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Cellphones Displays Software Hardware Technology

Lenovo Teases a True All-Screen Smartphone With No Notch (cnet.com) 177

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNET: Notches, it seems, are the new black. Originally seen -- and often criticized -- on the Essential PH-1 and iPhone X in 2017, the trend of adding notches to Android phones has only accelerated this year as phone makers look to maximize the screen size. But the Lenovo Z5 is going the other way: It's truly all-screen, and notch-free. At least, that's according to a sketch shared last Friday by Lenovo VP Chang Cheng on Weibo, a Twitter-like platform in China. Cheng's teaser post says (according to Google Translate) that the Lenovo Z5 is the company's new flagship phone. Besides that, the post leaves it pretty vague.

All-screen phones look cool, but they challenge the manufacturer to find a place to put front cameras, sensors and other hardware. That's why we see bezels on some phones and notches on others. It's not clear what Lenovo plans to do with the front camera on the Lenovo Z5. Cheng's post claims that "four technological breakthroughs" and "18 patented technologies" were made for the phone, but doesn't go into details.
One of the first smartphones to launch with an edge-to-edge display was the Xiaomi Mi Mix. It launched with next to no bezel or notch, leaving many to wonder where the earpiece would be. What Xiaomi managed to do was use what it calls "cantilever piezoelectric ceramic acoustic technology." Basically, it's a component that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy to transfer to the phone's internal metal frame, which then vibrates to create sound. It's possible the Z5 relies on a similar technology, or bone conduction technology found in many headphones and some smartphones.

Aside from the front-facing camera and ambient light sensors, the other components that are typically found on the front of smartphones are relatively easy to drag-and-drop to different locations. For example, the speakers in the Z5 are likely bottom facing and the navigation controls are almost certainly software based. The question is whether or not it's worth having a true all-screen smartphone if it means there's no front-facing camera, ambient light sensors, or stereo speakers.

Lenovo Teases a True All-Screen Smartphone With No Notch

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  • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Monday May 14, 2018 @11:39PM (#56612738) Journal

    The question is whether or not it's worth having a true all-screen smartphone if it means there's no front-facing camera, ambient light sensors, or stereo speakers.

    Absolutely NOT!

    Until Apple does it, then it is a must-have and an obvious requirement.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Removing those would require courage, something only Apple possesses in sufficient quantity.
    • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2018 @12:15AM (#56612874)
      It's all bullshit. Just say no. For illogical reasons, the "flagship" phones seem headed in the direction of form over function. I don't want a phone which makes it hard to not "fat finger" an unintentional/undisired change due to touching a screen edge, nor do I want a phone which doesn't have a speaker on the front which allows me to hear clearly.

      Face it, they're all rounded rectangles with a display. Differentiate with utilitarian function, nor form, because any real difference from the norm is just late 1950's tail fins on cars. And the automakers figured out the fucked up much faster than cellphone makers will. I don't want thin, either. Give me a larger, replaceable battery, not some phone that's hard to not drop. There was actually an article today about Apple's rumored next phone being "revolutionary" [sic] for some shit related to having a higher screen/area ratio, or some other meaningless crap.

      P. T. Barnum was right, although he underestimated the scale.
      • >I don't want thin, either. Give me a larger, replaceable battery, not some phone that's hard to not drop.

        You do realize it's the market that wants thin, and not Apple? The reason the likes of you and I aren't getting what we want is because we're a minority, and not because Apple is so anti-us. If people actually cared about batteries more than about thin I expect Apple would have delivered.

        • by aix tom ( 902140 )

          You do realize it's the market that wants thin, and not Apple?

          So because "the market" wants thin 99% of actual people seem to put their thin smart phones in some sort of case that makes it thicker?

          • So because "the market" wants thin 99% of actual people seem to put their thin smart phones in some sort of case that makes it thicker?

            Where are you that 99% of people are thin? Around here it's more like 50%.

          • by b0bby ( 201198 )

            Personally I put any phone, thick or thin, in a case. A $5 case can absorb shocks which might otherwise crack the screen. Unless the phone is ruggedized, which costs too much, I would always use a case, so the relative thickness difference is always going to be there.

