The bezel-less iPhone 16 Pro Max looks great! Here’s why I’m NOT excited about it

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If phones could talk, they’d say: “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread…” (if that rings a bell, it’s because it’s a Bilbo Baggins quote from

).

That’s because the “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” motto these days sounds more like: “Thinner, thinner, thinner… and thinner with AI!”

Speaking of AI, I’m sure phones will be able to speak for themselves in no time. However, this isn’t going to be about AI at all (I can hear sighs of relief from left and right).

I’m going to talk about the physical world – about size, dimensions, and proportions.

Phones are getting thinner by the hour: the technology evolves and brings us slimmer batteries, evermore compact camera units, (almost) paper-thin foldables, and – most noticeably – ultra-thin bezels.

Currently, the most talked about industry bezels right now are the ones that are to be found on the iPhone 16 Pro Max.

It’s said that the iPhone 16 Pro Max would break records for the thinnest bezels on a smartphone.

Preliminary renders look awesome: it’s “sci-fi level awesome”, as a colleague of mine put it the other day.

The current hype revolving around the iPhone 16 Pro Max is yet another opportunity to play the doomer part and tell you about all the things that can (and will, I promise you) go wrong with such a futuristic, aesthetically pleasing all-screen-and-no-bezels phone.

But how is that possible?

As mentioned above, a recent leak suggested that the upcoming iPhone crop will feature the thinnest bezels ever seen on a smartphone. Reportedly, these will be new bezel numbers:

Take a look at this render by the reliable, well-known tipster Ice Universe:

What you see above could materialize thanks to BRS (Border Reduction Structure) – a technology aimed at reducing bezel thickness, especially the bottom bezel.

BRS works by optimizing the layout of circuitry beneath the display. This involves techniques such as:

  • Folding or bending the wiring: Electrical connections are folded or bent to fit within a smaller bezel
  • Relocating components: Essential components are moved from the bottom bezel to other areas of the phone

Ah, cool stuff!

The (almost) bezel-less iPhone 16 Pro Max is great because…

Apart from looking mighty cool and luxurious, there are several other Pros about ultra-thin bezels that I feel I need to highlight right now:
The thin bezels make it so that you receive a larger display: that’s called maximizing screen real estate without increasing the phone’s size! So, there’s more space for viewing those highly educational, incomparably funny TikTok videos, more space for Instagram photos and better gaming experiences.Furthermore, thin bezels could result in better multitasking with an enhanced split-screen experience, allowing users to run multiple apps side by side more comfortably. Remember: there’s more space to play with.

And that’s about it.

The (almost) bezel-less iPhone 16 Pro Max will suck because…

The dose makes the poison. In other words… time to be critical!

The iPhone 16 Pro Max, in my humble opinion, could be a challenge to hold and use because of the very same thing that makes it so appealing: the ultra-thin bezels.

Durability and servicing costs

Out there, in this vast world of ours, maybe there are folks who have never in their life dropped a phone. Maybe. However, the rest of us don’t possess such supernatural powers. Dropping a $1500 gadget is heartbreaking enough, but dropping a $1500 gadget that’s essentially all screen is a horror on a whole new level.

See, the screen edges are more exposed if the bezels are ultra-thin, which can lead to cracks and other damage.

Then, there’s the screen repair issue – I have no doubts servicing those ultra-thin bezel phones is going to be more expensive due to the complexity of the design.

Handling and usability issues

Less is more, but too little bezels, I think, could result in an increased chance of accidental touches on the side of the screen, which can lead to unintended actions or inputs.

Also: I don’t want to look at my fingers! If we as a society don’t come up with a completely new way to hold a phone, the iPhone 16 Pro Max with its ultra-thin bezels is going to be challenging to hold. I’m sure that my fingers will get in the way of that gorgeous screen. Which, you know, kind of defeats the purpose of ultra-thin bezels in the first place.

Also, what kind of cases and screen protectors will iPhone 16 Pro Max need in order to not spoil the UTB (ultra-thin bezels) aesthetics?

And, of course, this is going to drive the price of the phone up. But that one’s kind of expected by default, thin bezels or not…

Who am I kidding, it’s going to be a hit

Now that my Friday morning rant is over, it’s time to face reality and come to peace with the fact that the iPhone 16 Pro Max is going to be a hit, if these ultra-thin bezels materialize.

Here’s why: part of the phone buyers get a phone simply because of an external feature – the way it looks or its color (no, seriously). They are attracted to the exterior. Others buy anything with a fruit logo slapped on its back. A third group gets the latest piece of tech as soon as it’s out (they can’t help it).

And the Apple 16 Pro Max with its ultra-thin bezels checks all boxes.

It’s going to be too exotic, too premium to be ignored. When you’re presented with exotic, premium things, you kind of forget about the risks and drawbacks attached. That’s just the way we are.

P.S. Every phone maker out there will try and release a flagship that’s all screen and no bezels in the near future. So, we’ll just have to put up with it… or just go get the magnificent Google Pixel 8a that comes with some seriously juicy, succulent, plump bezels!


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