First screenshot from the Essential Phone shows one weird looking status bar

People have argued a lot about whether the Essential Phone's display cutout is ugly or not — so much so, that they've missed another, more important question: how will it impact the user interface? Having a tall hole at the top of your screen certainly doesn't sound like the best idea, though, the device seems to compensate for this by making the status bar extra tall.

And all that is good and well: real-life footage seems to indicate this won't be that big of a big problem, thanks in large part to the tall aspect ratio of the display. However, potential Essential Phone buyers beware: screenshots from your device are going to be pretty ugly. Just take a look at the one on the right, as shared by Essential's head of sales on Twitter. It seems that when there's no cutout present, the ultra-tall status (160 pixels tall!) becomes a bit painful to look at. Is this why the company's head of UX called it quits?

But we can notice a couple of other interesting things: the home button, for example, features a second ring around it, which reminds us of the Google Pixel a bit. This wouldn't normally be a big deal, but when one remembers that the device is set to launch with a new virtual assistant baked into the OS, it sure starts to look like Essential will be replacing the Google Assistant with its own alternative.

And also, the screenshot in the Twitter post's aspect ratio is noticeably off (though we've fixed it in the version embedded into this post). This could, in theory, be a Twitter bug, but we're more inclined to believe it's the Phone itself that's causing the problem: after all, devices don't get inexplicably delayed by months if there are no kinks to be worked out in the last moment.

source: Jason Mackenzie via reddit

Related phones

  • Display 5.7" 1312 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2450 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 3040 mAh



1. arman9953

Posts: 49; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

nice that they fill the gap where the camera would be. Makes me think how apple is going to deal with that in the iPhone 8.

3. juandante

Posts: 679; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

Read my comment below. For Apple, iPhoneArena will not call it ugly, they will call it 'a design revolution'. Its about time iPhoneArena stop their hypocrisy.

6. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

The other thing is that they start making up BS such as: "It seems that when there's no cutout present, the ultra-tall status (160 pixels tall!) becomes a bit painful to look at. Is this why the company's head of UX called it quits?" The guy left to work at Google on Google Home, which sounds like he just got a better offer. There is no evidence whatsoever that he left due to a large status bar. But, at least iPA borrowed a page from Fox News' book and posed it as a question to be able to deny any liability for making retarded statements.

10. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

They are not calling the cut-out ugly (although did mention people argue about its ugliness) They are calling the taller status bar ugly. Which it is.

2. juandante

Posts: 679; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

iPhoneArena its a bit lame you obviously judge a phone like this. Clearly many people will like it, as me, as this is a stone in the water from the standard paper bricks as the iPhone, and some will not. So no need to force people to read in your title 'ugly looking'. I am waiting for this to be released. And as always I will take your review with a grain of salt.

5. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Just don't read their reviews, they're absolutely BS and biased. Also don't read the 10 thousand "comparisons" they will do with the iPhone and find any reason to praise the iPhone while putting down the competition.

18. steodoreben

Posts: 379; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

I agree. I never seen PA posted how weird or ugly looking the iPhone 8 renders. Those earpiece, camera, and sensors that block the whole screen + the copied innovative features from Android OEMs turn me off.

4. plsnoregforcomments

Posts: 26; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

Can't a front cam be so small that it just fills a status bar height?

12. Guaire

Posts: 886; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

Actual camera apertures are quite tiny, often their diameters are shorter than height of the status bar. In the Essential's case, aperture of the front camera is approximately a fifth of the status bar's height. But camera module itself inside the body is also much larger than that aperture too. For example dimensions of an 8MP camera with 1.1 micron pixels should be about 7.5 x 7.5mm.

7. smallworld

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

My God what a ridiculous article. Find another job please.

8. jcass5467

Posts: 8; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

Who cares, it's a screenshot, nobody should care this much about what there screenshot looks like.

9. Krjal

Posts: 431; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

The ultra-tall advertisements make PhoneArena so ugly! How will we all cope!? Seriously, how did you think they'd do it? Screenshots don't get 'cutouts. I wonder what you've got against this phone or company, Kaloyan. Anything you'd like to share? As for the phone/screenshot, everything seems pretty normal given what we've seen already.

11. CitizenX

Posts: 41; Member since: Jun 27, 2014

I like PA but they are very negative about certain devices, and their love for iphones is obvious. Maybe the site is bank rolled by apple? Essential phone looks very interesting and is slightly different to the rest, not quite as innovative as the keyone but still less like the rest.

13. shandesilva

Posts: 105; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

Did the title just change by itself? Thought I read with the word 'ugly' one hour ago.

14. pego99

Posts: 121; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

Phone Arena are Apple iSheep.

15. PryvateiDz

Posts: 443; Member since: Jul 31, 2011

Me sitting here trying to find an issue with the screenshot... I love that Phone Arena has so many articles on their site, up-to-date with what's going on in the smartphone industry, but what they nitpick about, especially on Android smartphones is utterly ridiculous.

16. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Which app is this shown that's being screenshot? Browser? Online shopping? I'm not really in-the-know of apps anymore, but this looks more like a promotional mock-up screenshot than an actual screenshot to me.

17. Skizzo

Posts: 403; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

Trying really hard to like the ff camera design, with the awkward "widows peak", and I'll hold my judgment for the final build in action, but so far, Apple did it MUCH better! Everything else about the design looks sexy as hell.

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