Samsung introduced the new Galaxy S9 smartphone line this weekend and how good this new smartphone is will depend upon your perspective. It looks much like Galaxy S8 but comes with an improved camera with a few more computational photography tricks for better photos.
Samsung moved the fingerprint reader to make it a bit more accessible– but still near the camera lens so expect plenty of fingerprints on photos. Also missing is a facial recognition system to match iPhone X’s Face ID. What’s not missing is Samsung’s hubris-laden mocking of iPhone X’s controversial Notch.
Chin, Meet Forehead
Every new feature Apple introduces in a new product is met with considerable criticism and detailed analysis. For example, the Notch was mocked because it was so visible. Face ID was mocked because half a dozen people could trick it with a relative or look-alike neighbor (Apple says Face ID tricking would be one in a million or so, better than Touch ID, and with a few dozen people vs. a few dozen million iPhone X’s sold to date, that’s about right).
Who talks about Notch and Face ID today, just months Apple iPhone X was released? Well, some app designers are applauding the Notch because it gives them room to add a few features that Chin and Forehead do not.
Wait. What? Chin? Forehead? What are those? Check out the Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. iPhone X. Notch vs. that ugly band across the top and bottom of the Galaxy screen. Those are the Forehead and Chin, respectively.
First, iPhone X. The Notch is the area on the iPhone X which holds the camera and other sensors for Face ID. Most premium smartphones have a Forehead across the top because, as of now, it’s not easy technology to embed such functionality within the display itself, hence, the Notch.
Second, Samsung Galaxy-whatever. Is there a Notch. No. Worse. Instead of a space saving Notch that adds extra functionality as you see in iPhone X, Samsung stuck with ancient technology and design by leaving in a wide bezel– known as the Forehead– to house similar functionality that Apple was able to place in the space saving Notch. Worse again, Samsung was not able to make the Galaxy display go all the way to the bottom as Apple did with iPhone X; leaving in the ages old Chin area.
Yet, Samsung has the audacity to diss iPhone X’s Notch and diss iPhone for not having a stylus. Hey, Samsung. This isn’t 2003. The Palm stylus hasn’t been a thing for about a decade. Get over it.
Yes, I understand what’s going on. Samsung tries hard to be like Apple except when it cannot. Did you read about Samsung touting their new facial recognition system in Galaxy S9? Nope. Differentiation is a key element of product marketing so Samsung makes noise where it can differentiate itself, and stays silent where it cannot.
Nobody complains about Notch any more because it is not a thing and never was. Some are even pointing out how useful that extra display space and pixels can be. None of that matters much, though, because Samsung’s absolutely latest and greatest smartphone has curved display edges which nobody cares about and hangs on to last century’s Chin and Forehead screen because copying Apple is really hard.