Who would have thought that of all the possible ground breaking stuff that could make headlines at Mobile World Congress 2018, we were going to end up with what many reviewers and users have described as the “God-awful notch” from Essential Phone and iPhone X stealing the show? At least 13 notch display phones were announced at MWC 2018.
The race to deliver larger displays in more compact forms gave birth to bezel-less phones with rounded screen corners. Then Essential Phone 1 was the first with a notch at the top of the display, but who noticed? It wasn’t until Apple adopted the notch that it became a thing.
The notch on the iPhone X is one of its most hated and debated features, so it was something of a surprise to see all sorts of smartphone manufacturers announce notch display phones at MWC 2018. The ASUS Zenfone 5 and 5z, as well as the Huawei P20, from two big boys, also have the notch.
But it was not only the big players like Huawei and Asus that announced notch display phones at the event, smaller players like Wiko, Doogee, Oukitel, Ulefone and others got in the picture too. Below is a quick rundown of the notch display phones announced in February 2018.
The Notch Display Phones Announced At MWC 2018
Wiko View 2 Pro is the most intriguing on this list. It has a 6-inch bezel-less display with a 16 megapixel selfie camera embedded in the notch. It has support for face unlock.
Wiko has implemented a means of putting the space to the right and left of the notch to good use in certain apps. When playing music, using the camera, or taking a call, a top display bar pops up with interactive elements. The Wiko View2 Pro will cost $365 or 299 euros.
Doogee V5 has a 6.2-inch bezel-less display. No price has been announced yet.
Leagoo S9 has a 5.85-inch display and will cost $125.
BlackView A30 is an Android Go smartphone that will cost $40. Yes; even cheap smartphones are catching the notch fever.
Noa N10 has a 6.2-inch display and Face ID. It will cost $366 or 300 euros.
Other notch phones that showed up at MWC 2018 include: Oukitel U18, Ulefone T2 Pro, Ulefone X, Vernee M7, iLA X, and Otot V5801. Ever heard of those last two brands?
In all, if I haven’t missed anything, that is a total of 13 notch display phones we are sure will hit the market in 2018.
But Why The Notch?
One of the problems inherent to bezel-less smartphones is the lack of room for the front camera. Some manufacturers solved the problem by going tri-bezel-less – phones that have a bezel at the bottom, and the selfie camera located at that bottom bezel. Ugh!
The other solution was to shrink the selfie camera on the top tiny bezel, which usually means that they cannot put in a camera as capable as they would love to.
The notch solution allows manufacturers to put in a big enough selfie camera with more capabilities above the display. You know, a more capable camera that can pull off more advanced tricks. So, the notch isn’t exactly a useless idea. It was born of a necessity. And it doesn’t look bad most of the time; it just creates another set of problems to be solved.
It has been reported that Google is making changes to the API in the next version of Android OS (Android P) to deliver better support to notch display phones, so the notch is definitely here to stay. Get with the programme. More are on the way.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.