Full screen phones with slim bezels present a dilemma: where do you put the front camera? One of the more interesting solutions on display at Mobile World Congress this week comes in the form of the Vivo Apex concept phone, which has a pop-up camera that hides away inside the phone when it’s not in use.

Some other companies are just keeping top bezels big enough to house a camera. But others? They’re taking their design cues from the Essential Phone and iPhone X and embracing the notch.

In fact, almost a dozen companies unveiled phones with notches this week.

The highest profile might be the Asus Zenfone 5Z, which is a phone with flagship-level specs and a starting price of $499.

But Spanish site Xataka counts at least 10 more phones with notches that were unveiled at MWC 2018:

  • Doogee V
  • iLA X (although, to be fair, this on seems to have a “fake” notch)
  • Leagoo S9
  • Noa H10
  • Otot V5801
  • Ulefone T2 Pro
  • Ulefone X
  • Oukitel U18
  • Vernee M7
  • Wiko View 2 Pro

The notches vary in size from one device to the next, and none of them have the complex set of cameras and sensors Apple uses for its Face ID system. So I’m not sure how necessary the notch really is… but while Apple has taken some flak for its decision to wrap the screen around the camera system, it looks like a bunch of other phone makers have decided that copying Apple’s design is never a bad way to make your phone look like a premium device.

Meanwhile, rumor has it that the next major version of Android will include native support for phones with notches in order to provide a better user experience. Among other things, that could help make sure that notifications and other content aren’t hidden by the notch and it could make sure full-screen apps, games, and videos look good on phones with camera cut-outs in the display.

via Hexus

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18 replies on “The notch is here to stay: Almost a dozen notchphones launched at MWC”

  1. The new ASUS Zenfone 5 series devices both have notches even though they have NO hardware that needs a notch. What a joke.

    1. I’m not sure if you noticed, but there is screen around those sensor. Do you propose just filling in those “gaps” with metal and cover them up? Or is the wiser choice just to make use of the real estate for notifications and status info? I see this more as making use of all available space for a display. Within reason of course because holding the phone is still something we all have to do. There has to be some neutral space right? I don’t see Asus’ implementation to be a shortsighted or as poor as ASUS. They did this right and the ratio proves that as well. The notch doesn’t stick itself into a video or app that I’ve seen so far. Additionally, with Google apparently adding Android tweaks for notches, reality says this is where things are going. It’s not done to be silly, it’s being done to maximize space. The status bar and notifications can be stuffed up into the ears and thus opens up the rest of the display. This is a positive, not a negative.

  2. I think there is rampant ignorance on the notch. Bon Jovi said you give love a bad name. Apple did their rendition recently. Did you catch it? It’s called we give notch a bad name. See the thing is this. Asus did something here that doesn’t detract. It adds. I would consider that added display up beside the notch as added real estate. Hint: aspect ratio.

    1. Be courageous and educate yourself on this ASUS notch. Don’t be afraid. Just because Apple made a dumb implementation doesn’t mean ASUS did.

  3. If Apple creates an iPhone with physical rotary dial and a big external antenna, other companies will go and make smartphones with physical rotary dials and big external antennas.

  4. I prefer the top bezel, what’s the point of the notch for a couple of millimeters of more display at the corners? it’s stupid.

    1. Not only that, it looks unnatural and is mostly useless.
      But it has its drawbacks too, as it will mean downgrading the devices front sensors and earpiece just to create the notch (for the cheap models). And it also means weaker device integrity, making it more fragile to nicks and drops at the corners.

      Besides, there’s also the ergonomics to consider as there’s very little non-screen to grab when passing the phone among people, or changing orientation/grips.

  5. I remember jokingly saying that I loved the look of the iPhone X and that the only problem I had with it was that its running iOS. Oh how I would love to take that back because now there’s a bunch of clones running around. Although for the price I’m almost tempted to get the 5/5z, so maybe I’m just a sucker lol.

  6. That Asus thing is pushing the iPhone X look a little be too much for comfort. There are some lawyers in Cupertino with dollars signs in their eyes..

  7. Just because some folks are being stupid, it doesn’t not mean it is here to stay.
    You can also see phones with pup-up and flip cameras and that’s far more practical. At some point the camera can even be placed behind the display but that’s a lot harder than it seems.

    1. The problem with popup and flip designs is that they introduce mechanical parts, making them more prone to breaking.

  8. Noo… I think it’s fine if they are doing it like ASUS and just displaying stuff like signal strength there, but I prefer Samsung’s design.

    1. Like what, glare on both edges of the display? A crack friendly design? Oh, maybe more than Samsung’s design, it’s their price you love. Nope. I think you are attracted to the curved off display that also reflects light making it even more useless.

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