Over the year smartphone manufacturers have been largely following the trend set by Apple, rolling out their take of the bezel-less smartphones with a notch to house the front facing camera, sensors and speaker. Not anymore, the next generation smartphones will seek to change that with notch-less design, in-display fingerprint sensor and slide out cameras.
The result, a true bezel-less display with nearly 100% screen to body ratio minus the ugly and sometime obtrusive notch. The truth is, no matter how you look at it, the notch is just getting in the way of a real full screen experience. While it may be a new design language for iPhone making its departure from conventional rectangular display on the iPhone 8 to rounded corners and notched display on the iPhone X and beyond, it’s not necessarily practical in design.
The problem is, other manufacturers then jumped on the trend set by Apple without considering how this would impact on user experience. Even Samsung who stayed away from a notched design is rumoured to be giving in and coming out with their first smartphone that features a notch. More on this at the bottom of the article.
But there is hope for those who want a real all screen smartphone. Manufacturers are racing to come out with the next generation smartphone that is genuinely and truly designed with the screen covering the front almost in entirety. So where does the front facing camera, speaker and sensors go?
We explore three amazing approach to achieving a full screen notch-less smartphone starting with the slider phone followed by smartphones with pin hole cut-out display and smartphones with minimal notch design and minimal bezel.
Top 5 Best Full Screen Slider Smartphones with Real All Display Design
In a move not dissimilar to handheld phones in the past, think Nokia and Blackberry with its’ candy bar phone complete with slide out keyboard, the new generation phone incorporates the slider. Companies such as Honor, Xiaomi, Samsung, Oppo, Vivo and Lenovo are going to market with their all display design.
Here’s a quick look at the line-up, real full screen smartphones with slider
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 (slider)
- Honor Magic 2 (slider)
- Oppo Find X (slider)
- Lenovo Z5 Pro (slider)
- Vivo Nex (pop-up)
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 (slider)
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 uses a magnetic slider mechanism that retracts to reveal its front facing camera. When concealed, you get a notch-less, near zero bezel display measuring 6.39-inch at 1080 x 2340 pixel resolution. The screen to body ratio is a huge 93.4%. For the front facing camera, Xiaomi uses a dual camera setup pairing a 24MP sensor with a 2MP secondary camera for real-time optical blurring. On the rear you also get a dual camera setup this time with a pair of 12MP for an ultra light sensitive AI camera, LED flash and Fingerprint sensor.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Chipset
- 6GB RAM and 128GB storage
- 6.39-inch Full Screen AMOLED Display 2340 x 1080 FHD+, 403 PPI 19.5:9 aspect ratio
- 24MP + 2MP front camera with real time video background blurring, 12MP + 12MP rear camera with Ultra light-sensitive AI.
Honor Magic 2 (slider)
Honor Magic 2 is next on our list with a full 6.39-inch AMOLED FullView display, totally zero notch and zero bezel safe for the small chin bezel. It does this using a slider mechanism and optical in-display fingerprint sensor. The slider hides the speaker, sensors and selfie camera. The sliding action is achieved using 5 sliding tracks for smooth, durable and stable retractable motion. This reveals a 16MP AI-Triple Camera setup with 2 additional 2MP optic sensors for that all important selfies, 3D Bionic Sensor and IR Face Unlock . On the rear, it houses a triple camera arrangement with 16MP RGB, 24MP monochrome and 16MP ultra wide angle optical sensors. The lenses are grouped vertically headed by the LED flash. At the heart of the phone is the Kirin 980 7nm AI chipset with 6GB or 8GB RAM and 128GB or 256GB storage.
