What’s More Annoying: the Notch or the Hole Punch?
In 2018, smartphone makers went crazy adopting this hot new trend called the notch. The trend started even further back than this year with the launch of the Essential phone, which introduced the concept of wrapping the screen around the camera in the interest of making a “truly edge-to-edge” display. Of course, the concept was then made popular by Apple on their iPhone X, which then opened the floodgates this year for other smartphone makers to quickly follow suit.
But here we are, on the cusp of a new year, and it looks like we’re ready to take the next leap forward in smartphone screen gimmicks. This time around, Samsung and Huawei are testing the waters with a new method of edge-to-edge trickery known as the hole punch. Both companies this week announced devices that apply the hole punch idea. The concept is exactly what it sounds like—a tiny circle taken out of the actual display to allow the smartphone’s camera to show through.
What’s different here, though, is that the implementation of the hole punch is done in a way that moves the camera to the far top-left corner of the device. It’s nice in that it maybe makes it less annoying to see the missing pixels right in the middle of the phone, but now we’re talking about off-center selfies. And, personally, I find the idea of a circle of missing pixels tucked in the corner of my device to be even more annoying. At least with the notch you’re talking about product symmetry. It may sound crazy, but that balance of the device in turn makes the notch less distracting to me than a tiny little hole.
Either way, no matter how you slice it, the notch and the hole punch are both iterative steps towards creating a truly all-display device. Samsung, in fact, has shown off some of its early attempt to tuck a camera underneath an OLED smartphone screen. No telling when that technology will be ready for the mass market, but it’s clear that it’s coming.
Great news! Samsung established the direction of mobile phone design in 2019!
On October 18th, Samsung Display invited about 20 customers to hold the "2018 Samsung OLED Forum" at the Shenzhen Marriott Hotel in China. At the meeting, Samsung showed a PPT pic.twitter.com/sYu0ORTd6V
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) October 19, 2018
In the meantime, we’ll just have to deal with these minor pixel-less distractions.