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Or maybe the Asian market is not riding the display 's notch hype train? They might view the notch + the high price as opposing factors (I once heard a guy say "why would you pay so much for a phone with a screen that's cut on several places?"). Food for thought.

I bought the X because I wanted an OLED screen iPhone. And I was digging the less bezels. The notch however is irritating me to this day, 14 months in. And the non-rectangular screen (with unconventional aspect ratio) has been an annoyance when watching videos or when playing games.

It's even more absurd seeing how many Android OEMs followed suit with the notch. Seriously though: 3-4mm on the top and 2mm on the bottom is alright. There were phones with slightly larger top/bottom bezels than these and they still managed to even have dual front-facing speakers as well.

We need marketing people who have common sense, not those who try and imitate their way to success.

I agree. The notch simply does not look premium at all. It's the kind of design decision you would see in lower-end phones as a compromise.

The fact that so many Android OEMs followed suit surprised me. The usual chinese iPhone clones going along with it? Sure! But so many 'reputable' companies went for it, it's just incomprehensible.

Anecdotally I just can't imagine someone preferring a notch to no notch (as long as the bezels aren't massive on the alternative). What kind of data were the Android OEMs looking at when they made that decision? Or did they not look at any data at all and simply go with "we better follow Apple on this, just in case".

Anecdotally I prefer the notch to a bezel that would take up the same amount of space.

Vast majority of the time, I don't notice the notch. I like the way the 'done' button floats in the upper real estate when modifying apps (wiggle mode).

I would prefer a phone that's a pure wall-of-glass and manages somehow to also have FaceID, and I'm pretty sure Apple would as well but can't manufacture it.

Xiaomi's new phone is something like that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HCcP0YexTU&feature=youtu.be...

Neat, would you mind sharing the model name?

I lack the patience (and at the moment, bandwidth) for most video.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3

It has a slide-out front camera. So when you are not using the selfie camera, there is no notch and no large bezel. (It does look like the bottom bezel is a bit larger than the top and side bezels, though)


The screen looks gorgeous, I personally will never again own a phone with moving parts of any sort so that's a deal-breaker for me. I'm glad there's still experimentation happening in the space, too many Androids just jump off the same bridge as Apple.

Then you might be interested in the Vivo Nex Dual Display. It has a smaller screen at the back which means that there is not need for a front camera. It comes with neat little features such as the people whose picture is being taken being able to see themselves (and pose) while someone is taking their picture:


> Or did they not look at any data at all and simply go with "we better follow Apple on this, just in case".

It looks that way and it looked that way for years. What a shame.

There are still devices with good designs out there -- Sony, Nokia and Xiaomi mostly come to mind -- but the general trend has been "let's all add a notch".


samsung? They have skipped the notch.

Yes but subjectively, I don't like their designs at all. Especially the screen that curves outward, that has been an endless frustration when I had my S7 Edge a few years ago.

I'll say LG's V10 and V20 phones had notches before notches. I still use my V20 myself, and it's interesting to see it how LG went about it. It's huge as a notch, and that allows them a bit more customization in it: it's pretty much an extra widget area, and has a separate backlight from the main screen allowing it to be always on.

And then after that they go with the standard notch everyone else has, and you lose the extra features. Still I do prefer my V40 which has a standard notch as the extra screen space is nice every time I switch back and forth between these phones. The V40 is even slightly smaller than the V20, but with the huge edge to edge screen, doesn't feel like it.

I was really dubious about the notch design when the X was released, just as I was with dropping the home button and TouchID. However, I got to the point recently of my old iPhone 6 constantly being out of storage, so I upgraded to an XR.

FaceID has blown me away with how good it is, I’d say the success rate for identifying me is better than TouchID was. Doesn’t matter if my phone is sitting at an awkward angle in a cradle, or I’m outside in the rain with wet hands, it’ll usually get me first time.

As for the notch, generally I don’t notice it. If anything it’s kind of nice getting a little extra vertical screen space and having the clock/status tucked away where the bezel used to be. Some people complain about it getting in the way when things are full screen, but by default video and the like doesn’t expand all the way out to the edges, at which point I have basically the same size display as I did with the iPhone 6. The notch is only going to take a chunk out of what you’re watching if you explicitly request that, or if the app you’re using has been built in a way which ignores guidance from the OS on the safe area for displaying UI.

btw, iPhone X useable 16:9 screen space is about 5.2" so it's definitely more than the usual 4.7" of the iPhone 5S / 6 / 7 / 8.

