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I'm no not-hater but youez, this Pixel 3 XL



I'm not a notch hater. Honestly, I'm a little surprised that that's a sentence you can say in 2018 and have it relate to an actual controversy in the tech world, but nobody said this year would make any sense. Anyway, I do not have an instant revulsion to phone display notches, but I have to say, I'm not feeling the Pixel 3 XL's screen right now.

After the Pixel 2 XL display debacle last year, where Google faced (criticized) the quality of its OLED panel and the odd blue tint it suffered from, I was exceedingly pleased to see the Pixel 3 XL's screen did not suffer the same complaints. Richly colored, it's much more akin to an iPhone XS panel, though it's too short of the over-saturation that many associate with Samsung's Super AMOLED.

That was the nice surprise. Something I was not expecting to be so bothered by, however, was the notch. That's the cut-out in the top center of the Pixel 3 XL's display, and it's undoubtedly been the most controversial element of the smartphone's design since the first leaks began months ago.

The way I've always seen it, the screen notch is a necessary evil. We demand a lot from smartphone design, and physics sometimes gets in the way. If you want a) a big screen, that b) takes up as much of the front of your device as possible, but c) are not willing to give up the selfie camera and various sensors that modern phones come with, then you ' re more than likely going to get a notch.

Some people – and companies – are not willing to make that compromise to hit all three of those factors, and so you end up with a rectangular display with at least a thicker bezel at the top. Samsung's Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 are excellent examples of that this year. No notch, but neither are their top and bottom bezels quite as smart as those on other handsets.

The iPhone XS, meanwhile, has thoroughly embraced the notch. Apple puts its smart TrueDepth camera array there, of course, and as of its 2018 lineup there's no new iPhone without a notch to choose. Want the latest hardware? Get used to the cut-out.

Notably, Apple does not follow the path of other smartphone makers with dimpled displays. LG, for example, has had notches on some of its phones since last year. The LG V40 ThinQ is the latest, and you can dip into the menu settings if you find the cut-out really infuriating and switch on an option to mask it. Effektivt apps behandler det resterende skærm som en regelmæssig rektangel, men i det hele taget har du sikkert end med mindre brugbar plads end hvis LG lige havde brugt et no-notch design i første omgang.

Apple does not have such a setting. It's the notch way or the highway. Google said yesterday it would offer Pixel 3 XL owners the choice, though there is no obvious setting to do that on the review devices it has handed out so far.

Instead you have to dig into the developer settings to flip it, something I suspect few people will ever do. De burde ikke heller, fordi det er en middelmådig workaround. Even met het geactiveerd, bijvoorbeeld, kunt u nog steeds geen volledige statusbalk ontvangen van notificatie iconen. De still cut off når de kommer til det afsnit hvor en notch ville starte.

A combination of understanding that's the necessary evil behind the choice we make, and the knowledge that I can probably get used to most things unless they are causing me legitimate pain, has helped me pass any real notch annoyance. I do not really see it day to day, when I use the iPhone XS Max. Selv om jeg har vært med tiden med LG V40 ThinQ, har mine øjne bare lært at ignorere det.

The Pixel 3 XL's notch, though, feels a little different. For a start it's more intrusive: deeper, maybe twice as much so, as the cut-out in the V40's screen. Det faktum at det ikke er så bredt som iPhone XS Max's notch understreker bare at dybden, at least to my eyes. It looks frankly out of place.

Google's argument is the same as that of Apple, LG, and the other notch adoptees. Det har satt to front-facing kameraer der, sammen med de ørepropper og andre sensorer, så det kan tilby både vanlige og vidvinkelfotografier. If they did not intrude into the screen, then the upper bezel would be broader all the way across, as it is on the Pixel 3.

Why, though, does the Pixel 3 XL not have to be quite so big? The V40 ThinQ has two front-facing cameras as well, for similar regular and wide-angle selfies, but it does not suffer from notch-swell in the same way. Apple kan kun tilbyde en front-facing kamera til brugere, men den TrueDepth-array har en række sensorer og projektorer som bruger, som alle tar opp plass. Even then, its notch is less open than Google's. The Pixel 3 XL does not even have a fancy Face ID style 3D feature mapping system for security.

"The notch allows us to provide the best cameras (two, one of which is wide angle) and audio experience," Google argued with one display critic on Twitter this week. "Pixel 3 also has a smaller border and front-firing speakers to provide optimum sound quality. Our notch-to-display ratio is actually less than many top competitors. "

That latter factoid may be correct, but if there's one thing this whole notch saga has demonstrated it's that the reaction is primarily an emotional one, not a rational one. Whether you are not alone see the notch but get enraged by its presence is not just a factor of what proportion of notch-to-display you've hit. Instead, it's a matter of how the cut-out fits into the overall styling of the device.

There, I'm not sure Google has quite got the balance right. I'll admit, though, I'm in my second full day of using the Pixel 3 XL: it's completely possible that, after a little more time, my eyes will give up their objections. Something legitimately useful, like Face ID has been on the notched iPhones, might have helped smooth that process.

Instead, Google has been its own worst enemy, and provided us with the perfect example of how the Pixel 3 XL could ' ve been better That's, of course, the Pixel 3, a handset that looks far more balanced when it comes to the width of its top and bottom bezels. The 5-inch Pixel 2 left me feeling it was just a little too small to be my everyday device last year. This 5.5-inch Pixel 3, however, is nestling right into a sweet spot.

Consistency speaks volumes. Samsung sticks with its no-notch design on its flagships: its attitude to display shape is clear (even if it then feels obliged to shove some snark in Google's direction, just to double-down on that). Apple, meanwhile, switches over wholesale to notches: you can not miss its attitude there.

Is Google embracing the notch, or just suffering it, or unclear either way? I'm not sure and looking at the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, I do not think anyone could be. For 2019's Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL – if, indeed, they do end up being called that, and if there are still two sizes of phone – will there be a notch, or no notch, or will it be half and half again?

It's a question the importance of which is elevated by the fact that Google does not just make phones, it makes phones that drop hints – heavy or otherwise – other Android device makers how it envisages the future of the OS progressing . Native support for non-rectangular displays in Android was the first sign that Google was acknowledging this new world of screen shapes, but if you are trying to divine exactly what it thinks the "right" skærm er for platformen, er ingen af ​​disse nye Pixels are much help there.

Maybe I'm reading too much into all this. Perhaps Android OEMs are not following Google's footsteps these days, and are happier treading their own design path. Part of Android's value has always been the choice inherent to the ecosystem: if you do not like how Google's phone looks, you could buy an LG, or a Samsung, or a Huawei, or something else.

The Pixel 3 XL, therefore, might just be an awkward looking phone in a sea of ​​device options. No grand error in Android's legacy, but just a tougher decision for those who expected to buy the biggest Pixel around this year, but who now find themselves questioning its aesthetic. Perhaps time will temper just how odd it looks. All i know now is that the Pixel 3 XL seemed to be like a no-brainer, but even to my notch-agnostic eyes this Android flagship is making me have second thoughts.


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