          • They want it thin so it's not too big once they've put it in a case. If phones were thicker, they wouldn't even go in your pocket once you put it in a case.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by shm ( 235766 )

          The market doesn't really want thin. They add cases and (un)happily lug powerbanks around.

          No, the non-replaceable batteries might have started out as way to make the phone thin, but now it's a way to make sure that you change your device every two years when the battery dies (and/or the OS slows down to "help.")

          They clearly extended the same idea to their laptops where the new macbook batteries can't be replaced at home.

        • You do realize it's the market that wants thin, and not Apple?

          Says who? I'll bet my left arm that, were one of the manufacturers to take a chance and pit out a phone that's twice as thick but features triple the battery life, it would sell like crazy.

      • For illogical reasons, the "flagship" phones seem headed in the direction of form over function.

        I think form over function is in the rear view mirror. I have an iPhone X and while it's a good device overall, some of the hardware design decisions are baffling. Starting with Apple's pursuit of thin at all costs. I would MUCH rather have a phone twice as thick with a bigger battery and a better camera both of which are largely precluded by making each device thinner than the last. They removed the TouchID for FaceID but there are a lot of circumstances where TouchID works better and it would have bee

        • by houghi ( 78078 )

          I would love to have a case that has a large battery. Should not be that hard to make. Just see that it fits into the usb slot and that would be it. (Sure a hole for the camera's and what not.

          And although they exist, they are not readily available where I live.

          Why do many people buy a new phone? Because their battery does not last for a whole day anymore. So if you buy a new phone that you can use first for three days, then for 2 and then even for 1, you have sold less phones over time. If you sell billion

          • I would love to have a case that has a large battery. Should not be that hard to make. Just see that it fits into the usb slot and that would be it. (Sure a hole for the camera's and what not.

            Those sorts of cases already exist but I don't think they go far enough. What I'm suggesting is something more deeply integrated into the smartphone. Have a dedicated connection on the back rather than adding a bulky pass through USB on the bottom. And have the case do more than just be a second battery. Why not have an upgraded camera? Or a 3.5mm headphone jack? Or an ethernet port? Or better speakers? Or scientific equipment? The list is endless. Then you can have the compact simple base phone if

            • Those sorts of cases already exist but I don't think they go far enough. What I'm suggesting is something more deeply integrated into the smartphone. Have a dedicated connection on the back rather than adding a bulky pass through USB on the bottom. And have the case do more than just be a second battery. Why not have an upgraded camera? Or a 3.5mm headphone jack? Or an ethernet port? Or better speakers? Or scientific equipment? The list is endless. Then you can have the compact simple base phone if you want but if you want additional features you add them via the case. Since most people put a case on their phone anyway why not make it more than an afterthought in the device design?

              I think Motorola did that. I don't know how well they're selling, though.

            • Those sorts of cases already exist but I don't think they go far enough. What I'm suggesting is something more deeply integrated into the smartphone.

              Zerolemon makes replacement batteries and cases for some phones which replace the stock battery and the original rear of the phone. I had one for my LG G3; the battery was 9,500 mAh. Made it thick and heavy but not unbearably so. They make one for the LG V20 as well as some other models.

              • Zerolemon makes replacement batteries and cases for some phones which replace the stock battery and the original rear of the phone.

                That's cool (albeit rather inelegant since the beauty of a case is that you can remove it) but it won't matter unless Apple or Samsung or Google do it. And really they just would have to make the interface and let the aftermarket do its thing. But I doubt it will ever happen. And it would need to be more than just a battery.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        We don't know that it doesn't have a funny facing camera though. Maybe it pops up at the top, maybe they found a way to put it behind the LCD without compromising the backlight.

      • It's all bullshit. Just say no. For illogical reasons, the "flagship" phones seem headed in the direction of form over function

        Yes, it is bullshit. But there is a logic to it.

        As smartphone sales flatten out, the producers have to come up with the next big thing. So they work hard at convincing people that a bezel is an insufferable hardship, and lo and behold, "We shall release you from your bonds!"

        The question is whether the public will flock to this modern miracle or not. I have a nice iPhone 7, and expect to use it until the batter doesn't hold a charge any more. A bezel-less phone is of no interest to me. I'm also one of th

      • by bigpat ( 158134 )

        just late 1950's tail fins on cars.

