it easier to hold with one hand? Well darn, I never knew nothin’ like that before!

    • balcobomber25
      April 26, 2015

      Have you ever used the Meizu Mx4? It has great one handed use and it doesn’t have 16:9, it has 5:3 aspect ratio.

    • aleubalton
      April 26, 2015

      It also has really narrow bezels. Also, I consider all phones above 70mm wide not easy to hold in one hand. Meizu mx4 measures 75mm wide, so it’s not good for one handed use, at least in my opinion.

    • balcobomber25
      April 26, 2015

      You must have small hands then, I have used it and think its one of the most comfortable phones to use one handed.

    • aleubalton
      April 26, 2015

      I don’t have small hands at all, but i’ve tried a lot of phones, and I’ve arrived to the conclusion that the perfect size for a phone is around 140mm tall and 70mm wide. The wider the phone, the harder it is to use with one hand, that’s just common sense.

    • balcobomber25
      April 26, 2015

      To me I can use up to about 75mm one handed. But it really depends on the phone.

    • aleubalton
      April 26, 2015

      Well we can agree to disagree heh 😛

  8. Guaire
    April 25, 2015

    Whole point of narrow bezels is putting larger displays on smaller phones.

    Right now 3mm side bezels considered very slim. Under 4mm most of people won’t complain about bezels. Very few actual handsets have under 3mm bezels.

    I guess that Oppo’s actual bezels could be 2 to 2.5mm range considering others.

    Without that distortion thing I would like it better.

    • Guest
      April 25, 2015

      no! who said that, 3mm bezel means 6mm more wide and that significant
      it still bezelless even without glass distortion, like sharp aquos is 1,7mm and letv max is 1.6mm

    • Guaire
      April 25, 2015

      I believe confusion arise from bezel term. Let’s forget the bezel for a moment.

      Sharp Aquos Crystal 67mm wide and it has 5″ display.

      Also I read about their claims about LeTV Max. It has 6.33″ display and device is 83.5mm wide.

      These displays has 16:9 ratio. So a 5″ inch display (at 16:9 ratio) has 62.3mm width, while a 6.33″ display (at 16:9 ratio) had 78.8mm.

      I guess they didn’t count metal frame’s width.

      I said 3mm considered as slim, because of LG G3. It’s 5.5″ display is 68.6mm wide, device is 74.6mm wide.

    • Guest
      April 25, 2015

      yes i also count that too, not every display precisely cut exactly like its ratio

      for example latest news about COO of letv post their phone bezel letv max against mi note you can see it’s almost a half mi note’s 3mm bezel, if that 2.4mm must be wider

      G3 has fat bezel, G2 more awesome

    • Guaire
      April 25, 2015

      G2 disguised it with black borders on white background. But G3’s top and bottom parts is larger than G2.

  9. realjjj
    April 25, 2015

    In this case it’s more about aesthetics than functional design. Sadly , just like Samsung on the Edge or the rumored ZTE,they don’t work on the upper and lower bezels at all and that results in a negative impact on aesthetics overall. The resulting design is just unbalanced.
    As for protection ,as you call it , the 2.5D glass that’s very fashionable now is even worse since the glass is thinner at the edge. At least on the S6, the Mi Note back and likely here, the glass is actually curved.
    The ultimate goal is to get rid of all 4 bezels and everybody needs to work on that not just on half of the problem. Flexible screens should allow them to get there soon but they can do better than this already.

  10. Roberto Tomás
    April 25, 2015

    I think it is great, a beautiful visual upgrade… but in terms of technical improvement Im sure there is little there. maybe.. just maybe, it is useful for phablet-class phones, where every mm thinner means a more compfortable phone in the hand

  11. balcobomber25
    April 25, 2015

    I want bezels on my phones. I think phones without them are hideous looking.

    • mf1gt3r
      April 25, 2015

      Different strokes for different folks my man. I hate the looks of Nubia Z9, I love the looks of Galaxy Edge, I also hate the looks of this Oppo, buh I surely do love all 3 Letv phones. But I know you will agree with me on this, thinner bezels are generally prettier.

    • realjjj
      April 25, 2015

      The Edge doesn’t look that great full frontal in real pics not renders but they avoid showing it that way.

    • balcobomber25
      April 26, 2015

      It depends how thin you are talking. I like there to be some bezel there. The Galaxy Edge is one of the ugliest phones i have ever seen. I prefer the look of the regular S6 to that.

