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Holy Smokes! Phones with Hole Punch Cameras are all the Rage.

2019 looks like it’s going to be a year filled with a lot of phones with punch out camera holes. It kind of begs the question, “are punch out camera holes actually better than notches?” We are seeing this type of camera style coming out on the Samsung Galaxy S10, and we’ve seen it on Huawei’s Nova 4, also one of the Honor phones has it. Hole punch phones are going to be a thing this year, like it or not. As we see more of these phones come out, it just makes you wonder, “are these hole punch phones actually better than notch phones?” Or, are we kind of being sold this idea that they are better by the producing companies?

Original notch phone

If you think back to the original notch phone and why they had to do it in the first place, you need to understand that they were trying to achieve a certain aesthetic. They wanted to minimize abstractions and protrusions on the front of the screen and make it look ultra-clean on the front. In 2017, we began to see some really good implementations of the notch phone. That was 2 years ago. Now, 2 years later, we have notched on phones with a water drop shape that looks pretty clean. And then on the other side of the coin, we have phones that have huge notches and make almost zero attempts of making them look discreet.

I really like the idea of a hole punch screen. it looks so much cleaner and honestly, it looks refreshing. From all of those notch phones we saw over the course of 2018, a circular hole punch camera looks really nice, and even some of the early conceptual stuff companies did was really fun to work with. Being able to see your wallpaper move over the hole punch was super cool.

Hole punch screen

There is a reasonable part of my brain that is asking, “are we being played by the designing companies?” If you think about it, bezels were fine. You had a nice thing to hold when you were in landscape mode, they gave you front-facing speakers, and removing those bezels was something that looked nice, but was really unnecessary. Notches and hole punch phones were basically fixing a problem that never existed for the consumers. If anything, notches and hole punch out cameras are fixing a problem for manufacturers. It’s a problem of how do we sell people more phones? How do they sell us a new replacement device for something that you already own and is already really nice? How do they convince us to buy something that’s new? Apparently, this is the way.

When you see models and concepts of the S10, it looks really cool. Forget the fact that it’s an awesome phone with a 7-nanometer chip, bigger battery, and all of that stuff. It’s going to be a great phone, but the fact that it looks the way it does makes it more interesting.

What do you think? Is the hole punch screen something that you find is a substantial enough feature to make it more of a compelling purchase? Is that a big enough shift in technology for you?

Iterative changes

We have seen iterative changes in phones for a long time. For me, this is one of the bigger ones. The weird thing is, we know that Samsung is working on an even better screen, one without any visible front-facing camera. That should be some endgame technology right there, correct? That’s the phone that manufacturers want to sell. That’s the phone that every consumer wants to buy, that phone with a completely clean front-facing display. IS that enough for you? Is that hole punch camera something that you want?

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