In short: Samsung Mobile is doubling down on its stance that notches are hideous and deserve all the hate that a vocal portion of the tech enthusiast community has been giving them since those cutouts started being commercialized late last year. In response to this week’s launch of Google’s Pixel 3 XL, Samsung’s marketing team took to Twitter to mock Alphabet’s subsidiary and its latest Android flagship, proclaiming that “you could land a plane on it.” The comment was made in reference to the smartphone’s notch that’s the largest such cutout on the market, not accounting for the new iPhones and Xiaomi’s Mi 8, though all of those devices feature 3D camera setups on the front and can perform advanced depth-sensing for face filters and authentication, whereas Google’s handset sports a much more mundane second camera.
Background: Samsung’s notch hate has been dominating the company’s marketing efforts in recent times, with the firm’s American division already investing in a full-fledged campaign mocking Apple‘s contemporary iPhones. While it’s now also taking a jab at Google, it’s unlikely to build on that criticism with a similar marketing campaign, primarily due to the fact that the Mountain View, California-based company is far from a serious threat to any smartphone manufacturer, with the Pixel series still being a niche offering in terms of commercial performance, despite Google’s best efforts to turn it into the ultimate iPhone alternative.
Even Samsung’s executives have been highly critical of display notches in the past and repeatedly suggested the tech juggernaut won’t be embracing them on any scale and instead wants to transition its products to a truly bezel-less design without any symmetry-breaking cutouts. One known industry insider recently suggested the South Korean conglomerate was on the verge of a breakthrough in smartphone design and may even manage to “end” display notches as early as next year with the Galaxy S10 line.
The topic of display cutouts has been a rather sensitive issue among smartphone enthusiasts ever since designs utilizing the thereof started being released last year. As far as dual front-facing cameras are concerned, many manufacturers managed to commercialize them without display cutouts or with minimal notches, making Google’s solution for the Pixel 3 XL stand out for all the wrong reasons, with the company’s aesthetic of choice already being heavily criticized as outdated and unbecoming. Google has yet to address that criticism head-on but has simply said it spent a lot of time thinking about the look of its new products, a notion that those very same critics met with ridicule.
Impact: Samsung’s move to double down on its notch hate by mocking the Pixel 3 XL is yet another clear inidcation that the company’s products won’t ever be embracing such an asymmetrical design. With one of the thinnest bezels in the industry and curved displays, Samsung-made Android smartphones are already as close to a truly full-screen aesthetic as current technologies allow and the company appears to be so proud of that fact that it will continue touting it as one of the main selling points of its products that underline how unique its R&D efforts are.