The Apple iPhone X and Its Hated but Influential Notch: A Look Back

In an interview with former Chief Design Officer Jony Ive, it was revealed that the iPhone X took 5 years to create. And while the effort may have been time-consuming, Apple’s design introduced in late 2017 will continue to be relevant for over half a decade before Apple ultimately decides to kill the notch (expected to happen in 2022, unless it does not – rumors that the company is working on phones without notches have proven false in the past).

One of the most well-known controversies: the notch. An astounding little accomplishment for Apple is fitting a full 3D sensor like a Kinect inside a phone. However, it became very unappealing to look at.

Presenting: the notch, a complicated solution to a difficult problem, one that offends the eye Presenting: the notch, a complicated solution to a difficult problem, one that offends the eye
This is the notch, an offensive design that attempts to fix a complex issue with no regard for its design.


While Android users were joking, the people working at Android-focused companies were joking and jotting down plans for ways to imitate Face ID capabilities. And because the manufacturers use it to save costs on inexpensive phones by swapping out fingerprint readers with face readers, this has quickly become one of the most popular ways to access the phone.

Face ID is easy to set up and easy to use

Easy Face ID set up and use

Furthermore, there is this new feature called Animoji, which is popular but we don’t believe it’s necessary in any way. ColorOS 12’s Omoji option has their own section in Oppo’s press release.


One of the most intriguing new features in the iPhone X is Face ID, which uses a depth map that offers real 3D imaging, unlike other Android phones. The buildings were much less secure before 3D data was included.

But the incident is a replay, because it occurred with the iPhone 7 as well. Android’s leading smartphone manufacturers ridiculed Apple’s removal of the 3.5 mm headphone port, but only a year later produced their own devices without the legacy connection. Poking fun at Apple’s presentation is simple and cheap, but it seems dishonest today. After the notch, the public was all “Ha-ha, no charger!” until Android flagships arrived on the market with just a cord.

The notch is a critical technological advancement, even though we have spent a significant amount of time discussing it. The increasingly large displays left little space for a fingerprint sensor on the front since bezels had to be removed.

How should I proceed? The choice of putting the user on the back or the front of the phone? I’m amazed it worked so nicely. Some side-mounted readers pop out every once in a while, and they continue to do so well.

Rear-mounted fingerprint readers solve half the issue and work quite well Rear-mounted fingerprint readers solve half the issue and work quite well

Most fingerprint readers face outwards, which avoids the problem altogether and results in high-quality results.


In-display fingerprint readers weren’t available at the time. The vivo smartphone that appeared at CES 2018 was the first one to include this new technology (check out how our first encounter with that phone went).

Despite being much more accurate than the iPhone X’s previous fingerprint sensor, Face ID has received its fair share of criticism from valid sources. You have to have your eyes on the phone to even begin to unlock it. The phone may be made less secure, however it is possible to deactivate this feature. Face masks may inhibit the wearer’s ability to use a vending machine. Even while it may not mean much, it’s important to note that Apple discovered many ways to circumvent fingerprint scanners, which fail to function properly when gloved. The solutions can’t address all use cases on their own.

That’s not all however; the front-facing camera is going to need to go someplace too. Different, complex methods were tried: camera designs included notches, punch holes, pop-up, and flip-up features, and others. Everyone understands that although display cameras were forthcoming, manufacturers were just waiting for them.

Pop-up camera and under display fingerprint reader on the vivo Nex S Zenfone 7 Pro and its flip-up camera

flip-up camera (with a pop-up feature) and under display fingerprint reader

The Axon 20 5G has already arrived, and the X50 is expected soon. The second generation system from ZTE was released this year, while Samsung debuted with the Galaxy Z Fold3, the first iteration of the company’s new technology. The cameras are fine, except for one problem — the picture quality is terrible.

Next year, it’s quite possible we’ll see phones with both a fingerprint reader and a selfie camera beneath the display. Maybe. But the reason the notch was so essential should be clear: it has been four years of insane technological advances, and we still have not been able to master the ability to have a completely bezel-free screen.

Under display camera technology still needs work Under display camera technology still needs work

There is always a need for improvement in display camera technology.


In addition to being part of Apple’s legacy, the iPhone X may be considered among the company’s most impactful models. An important aspect for future iPhones, definitely. The X put Apple on a course, one it continues to follow even if the notch disappears in 2022.

The AMOLED display was originally introduced on this iPhone. LCDs went from being included in Apple’s high-end products to being featured in lower versions since Apple began with the X. First the iPhone 8 pair, then the XR and 11, and now the last liquid crystal display (LCD) iPhone left is the elderly iPhone SE (2020).


The new phone has a fantastic Super Retina OLED display that looks great thanks to Dolby Vision and HDR support. This was a patented Apple design considering how narrow its bottom bezel was.

5.8” Super Retina OLED display had a 60 Hz refresh rate but also a 120 Hz touch sampling rate 5.8” Super Retina OLED display had a 60 Hz refresh rate but also a 120 Hz touch sampling rate

There is an integrated 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED display with a 60 Hz refresh rate, but it also has a touch sampling rate of 120 Hz.

The phone’s screen updated at 60 frames per second, like most screens at the time. Apple is on the fence about getting a display with a higher refresh rate since it’s expensive (be it in terms of power on LTPS panels or cost on LTPO ones). The iPhone 13 and 13 mini users aren’t excited to hear that Apple is focusing on 120 Hz screen refresh rates for next year.

But the iPhone X, Apple’s first smartphone to offer 120Hz touch sampling rate, broke that tradition. Even if greater price rates are advertised more often by other companies, the relevance of that detail hasn’t diminished.


The X also had wireless charging, making it Apple’s first phone to have that feature. Though it was just a simple 5W Qi wireless charging module, it was nevertheless an important step. An initial introduction to the newly redesigned MagSafe charging technology in 2016. One that Android manufacturers are already copying.

MagSafe charging was the start for something new for Apple - and for some Android makers

When Apple came up with MagSafe charging, it was a pivotal moment for the company, as well as other smartphone manufacturers.


The iPhone X was late because of all the time needed to research this. It was first announced in early September, with it not being available until early November. The most expensive iPhone was introduced and began at $1,000.

It’s simple to ridicule Apple and mock their presentation style when unveiling a new product. And it’s not first in the majority of its new offerings, since the iPhone X isn’t even the first smartphone to have a notch!

However, there’s no disputing that Apple is the dominant smartphone manufacturer and that it can provide new smartphone designs to the competition very fast. The iPhone X has an incredibly strong impact on the industry that continues to resonate, particularly inside Apple’s designs.

PS: iPhone X is pronounced “ten” because of the Roman numeral “X” in its name. The iPhone X is the latest edition of the iPhone, making it the 11th iteration of the device.

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