Xiaomi's Mi Mix turned a few heads in late 2016 with its edge-to-edge 6.4in display, but its limited availability left many disappointed. Now another Chinese manufacturer is jumping on the razor-thin bezel bandwagon and is reportedly targeting the European market with its debut smartphone.
That device is the Alpha, an alleged 6in Android Nougat-powered smartphone with a Mi Mix-like design and an AMOLED display. The mysterious device comes from Shenzhen-based mobile component manufacturing company Maze, a name it says was inspired by the cryptic lore of HBO's Westworld TV series, which hopes to join a long line of Chinese companies crafting Android smartphones such as Huawei, OnePlus and Honor.
While concrete details are scare, two teaser images for the Maze Alpha give an idea as to what to expect. The first (above) is a basic silhouette with physical button seemingly located on the upper-right side of the device. The vague image is accompanied by the caption "specs alone are not enough", which indicates that Maze could be opting for a low cost processor and GPU to keep the retail price down.
The second image (below) is a little more revealing and shows the thin bezel design on the front and a dual-lens camera arrangement (and flash) on the rear. Digital Trends suggests that the display panel will be Gorilla Glass 4 while the rear camera will be a Sony-made module.
The same report also notes that Maze plans to bring the phone to Europe (as well as presumably its native region), with a US release unconfirmed. A release date of April is also suggested, but there has been no official confirmation.
With no other information at present, the Maze Alpha's concept teasers could be smoke and mirrors masking an underwhelming final product, but it will be interesting to see if it can get close to, or even improve upon, the Mi Mix's impressive screen-to-body ratio of 91.3%.
Xiaomi and Maze are not the only companies pushing thin bezels as the future for smartphone design. LG's recently revealed LG G6 attracted a lot of attention at Mobile World Congress 2017 with its large 18:9 aspect ratio display, while Samsung's Galaxy S8 is also expected to cut down the bezel size from the Galaxy S7 at the top and bottom of the front panel.