- Kirin 980 7nm AI chipset
- 6GB or 8GB RAM and 128GB or 256GB storage
- 6.39-inch FullView AMOLED 2.5D bezel-less display
- 16MP+24MP+16MP Rear camera and 16MP+2MP+2MP Front camera
Oppo Find X (slider)
Oppo Find X is another slider phone with a difference. It has a full panoramic arc screen. The display measures 6.4-inch AMOLED display with 2340 x 1080 pixel 19.5:9 aspect ratio and curved side bezels akin to that found on Samsung Galaxy S series. It has an even higher screen to body ratio compared to Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 at 93.8%. The front facing 25MP AI enhanced selfie camera and 3D Face Recognition system are hidden beneath the display. To use it simply slide the screen down. On the rear you get a dual camera setup combining a 20MP with 16MP sensor. Powered by Snapdragon 845 chipset, it comes with 8GB RAM memory and 256GB or 512GB (Lamborghini Edtion) storage. Just like Apple on the iPhone X and onward, Oppo has forgo the traditional fingerprint sensor in favour of face recognition.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset
- 6.4-inch AMOLED 2340 x 1080 Pixel resolution
- 8GB RAM and 256GB or 512GB storage
- 20MP + 16MP rear sensor, 25MP front sensor
Lenovo Z5 Pro (slider)
The Lenovo Z5 Pro is yet another slider phone hiding a dual camera setup behind its sliding screen. The screen also measures 6.39-inch Super AMOLED display similar to Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 with a screen resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels 403PPI 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The Lenovo Z5 Pro is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 chipset with 6GB of RAM memory and 64GB or 128GB storage. For the main camera, it uses a pair of 16MP and 24MP sensors while for the front, Lenovo uses 16MP and 8MP pair. Unlike on the Oppo Find X, Lenovo has incorporated an under display fingerprint sensor. A Lenovo Z5 Pro GT version is rumour to be launched with chart topping Snapdragon 855 chipset.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 chipset
- 6GB RAM memory and 64GB or 128GB storage
- 6.39-inch Super AMOLED 2340 x 1080 pixels 403PPI 19.5:9 aspect ratio display
- 16MP + 24MP dual rear camera and 16MP + 8MP front camera
Vivo Nex (pop-up)
Not quite a slider phone but comes with a pop-up camera. Like other phones above, the camera is hidden behind the screen. It elevates in 1 second and retracts automatically when you are done with it using micro drive stepping motor system. Together with in-display fingerprint sensor, Vivo Nex is a real full display smartphone. The display is the biggest FullView screen in our line-up measuring 6.59-inch Super AMOLED with Full HD+ resolution 1080 x 2316 pixels giving it a high screen to body ratio of 91.24% . That single front facing camera uses an 8MP sensor. A dual camera setup comprising of a 12MP and 5MP sensor is your main shooter. Powered by Snapdragon 845 with 8GB RAM memory and 128GB storage, the phone will take on anything you throw at it.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset
- 8GB RAM memory and 128GB storage
- 6.59-inch Super AMOLED display FullHD+ 2316 x 1080 pixels 19.3:9 aspect ratio
- Dual main camera 12MP + 5MP and single front camera 8MP
Top 5 Best Full Display Smartphones with Pin Hole Camera Cut-Out
Next, we look at full screen notch-less smartphone with pin hole camera
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S (bottom camera)
- Samsung Galaxy A8s (pin hole)
- Huawei Nova 4 (pin hole)
- Honor View 20 (pin hole)
- Samsung Galaxy S10 (pin hole)
Xiaomi’s move to take the selfie camera from its traditional location and move it to the bottom bezel allows the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S to achieve a 5.99-inch full display (2160 x 1080 Full HD 403ppi 18:9 aspect ratio), with no notch or cut-outs. The move sees the front camera relocated to the bottom right corner on the chin bezel, typically used to house the display and touch screen controller as well as the ribbon interconnect. Powerful Snapdragon 845 chipset, generous memory, curved ceramic design, AI dual cameras and Qi wireless charging makes this real full display phone one to beat.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset
- 6GB RAM and 64GB storage
- 5.99-inch Full HD 2160 x 1080 403PPI 18:9 aspect ratio
- Qi wireless charging 3400mAh battery
The Samsung Galaxy A8S is also another mid-life upgrade that is totally different to its current generation Samsung Galaxy A8 and A8+. The bigger difference being the pin hole cut-out design. This gives the full 6.4-inch AMOLED display a small hole in the top left corner to house the selfie camera. In the pin hole sits a 24-MP front facing camera. The A8S is powered by octa-core processor with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. On the rear of the phone you will find the fingerprint sensor, triple rear camera setup (24MP, 10MP and 5MP).
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 chipset
- 6GB RAM and 128GB storage
- 6.4-inch AMOLED display Full HD+ 1080 x 2340 pixels, 403PPI 19.5:9 ratio
- Triple rear camera
Huawei Nova 4 is another full display smartphone with pin hole camera. The 6.4-inch device spots a pin hole cut-out on the top left corner of its display. While the display is only based on IPS LCD, it has a Full HD+ resolution of 2310 x 1080 giving it 398PPI density. Powered by the Kirin 970 chip, it has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The front facing camera in the pin hole has a 25MP sensor while on the back you find a triple camera arrangement. This consist of a 48MP, 16Mp and 2MP (depth sensor) lenses. The Nova 4 however still relies on physical rear mounted finger print sensor.
Being the mid-range and budget arm of Huawei, Honor has its own offering in the strive for a full display notch-less smartphone. Not to be left behind, Honor View 20 is the company’s attempt at a full screen smartphone with a pin hole cut-out, also on the top left corner. The punch hole is considerably bigger and houses a whooping 25MP megapixel sensor. The dual rear camera setup uses an ultra high 48MP sensor. Also on the ear is a conventional fingerprint scanner. The Honor flagship is priced to compete with OnePlus 6T and is available in four striking colours and design, seen below is the Phantom Blue.
