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.

Spotted by the folks at TechRadar in a leaked video that allegedly shows off the unannounced LG G7, it seems like there’s a software setting that lets you add a bezel/turn off the notch.

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.

Update: It looks like LG isn’t the only phone maker with this idea. The new Huawei P20 phones come with an option to camouflage the notch.

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12 replies on “LG G7 may have a notch… that you can “disable” with a software trick”

  1. I think it’s a good compromise. They couldn’t use an AMOLED display or anything else that’s susceptible to burn-in.

  2. This is just vastly superior. This is exactly how I thought this should be done to begin with.

  3. Please, PLEASE, phone makers, do not start copying that horrible design.

  4. a software notch? Wtf? Isn’t it supposed to make space for hardware like sensors and speaker? Now I’ve seen everything

    1. I must have done a crappy job with this article, because you’re not the first person to interpret it that way. I’ll go ahead and do a rewrite to make this more clear, but the notch is always there. It’s the black borders to the left and right that are optional.

      1. How about:

        The notch is still there, of course. But there’s a mode you can switch on which will lower the top edge border of the display’s screen to below the notch — so that the areas to the left and right of the notch are black and are unused by the Android OS and apps. Thus, it looks like the top of the bezel is a thicker black border.

    2. You misunderstood, look at the image carefully. The phone itself is still Notched for hardware sensors and camera. Its just that with software, LG G7 lets you make the two sides beside the notch completely black in order to match the notch and give the display screen symmetry again.

      I like this solution, benefit of doing it this way is you get the minimal bezels, you get the notch for the hardware, AND you can also have a symmetrical uniform screen but without the notifications bar because they are still on the area where they would be originally besides the notch

    3. As others have pointed out, it’s not a software notch, but a software bezel around the notch. However, you can see actual software notches of various types in videos of the Android P developer preview. That’s for the benefit of app developers for dealing with the notch since most notch phones are still unreleased.

  5. I’d rather the phone makers not even bother with notchphones, but I’ve been saying, as have others, that if the notch persists, then it wouldn’t be long before software bezels show up. That didn’t take long.

Comments are closed.