- Discover all the information about the notch, a pervasive element in mobile phones. We explain what it is, the types that exist, and the alternatives to its use.
- Horror anthology: the ugliest notches in recent Android history
Loved and hated in equal measure, the introduction of the notch in mobile phones is one of the most controversial decisions made by manufacturers in the industry recently. Many users refuse to accept the presence of this element on the front of the terminal, even though it is already common in many of the models.
And you? Are you for or against the notch? You may not even know what this term means, so let’s try to clarify the issue by explaining what the mobile notch is and what it is for.
In addition, in this guide, we will review the types of the notch that you can find and the main alternatives that brands use to not integrate it, and when it could disappear permanently. After knowing this information, it will be easier to decide if you favor the notch or if you prefer that your mobile does not have it.
What is the notch of your mobile, and what is it for
The notch (“notch” in English) is a module located at the top of the mobile screen and that serves to house the front camera and sensors such as proximity or infrared.
This element becomes necessary when manufacturers try to minimize the upper frame of the front to offer a screen that occupies the largest possible front surface. Still, they run out of space to insert the photographic lens. To not have to resort to the entire upper frame, they choose to add this small notch that goes more unnoticed by the user’s view.
The Essential Phone is popularly known as the first notch phone, but it is not.
At first, you may think that the notch will be very annoying when using the mobile, but the reality is that it is usually unnoticed on most occasions. Its presence is indeed noticeable when watching videos on the phone, for example, since they are situations in which it is more convenient to have a screen that occupies the entire front without any element that annoys.
Although the Essential Phone of 2017 is popularly known as the first phone with a notch, the reality is that the first to include this notch was the Motorola Motofone F3, launched in 2006. Since that time, the use of the notch has grown to become commonplace on mobiles, especially low-end ones. Not all of them are the same, and we are going to check it now.
Types and forms of a mobile notch
We can differentiate two different notch types in current phones: the elongated eyebrow style popularized by Apple and the circular style that we find in many Android phones.
First, the eyebrow-shaped notch sits below the top frame and has an elongated shape that allows it to house more items in addition to the front camera. For example, iPhones usually have sensors in this peculiar upper tab that also serve for Face ID facial recognition.
The second type of notch is the notch usually located in the central part under the top frame. In this case, we can find different shapes, since it can be circular, in the shape of a drop of water, finished in a point … Each manufacturer can modify it slightly to give it its personal touch, so we can find this small notch in multiple possible ways.
As we said, this type of notch is popular on Android phones. To mention a few examples, the Redmi 9, the POCO M3, and the Samsung Galaxy M31 have a notch at the top of their front to make room for the front camera.
Horror anthology: the ugliest notches in recent Android history
Alternatives that point to the disappearance of the notch
When will the notch disappear? Although manufacturers like Apple continue to bet on the notch in the iPhone, the truth is that in Android, little by little, it is already disappearing in favor of other alternatives to add the front cameras in another way.
The most popular alternative is the screen hole, which, unlike the notch, is separate from the top frame. It is increasingly common to find that the front camera of the terminal is housed in a hole in the screen, which can be located both in the upper central part and in some of the upper corners.
Another system that you can find in the new phones is the pop-up camera, which unfolds from inside the phone to remove the camera only when you use it. It is a very innovative solution that allows manufacturers to take advantage of the maximum possible front for the screen.
Why buy a mobile with a pop-up camera
Of course, another alternative to using the notch is to expand the upper frame to place the front camera and sensors in it. However, it seems that this option is no longer part of the plans of the main companies in the market.
Although the notch was a good solution a few years ago to give a place to the front camera without wasting the front, everything indicates that this element will disappear soon. Without going any further, a large part of the mobiles that now go on the market opts for the hole in the screen while the popularity of the front cameras located under the screen itself grows.
The normal thing would be that the camera under the screen would become a standard from 2023 or 2024. Until then, manufacturers may continue to opt for the hole in the screen as a method to avoid the notch, in part because of their discretion and its low cost. We will also have to see what Apple does if it goes directly to the camera below the screen or opts for a kind of “transition solution”. After all, the Apple brand is the one that usually sets the trends that other manufacturers then follow …
Either way, it is only a matter of time before manufacturers achieve what they want so much: to offer a panel that occupies the largest possible area of the front to ensure a totally immersive experience.
Sharlene Meriel is an avid gamer with a knack for technology. He has been writing about the latest technologies for the past 5 years. His contribution in technology journalism has been noteworthy. He is also a day trader with interest in the Forex market.