It used to be that nothing was certain but death and taxes, to quote Benjamin Franklin (who wasn’t actually the first to point this out, but is probably best known for the phrase). Well, we can add to that short list. In today’s landscape, certainties include death, taxes, and display notches on a growing number of smartphones. Some people don’t mind them, others vehemently hate them. Either way, display notches aren’t going anywhere, but they might look a little different in the next generation of smartphones.
How did we get here? Is Apple truly to blame for the display notch craze because of its iPhone X? The origin of the display notch actually traces back to the original Essential Phone, developed by the father of Android, Andy Rubin. The Essential Phone debuted without a traditional top bezel, and instead plopped the front-facing camera in a teardrop notch at the top. However, the iPhone X ran with the idea, introducing a bigger notch on a much more popular handset, and the rest is history.
So here were are, the display notch quickly coming the rule and not the exception. How it’s implemented, though, is subject to change. Prominent leaker and Ice Universe posted an image of an unnamed smartphone that trades today’s notch designs for an “open hole” design. It looks like you could loop a lanyard through the hole, but that’s not how it’s actually designed.
“The display open hole camera technology will become the mainstream technology in 2019, then you think, where is the camera position better?,” Ice Universe states.
If this is the next fad, we imagine users will still be split on disrupting the screen with a cutout, versus extending a bezel across the length of the top. A camera hole is not the only pending solution, though. Vivo may launch a smartphone with a full front display, with the camera popping out of the top. Have a look…
Whatever the future holds, it’s interesting that the idea of a display notch is drawing so much attention. It comes with the territory of advancing smartphone designs, and specifically the front display—the trend is to make full use of available real estate with increasingly skinnier (or non-existent) borders and bezels. If the front camera is to remain a feature, smartphone makers have to get creative.
What’s your preference? Would you prefer a traditional bezel, a notch of some kind, or a pop up camera? Sound off in the comments section below.