Like it or not, the notch has taken over smartphone design.
The Essential Phone had it first, but when Apple added one to the iPhone X, it inspired legions of smartphone makers to add a copycat notch to their own devices.
If you’re unfamiliar with a notch, it’s the rectangular black space at the top of a smartphone screen that often houses the selfie camera and front-facing sensors. Smartphone manufacturers have started adopting the notch as a way to make the display edge-to-edge, rather than have a black bar along the entire top of the screen.
But while most people like a bigger screen, not everyone is a fan of the notch. That’s likely why several smartphone manufacturers have started to come up with designs that avoid a notch altogether. While some of these designs are still in the prototype stage, others will be available to buy as soon as this year.
Here are five cool, creative ways smartphone makers are building devices that no one would mistake for an iPhone X: