While the Essential phone was the first smartphone to debut with a notch, many people attribute the design trend to Apple. Most manufacturers have gone to great lengths to reduce or entirely remove the appearance of a notch on their more recent smartphones. Let’s take a look at the best notch-less Android phones of 2019 to further complicate your next financial decision when it comes time for your next upgrade.
Flippable Camera – ASUS ZenFone 6
ASUS took an entirely different approach to remove the notch by making the rear camera flippable. The dual-camera system in the ZenFone 6 features a Sony IMX586 48-megapixel sensor. It also features a 13-megapixel ultrawide secondary camera. The best part about this phone is that the rear camera features a motor that can be used to flip it forward to use as a selfie camera. You can rotate the flippable camera to any angle you want to capture panoramas and ultrawide selfie shots. The angle can be fully controlled from 0-180 degrees. It’s a unique take on offering a new phone that has a great camera but features no notch to mar the screen experience.
Motorized Camera – OnePlus 7 Pro
OnePlus hopped on board the notch train with the OnePlus 6, but the design trend didn’t stick around for more than a single generation. With the introduction of the OnePlus 7 Pro, the Chinese company showed off their camera engineering. The OnePlus 7 Pro features a motorized front-facing camera that is hidden inside the device, ready to pop out when needed.
The OnePlus 7 Pro’s rear camera features the Sony IMX586 sensor, an ultrawide and night-time camera. But the real beauty of this device is the pop-up camera hidden in the top left. The downside of this motorized camera is that it can’t be activated manually. You have to set up Face Unlock or open the camera app to take a selfie.
Hole Punch – Samsung Galaxy S10
Samsung couldn’t quite get away from the notch this year in the form of an under-display selfie camera. The Samsung Galaxy S10 features an 8MP RGB depth camera and a 10MP selfie camera underneath the display. Technically this presentation is notch-less since the cameras aren’t placed in the middle of the screen. The dual lens selfie camera is off on the right side of the screen, and the hole-punch design is interesting, but not the best implementation. Hopefully, Samsung will take some inspiration from OPPO and Xiaomi for the next iteration of the Galaxy smartphone.
Under the Screen – OPPO & Xiaomi
Chinese smartphone manufacturers OPPO and Xiaomi are working on under-display camera tech that can shoot through screens. While neither OPPO or Xiaomi has a current smartphone with this tech, they have showcased it at trade shows. At MWC Shanghai in June, Oppo showcased an experimental technology that uses custom transparent material. Oppo uses a redesigned pixel structure for screens so that light can get through to the camera. The sensor on these types of devices is larger than other selfie cameras and will reduce photo quality.