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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Phones

9 stunning bezel-less phones

The iPhone X and other phones that have no borders around their displays have us like, "Hnnnnnnnng."

James Martin/CNET

Phones with very little border around their faces, such as the Apple iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy Note 8, have their displays running up right to the edges. Though they're appealing to the eyes, a bezel-less phone doesn't necessarily add anything functionally (with some exceptions, including the more recent Samsung Galaxy flagships). In fact, an all-phone screen increases the chances that you'll accidentally touch the display while you're holding the phone.

But we can't help but be drawn to these handsets, even if it means a few mistaken presses. Perhaps because they look like all the futuristic tech we imagined when we were kids, with their superthin, supersleek and superminimalist design. Having no bezel -- or even a barely-there-bezel -- just looks damn sexy.

Though the feature hasn't reached mainstream popularity just yet, there are a handful of phones that aspire to have the look. Fingers crossed we'll be seeing more and more of this design to come. Here's what we've seen so far.

Editors' Note: This story was first published on January 20, 2017 and has since been updated.


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The iPhone X is a shift in Apple's iPhone design.

James Martin/CNET

Apple iPhone X

Apple's 10th anniversary iPhone is special in more ways than one. In addition to its barely-there bezel, the phone gets rid of the home button, has an OLED screen and features facial recognition software to unlock the lock screen. These changes come at a price though, and at $999 in the US, £999 in the UK and AU$1,579 in Australia, its the pricest iPhone yet. Read the iPhone X hands-on.


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The Note 8 and its stylus come with a bunch of useful tricks.

Josh Miller

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Another $1,000 phone is the Note 8. As the ultimate Android phone to get right now, the device has a vibrant and genoursly-sized 6.3-inch screen, dual rear cameras that can take dramatic "bokeh"-like shots and an embedded S Pen stylus that ups your mobile productivity and creativity game. Read the Note 8 review.


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Though its performance disappointed us, the Essential Phone's design is ace.

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Essential Phone

Given that it was created by Andy Rubin, the father of Android phones, we had a lot of high hopes for the Essential Phone. Alas, its mediocre battery life, half-baked software and premature modular accessories mean the phone has a lot more work to do. But one thing you have to commend it for is its stunning looks. Read the Essential Phone review.


LG V30

The V30 is our favorite looking LG phone yet.

Sarah Tew/CNET

LG V30

With its sleek design and shiny aesthetic, the V30 is one of the best looking LG phones in recent memory. The phone itself is void of any special gimmicks, but that's a good thing. It features a 6-inch OLED screen, two rear cameras (one of which is a wide-angle lens) and it packs tons of video and photo editing software. Read the V30 hands-on.


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The Mi Mix 2 is great looking from any angle.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

The Mi Mix 2 may be Chinese phone maker Xiaomi's newest flagship, but it's difficult for anyone outside of that country to get hold of. So unfortunately we'll have to admire its elegant design and premium specs from a distance. In addition to its 5.99-inch, 1080p display, the phone has a speedy Snapdragon 835 processor, a fingerprint reader and a 12-megapixel camera. Read the Mi Mix 2 hands-on.


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Samsung pushes the Galaxy S8's screen to the edge.

Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Taking up 83 percent of its front side, the Galaxy S8's display (and its larger Galaxy S8 Plus counterpart) isn't just big -- it's super sharp as well. With a 2,960x1,440-pixel resolution display with 570 pixels per inch, images and video appear crisp and smooth. The device also has a 12-megapixel camera, the Bixby digital assistant and the latest Snapdragon 835 chipset. Read the Galaxy S8 review.


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Like the rest of Sony's family of XA1 phones, the XA1 Plus is pure eye-candy.

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Sony Xperia XA1 Plus

Part of the XA1 family that Sony initially unveiled during this year's MWC conference, the XA1 Plus has super thin bezels just like the original XA1 and XA1 Ultra. But it also has a full HD 5.5-inch display, a 23-megapixel camera and a robust 3,430-mAh battery. Read the Xperia XA1 Plus hands-on.


The Aquos Crystal lets you go borderless on a budget.

James Martin/CNET

Sharp Aquos Crystal

Sharp's Aquos Crystal may be three years old, but it showed that owning a borderless phone didn't necessarily mean you had to cough up a lot of money. Sure, it wasn't the most powerful device around, but it was cheap compared to the others on this list, and its looks made it one of the more interesting budget phones of 2014. Read the Aquos Crystal review.


Nubia Z11 permite dividir la pantalla en dos de forma sencilla

The Z11 was one good lookin' phone.

César Salza/CNET

ZTE Nubia Z11

The Z11 was a bit of a tease. In 2016, Nubia (a brand owned by ZTE) said the phone would only be available in China. Then it said it would come to the US as well. In the end, it never did get outside of China and that was too bad -- beside its stylish looks, it had a then-powerful Snapdragon 820 processor and up to 8GB of RAM. Read the Nubia Z11 hands-on.

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