Sharp Took Google’s Dare And Made A Smartphone With Two Notches

Person with smartphone
By George Dolgikh / Shutterstock

Well, that didn’t take long. Someone finally took Google up on their dare and made an Android Phone with two — count them — two notches. These are not the extra notches Google’s Pixel 3 XL recently sprouted due to a software bug. These notches are intentional design choices. Thanks to Engadget, we have more details.

“If the thought of one notch on a phone makes you apoplectic, you might want to sit down before you read this. Sharp has unveiled the Aquos R2 Compact, a 5.2-inch handset that crams in two notches — one for its front 8-megapixel camera and another for its fingerprint reader. The design helps make the most out of a relatively small body, but this is destined to give you fits if you dislike components jutting into the screen. It’s not even symmetric, either.”

One gets the feeling that there are only two notches because Google had the foresight to step in earlier this year and set some ground rules for companies getting on the iPhone X-driven notch bandwagon. When Google set the strict limit of two notches, pundits wondered out loud who would be crazy enough to do two notches. Now, we know.

Sharp is best known for their televisions. But they also make smartphones you have probably never heard of. Adding the second notch will probably put them on the map as a smartphone maker. With only one notch, the phone would likely not have been mentioned by the major tech blogs. The article goes on to provide a few specs that seem reasonable on paper.

“It touts a 2,280 x 1,080 120Hz IGZO display, a Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 22.6-megapixel f/1.9 rear camera and 64GB of expandable storage.”

Unfortunately, the notch at the bottom is rather large compared to the dot protruding from the top. And it does not eliminate the lower chin. So the phone has both a chin and a bottom notch — a digital goatee.

If anything, this phone only highlights the engineering marvel that is the iPhone XR. It has an LCD display that is nearly edge to edge save for the single notch at the top of the screen. To date, it is the only notched phone with no chin. The components of the display have to go somewhere. And Apple was able to figure out how to hide it on an LCD display.

There is no announced pricing. But we know the R2 (yes, they put 2 in the name) will be available in mid-January in Japan. There is no word on if this phone will make it to the US. But Engadget advises against expecting it to reach a store near you.