After weeks of leaks, Google officially announced the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones yesterday, but one part of the updated device isn’t sitting well with users: the giant camera notch on the front of the XL variant.
Fortunately, for the notch-averse out there, it seems that Google will offer an option to hide the notch by blacking out the entire top portion of the display, via Gizmodo.
For people who prefer a more traditional smartphone look, we’ve added an option to hide the display cutout (the notch).
— Made by Google (@madebygoogle) October 9, 2018
It’s an option we’ve seen offered on a variety of other notched Android phones, including those from LG, OnePlus, Xiaomi, and Huawei. But it’s nice to see Google offer the option here, too. As 9to5Google points out, there’s already the ability to black out the notch in the existing Android Pie build hidden in the development menu, which may be what the original Google tweet was referring to. But hopefully the company is adding something a little more user-friendly than digging in developer options for when the Pixel 3 hits stores.
You can get an idea of what the Pixel 3 looks like with the nixed notch in 9to5Google managing editor Stephen Hall’s tweet below:
Notch on, notch off. Current Android P developer option, which isn’t new. Not sure yet if the option Google has confirmed is this, or some kind of user-facing setting that will put time/date/notifs up there. pic.twitter.com/4cpebmUoYq
— Stephen Hall (@hallstephenj) October 10, 2018
It’s not clear if the no-notch look is better. Android still has to display a menu bar, which it does below the simulated bezel. That means you’ll lose even more space in addition to the larger-than-normal area on top that you’re choosing to black out to hide the larger-than-normal notch.
But at least there’s a choice: keep the notch and deal with the giant slab of despair or sacrifice a huge chunk of your screen to get back the bezels you thought you left behind in the name of aesthetics. Which will you choose?