2019 is the year where smartphone innovation is slowly taking a step forward from the “Notch City” of 2018 into a realm of bezel-less smartphones. Smartphone manufacturers are finding new and unique ways to hide the elements that are embedded within the notch. Manufacturers like Huawei and Samsung are developing phones with a so-called hole punch display where there is a hole in the display to accomodate the selfie camera. Samsung calls this the “Infinity-O” and is rumoured to be in their 2019 flagship smartphone. the Galaxy S10 and S10+, while manufacturers such as Huawei already have phones such as the Honor View 10 with this style of cutout already in the market.
Vivo took a much much different approach to creating a bezel-less concept phone with their NEX when they added a motorised slider. This, however, caused a lot of questions about the durability and longevity of the motors and this somewhat remains unanswered at this point. Oppo later debuted their flagship of 2018, the Find X. This unfortunately failed spectacularly in the durability test undertaken by Zack from Jerry Rig Everything. Oppo’s phone is top spec and has really snappy performance as well as design, which is enough for a bunch of people who are willing to overlook the poor durability of the smartphone. Xiaomi also joined the slider trend with their Mi Mix 3, but their approach was a little different, and welcomed by a lot of people thanks to its addictive manual slider. The lack of motors eliminate a significant number of questions in terms of motor longevity and durability.
Smartphones this year will embrace the new trend of the “Hole-Punch” display in order to eliminate the notch. Although there was significant backlash for the early prototypes and rumours that the Samsung’s flagship smartphone will have a hole punch display, it seems like many people are starting to see it in a much different light. A similar pattern can be seen in 2018 where there was a lot of negativity surrounding the notch in the early stages, but with the release of the iPhone X and a few other phones, many people were ok with it.
There is no denying that there were many bad notch designs on a bunch of phones, and it will most likely be the case this year too with the display cutout for the camera. Inevitably, this seems like it will be the future. It doesn’t suffer from the durability drawbacks of slider phones and excludes the need for a notch while creating much more screen realestate. This along with rumours that upcoming flagships will also sport camera cutouts almost cement the idea that this will be the main smartphone trend of 2019.
NOTE: Image 1 is from The Verge; Image 2 is from Jerry Rig Everything; Image 3 is from Engadget.