The Notch contagion is spreading slower than phone experts thought

You wouldn't think so

Once thought to be one of the most contagious design features on a smartphone, the spread of the "Notch" appears to have been contained.

GSMArena's survey of 150 phone models released in 2018 finds that only 22 per cent have been infected with the Notch.

At the height of the outbreak, in the first week of March, over 20 new Android models checked in with "cut-out" syndrome. Here's a list.

Apple and The Notched One: It can't hide the X-sized iPhone let-down


Flagship models from Huawei, LG and OnePlus in 2018 have featured a cut-out. So too will Google, according to leaks. HTC and Sony have remained Notch-free.

The first outbreak was reported last summer, using Andy Rubin's first Essential phone as a host. It then jumped species to Apple.

By December, scientists reported an antidote – an under-glass fingerprint sensor which makes a display cut-out superfluous. But so far we've yet to report a successful field trial.

Today's phone is getting fatter and bigger

Notch apart, GSMArena's survey gives us a useful glimpse at what's rolling off the smartphone supply chains. Many models will never wash up in mature markets like the UK, but it's what the production lines are churning out. The survey includes many models not marketed here, but popular for providing buyers in emerging markets with large displays and hefty batteries. That skews the survey towards larger phones.

GSMArena has found the average battery capacity so far this year to be 3,422mAh, and the average RAM included is 4.3GB. Small phones are a thing of the past: the average display is 5.8 inches (369.1ppi). 87 per cent of new models have a new audio jack – that's becoming a rarity on expensive flagships in the West. Only 8 per cent have wireless charging. The average selling price was calculated to be €354.

Significantly a third of new models ship with an 18-month-old OS: Android 7 or older.

The Notch was not as attractive as Apple hoped – perhaps because of the price.

But just because the Notch is not as virulent as once thought, further outbreaks of design madness loom. These may include loss of buttons and the ability to charge over a wire.

You have been warned. ®

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