Notch or a slider, which 'all-screen' design approach you'd prefer?


The "waterdrop" notch just went mainstream with the new Mate 20 as it was previously featured on phones from Chinese manufacturers with a less prominent presence in the West. Huawei tries to set it apart by calling it a "dewdrop" notch, but it is essentially the same idea that is present on the Oppo R17, and is tipped to arrive on its spiritual brother, the OnePlus 6T.

The slider designs can eliminate even this tiny waterdrop notch

The slider designs can eliminate even this tiny waterdrop notch

The dewdrop front design certainly contributed to the whopping 88% screen-to-body ratio of the Mate 20, one of the highest on a flagship phone, but the nearly non-existent chin at the bottom helps further in that regard, too. Such an approach to the venerable "all-screen" design that is all the rage these days, has proven successful to leave a bezel-less impression in the user, but there is another budding trend here.

No, we aren't talking about eventual exotics like a hole for the front camera directly in the display, or a second screen on the back to use the rear shooter as selfie-taker, but rather about the return of the good ol' sliding design. Oppo has one on the Find X, Vivo started it all with the NEX, while Honor with its Magic 2, as well as Xiaomi with the Mi Mix 3, will take it even further. 

Xiaomi just issued the Mi Mix 3 teaser you see above, hinting at a screen-to-body ratio very close to 100%, achieved by separating the screen part from all the other paraphernalia that usually goes into the top bezel. As you can see demonstrated here, the screen half slides back and forth with a satisfying click to reveal what will likely be 3D-sensing front camera kit for Face ID-style unlocking when you need it, but when it is shut, the phone is indeed "all-screen" at the front.

The slider approaches, however, while seemingly the Holy Grail of bezel-trimming, come with their own set of issues. For starters, whether motorized or manual, it is one more mechanism that might be prone to breaking at some point. Even if it is made sturdy enough to withstand two or three years of constant usage, finding a case for such phones would be a challenge that could entail some protection compromises. 

This is why we wanted to ask you which approach to the "all-screen" conundrum you prefer - a notch, no matter how large, or a slider, as these are the two options that manufacturers seem to currently be forcing onto us without asking first.

Notch or a slider, which 'all-screen' design approach you'd prefer?

Notch
32.32%
Slider
67.68%

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21 Comments

1. delta

Posts: 80; Member since: Jan 29, 2015

Not any of them, just good design with reasonable small bezels

2. peace247 unregistered

slider if it's waterproof and relatively rugged

3. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

It’s not and it’s not , if history of phones has anything to say about it. Just give us regular old Samsung like bezelless design..

18. bucknassty

Posts: 1317; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

the water drop isn't so bad... right?

4. VasiliS7

Posts: 194; Member since: Jan 10, 2017

Full screen with under screen cameras and sensors.

5. tedkord

Posts: 17181; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Not happening.

6. tedkord

Posts: 17181; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

If those are the only choices, then slider, all day, every day.

7. AbhiD

Posts: 636; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

I would anyday go for a notch over slider. Slider phones in the past were notorious for failure of display or other components. I know someone would come up and give an example of how their slider phone lasted all life. That's not the point. Slider phones had higher failure rate than non slider ones. Also, slider phones compromise durability, water proofing, can't have a case, are unnecessarily thicker and compromise internal space. A waterdrop notch is anyday better than all these solutions.

9. TheOracle1

Posts: 2147; Member since: May 04, 2015

Neither are acceptable to me and the Nex S comes closest to a good solution. The original Mix 1, 2 and 2s would be perfect if they continued the evolution by just reducing the size of the chin. Overall I don't give a flying f**k about the front camera but it's important to most people. Waterproofing is irrelevant for me also. I'm waiting to see the final specs on the Mix3 before deciding on it or the Nex S to replace my Mix2.

17. coop3r

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 18, 2018

I hope Mix 3 will come with an OLED display. Otherwise, I will pass and wait for Samsung S10 to replace my current S7. Can't tolerate non-OLED displays now.

19. TheOracle1

Posts: 2147; Member since: May 04, 2015

Word is that it will be oled. I don't care about oled and the Mix2 screen is already excellent so this should be better.

8. dimas

Posts: 3320; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Dual rear camera and "24mp dual front camera." mi mix 3 will be a big hit if it will have monster hardware like pocophone f1.

10. shortkey

Posts: 52; Member since: May 19, 2017

Neither. I don't want an all-screen design. I want at least some "forehead" and "chin", and no curved screen edges. In all honesty, I miss the 2010~2014 smartphone design. Also compact smartphones. I miss small and compact smartphones.

11. UnlimitedSkye03

Posts: 284; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

well the slider approach is more elegant than the notch but the waterproofing and fragility of the sliding worries me so until there is a true bezel-less without any sliding mechanism and has waterproofing I'd go for the notch for now, you can "hide" it somehow with software anyway.

12. tangbunna

Posts: 462; Member since: Sep 29, 2016

no notch, no slide, no bazzel => no screen

13. alligator

Posts: 93; Member since: Jan 09, 2016

The third option should be "Samsung".

14. cmdacos

Posts: 3957; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

If these are my only options I guess I have to go for slider because I want to see my entire screen, uninterrupted, at all times.

15. antmiu2

Posts: 550; Member since: Jun 19, 2011

We are not familiar enough with the slider to make that call yet.

16. kratos47

Posts: 17; Member since: May 27, 2015

Waterdrop notch works perfectly. Slider is a recipe for problems.

20. sissy246

Posts: 7027; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Slider or water drop.

21. Fellwalker

Posts: 530; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

Certainly not the slider. Mechanical design, easy to damage or catch, but or open accidentally in pocket or bag. I prefer a bezel

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