First, phone screens grew, and now it's time for the bezels to shrink and disappear. That seems to be what phone makers have decided, at least. Samsung has been working in that direction with the Edge line of Galaxy phones, but according to a report from Bloomberg, the company plans to take the bezel-reduction concept all the way to its logical conclusion with its upcoming Galaxy S8 handset in 2017. The site says the S8 will drop the home button entirely and offer up a screen that completely covers the front of the phone.
The bezel, that edge around your monitor, television, or phone, has long confounded electronics manufacturers. It's a convenient spot for necessary things like cameras, light sensors, or microphones, but its presence keeps devices from looking as magical and futuristic as they often appear in movies. Now, though, it seems phone makers might finally be able to make this technological fantasy work.
Problems like ignoring unintentended touch input have made the full-screen concept difficult to achieve, but if Samsung's engineers have it down, it could very well make the S8 an impressive piece of tech. In addition to squeezing out the bezel one millimeter at a time, Samsung intends to embed a virtual home button in the lower section of the screen, which would make the S8 the first edition in the Galaxy line to ship without a physical home button. The Xiaomi Mi Mix handset already has a 91.3% screen-to-body ratio, but the hypothetical Samsung S8 would be the first phone to reach that magical 100% figure.
After the debacle with the Note 7 earlier this year, which cost Samsung billions of dollars and 17% of its yearly net income, the company needs the S8 to be a winner. Bloomberg says the company is aiming for a March release date for the phone, but more stringent testing may push the release back a month. Any revenue lost in the delay will be insignificant compared the the potential dangers—both physical and financial—of another exploding phone.