The enduring absurdity of our smartphone bezel obsession

Imagine if, back in 2010, I had told you we’d reach a point where smartphone hardware would become so advanced that we’d by and large run out of ways to improve it. And so people would start waiting longer and longer to buy new phones — and phone-makers, in turn, would scramble to come up with ways to make each new generation of phones seem sexy and exciting and different from the last.

But they’d struggle — and in their quest to attract attention and convince us to open up our wallets, they’d actually make each new generation less user-friendly and effective than the last. Sure, the shiny new model might look somewhat sleeker than its predecessor, but it’d present a dangerous bargain of sacrificing significant function in exchange for superficial form. And there wouldn’t be a damn thing we practical, productivity-minded phone-using mammals could do about it.

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