Another day, another development in the hottest smartphone trend of 2018: notches.

Chinese phone maker Xiaomi is expected to reveal the Mi Mix 2S smartphone later this month, but a leaked video allegedly gives us a sneak peek at the design.

I have no idea if the video is the real deal, but it is intriguing because it shows a novel solution to the where-do-you-put-the-camera-on-slim-bezeled-phones dilemma: in the upper right corner.

Xiaomi was arguably one of the companies that kicked of the slim-bezel craze when the company introduced the original Mi Mix in 2016 (even though Sharp actually beat Xiaomi to market by 2 years).

The Mi Mix featured a ceramic body and slim top and side bezels. The camera was below the screen instead of above it.

These days most companies are taking their design cues from Apple and Essential and wrapping the display around a cut-out for the camera. Those camera notches tend to be in the center of the phone, but the Mi Mix 2S video depicts the first phone I’ve seen with a corner notch.

I don’t know about you, but there’s something a little less objectionable about placing the camera in the corner, where it doesn’t seem to be jutting into the center of the screen in the same way. Or maybe it’s just because the notch seems to be so small you could almost forget it was there.

Of course, another way to forget the notch is not to have one at all. That’s the approach Vivo seems to be taking with its Apex smartphone concept that has a retractable camera that hides inside the phone’s body when it’s not in use and pops out when you need it.

Vivo unveiled the Apex concept phone at Mobile World Congress in February before giving the device a proper launch in its home country of China this week. At least one news site reports that Vivo already plans to take the Apex phone from concept to reality, with mass production scheduled to start later this year.

via GSM Arena and Slashleaks

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15 replies on “What if phones had a tiny camera notch in the corner?”

    1. The first Mi Mix had a solution that vibrated the phone frame to create sound, to oversimplify it. Apparently, the second Mix had a speaker that was tiny enough to place in the frame above the screen, so perhaps that’s what they’re using here. Perhaps they’ll reveal this and we’ll find out.

      1. Yes, but the solution by Sharp (Aquos Crystal), which was later copied/adopted by Xiaomi for the Mix sucked.

        The ZTE Axon 7 was much better, in that, it offered a great earpiece which was also a great loudspeaker…. and actually offered good 1:1 surround sound to users.

        If we keep following this trend of form before function, we’re going to end up with 4mm glass phones which are 8inches long with 20:9 aspect ratios, no side buttons, no ports, and have no front cameras or flash, or speakers…. you have to turn the phone upside-down to see those functions.

  1. This seems like a better approach if there has to be a notch. Because it’s in the corner, it doesn’t catch my eye as easily. And there’s typically less important information in the corners of things that are full screen, though this seems to be a part of the notification bar in its positioning. I’d still rather have bezels and a normal, rectangular screen. I’ve never had a problem with bezels, and phone screens are big enough for me already. It’s definitely an improvement. It’s nice to see a manufacturer like Xiaomi try something different rather than just copying Apple.

  2. > the hottest smartphone trend of 2018: notches.

    The Apple notch phone orders and sales estimates are so bad, we may not see another cyclops phone from them in years. I think the notch best represents the state of innovation (and effort) we’re seeing from “our” tech companies. Maybe they’ll start building in features people actually want…? maybe…

  3. Hmm. I suspect the asymmetry might cause some people with OCD and similar afflictions to have issues.

  4. I personally don’t mind the aesthetics of the minimalist Essential Phone notch that predates the iPhone X, but this is a better solution than the slew of straight up iPhone copy cats that were announced recently. I’m looking forward to fast forwarding through the notch wars chapter in smartphone history because this is just getting ridiculous.

  5. Baaah… The Mi Mix solution is just obviously the best. If you need the front-facing camera to be above the screen, for whatever reason, you can just flip the phone upside down. That way it’s there when you need it, and out of the way when you don’t (which is most of the time).

    Why is this even a problem / mystery any more? This was solved in 2016!!

    1. That’s not a solution for bezel-less, just bezel-light. (Whether we need bezel-less is a different issue.)

      1. but bezel-less at the bottom bar is incredibly stupid – you really want some area where you can actually hold your phone without triggering some action

        1. Exactly this.

          Also, consider how Apple has to artificially raise the virtual onscreen keyboard from the bottom on the iPhone X so that you can use it.

          A modest bottom bezel is actually desirable from an ergonomic point of view for reaching at the bottom of the screen with your thumb, from a practical point of view if you put the camera there, and even better if you also put a second front-facing speaker there.

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