        The industry promised flying cars and consumers got tail fins. Today we are getting increasingly expensive smartphones which are better and better looking while ignoring real gains in productive utility.

        I find it increasingly frustrating that I have spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a tool that seems to get less and less useful.

        I shouldn't need a computer anymore, just a place to plug in a smartphone so I can use a bigger screen and keyboard if I choose.

    • by ChunderDownunder ( 709234 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2018 @12:19AM (#56612882)

      I'm quite happy with my 2017 era smartphone with removable battery, dual SIM, headphone jack, sdcard, fm radio and possibly other features Tim Cook decided I didn't need.

      • What, not giving the name of this magical phone?
        Or are you afraid of us looking it up and finding its flaws as well?

        • by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2018 @01:15AM (#56612986) Homepage

          Magical phone?

          Those are all pretty standard features. Do you have an iPhone perhaps?

          • Those are all pretty standard features. Do you have an iPhone perhaps?

            Are you referring to the Google Pixel “iPhone”, the Samsung Galaxy “iPhone”, or the HTC One “iPhone”? Those are all missing some-to-all of the “pretty standard” features you’ve listed, so it’s unclear which one you are trying to shade.

            • I knew the smartphone market was small but I didn't realise it was made up of 4 phones. Thanks for clarifying.

        • Do your own research! :) I am content not to own a $1,000 flagship but choose from a number of different OEMs that offer a mix of features at various budgets, which the Android ecosystem allows.

          (p.s. Since I'm a tech-hoarder, there's a box full of old partially working LG, Moto, HTC, Samsung, Nokia models and even an old Symbian I mean to put out for recycling. Maybe I'd get $20 a pop on gumtree/ebay...)

          • I just found it funny the guy is reporting on how his phone which has all these nice features and he implied it was a newish 2017 model, but is afraid to say what he has...
            Just most of the phones that are considered in the same class as the iPhone, Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy, HTC One... All seem to have fixed batteries, and the newer models have removed the headphone jack, even after making fun of Apple for doing it initially.
            I personally don't care if someone is using a 1k iPhone or a $50 flip phone, but

        • by dargaud ( 518470 )
          I don't know what phone he has, but I have a Wiko View 32 which has all those features and more for 140€. Those flagship phones were great 10 years ago but now they only stack useless expensive gimmicks like 3D face recognition and 1mm thinner whatever.
        • From the poster's username, it sounds like he's in Australia. It's likely that this phone will not work on all US carriers. (Verizon doesn't care much about SIMs).

          I would like a phone with those features, but maybe omit NFC, and add an IR blaster.
      • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

        He didn't decide you don't need those features, you ugly bag of shit. He just decided it's not profitable enough to sell phones to bags of shit.

      • I'm quite happy with my 2017 era smartphone with removable battery, dual SIM, headphone jack, sdcard, fm radio and possibly other features Tim Cook decided I didn't need.

        I think you are also happy living in a world where you can troll people about devices that don't exist.

        • For what it's worth I just went to GSMArena and did a search for phones with the above spec. To be fair I included 2016 and 2018 but, seriously, even a conservative search will find quite a few phones. They say 268 results [gsmarena.com]. The first one that comes up is a Samsung J series [gsmarena.com], which IIRC is Samsung's budget range. I manually checked each item and it met the spec, albeit it's the 2018 model. Which, I guess, proves my thesis that Android phones for some reason get worse the more expensive they are.

          All of thos

      • Honestly, I don't think Tim Cook has a problem with that.

        You can't make one product that pleases everyone, and if you make 20 different products. then you cannot pay as much attention to each one. The best a mass-market* company can do is analyze the market and try to make a handful of products to satisfy as many people as best they can.

        The fact that this doesn't cover 100% of customers is a feature of proper focus, not a bug.

        * There are also companies aiming for niche markets, attempting to capitalize on t

    • The notch on these phones is because there is some technology in the way however the technology doesn’t fill up the entire top of the screen. So they found a way to get a display to fit in a non square space.

