Sony is still having doubts about the concept of fully bezel-less smartphones even as it started slimming down the screen borders on its most recent mobile products, a number of company officials revealed in an internal interview with their colleagues. The Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact released earlier this year marked a major milestone for the Japanese original equipment manufacturer, having debuted the new “Ambient Flow” design language meant to succeed the OmniBalance aesthetic Sony has been pursuing for years. While many industry watchers presumed the pair of Android flagships marked the end of Sony’s 16:9 products in the high-end price bracket, the company followed up on them with a much more traditional-looking Xperia XZ2 Premium which retains the widescreen image format from its older offerings.
Sony’s designers say they still have doubts about elongated aspect ratios and minimal bezels, having revealed they want every product they deliver to be both aesthetically pleasing and functional. A complete lack of bezels that some OEMs are now striving toward may not be the most ergonomic or intuitive form factor from an end-user perspective, even though it may be considered as more visually appealing, according to the officials. The Tokyo-based tech giant also isn’t planning on blindly sticking with a single design over any given product generation, with its product team pointing to the Xperia XZ2 Premium and Xperia XZ2 Compact as two examples of that line of thinking; while the smaller device features smaller bezels and an 18:9 screen, it was envisioned as a versatile and highly portable offering intended for single-handed, usually portrait use. On the other hand, the Xperia XZ2 Premium is a phablet catering to heavy multimedia users and with the vast majority of today’s video content still being a 16:9 affair, embracing a taller aspect ratio would just deteriorate from one’s viewing experience, Sony’s product team believes.
Sony is presently devising new bezel-less smartphone concepts but nothing has been set in stone for 2019 and beyond. While the firm’s mobile division has been shrinking in recent times and has once again found itself in the red over the last fiscal year that ended this March, the firm has no intentions of exiting the smartphone market that it believes will lead to the next big thing in the industry, whether’s that’s 5G, AR, both, or something else entirely.