In order to avoid bezels around our phone and to provide an immersive experience tech firms had come up with solution of ‘notches’. Though notches managed to provide a near all screen experience, it came out as an annoyance to many users. The bigger iPhone like notches cut out a considerable amount of content on the screen, especially while watching YouTube videos. The best notch implementation according to me was the teardrop notch or the ‘Essential phone notch’.
Notches may be annoying but it houses some of the important components of your smartphone like the camera, the earpiece, the sensors.
Since those components are an integral part of a smartphone, smartphone brands have come up with interesting solutions to avoid the notch.
So without further adieu lets dive into it and see for yourself which one do you like?
Motorized front camera and earpiece.
This method was introduced by Oppo and Vivo in the Find X and Nex respectively. First of all seeing a brand like Oppo and Vivo with this kind of solution really touched my heart.
The solution was to put up the front camera and other necessary components in a motorized mechanism. It pops out when required and immediately slides down when the task is over. This in effect gave a near all screen experience. Though it might seem the whole process is slow but I am glad to say it only takes fraction of a second. It was blazingly fast. Using it was like stepping into the future.
This was a well put up solution but the problem was the chin was still there. More over the motorized mechanism cannot be as sturdy as a static component. To add to that you cannot snap in a case to protect it. This means dust particles can get in between the motorized mechanism and faulter it. Another way in which it can faulter is if it drops while the motorized piece was out. Also the build and physical integrity of the phone takes a hit due to the mechanism.
All this leads to one conclusion though it might look futuristic it cannot become mainstream solution.
Though we have seen this type of phones decades ago, slider mechanism was still a very valid answer to the all screen problem.
You can see this implementation in the latest devices like the Honor Magic 2 or the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3. Both works phenomenally well with this mechanism. We can see minimalistic bezels with this implementation.
This mechanism is like the manual version of the aforementioned motorized mechanism. Companies claims these phones to last 200 to 300 thousand such slides. Though I remain skeptical about it. The main problems are that it is still very fragile and can break if it drops in the wrong way. And as usual you cannot protect it with a case. The slider also adds to the thickness of the phone.
Hence we cannot still regard this as the best solution to the problem.
Dual screen phone
It seems companies are now becoming obsessive to solve the all screen problem.
Tech firm Nubia is going with a dual screen phone for the no notch display. The concept is like if you want to click a selfie then you will have to use the primary camera with the secondary screen at the back.
This addresses the problem in a very weird manner and it seems the company has added quite a few problems.
First of all it adds up to the battery consumption. If they increase the battery capacity then they might have to increase the thickness of the phone.
Secondly glass itself is fragile and more glass, thanks to the secondary screen makes it even more fragile. Just putting the phone down may accelerate the damage.
Thirdly, if you have ever replaced a damaged phone screen you will know how costly the screen is? Adding a secondary screen skyrockets the cost and also increases the repair costs.
Fourthly, while using the secondary screen you might feel using a phone with 16:9 display, with lots of thick bezels all around.
So lets move to another approach which might become mainstream.
Hole in the screen for selfie camera
This is by far the best approach for making an all screen phone. You can see this design language in the upcoming Galaxy S10 or the Asus Zenfone 6Z.
They have avoided the notch completely by placing the camera in a small hole in the screen. This method will provide the highest screen to body ratio, while still maintaining the build quality of the phone. Sensors and earpiece will be at the bottom of the screen.
Speaking of cons I don’t think there will be any such major con, though I will keep my fingers crossed.
This might become the trend for 2019.
2018 has been a phenomenal year where we have seen all kinds of possible notches. You can see this year as an evolution year for an all screen design. Thanks to all the tech firms for providing us all the interesting design languages and stepping the stones for a notch less design.
My personal favorite was the last approach while I hated the manual slider mechanism the most. What was your most or least favorite solution? Let us know in the comments below.