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(Update: video!) Oppo is working on a stunning bezel-less smartphone
Update, March 24: Engadget Chinese discovered a video of the Oppo device in action, all but confirming it’s a real product. Check it out below and expect some official news coming from Oppo, probably in the close future:
Original post, March 23:
Chinese manufacturer Oppo is no stranger to unique designs and cutting-edge features, having put out devices like the 4.8 mm-thick R5 or the swiveling-camera N3. But if rumors out of China are true, Oppo’s next device could be its most striking yet.
Published by MyDrivers, the two images below allegedly show a new Oppo smartphone with an edge-to-edge screen in the vein of the Sharp Aquos Crystal. Unlike the Sharp phone from last year, this device features ultra-thin bezels only on its lateral sides, with large “bezels” at the top and bottom.
Though it’s hard to tell from these frontal shots, the phone seems to feature a metallic frame and a thin profile, suggesting this will be a high-end offering. The Find 7 was released a little over a year ago, so this device could be its successor.
In seemingly related news, GSM Arena recently reported on a patent requested by Oppo in China, that details a method of creating the illusion of a “bezel-less” display. The schematic below shows how the beveled side of glass can refract light, creating the illusion that the screen is larger than in reality and concealing the margin (marked 22) that houses electronic components.
It’s the same trick that Sharp used on the Aquos Crystal to hide the bezel, but it’s not clear if that constitutes prior art for Oppo’s patent application.
To be clear, there’s a chance we’re looking at some well-made fakes. But given that Sharp has already done something similar and the fact that a new Find device should be coming soon, we are fairly confident that this images are the real deal. Plus, their original source, MyDrivers.com is one of the more reliable sources when it comes to Chinese tech leaks.
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If and when this design translates to reality, it remains to be seen whether Oppo found a way to mitigate the main drawback of “bezel-less” designs – fragility and unwanted touches on the sides. Thoughts?