The war over bezels wages on and we are nowhere near the end yet. Punch-hole cutouts are just a stopgap measure until the ideal under-display camera or UDC has been implemented. That still leaves room for a few more attempts, of course, including designs that answer the next big question, what to do with all that reclaimed space. Xiaomi has just presented one possibility with a screen that bends over all four edges of the phone.
Samsung may be credited for coining “Edge” and “Infinity” terms as applied to curved-edge screens but Huawei may have been the first to call it “Waterfall” due to its steep downward curve. Of course, that term is now being used by many manufacturers but Xiaomi is taking it to the extreme. No, it isn’t about the curvature, though that is also a factor, but more about how many curves there are.
The Quad-curved Waterfall Display Concept Smartphone pretty much says it all. Not counting the corners, the phone supposedly boasts of four steep 88-degree curved edges left, right, top, and bottom. That means there is no space for any bezel, aside from the ones you can’t see near the back of the device where the screen will still have to attach to. There are no buttons or ports on those edges, either, so everything is really on screen or wireless.
What the concept doesn’t really mention is whether there’s still room for a front-facing camera. You definitely can’t have a pop-up camera on the top edge, given there’s a portion of the screen there. The only options would be a punch-hole cutout, which isn’t exactly visible in a single render, or an under-display camera that so far disappointed testers. Since it’s a concept phone, there might not be any pressure to make that perform better than the ZTE Axon 20 5G anyway.
Compared to Vivo’s Apex 2019 Concept that featured a seamless, all-glass body, Xiaomi’s concept phone seems almost modest. Then again, Vivo’s design wasn’t practical, to begin with, and Xiaomi’s concept is almost like a compromise. Whether there are practical benefits to this design is still an open question but, then again, that’s what concept designs are for.