    • balcobomber25
      April 26, 2015

      I have had hands on with it here in Thailand and its even worse than the pictures suggest. To me it’s just not very practical.

  12. realjjj
    April 25, 2015

    In this case it’s more about aesthetics than functional design. Sadly , just like Samsung on the Edge or the rumored ZTE,they don’t work on the upper and lower bezels at all and that results in a negative impact on aesthetics overall. The resulting design is just unbalanced.
    As for protection ,as you call it , the 2.5D glass that’s very fashionable now is even worse since the glass is thinner at the edge. At least on the S6, the Mi Note back and likely here, the glass is actually curved.
    The ultimate goal is to get rid of all 4 bezels and everybody needs to work on that not just on half of the problem. Flexible screens should allow them to get there soon but they can do better than this already.

  13. Adam Irvine
    April 25, 2015

    Big chin on it…

  14. Stef
    April 25, 2015

    “is the pursuit of a bezel-less phone really necessary”

    Yes it is, in fact we have not gone nearly far enough. This phone has significant top and bottom bezel.

    Phones are at an all time low in ergonomics, time to be scaled back in size. For that we need to almost completely wipe the bezels (on all sides) and develop fingeprint sensing digitizers (completely removing the need for ridiculous physical buttons and of course of bezels as they would reject anything that is not a fingertip or -maybe- a stylus). Of couse we’d also need some type of shatter resistand screen (flexible oled or maybe sapphire glass?).

    Imagine a 5 inch phone using the profile of iphone 3g. And then a galaxy note in the size of galaxy S. That should be the future, compact, “shaterless”, powerful machines with no capacity of rogue touches (either due to pockets or parts of a body other rhan a finger)

  15. Adam Irvine
    April 25, 2015

    Big chin on it…

  16. April 26, 2015

    A bezel-less design won’t allow you to use a 5.5″ phone with one hand, increase your productivity with longer battery life, improve your gaming and movie watching experience with deeper blacks, or protect your phone from the rain. It is the embodiment of style over substance.

    • Stef
      April 26, 2015

      It won’t disallow any of them either.

      Slim bezels *can* be useful if implemented properly (in conjuction w palm rejection tech), it would send the ergonomics of modern phones through the roof. As it stands though you’re right, they’re style over substance, but that’s because we haven’t pushed far enough.

      • April 26, 2015

        I recently went to the local store to check out the latest 5.5″ with the smallest bezel I could find (an LG). Sure I could grip the phone a tiny bit better, but I was still not able to use the phone one-handed in a natural manner, and I don’t think shaving a few mm’s off the width will change that, regardless of palm rejection technology. I dunno…maybe I just have small hands ;-). For me at least, there are only three sure ways to improve the ergonomics of one-handed phone usage:

        1. Use a 5″ phone or smaller, in which case a bezel-less design is just for looks because I can still use it in one hand even with the bezel.

        2. Features within the OS itself to make it easier to navigate with one hand. Jolla’s Sailfish pulley menu system comes to mind. New thumb gestures that some vendors are cooking into their ROMs are also a good start.

        3. Change to a super-wide aspect ratio panel such as 21:9 (e.g., 768 x 1792). Granted this would make the phone look more like a TV remote control, but at least you’ll be able to reach the far bottom corner with your thumb (good luck reaching the top corner though).

        In any case, one-handed usability is not a big “must have” feature for me, so no big deal — I’m glad in most cases I can get away with using my phone with two hands, which I’m OK with. The biggest thing that I wish they’d solve ASAP is battery tech, because I’m so tired of worrying whether my phone would make it through the rest of the day after I have my CoC fix in over lunch.

        • Stef
          April 26, 2015

          To be fair LG G3 is still a far cry from being bezeless (25% bezel). A truly bezelless 5.5 phone would be sth like 133mm x 68mm in profile which is smaller than Galaxy S3, which is pretty usable one-handed.

          But ergonomics is not just about one-handed use. It’s about pocketability, easier two-handed use, and of course lack of accidental touch (palm rejection tech). Do all those and we’d have a jump in ergonomics.

  17. Stef
    April 26, 2015

    “is the pursuit of a bezel-less phone really necessary”

    Yes it is, in fact we have not gone nearly far enough. This phone has significant top and bottom bezel.

