The Notch: A Smartphone “Innovation” Nobody Asked For

Apple surprised the world last year when it released its iPhone X with a “notch” on its top – one that’s home to a speaker, a selfie camera, and whatever front-facing sensors Apple’s designers decided to hide inside it. As you might expect, this has given birth to lots of controversial opinions, with some praising the innovative perspective of Apple’s engineers and the unique nature of the iPhone X screen, while others swearing with their hand on the Bible that they would never touch a handset with such an abomination on its screen. Despite all the negativity surrounding the idea, it seems here to stay – a number of smartphones released this year, including Xiaomi’s Mi A2, the OnePlus 6, the Huawei P20 Pro, and many others sporting it. But is it really a good idea to put a dent into the top of a smartphone screen for a better look or a bit more screen?

Well, many Apple users didn’t think that way. Some even went as far as to say Steve Jobs – the marketing guru we have to thank for the iPhone, among others – would have never let something like this happen. One of the worst things about the notch is that it reduces the size of the screen actually usable for browsing web pages or watching YouTube videos, for example. So, when you browse the web with your phone in landscape mode, reading the news or browsing around Betway for a few tips, you’ll see the website with lateral bars around it caused by the placement of the ominous notch. Not to mention when you watch a video or play a game in full-screen mode – the black cutout on the edge of the screen is distracting, to say the least.

Essential Phone was the first to put a dent in the screen of its smartphone – but it was as small as possible to make it unobtrusive, leaving enough space around it to make it usable at least. But Apple’s designers turned it into a massive bar on the top (or left, or right) of the screen. And now a series of smartphone makers seem to follow its lead, despite many smartphone users being against the idea. A recent poll run by Android Authority has shown that more than a third of the website’s visitors wouldn’t touch a notched smartphone with a stick, with more than 10% of them only wanting to buy them if they could hide the notch entirely. Just 5% of respondents were brave enough to declare their love for this innovative approach.

All of the above shows that the notch on the smartphone’s top was the innovation nobody has asked for – yet it seems here to stay, with more and more handsets having them.

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