Photo: Windows Central

Bezel-less is undoubtedly the new buzz word in mobile phones this year, but it’s not as new as some would have you believe. Thanks to Windows Central, we now know of a bezel-less Lumia phone prototype that was around in 2014.

Its name was the Lumia 435, which will confuse fans, because it already exists. As it turns out, Microsoft had much bigger plans for the low-end device, and they included a full phone display.

Known as ‘Vela’ internally, the Lumia 435 would cost less than $200 and packed surprising specs for its price point and age. Here are the full details:

  • Display: 5″ 1280×720
  • Rear Camera: 5 MP
  • Front Camera: 720p
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 200
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • Storage: 4 GB (up to 200GB expandable)
  • Battery: 1800mAh
  • OS: Windows Phone 8.1

Unprecedented Screen-to-Bezel Ratio

By today’s standards, it’s nothing revolutionary. But it does make you think about the state of Windows Phone had Microsoft been more inventive. Granted, the phone has a large chin at the bottom, but its screen-to-border ratio would have been near unprecedented at the time.

The top and side bezels of the prototype’s screen measure just 3mm, while the top is 4.4mm to accommodate a speaker. The camera, meanwhile, sits underneath, which could be part of the reason Microsoft axed it.

As Windows Central points out, this puts the screen-to-body ratio at 79%, likely the best of any phone during the period. It beats out even the Sharp Aqous Crystal, which got a lot of attention at the time.

Unfortunately, there’s now no chance of it making it to market. It was eventually replaced with today’s Lumia 435, a dependable, yet highly forgettable phone. With Windows 10 Mobile now officially dying, there’s not much chance bezel-less will make a return under Microsoft’s banner.

Still, it’s nice to reminisce, appreciate the beautiful design, and think about what could have been. Personally, I could have seen myself owning it, had I not been happy with my Lumia 800 at the time.