The Apple iPhone X, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, the LG V30, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 and Huawei's Honor 9i, without a doubt, look like phones straight out of a sci-fi movie. All of these phones broadly represent the future of smartphones wherein all smartphones would be all glass and no bezel. Not only would such phones give you more real estate in a compact form factor, they will also make users rely less on physical buttons and more on touch-based interactions. Take a look.
Apple says the iPhone X is the future of the smartphone: a future wherein all smartphones would be long continuous sheets of glass with an edge-to-edge display and no physical buttons. "For more than a decade, our intention has been to create an iPhone that is all display. The iPhone X is the realisation of that vision," Jony Ive, Apple's chief design officer says. "With the introduction of iPhone ten years ago, we revolutionised the mobile phone with Multi-Touch. iPhone X marks a new era for iPhone -- one in which the device disappears into the experience."
In line with the new industry trend, the iPhone X is all glass and almost no bezel. It is carved out of glass -- although Apple does not mention a name, it says it has used the most durable glass ever in a smartphone in the iPhone X -- and surgical-grade stainless steel. The stainless steel centerpiece that joins the front and back is virtually non-existent. And it's polished in a way that it gives out the impression that the whole thing is one continuous sheet of glass.
The front, in the case of the iPhone X, is clean and without any physical buttons. Although, it's still not a one hundred per cent all-screen phone, the iPhone X. The iPhone X has a notch at the top that houses a host of camera gimmickry including sensors for biometric authentication. The iPhone X, to that effect, does not ship with a fingerprint scanner. It gets rid of Apple's hallmark Touch ID, and replaces it with facial recognition technology called Face ID.
Elsewhere, the iPhone X is also Apple's biggest iPhone yet. It's a 5.8-inch phone that uses an OLED panel -- another first for an iPhone that have traditionally stuck with LCDs all this time -- but because Apple has shaved off the bezels, the phone occupies a much smaller footprint when in the hands.
Price and availability: The iPhone X will cost Rs 89,000 in India for the 64GB variant. The top end version with 256GB RAM will meanwhile cost Rs 102,000. Pre-orders begin from October 27 and the iPhone X will hit the shelves from November 3. The iPhone X will be available in two colours: silver and space grey.
The now defunct Galaxy Note 7 introduced many an industry-firsts back in the day. It came with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on both front and back. It was, in fact, the first Note-series device to come with dust and water-resistant capabilities. Samsung was also able to IP68 certify the included S Pen. Base storage started at 64 gigs, and the Note 7 also supported expandable storage of up to 256GB via a hybrid micro-SD card slot. It came with a Quad-HD screen resolution and allowed users to manually change the screen's resolution to HD and Full-HD as well, to conserve battery. There was also HDR-mode for videos. On the camera front, it came with a 12-megapixel 'dual-pixel' rear (with f/1.7 aperture and optical image stabilisation) and a 5-megapixel front shooter combo.
The Galaxy Note 8 picks up where the infamous Galaxy Note 7 left and infuses it with the company's current-generation flagship Galaxy S8/Galaxy S8+' USP Infinity screen, which means, that much like Samsung's Galaxy S8/Galaxy S8+, the Galaxy Note 8 also comes with an edge-to-edge bezel-less display with an unusual 18.5:9 aspect ratio.
The Galaxy Note 8 is carved out of glass -- Corning's new Gorilla Glass 5 -- and metal. The metallic centerpiece that joins the front and back is virtually non-existent, much like it is in the case of the Galaxy S8/Galaxy S8+. And it's polished in a way that it gives out the impression that the whole thing is one continuous sheet of glass. There is a subtle difference, however, in that the Galaxy Note 8 is a little less curvy than the Galaxy S8/Galaxy S8+. This is so that users can make best use of the S-Pen's note-taking capabilities on a relatively flatter surface, according to Samsung.
The front, in the case of the Galaxy Note 8, is clean and without any physical buttons. The fingerprint scanner, much like it is in the case of the Galaxy S8/Galaxy S8+, lies on the rear adjacent to the camera module which means reaching out to it would still be an ergonomic nightmare. The home button is, meanwhile, software-based. It is also pressure-sensitive and gives you haptic feedback when you press it.The Galaxy Note 8 has almost no bezels. The phone gives you almost 83 per cent of screen-to-body ratio. The Galaxy Note 8, because it has almost no bezels, occupies a much smaller footprint -- size as well as girth -- in comparison to a regular 6-inch phone. The Galaxy Note 8, for your reference, has a 6.3-inch screen.