I don't disagree with your points. I eventually found out that the screen is just too small for my taste. I'll buy the XS Max when I am able; or I might wait for the next generation because I still hope Apple goes USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 finally.

There were phones with slightly larger top/bottom bezels than these and they still managed to even have dual front-facing speakers as well.

I'd say even 5-10mm of bezel is a good thing, because it helps those with large fingers to hold the phone without fouling the screen.

(Bezels used to be wide for technical reasons; but now that they don't need to be for that reason, it's necessary to consider whether there are other reasons they should remain.)

I've seen a few Nokia and Xiaomi devices in the local stores lately with very slick and small bezel designs. And they still manage to have everything needed (sadly no dual front-facing speakers).

I also looked at an XS Max yesterday for the first time. The notch is reduced compared to an X; not by much but it's definitely less.

I realize many people buy X / XS / XS Max for the bezel-less form factor but I wish us the others (who like rectangular screens and don't mind some bezels) actually had a choice of a high-end iPhone.

What notch?

I have an X too and seriously I never notice or think about the notch in normal use.

Apple obviously thinks about it because the default wallpaper of the new line renders it invisible on the home screen in ads and display models.

FWIW I prefer a notch to a large upper bezel because it's a tidy way to tuck away my notifications and clock, though I don't love the way iOS does it and I don't love when it when apps go full screen in that area.

is playing pubg/fortnite not part of your normal use? coz everyone in the world is playing those games and the notch cuts out SIGNIFICANT real estate

I don't understand the issue with the notch. You either have a notch or a full bezel....

That's exactly the issue with the notch, it serves no particular purpose other than allowing 'more screen.'

Does losing 5mm at the top the screen to bezel really affect user experience when the phones are huge anyway?

If not, why make it break the display uniformity and separate notification icons...

Have you ever tried reading the economist? Lots of sites have stupid amounts of banners.

Having more vertical space also makes it easier to scan my emails or akik an article. It is absolutely worth it.

Those are fixed via a small bookmarklet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bookmarklet):

javascript:(function () { var i,elements=document.querySelectorAll('body *'); for (i=0;i<elements.length;i++) { if (getComputedStyle(elements[i]).position==='fixed' || getComputedStyle(ele elements[i].parentNode.removeChild(elements[i]); } } })();

Put that in a bookmark (it will be all one long line in the bookmark URL field), run it on the page with the banners, the banners disappear (at least in Firefox on Android). YMMV on iOS/Safari.

I mean yeah... you gain a solid 25px of screen real estate. The 2 corners on the notch can be used for notification center, etc.


Just because you come off strong with your counter-opinion doesn't mean you are right.

There is definitely credence to the thought that the notch is horrendous. I along with my entire household and most of my coworkers are, anecdotally, another example that won't come close to owning something that decides to cut into the screen. It's just so off-putting. There is no getting used to it.

For a phone and company that touts its self as a status symbol and the "pinnacle of design" they have made a couple of really bad design and usability decisions of late, the touchbar being the other egregious example.

"There is no getting used to it."

I used to think I'd never want anotched phone. Now I don't even notice it, really. It certainly doesn't put me off.

The counter-question is: is the consumption of that 1/20 viewing area actually of significant impact to the user?

With the screens on those models rather large anyway, what of the benefit is significant, given it cuts into speaker location and cuts into the display (so videos etc are restricted anyway)?

> It's even more absurd seeing how many Android OEMs followed suit with the notch.

Many Android OEMs let you hide it by painting the top bar black, though. It's even more ludicrous than that because Apple actually advertised the iPhone X by releasing a press photo where the notch was hidden due to showing a full-screen image with a mostly black background. Someone actually took Apple to court for deceptive advertising, because of that and other stuff they're quibbling about. But Apple won't allow us users the same freedom when using the device!

Apple doesn’t let you set a black background?

They do, but that's only useful in the home screen.

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