Android phones everywhere are adopting the iPhone X notch, and it shows a true lack of originality among smartphone makers
Last September, Apple unveiled a smartphone that looked like none before it:
With the iPhone X, Apple ditched the three-year-old design that prevailed during the iPhone 6 era in favor of something new — an edge-to-edge design with no home button for Touch ID, and an all-new OLED display that takes up the whole front of the phone.
The new display almost takes up almost the whole front of the phone, but not quite. Apple cut out a little "notch" to house its front-facing camera and other sensors that power Face ID, which replaces Touch ID as the main authentication method in the iPhone X.
Not everyone loves the notch. But Apple wanted its tenth-anniversary iPhone to have an edge-to-edge screen and a front-facing camera, and that's the compromise Apple came up with, love it or hate it.
Of course, since Apple released the iPhone X, several Android phone makers have begun adopting the notch into their own designs. Here's the brand-new OnePlus 6, which was just announced last week:
Here's the LG G7 ThinQ, which was also announced this month:
The notch is all the rage overseas, too. Here's the Huawei P20 Pro that released in late March:
And here's the Asus Zenfone 5 coming later this year:
But we're just getting started. Even though it's been less than nine months since Apple unveiled the iPhone X to the world, these are only the notched Android phones we know about.
Google hints at even more Android phones with notches to come, and perhaps even its own: The newest version of Android, called Android P, reportedly supports phones with different-sized notches around the display. This will help other Android phone makers adopt similar edge-to-edge phone designs.
Many wonder if this means the next Pixel smartphones from Google will also have an iPhone X-style notch. One of the big complaints with last year's Google phone was that it looked outdated in a post-iPhone X world:
Of course, Android phone makers taking their hardware cues from Apple is nothing new. As long as the iPhone has existed, other smartphone makers have looked to Apple's designs to inspire their own. China's Xiaomi is a good example of this.
But, to be fair, there was an Android phone with a notch before Apple did it. Andy Rubin's Essential Phone introduced a smaller notch...months before the iPhone X.
And other companies deserve some credit, too: Samsung, despite its penchant for loving Apple's designs a little too much at times, chose not to go down the notch path with the Galaxy S9, instead providing users with numerous means of authentication, including facial recognition, iris recognition, a fingerprint scanner, and more.
Another Android phone looking to break from the notch trend is Vivo: That company's solution to the where-do-you-put-a-selfie-camera-in-an-all-screen-phone dilemma is more clever, and even a little tongue-in-cheek: The selfie camera literally pops out of the top of the phone when you need it.
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