- HiSilicon Kirin 980 Octa-core (up to 2.6GHz) Dual NPU AI chipset
- 6GB or 8GB RAM and 128GB or 256GB Storage
- 6.4-inch IPS LCD Full HD+ 2310 x 1080 pixels 398PPI
- Dual 48MP (f/1.8, 1/2″, 0.8µm, PDAF) main rear camera with TOF 3D Stereo Camera. 25MP (f/2.0, 27mm) selfie front camera
The Galaxy A8s may have beaten the flagship Galaxy S to the pin hole design but we are expecting the next Galaxy S10 to come with the same Infinity O design. That is to say, it will have a similar pin hole cut-out on its display to house the front facing camera. We will have more information on launch so stay tuned.
Notch-less or Minimal Notch Smartphones with Full Display
Other notch-less or minimal notch smartphones with full display
- Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9
- Samsung’s New Infinity Design
- OnePlus 6T (V shaped notch)
- Huawei Mate 20 X and Huawei Mate 20 (U shaped notch)
- Honor 10 Lite (U shaped notch)
- Huawei P Smart (U shaped notch)
While the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are notch-less in design, the phones still spot a bigger top and bottom bexel. The Galaxy S9 has a 5.8-inch display while the bigger S9 Plus comes with a 6.2-inch display. Both displays have zero side bezel with curved sides and are based on Super AMOLED technology with QHD+ resolution and 18.5:9 aspect ratio.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is in many ways similar to the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus except it comes with Stylus support, longer battery life, more memory and storage. The Note 9 has the largest Infinity Display yet at 6.4-inch with a near bezel-free, full-frontal glass and edge-to-edge screen. The Super AMOLED display has the same QHD+ resolution as aspect ratio as the Galaxy S packing 1440 x 2960 pixels.
The Samsung’s New Infinity Design is an all screen, notch-less design earmarked for the future. The new design is one of four Samsung’s Infinity display approach. The other display design includes Infinity U, Infinity V and Infinity O, each describing the cut out on the display in an effort to move closer to a notch-less design. What we are interested is the new Infinity Design, could this be a slider phone too, that house the camera and other components out of view.
OnePlus 6T is a flagship beating smartphone known for its premium design and high performing components but costing only around half the price of competitors’ equivalent. While the T denotes a mid-life upgrade, the new sixth generation phone is more than that. OnePlus 6T spots a smaller V-shaped notched, bigger display at 6.41-inch with 2340 x 1080 pixels (402ppi) at 19.5:9 aspect ratio and in-display fingerprint sensor with even smaller bezel. OnePlus 6 on the other hand has a conventional notch, smaller display at 6.28-inch with 2280 x 1080 pixels at 19:9 aspect ratio, fingerprint sensor around the back and a noticeably bigger chin bezel.
The Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 X comes with 6.53-inch and 7.2-inch Full View LCD display each with 2244 x 1080 pixel resolution. This makes the devices considerably bigger than the Huawei Mate 20 Pro with 6.39-inch OLED. Just like the Mate 20 Pro, both Mate 20 and Mate 20 X is powered by Kirin 980 chipset. For cameras, both phones feature Leica Triple Camera setup for its main camera. The setup includes a 12MP RGB lens for everyday photo, 8MP telephoto lens for zoom and 16MP Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens for landscape and macro. Night shots are enhanced with AI Image Stabilisation. For the front camera you get a 24MP f/2.0 sensor.
A budget entry, the Honor 10 lite has a big 6.21-inch FullView display. This is slightly bigger than the display on Galaxy S9 Plus but has a comparatively lower but still respectable Full HD+ 1080 x 2340 pixels resolution at 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The is however a U-shaped cutout also known as the dewdrop notch on the display but is minimal and not as obtrusive. It doesn’t stop there, it has a dual main camera with 13MP and 2MP sensors and a super high AI powered 24MP selfie camera. The device runs on Kirin 710 chipset with 3GB RAM memory and 32GB or 64GB of storage.
Huawei P Smart has a minimal U shaped notch on the top of its 6.21-inch FullView display (Full HD+ 1080 x 2340 pixels 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Huawei calls this the dewdrop notch. This Huawei P Smart 2019 features a pair of AI enhance shooters on the rear combining 13MP and 2MP camera. The main cameras are capable of AI scene recognition in real time with up to 22 categories and 500 scenarios automatic selection for the best shot. The front shooter, also AI enhanced is capable of optimising selfie shots with 8 unique scenes. Like Honor 10 lite, at the heart of the P Smart is the Kirin 710 octa-core chipset with 3GB RAM and 64GB storage.