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Huawei Nova 4 pushes the new 'hole-punch' notch trend further

This is the same notch design rumored for the Galaxy S10.

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Following CNET en Español's exclusive report on Dec. 6, Huawei has officially announced the Nova 4 -- one of the first in a wave of phones with a circular "notch" that's expected to debut in 2019.

In contrast to the wide "eyebrow" notch originated on the Essential Phone and popularized by Apple's iPhone X, the Nova 4's front-facing camera sits in a small, circular cutout in the upper-lefthand corner of the display. The O-shaped hole is nearly invisible when the phone is off or the display is showing a black image.

Like the eyebrow notch, this O-shaped design is part of an effort to expand a phone's usable screen space to the edges while leaving room for the front-facing camera and other important sensors. Slimmer bezels around the phone gives people more screen space for reading news and watching videos, without having to increase the size of the device.


Huawei is one company that's experimented with alternatives to the traditional notch. The P20, introduced in March, lets you turn off the notch in the phone's settings. And the company has another phone with a hole-punch design in the works with the Honor View 20 -- which like the Nova 4, has a 48-megapixel camera -- scheduled to debut in China on Dec. 26 and globally on Jan. 22.

Samsung has its own hole-punch design, called the Infinity-O display. Rumored to appear on the forthcoming Galaxy S10, it's also in use on the Galaxy A8S. Lenovo may use a similar O-shaped cutout on its rumored Z5S.

For now, the Nova 4 is on sale exclusively in Asia, but the company plans to unveil it in the US in January at CES 2019.


Nova 4 specs:

  • 6.4-inch display (2,310 by 1,080-pixel resolution)
  • Screen-body ratio of 91.8 percent
  • 48-megapixel rear camera, 25-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Kirin 770 processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor
  • 18W fast charging over USB-C
  • 3,750-mAh battery
  • Four colors: red, black, white and blue
  • Price: 3,339 yuan ($490, £385 or AU$675)
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