      If Lenovo found a way to get rid of the need for the notch. That is a good thing, but did they make a sacrifice for that feature, and is that notch worth the sacrifice.

      Besides the geek rage about the headphone jack missing on the iPhone. It was a sacrifice Apple did for waterproofing and to free

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        I guess you're forgetting that Samsung, back in March 2016, released the S7 Edge. It's as thin as the iPhone X (7.7mm), it has a headphone jack - and it's IP68 rated. That kind of technology is normal. Only Apple couldn't figure out how to do that magical combination of thin, headphone jack, and IP68 rating.
        • by Armonk ( 5413686 )

          I guess you're forgetting that Samsung, back in March 2016, released the S7 Edge. It's as thin as the iPhone X (7.7mm), it has a headphone jack - and it's IP68 rated. That kind of technology is normal. Only Apple couldn't figure out how to do that magical combination of thin, headphone jack, and IP68 rating.

          Exactly and in April 2014, Samsung released a phone, that had waterproofing, minijack AND removeable batteries... The REAL reason Apple, Samsung and other are hellbent on stupid trends like non-removeable batteries, removing minijack and other user hostile moves... is that they want to maximize profit and their excuses are accepted by most because they do not sit down and use just 5 minutes with a search engine. If they did, they would discover that all the excuses from Apple, Samsung and others are lies..

        • by houghi ( 78078 )

          Apple could ask This guy [youtube.com] on how to do it.

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        I have an LG G30, which has an IP68 rating and a headphone jack.

        Apple didn't remove the headphone jack for waterproofing. They removed it because 3.5mm is a lot when you're making a phone that's only 7.1mm thick.

        I don't know about rage, but I don't like phones without a jack because I can't use my good headphones with them. As for the Google phones, which my kids have, I can tell you that the USB-C to audio dongles don't last more than a couple of weeks, so you have to use bluetooth. If that meets your ne

        • They removed it because 3.5mm is a lot when you're making a phone that's only 7.1mm thick.

          Note that budget-Chinese-brand Gionee figured out how to go thin AND have a 3.5mm jack back in 2014 with their eLife S5.1 [gsmarena.com]. It was 5.2mm thick and had a 3.5mm jack. I owned one for about 8 months, but the reality was that it was simply too thin to hold comfortably. I think something around 8mm is a realistic thickness from a user-interaction standpoint. Thicker and it can get bulky, thinner and it feels too delicate and is almost too thin to wrap your fingers around comfortably.

          But if thinness is the exc

    • Agreed the notch is just fine, but let's actually get the rest of it bezel-less, and not "bezel-less" as in "the bezel is only x mm" like on the iPhone. There's definitely a bezel. Doesn't have to be wrap-around like the Galaxy Edge, but stop saying it's bezel-less or "all screen" when there's still a bezel.
  • by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Monday May 14, 2018 @11:42PM (#56612748)
    I'd rather have a good earpiece, not some crap workaround that uses the entire phone face as a speaker. I TALK on the phone, more than I use it as a pocket computer, so I want it not to sound like junk. What's the big deal about a 1/4" stripe without a display on top and bottom. It's a functional device, not artwork, for G-d's sake.
    • Re: Earpiece (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Maybe the idea is that you flip the phone over and talk on its backside. It's quite possible that's where they relocated the mic and speaker.

      • That's a brilliantly simple idea, for the speaker. The sound could also come through a very thin slit at the top of the phone.

        Speaker in the back wouldn't work so well for videos and touch-tone menus, but you could certainly have a tip-firing or bottom-firing speaker for speakerphone and video, along with a rear-mounted earpiece.

        You still want a camera and light sensor on the screen side, for selfies.

        For myself, I put a case on mine because I don't WANT the corners and edges, the part that hits the ground

    • have a good earpiece

      [Citation needed]

      not some crap workaround

      [Citation needed]

      Seriously though, there's nothing good about the earpieces on a modern phone. There's also no evidence that new technology that you have never used is some kind of "crap workaround". For all you know this may be the techonology that blows your mind.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What's wrong with a traditional top and bottom bezel? It gives space for a camera, speakers, etc, and takes up what, 1/4 of an inch on phones that have already gotten too massive? It's as if they're manufacturing a solution to a problem nobody has.

