So here’s the thing about smartphones with display notches: they offer more screen real estate by allowing device makers to offer a slim top bezel with a cut-out in the display for a camera and other sensors. But they also look funny, since the display wraps around the cut-out, which can pose a problem when viewing full-screen images, videos, games, or other content.
While some folks have been clamoring for slimmer bezels for years, the notch solution has been controversial, to say the least (although that hasn’t stopped more than a dozen companies from adopting it).
But LG seems to have come up with an interesting solution for its upcoming LG G7 smartphone: a notch that you can camouflage by turning the top of the screen black so that it matches the color of the notch and makes the phone look like it has a normal top bezel. Well… kind of.
To be clear, the notch is always there. It’s where the front-facing camera hangs out. But the black “bezel” to the left and right of the notch can be enabled or disabled via software.
Interestingly, this solution still makes use of the fact that the left and right sides of the top “bezel” are actually a display: you can view the time, battery level, and possibly other notifications. So basically what we’re looking at here is the option to turn the top of the screen black, not to entirely shift the status bar lower down the screen.
Still, that seems like it could help folks who are bothered by the aesthetics of a display cut-out to cope with the notch… while letting folks who don’t mind a notch get a little more screen space.
Of course notches aren’t the only way to reduce the size of a phone’s top bezel. But they do seem to be one of the most popular options so far.