The technology mantra of thinner, lighter, faster made it’s way from personal computers to smartphones. A PowerBook from 1992 looks much like a MacBoo Pro from 2018. Thin slab, rounded corners, light and fast. Relatively speaking, of course.
The same thinner, lighter, faster mantra of smartphones from the early part of the 21st century still reigns today.
Think about the first iPhone. While it was dramatically different in design than previous smartphones, the original 2007 iPhone design remains and almost every smartphone you see in anyone’s hands these days is the same.
Thinner, lighter, faster. Rounded corners, large display, all day battery life.
Same old, same old, right? What has happened in the not-quite-dozen years since iPhone launched are annual iterations of the original design. Everything is faster, including bandwidth. The display has more pixels and colors. Millions of applications are available to perform almost any task you can think of.
Today’s smartphones resemble the original iPhone but iterative improvements mean larger devices with ever larger displays– and thinner bezels. The latest trend is the move toward micro-bezels around the edges, and the step-by-step goodbye of foreheads and chins.
Foreheads and chins?
You’ve seen them. It’s likely your smartphone, iPhone or Android, has one or both. The forehead is the bar of technological gadgetry at the top; that area just below the top bezel. It hold cameras and sensors and microphones and other miniature marvels. The chin works about the same way.
On iPhone, the chin is the home button, but behind the chin in Apple’s Lightning connector, speakers, microphone, headphone jack (depending upon your model), and more. More? The Home button. With iPhone X Apple did away with the Home button in favor of gestures, so if you love your iPhone’s Touch ID, get ready for the future. Think Face ID.
And, speaking of Face ID, Apple decided to reduce the aforementioned forehead in favor of a Notch to hold all the built-in Face ID technology and the iPhone’s camera. Apple could just as easily created a wide forehead to match Samsung, Google, and other premium manufacturers, but went with the Notch forehead instead, which allows some display elements and icons to be visible to the right and left of the Notch area.
Guess what? Notch is a design element worthy of copying by Android copycat artists so you see it everywhere. Well, almost everywhere. Not Samsung. Not yet. Maybe not ever. Samsung so loves to poke Apple for its design aesthetics while copying whatever else it can.
Chins are dying. The Notch has begun to replace the foreheads. Bezels are smaller and thinner. Smartphones are larger but displays are even larger in a smaller case. Maybe in a few years the bezel will be almost invisible and there will be no forehead and chin. The smartphone might become a pair of glasses instead.
It could happen.
In the meantime, say goodbye to forehead and chin.