    "Damn, if only the screen extended a half cm in both directions, this phone would be even more awesome!"

    • Bragging rights and design driven by art-farts, not engineers. Yep-pers. Let's make a worse-sounding, more fragile phone, because we can.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        and because
        1) it sells
        2) it needs expensive repairs
        3) it needs to be replaced soon
        4) its built in battery ensures a max lifetime of 2 years

        • Re: I don't get it (Score:4, Interesting)

          by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Monday May 14, 2018 @11:59PM (#56612814)
          Exactly. Give me a nice "third world" phone (Samsung J1 or J3, Moto G4 Play or G5) with removable battery, SD card. May be homely, but at least I'm not forced to buy a new phone every year by the planned-obsolescent unfixable design.
          • Exactly. Give me a nice "third world" phone (Samsung J1 or J3, Moto G4 Play or G5) with removable battery, SD card. May be homely, but at least I'm not forced to buy a new phone every year by the planned-obsolescent unfixable design.

            My Moto E4 works for me. Does what I want it to do. Less than a quarter of the price of my wife's phone.

    • If you don't have a bezelless phone, you don't have a bezelless phone.

    • What's wrong with a traditional top and bottom bezel?

      It takes up space that could be otherwise put to good use and makes the device larger. It's something you have because you must, not because it is desirable.

      takes up what, 1/4 of an inch on phones that have already gotten too massive? It's as if they're manufacturing a solution to a problem nobody has.

      Are you seriously arguing that the size of some smartphones doesn't present a problem? Gotta disagree with you there. I had an iPhone 7+ and it was too large to handle comfortably but the iPhone X has basically the same size screen but is notably smaller. A lot of that had to do with all the useless extra bezels. In principle the ideal is no bezel

  • To sell boring "all-screen" phones under the Lenovo label?

    While laying off a significant part especially of the Moto Z related staff, effectively slowing down, if not stopping, the Moto Mods idea?

    As of now, it isn't even clear whether we'll still get the Keyboard Mod delivered that was already officially adopted by Motorola, before the layoffs started.

    Lenovo should have adapted the Mods concept for their own phones, too, instead.

    • Lenovo should have adapted the Mods concept for their own phones, too, instead.

      Lenovo hires accountants to tell them whether to do such things. Odds are it was just never going to be profitable enough, and didn't produce enough publicity for Motorola to move the needle.

  • I'm not a pod person. I haven't been absorbed into the Apple financial/mindfuck system. I have no idea what a "notch" has to do with a smartphone. Can somebody provide a link to what these pod people are talking about?
    • I have no idea what a "notch" has to do with a smartphone.

      AFAIK Notch is that guy who wrote Minecraft.

    • I have no idea what a "notch" has to do with a smartphone.

      If you're lucky, someone will take a photo of theirs with one and send it to you, and you can even view it on your own phone.

  • ...the touczscreen continues to plague me...
    (Typo intentionally left in)

    • What makes a keyboard invariably more powerful and useful than a touchscreen is the tactile feedback. If I can FEEL the keys, I can type blind. I don't need to look at the phone to enter the pass code or call a number. Now try this with a touch screen.

      • Or as someone on /. put it: why is it called "touch screen" if you cannot touch type on it?

        I used to wonder why phones lost their keyboards in a time when people started using them more for text than talk. The best answer I could think of was the importance of following the shiny slab trend from Apple. I guess more technical/functional reasons include the need for a big screen in this overly visual era; a touchscreen also makes more sense for non-verbal stuff in this era of declining literacy.

        The worst

        • Or as someone on /. put it: why is it called "touch screen" if you cannot touch type on it?

          Because a non-touch screen is a screen you're not supposed to touch. It's a clear differentiator.

          The best answer I could think of was the importance of following the shiny slab trend from Apple.

          That's not unimportant. But also, keyboards cost more than simply making the screen bigger, especially when you account for warranty repairs. That didn't used to be true, but screens have gotten a lot cheaper.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2018 @04:19AM (#56613464)

    But the key question remains unanswered: Why the fuck would I want that?

    • But the key question remains unanswered: Why the fuck would I want that?