Price and availability: The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is available for buying in India across offline and online retail stores at a price of Rs 67,900. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is available in Midnight Black and Maple Gold colour options.
The V30, which is successor to last year's audio-centric phone, the V20, comes with an unusual 18:9 Full Vision display -- instead of a regular 16:9 -- much like the G6. This means that the V30 is not only an audio-centric phone, it is video-centric as well.
The USP of the V30 much like the G6, according to LG, is its "big screen that fits." The phone comes with ridiculously slim bezels allowing the display to take up over 80 per cent of its front side. LG has so far stayed clear of using an OLED panel (not strictly though as the forgettable G Flex 2 did house one) but all this changes now with the V30. The V30 is LG's first true flagship phone from LG, in a long time, to come with a curved OLED -- called Full Vision by the company -- display which is also HDR 10-ready.
The V30 has a 6-inch QHD+ 18:9 Full Vision display which when combined with LG's Android 7.1.2 Nougat-based UX software will allow users to run apps in two perfectly square windows side-by-side. The feature, which seems to be a gradual progression of Android 7.0's split-screen multitasking capabilities, has been extended to the camera software as well. Much like it is in the LG G6.
Price and availability: The LG V30 is yet to make its way to India but since LG has brought all its flagship phones to India sooner or later, we can totally expect the company to launch the V30 here in the days to come. Because it is a high-end flagship phone, we can also totally expect LG to price it at around Rs 50,000 in India. The V30 will be available in as many as four colour options: Aurora Black, Cloud Silver, Moroccan Blue, and Lavender Violet.
The Mi Mix 2, it seems like, carries forward the trend started by last year's Mi Mix which is why it also aspires to offer more screen real estate in a compact pint-sized form factor.
Just like the Mi Mix, the Mi Mix 2 also comes with a full ceramic body and an outer frame that is carved out of 7-series aluminum alloy. The Mi Mix 2 ships with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on the front and an 18K gold-plated camera rim that make it instantly stand out like a limited edition device. While the ceramic back protects against scratches -- in fact, the Mi Mix 2 with its ceramic body would be really hard to scratch unless you really want to, the same cannot be said about accidental drops though since ceramic is also one of the most brittle materials around -- the curved aluminum frame enhances grip and all-round experience. Xiaomi ships a protective case in the box, just in case.
Just like the Mi Mix, the Mi Mix 2 also boasts of an impressive screen-to-body ratio offering more screen without occupying a larger footprint. Because the Mi Mix 2 offers an unusual aspect ratio of 18:9 -- last year's Mi Mix came with a 17:9 screen -- it is longer than it is wider. The Mi Mix 2, for your reference, is a 5.99-inch phone but because Xiaomi has shaved off much of the bezels, it appears smaller when in the hands. Just like the Mi Mix, the Mi Mix 2 also doesn't have a forehead, but only the chin. Xiaomi, this time round, has reduced the size of the chin. The front camera -- a 5-megapixel -- is still tucked away at the bottom but, this time round, Xiaomi has managed to make it all the more concealed.
The Mi Mix 2 further uses an ultrasonic proximity sensor through the display, through the glass, through the whole thing. It senses when you bring your phone to your ear just like an infrared proximity sensor. Unlike last year when Xiaomi used a piezoelectric ceramic driver for the earpiece -- so the earpiece was also hidden underneath the glass -- the Mi Mix 2 has a tiny slit up top that serves as the earpiece/secondary speaker.
Price and availability: The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 will be available for buying online via Flipkart, and offline via the company's exclusive retail partners and Mi Home stores at a price of Rs 35,999. It will be available in Black colour option and just the one version: 6GB RAM/128GB storage.
Huawei's Honor is known for its aggressively priced phones that offer quite the bang for your buck in almost all the departments. With the recently launched Honor 9i, the company is bringing technology that was well until now limited to the high-end premium market - the iPhone X, the Galaxy Note 8, the V30 and the Mi Mix 2 are classic examples - to the masses. Because of Honor, edge-to-edge bezel-less phones aren't limited to the high-end premium market.
The Honor 9i comes with a 5.9-inch Full-HD+ edge-to-edge display with 18:9 aspect ratio. Huawei claims that the minimal bezels allow them to fit a 5.9-inch display into what is effectively a 5.5-inch smartphone form factor. The 'FullView' display has a resolution of 2160 x 1080 and is covered by 2.5D glass which not only looks premium but enhances in-hand feel.
Price and availability: The Honor 9i is available in India at a price of Rs 17,999. It's a Flipkart-exclusive in the country and is available in as many as three colour options: Graphite Black, Prestige Gold and Aurora Blue.