Several months before the iPhone X launch, leaked images suggested how the front profile of the smartphone was going to look. The accidentally-released HomePod firmware also gave us the first official look at, what has ended up becoming, the iPhone X’s unique appearance.
Often referred to as ‘the notch’, Apple’s official terminology calls it the ‘sensor housing’, as it encloses the following components — an infrared camera, a flood illuminator, a dot projector, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, along with a front-facing camera, earpiece and speaker. Half of these sensors present are used for Face ID — Apple’s facial authentication system that’s put in the iPhone X instead of Touch ID fingerprint recognition.
Occupying this array of components on top cuts a portion of an otherwise edge-to-edge, near-bezel-less display. There has been a lot of controversy regarding this design decision, so let’s deep dive into the bad and the good things about the iPhone X notch, starting with the bad.
In 2014, Motorola was on the verge of launching its Moto 360 smartwatch, when leaked images on the internet showed a flat-tire at the bottom of an otherwise round display. Famous Apple blogger John Gruber mocked the design choice, which Motorola at the time suggested was necessary to contain components like an ambient light sensor and display drivers. Three years later, the iPhone X bears a similar cut-away that’s become an eyesore to several onlookers.
iPhone X renders webpages with literal white bars on the sides pic.twitter.com/ztcWetrLPo
— Thomas Fuchs (@thomasfuchs) September 13, 2017
Apart from subjectively looking bad to some, there are functional disadvantages to the sensor housing placement. When the iPhone X is used in landscape mode, the notch creates an asymmetrical appearance. Apple’s design guidelines ask app developers to avoid placing any elements on the edges of the screen, and rather stick to the “safe area”, such that content will not get hidden due to the notch. But in the example below reported by The Verge, the scroll indicator unavoidably gets hidden upon holding the phone sideways, with the notch on the right side.
#IPHONE X #IPHONE X NOTCH: THE GOOD AND THE BAD OF APPLE’S DESIGN CHOICE
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