Google Pixel 3 will likely have a notch and you can blame Android P for it.
Apple, for better or worse, started something with the iPhone X. It started the unfortunate trend of the notch cut out, which many Android OEMs have since been unashamedly sporting on their phones. MWC 2018 gave us a good look at some Android phones cloning the iPhone X-like notch in various shapes and sizes suggesting that this is something we can look forward to this year. In fact, Google is low-key urging makers to embrace the notch and proof of this is with the first Android P developer preview that was released this week.
The first Android P developer build comes with the ability to simulate a notch of various shapes and sizes to allow app developers to tune their apps accordingly. Google plans to redesign Android P that will allow OEMs to optimise their notched phones better. So whether the notch is as small as the Essential Phone or as big as the iPhone X, the developer build has something for everyone. Google wants to do this because it wants to lure consumers away from Apple, as per a report last month. With Google championing the movement and tailoring Android P to support the notch, it only seems natural for the company to bring out its own Pixel flagship smartphone with a forehead as well.
At MWC 2018, we saw more than a few Android smartphones sporting the notch cut out. Asus unveiled the Zenfone 5 with an iPhone X-like notch only slightly smaller in size. During the launch, Asus global head of marketing, Marcel Campos said, Some people will say its copying Apple, but we cannot get away from what users want. You have to follow the trends. This pretty much sums up what most Android manufacturers are thinking – bring the notch to smartphone and apply a cheaper price tag which may attract Apple fans.
But here’s the thing, Apple justified the notch by loading it up with next-gen features, especially Face ID. So far, Android clones have not really found a lot of use for the notch apart from keeping the front camera sensor inside. Perhaps we can expect something more from the upcoming Huawei P20 and OnePlus 6. Google will likely unveil its next Pixel flagship near the end of 2018, and while in all likelihood it will sport a notch cut out, we still have no information on whether Google will use the forehead for some next-gen tech.