In the Verizon 5G demo area at Qualcomm's recent Snapdragon tech summit, there was a station that was streaming 4K video through a 5G smartphone. That device was a Samsung prototype, and it was kept very hush-hush. They were serious: a completely dark screen and a thick case so none of the discernable details could ‘leak’.

The demo itself was fairly non-descript: a test case in pure bandwidth streaming. Everyone was more interested in the device. All that the Samsung representative would do is slightly drag down the notification bar, so users could verify it was connected to ‘5G UWB’ for the streaming rather than 4G.

Of course, with fancy angles and photography equipment, a bit more was able to be seen. One of the initial aspects was the fact that there was no regular notch: that much was easily visible from the naked eye and the demo being done. However on closer inspection, the right hand side icons in the notification bar were shifted. This is because there seems to be a notch on the corner.

In this photo on Slashgear, it shows the corner notch in all its glory. There’s a front facing camera there, what looks like a speaker/light sensor, and the corner of that notch looks like a hard right angle.

The device on display certainly looked like it has more of an edge to it. We suspect that the hardware in this unit was the Snapdragon 855 and the X50 modem, given the fact that it was a Qualcomm event, and the size of the demo unit was very similar to current Samsung flagships. No mention of any specifications however, as you might imagine. No word on if Samsung will do a similar non-X50 version, however Mobile World Congress is at the end of February when Samsung usually announces its next generation smartphone. We’ll be there, so stay tuned for our coverage.

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  • JoeyJoJo123 - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    Your attempts to anger me are admirable, but I cannot be angered. Go ahead and keep up your low effort trolling. I'll just call you out when you do so. Reply
  • Inteli - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - link

    Except notches are a side-effect of the growing trend of decreasing bezel sizes (which is primarily looks-focused), and a notched screen is less functional than a non-notched screen because it eats into addressable screen area. If you truly *only* cared about functionality, you wouldn't be looking at flagship smartphones. Reply
  • GreenReaper - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    A notched screen can be more functional since it *adds* screen area that wasn't there before, rather than taking it away. Indeed, this seems to be how most of them work.

    On my new Redmi Note 6 Pro there's a full HD screen area, *plus* the area taken up by the notch (which was largely wasted; I only have so many notification icons), *and* an area at the other end for software buttons - or potentially more information, depending on the app's support.

    Would it be ideal if the whole area was a screen? Probably, but how would the front camera and speaker work? Pop out? That sounds cool, but also potentially expensive and liable to break.

    Or maybe there wouldn't be a camera on that side, which'd be OK for some and save money, but sucks if you want to do any kind of video-conferencing (or yes, selfies) with it.

    Or else, you have the full screen size, but also a bigger bezel. That makes the phone larger and more awkward to hold, more expensive to ship in bulk, etc.

    As for flagships - it might be the top of the Redmi line, but it's only $199. The notch is at all price points, as it offers a solution to a problem - how to have more screen, but also a camera.
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    A notch does use more of the phone's face for screen real estate, but don't forget how that new space is used. Those new teensy little corners are now where the notifications live, and there just isn't enough room there. Instead, many notifications get hidden in a notification overflow menu.

    Check out Arstechnica's Pixel 3 review to see pictures of this in action. https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/10/pixel-3-xl...

    On page one, the very first set of pictures illustrates this. The phone without the notch has space across the status bar for twelve notifications and still has space left over. The notched phone has space for six notifications and the rest get hidden away. That is a very real loss of functionality.
    Reply
  • EnzoFX - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    One if the biggest reasons I moved from android to iOS was because I was sick of so many damn notifications. I do not want to live in the notification area. Less space for it is a god send in these days where everything thinks it deserves my attention. Yes I can disable apps, etc. Android specifically over announced even it's basic functions. Good riddance. The rest of the iPhone X, and now XS Max is just icing, and sorely needed coming from a minimalistic and multitasking/multitouch approach to interacting with our devices. Reply
  • SleepyFE - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    Less space to show them doesn't mean there are less notifications. It just means you can't see the important ones, because the idiotic ones drown them out of the notification bar.
    This is like having your desk at work full of papers and to-dos and samples of whatever you do and decide to saw the desk in half to solve your "clutter".
    Reply
  • SleepyFE - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    I find more bezel easier to hold. My phone does not have enough bezel to hold with one hand on a shaky bus ride, because i need to hold it strong enough not to drop it (with the other hand on a rail, so i don't drop when the driver breaks) and it registers touches on the edges. So having bezel is actually useful and there is no way to use the notch in most apps especially if the app is in landscape mode, making it a wasted space. As you can see i hate all the latest trends. Even the one where phones are getting bigger and bigger. But that one is a bit dated by now and is sadly still going strong. If i didn't use email on the phone i would get a nice old school one. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    There aren't enough eye-rolls in the world to respond to this comment. Reply
  • SleepyFE - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    That is partly true. The non-notch (i was gonna write normal, but that might not be understood) phones are a statement. They state:"I don't follow fashion, i know i'm fantastic...." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFlum-_TfMk
    I love that song. Enjoy.
    Reply
  • GruntboyX - Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - link

    It worked for Mercedes and Volvo for headlights... Reply

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