I’m very opposed to notched phones, and I may have found a solution.
The notch was a novelty on the Essential phone. It was odd to an edge to edge screen at the time. Of course, that novelty has worn off. Apple introduced it’s own monolithic notch, and utilized Face ID as the culprit behind it. While Apple is seemingly extremely proud of their notch, the design seems widely hated. That hatred has not stopped Android phone makers from adopting this bad idea. I can only assume that these Android phones went into design before phone makers heard consumer’s reactions to the iPhone X. Now, these phone makers are pushing this design as the future of phones. But it’s a future I don’t want.
Carl Pei of OnePlus spoke recently to The Verge about the new flagship phone. Guess what? It will have the notch as well. In the talk, Pei seemed to push the pro-notch stance, even while assuring the readers that their notch would be smaller than the iPhone X. On one hand, he justifies the decision, and on the other hand, he attempts to placate the consumer by pointing out that their will be smaller. It’s not often that a man will attempt to claim theirs is better because it is smaller. If that’s the route that must be taken, it should be obvious to all that the notch is making people sore.
Pei said something of interest though, in speaking about the chin on android phones. Of course, this is the bezel area located at the bottom of the phone. He says the chin isn’t going anywhere. From the article;
“We couldn’t talk Android phone notches without also addressing Android phone chins. “The only phone on the market that has a notch that doesn’t have a chin is the iPhone X,” notes Pei, and that’s because the iPhone’s “chin is on the back of the phone.” At the bottom of each display is a ribbon for connecting it to the device’s logic board, which necessitates at least a thin “chin.” Apple’s exotic solution to that was to use a flexible OLED screen that curves internally and thus pushes the ribbon connection toward the back. Pei explains that this approach makes the phone thicker and, understandably, more expensive. Not even Samsung, which makes Apple’s iPhone X displays, is being so indulgent in its design. So chins are going to remain a feature of Android phone designs for the foreseeable future.”
The justification for the notch is to increase screen real estate, yet still leave a spot for the camera and sensors that are needed at the top of the phone. The justification for the chin is the ribbon connection for the screen. Am I the only one that see’s the obvious solution here? A way to rid the world from this ugly notch, while increasing screen real estate? The answer is simple.
Change the chin into a forehead.
Go ahead, laugh all you want. Point to the kid from The Family Guy with the upside down face. I think it’s the best solution. How much screen real estate is really created by the notch? Two little fingers of screen than will show the time, your battery, and perhaps a notification or two? Meanwhile, the entire bottom portion of phone has been cut off for a ribbon? Can the same portion be used for both the needed sensors and the screen ribbon?
Flip the screen upside down. Move the sensors to one side of the phone, move the screen’s ribbon to the other side. Enjoy additional screen real estate across the bottom of the phone, that is not cut into by a ghastly notch, and have a slight bezel at the top of the phone. Just think of how many more notifications you could show across the top of the screen, when it’s not broken up.
I know, there’s nothing that can be done for this current generation of phones. But here’s an easy solution, to what I see is a real problem in design. Let’s hope someone that’s designing these phones can see the obvious solution.