Top Notch?

While the jury may not be out on phones with notched displays, one thing’s for sure: they are

here to stay.

Text by Johnson Shrestha

Have you ever felt annoyed by a little stain stuck to your phone’s screen? It doesn’t even have to be big, just a small stain of something, and you’ll want to take it out immediately. And now, imagine a larger stain that is always going to be there on your phone, staring at you. How are you supposed to feel? Here’s what you’re going to get – an edge to edge display on your phone, but with a notch! Sure, it houses a front camera, maybe two in some cases, some sensors but that’s about it. Better were the days when phones housed these essentials on the top bezels. But a bezel-less display with a notch?

The Essential smartphone started it all. With a small rounded notch on the front screen that housed the camera and a sensor, it wasn’t really a big of a deal. Partly, because many didn’t even know about the phone and also of its small size. But the storm started with the launch of Apple iPhone X, Apple’s ‘revolutionary’ phone that replaced the fingerprint scanner with a complicated Face ID technology. Yes, many laughed at Apple, many mourned the loss of the Touch ID and some didn’t hold back in showing their hatred for the phone by “removing the notch” by cutting out the entire top half of the phone. Pretty absurd, even for just an entertainment video, but the point is, people didn’t really like the notch except for some.

Fast forward to present, some of the most famous phone brands are “embracing” the notch. LG G7, which is likely to become official in June, has its designs leaked, which reveals that it too, will have a notch. Yes, smaller than the iPhone X’s, but nevertheless, it is there. And the same notched design goes on LG G7 Neo too. Similarly, Oppo F7 and Oppo R15 are to feature this notched design as well. Although the Oppo R15 may not make it to the Indian and Nepali markets but it will definitely have the notch.

The most recent outburst regarding the notch is about the OnePlus 6. This is a phone that holds the title of ‘flagship killer’ and many have a lot of expectations from it. But when Carl Pei, the CEO of OnePlus tweeted “Learn to love the notch”, with a link to his interview with The Verge, there was an outcry from OnePlus fans, so much so that the tweet had to be deleted, making it clear that not everyone is happy about notched displays. The tweet might have been deleted, but the notch will still stay on the OnePlus 6. What can we do about it? Absolutely nothing. And I don’t think there is even any fighting back. With the previews of upcoming Android P showing a built-in support for notches in various forms, you could say they are here to stay. The notch isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Who’s having the last laugh now? Apple?

Because we, surely, aren’t.

Top notch phones: 

Essential Ph-1


Oppo F7

Asus Zenfone 5 and 5Z

LG G7 and G7 Neo

Huawei P20 and P20 Pro

Vivo V9