Posted on April 26, 2018

A minimal ‘notch’ design has become a growing trend among smartphones since the iPhone X was launched in the latter half of 2017. Today, this design has become a standard feature among phones with bezel-less displays.

HUAWEI recently launched the new HUAWEI nova 3e, with a remarkably small notch in the display measuring only 18 mm across. That’s nearly 50% smaller than the 34.6 mm width of the notch on the iPhone X. What, then, is so special about this design?

The notch design was actually rejected by a number of consumers when it first appeared. The design, created by Apple, even drew strong criticism from some. As smartphones with a minimal fringe grow in number, however, the design has been accepted by more and more consumers, to the point of setting a major trend in the industry.

There are reasons for the existence of this style of design. The iPhone X, for example, integrates an infrared camera, flood illuminator, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, speaker, microphone, front camera, dot projector and other components. Following this, the notch design has become a standard feature of many smartphones. Likewise, the notch design has become indispensable among Android smartphones due to the arrangement of various components. In the context of long-term smartphone development, this design will eventually disappear. However, until certain technological breakthroughs are made, it will continue to become smaller.

HUAWEI spent enormous time and energy designing the notch of HUAWEI nova 3e, aimed at bringing an immersive screen experience to young consumers. While its height is equal to that on the iPhone X, HUAWEI nova 3e’s notch width is nearly 50% smaller. Every 1 millimeter reduction is the result of engineering breakthroughs and process improvements at HUAWEI. For example, in order to ensure sufficient clearance and elongate the top of the display, HUAWEI adopted an electrical connection scheme with an innovative wire protector design that reduced the antenna space size to 2.6 mm from 11.1 mm. This maximizes clearance and antenna performance in the smallest possible space.

Additionally, HUAWEI nova 3e features a front camera with unique technology. Continual reduction in the thickness of the lens package has led to a dust-proof foam width of merely 0.5 mm, which is 0.2 mm smaller than the sealed space of the traditional design, with a guaranteed amount of light and viewing angles for the camera. The camera is 44.6% smaller than the standard size in terms of total volume. A tailored design with integrated light and distance sensors is symmetrical to the front camera and is 2.6 mm in diameter.

The headphone channel was designed like a periscope, in order to satisfy sound output requirements while minimizing size. The sound cavity was elongated without increasing the thickness of the smartphone, thereby increasing the volume of the sound cavity and ensuring the sound quality of the earphone. This ensures a maximum cross-sectional area and volume with a minimum width, guaranteeing the sound quality. At the same time, the planar gap between the camera and the earphone trim was reduced to an unimaginable 0.22 mm.

Every 0.1 millimeter reduction was the result of a number of R&D breakthroughs. Huawei has made great strides forward in the notch design over previous devices, breaking new ground in the smartphone industry. The HUAWEI nova 3e looks to be full of pleasant surprises.