    Phones are at an all time low in ergonomics, time to be scaled back in size. For that we need to almost completely wipe the bezels (on all sides) and develop fingeprint sensing digitizers (completely removing the need for ridiculous physical buttons and of course of bezels as they would reject anything that is not a fingertip or -maybe- a stylus). Of couse we’d also need some type of shatter resistand screen (flexible oled or maybe sapphire glass?).

    Imagine a 5 inch phone using the profile of iphone 3g. And then a galaxy note in the size of galaxy S. That should be the future, compact, “shaterless”, powerful machines with no capacity of rogue touches (either due to pockets or parts of a body other rhan a finger)

  18. 10basetom
    April 26, 2015

    A bezel-less design won’t allow you to use a 5.5″ phone with one hand, increase your productivity with longer battery life, improve your gaming and movie watching experience with deeper blacks, or protect your phone from the rain. It is the embodiment of style over substance.

    • Stef
      April 26, 2015

      It won’t disallow any of them either.

      Slim bezels *can* be useful if implemented properly (in conjuction w palm rejection tech), it would send the ergonomics of modern phones through the roof. As it stands though you’re right, they’re style over substance, but that’s because we haven’t pushed far enough.

    • 10basetom
      April 26, 2015

      I recently went to the local store to check out the latest 5.5″ with the smallest bezel I could find (an LG). Sure I could grip the phone a tiny bit better, but I was still not able to use the phone one-handed in a natural manner, and I don’t think shaving a few mm’s off the width will change that, regardless of palm rejection technology. I dunno…maybe I just have small hands ;-). For me at least, there are only three sure ways to improve the ergonomics of one-handed phone usage:

      1. Use a 5″ phone or smaller, in which case a bezel-less design is just for looks because I can still use it in one hand even with the bezel.

      2. Features within the OS itself to make it easier to navigate with one hand. Jolla’s Sailfish pulley menu system comes to mind. New thumb gestures that some vendors are cooking into their ROMs are also a good start.

      3. Change to a super-wide aspect ratio panel such as 21:9 (e.g., 768 x 1792). Granted this would make the phone look more like a TV remote control, but at least you’ll be able to reach the far bottom corner with your thumb (good luck reaching the top corner though).

      In any case, one-handed usability is not a big “must have” feature for me, so no big deal — I’m glad in most cases I can get away with using my phone with two hands, which I’m OK with. The biggest thing that I wish they’d solve ASAP is battery tech, because I’m so tired of worrying whether my phone would make it through the rest of the day after I have my CoC fix in over lunch.

    • Stef
      April 26, 2015

      To be fair LG G3 is still a far cry from being bezeless (25% bezel). A truly bezelless 5.5 phone would be sth like 133mm x 68mm in profile which is smaller than Galaxy S3, which is pretty usable one-handed.

      But ergonomics is not just about one-handed use. It’s about pocketability, easier two-handed use, and of course lack of accidental touch (palm rejection tech). Do all those and we’d have a jump in ergonomics.

  19. Steve B
    April 26, 2015

    There’s a reason most paintings are put in a frame, they’ve had bezeless technology in the art world for thousands of years, but framing serves a purpose (whether physical border or a clean background).

    • Stef
      April 26, 2015

      Yeah but to many phones is not an artform, they’re tools, and they’d take anything to make them smaller from their current (giant) dimensions.

      To those -though- that a phone is also about looks, -you’re right- bezels are an integral part of the character and aesthetics of a/their product. My theory is that that’s why apple sacrifices ergonomics with the giant bezels of theirs. To improve the looks.

  20. Josef Izchaki
    April 26, 2015

    I have the M52 and i use it one handed with no issues, so i am guessing it depends on your hand size.

  21. Steve B
    April 26, 2015

    There’s a reason most paintings are put in a frame, they’ve had bezeless technology in the art world for thousands of years, but framing serves a purpose (whether physical border or a clean background).

    • Stef
      April 26, 2015

      Yeah but to many phones is not an artform, they’re tools, and they’d take anything to make them smaller from their current (giant) dimensions.

      To those -though- that a phone is also about looks, -you’re right- bezels are an integral part of the character and aesthetics of a/their product. My theory is that that’s why apple sacrifices ergonomics with the giant bezels of theirs. To improve the looks.

  22. Josef Izchaki
    April 26, 2015

    I have the M52 and i use it one handed with no issues, so i am guessing it depends on your hand size.