A Bezel-less iPhone 8 Will Change How Photos Look

| Analysis

Page 2 – The 16:9 Photo Ratio and The Non-Prisoner’s Dilemma

16:9 Photo Ratio

The 16:9 aspect ratio is based on film cameras with an APS sensor. It’s known as the APS-H format, and the H stands for “High Definition.” If you’re a filmmaker, you’re familiar with the 16:9 ratio because it’s meant for wide, HD television screens. When you record a video with your iPhone, it will be captured in the 16:9 aspect ratio. Videos shot in the 16:9 aspect ratio are meant to be viewed in landscape mode.

In this way, your iPhone becomes a wide screen television, although huge bezels are still present when watching movies. I also noticed that many Android phones shoot 16:9 photos. I’ve used several Android phones in the past, and the photos I took were always in this aspect ratio. It’s easy to tell if someone sends you a photo whether it was taken on an iPhone or Android phone, because of the different aspect ratios (unless the iPhone user cropped the photo).

Right now, the iPhone has a split personality. Photos are shot in 4:3, and videos are shot in 16:9. When you take a screenshot, it’s captured in 16:9. My question was whether the iPhone 8 would switch to 16:9 photography. These photos would look better on a long, skinny screen because the photos themselves are long and skinny.

Keep in mind that the aspect ratio of the physical iPhone screen is 16:9. I’m just referring to how photos are captured and displayed in 4:3. Because of apps like Snapchat and Periscope, people are shooting more vertical videos and photos. On a phone with a 16:9 ratio that shoots 16:9 photos, the photos would look as equally good as the videos, at least when you hold the phone vertically.

Image comparing how 16:9 aspect ratio photos are displayed on an iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 mockup.

Comparing how 16:9 photos are displayed.

The Non-Prisoner’s Dilemma

Now, here’s the dilemma. On the iPhone 8, the black notch at the top of the phone would cover up a photo with the 16:9 aspect ratio. But the notch would seamlessly blend in with the black space at the top of a 4:3 photo. After all, that’s the raison d’être of the Apple Watch OLED screen.

Because of the way OLED screens work (most iPhone 8 rumors reference OLED) there is no backlight. When you see a black area of the screen, it’s true black. It means there is literally no color/light, as opposed to the simulated black of current LED screens. The screen and the bezels blend together, creating an illusion of a bezel-less display.

But I’m also assuming that the photos would be edge to edge all the way around, like in the render. Even if the iPhone 8 does have a notch, Apple could still use the simulated black borders to keep the top and bottom separate, as I stated above. However, that still leaves a problem with watching a video, unless borders are also introduced on the sides.

Next: Final Thoughts about Photos on the iPhone 8

3 Comments Add a comment

  1. Andrew Orr

    I just came up with another iPhone 8 alternative. In addition to the status bar at the top of the UI, put a blank one at the bottom. Only they would be curved, meaning designers wouldn’t have to worry about curving their own UIs. Maybe Apple could even have the bars automatically match the color of each app, giving the illusion of a completely full screen.

  2. Scott B in DC

    How about we “Just Say No” to narrow pictures and turn the phone on its side to take real pictures!

    Geez… I hate all these narrow (-minded) pictures. You can almost get vertigo when they show them on television!

  3. Lee Dronick

    I would like to see the camera be able change digitally between portrait and landscape so that it wouldn’t matter how we held the phone. It is far easier to take a photo or video one handed with the phone in portrait mode. The problem with that is critics complain about portrait orientated videos.

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