      Maybe it makes case design easier. You can't have a modern phone without a case anyway, in case you drop it once.

      • That's another thing I don't get. We make phones thinner and thinner so we can sell cases that get thicker and thicker to keep the phones from falling apart from touching them wrong.

  • by kbg ( 241421 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2018 @05:00AM (#56613556)

    Maybe I am the exception, but none this is what I want in a smarthphone. I want standard physical buttons, I want a good front facing camera, I want a good speaker. I want a replacable battery. I want a longer battery life. I want a headphone socket. I want an easy to replace glass screen.

    The size of the screen is not what is the most important.

    But what I do NOT want is a curved screen or edge to edge screen that makes the screen more fragile and breakable. The screen is the most vulnarable part of the device so the primary design should be to protect the screen with edges and sides to cover the screen.

    • My next phone will probably be relatively dumb, with good network support and a WLAN hotspot. There aren't many like these around, but Nokia has one coming up this month, so I can maintain my brand loyalty ;)

      A "smart"phone is a nice idea if you have control over the software, and the software will have updates for the years to come. As I haven't seen that happening, I prefer the phone to be a dumb modem, and keep the smarts on my free-software laptop.

      There have been a few nice attempts from the free so

    • Maybe I am the exception, but none this is what I want in a smarthphone.

      Fair enough. I have similar opinions about what I'd ideally like in a phone that differ from what I can generally buy.

      I want standard physical buttons

      I have no idea what you regard as "standard" buttons.

      I want a good front facing camera, I want a good speaker. I want a replacable battery. I want a longer battery life. I want a headphone socket. I want an easy to replace glass screen.

      All reasonable but the question becomes what engineering trade offs are you willing to make to get them? None of that comes without trade offs. For example I don't care much about the front camera but I'd like a MUCH better rear camera and a bigger battery. I'm willing to live with a thicker phone to get them. I don't care about the g

      • by kbg ( 241421 )

        I have no idea what you regard as "standard" buttons.

        Well most phones have these buttons: Power on, Volume up, Volume down, Back, Home and programs. The first five are a must to have.

        All reasonable but the question becomes what engineering trade offs are you willing to make to get them?

        Waterproof and replaceable are not at odds end. If you have a protecting screen it only needs to be clipped on but doesn't need to be connected so doesn't need to be waterproof. The battery only needs a couple of pins for contact with the phone, and the pins can be enclosed in a watertight enclosure. Today you can insert the SIM card and the SD card into a phone that is waterproo

        • Well most phones have these buttons: Power on, Volume up, Volume down, Back, Home and programs. The first five are a must to have.

          Disagree. The iPhone X does not have a back or home or programs button and after many months of use I can say they aren't necessary. Fine to have but not required and I haven't found myself wanting them. I agree that power, volume up/down are mandatory and probably mute as well though there might be a way to roll that into the volume buttons. More buttons are fine but my point is that the minimum required is actually quite minimal.

          Waterproof and replaceable are not at odds end.

          Strictly speaking you are correct but they are VERY difficult to package

        • Only a hardware power button is really necessary. All the other "buttons" can be implemented using the touch screen. (A touch screen power button would require the touch screen to always be on even when the phone was powered off.)
          • by kbg ( 241421 )

            Having physical buttons for volume is also something I would think is necessary if you are using the phone as a music player and have for example strapped it onto your hip or arm where you can't see the screen.

  • A flying car, a personal jet-pack, and him having sex with Giselle Bündchen and Leonardo DiCaprio on Mars.
  • Notch, notch, say no more....
  • Why not a pop-up front camera, or even a single camera that can be rotated to both front and back? Makes more sense than a hole in the middle of the screen, doesn't it?
    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      Moving parts. More things to fail or seals to wear out and let dirt/water in.

  • "All-screen phones look cool"

    No, they don't. At least not to me and presumably to at least some others as well.

    This seems like a physical manifestation of Flat/Material design, an attempt to eliminate as much differentiation and contextual elements as possible. Some of us like differentiation and context! I like boxes and grids in my UI keeping different areas visually distinct from each other, and i like to have at least a small bezel on my phone, both for aesthetic reasons and because it helps avoid a

I've got a bad feeling about this.

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