The Ugly Notch - GoTechTalk


Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Ugly Notch

At MWC 2018, several Android devices appeared with an iPhone-style notch. On the surface, this was a blatant and rather lazy way to copy Apple. It was also just a bad idea in general for Android.
One thing that’s distinctive about the iPhone X is the symmetrical, almost non-existent bezels. It does this with an OLED panel that bends back at the bottom, allowing the display drivers to be hidden behind the panel. Thus far, Android OEMs haven’t shown that much attention to detail — they just want that iPhone notch. Look at some android phone, which has an iPhone X notch at the top, but retains a chin at the bottom. Even the Essential Phone, which uses an LCD panel, leaves a larger bezel at the bottom.
The slavish way many mid-tier OEMs trot out iPhone clones is a bit embarrassing. No one is going to buy one of these phones because they look like an iPhone — they don’t. They look like bad copies of the iPhone that only have the notch because it’s fashionable. They don’t need to be the same shape as the iPhone notch, but here we are. 
Even if you think the screen notch is an attractive design choice (which I don’t), adding a notch to an Android phone is a bad idea. For one, the platform then did not support rendering the UI with a notch. That means apps could end up with missing UI elements or clipped content, and OEMs have to roll their own code to make system UI work with the notch. Essential had to black out space on either side of its notch for months because Google worried it would break things. Only later did it get the OK to render a standard status bar in apps, and the Essential notch is small compared with others.
The Essential Phone.

Unlike iOS, Android actually fills the status bar with useful content like notification icons. Cropping most of the bar out with a notch requires system-level changes, and I don’t think the tradeoff is worth it even then. Android P includes the necessary tools to support screen notches, but how many phones have Android P?. None of the Android phones announced with notches will have Android P until at least several months later. Google opts for a screen notch on the Pixel 3 and its sole Android device with proper OS-level support for non-standard screen shapes until other OEMs get around to producing updates. Everyone else will have to convert to the official APIs for the notch.

Is Notch Temporary?
The screen notch exists on the iPhone X because it needs a lot of sensors on the front for Face ID, but on Android, it’s just an aesthetic choice. The notch might not be a permanent fixture on such smartphones. There was a neat concept phone at MWC from a company called Vivo, which is a huge smartphone maker in Asia. This phone had almost no bezels and no notch. The front-facing camera popped up from inside the frame when needed and recently Samsung and Honor came up with punch hole cutout in its display for selfie camera.

There will be phones coming with such a Punch Hole cutout, but its design and engineering isn't cost effective yet but this punch hole is the future design which is much better than some android phones had in 2018. We really hope all smartphone makers adopt this punch hole design rather that ugly notch

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