Goodbye Notch, We Hardly Knew Ye

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

When the iPhone X was announced in September 2017, one of the design “features” was the notch – a small(ish) region that interrupts the otherwise bezel-free display that houses the front camera and FaceID sensors. And while it was panned by many, that didn’t stop other phone makers from introducing their own notched displays. But the Galaxy S10 and a number of others are already ditching the notch.

The notch was a definite compromise by Apple. With edge-to-edge displays becoming the norm, Apple was faced with a number of challenges, some of which were self-made. They had decided to ditch TouchID in their premium devices in favour of FaceID and that meant they needed a more complex camera and sensor array.

At the same time, their opposition had championed new designs that made the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 look old even though they were recent models packed with the latest silicon Apple had designed and produced. So, while, under the covers, Apple was keeping up and maybe even outpacing its rivals, outwardly, they looked old.

So, the notch was born – a compromise between needing to add some new tech and wanting to embrace a bezel-free design.

But now, Apple is back to playing catchup. Samsung has introduced a small punch hole for their front camera, Google elected to maintain top and bottom bezels with the Pixel 3 as did Oppo with some of their models and Huawei, with the Mate 20 (not the Pro), managed to reduce the notch to a tiny fraction of the size Apple went with.

And other phones, such as the the Oppo Find X, Vivo Nex S, and Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 use a mechanical system to pop the front camera up from inside the phone’s housing.

Samsung is working on putting the camera under the display without any cutouts or notches but says that tech is still a year or two away from being in production.

So, what’s out there if you’re after a smartphone without a notch? Here are some of the options on the market.

Samsung Galaxy S10: $982.53 (after using discount code PULL10 at checkout.

Google Pixel 3: $679.99 (after using discount code PROGRAM20 at checkout.

Oppo Find X: $923.04 (after using discount code PULL10 at checkout.

LG V30+: $539.10 (after using discount code PULL10 at checkout.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3: $710.10 (after using discount code PULL10 at checkout.


Leave a Reply