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No escaping the notch: 15 phones with screen notches

This little black cut-out on top of the screen may look like an eyesore, but more and more phones are jumping on this trend.

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Lynn La
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1 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Ready or notch, here it comes

When Apple introduced the iPhone X in September 2017, the phone flaunted a hard-to-ignore black notch running across the top of its screen. It wasn't the first phone to sport this look -- those honors would go to the Essential Phone, which debuted in May 2017 -- but it was the phone that popularized the feature.

After the iPhone X's launch, a handful of other Androids followed suit and more will likely join given that Google's Android Pie OS supports onscreen notches. Take a look at those that are jumping on this trend.

Editors' Note: This gallery was originally published on May 1, 2018 and is updated periodically.

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Video: 6 phones jumping on the notch trend

Here are some notable phones that have notches.

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Apple iPhone XR

The less expensive iPhone XR delivers most iPhone X and XS features, including an excellent big screen in a comfortable body, fast performance and a camera that's mostly as good as the iPhone XS. All in all, it's the best iPhone for the price, delivering most of the advantages of the iPhone XS for hundreds less and it comes in different vibrant colors too.

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Google Pixel 3 XL

Though the bigger Google flagship is nearly identical to the smaller Pixel 3 in specs, the 3 XL features a notch on its display. It's undoubtedly the thickest notch we've seen, but a deeper notch (rather than a wider one) allows for more room on either side for notification icons. If you hate it though, you can hide it by blackening the sides around it.

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Apple iPhone XS Max and XS

Just like their iPhone X predecessor, the iPhone XS Max and XS have notches on the screen. The smaller iPhone XS adds impressive camera improvements to the already-great iPhone X, has a faster processor and dual SIM support. Meanwhile, the supersize iPhone XS Max crams a 6.5-inch screen and all of the same great features of the iPhone XS into a Plus-sized body.

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OnePlus 6T

Compared to the previous OnePlus 6, the notch on the OnePlus 6T is smaller and it's now a less obtrusive "teardrop" shape instead of a black tab. It makes sense to shrink the notch since the front of the phone doesn't include extra sensors or an infrared camera that, say, an iPhone requires to make Face ID work. But if you still hate the teardrop, you can blacken the sides that flank it in Settings for a more traditional look. 

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LG V40 ThinQ

The LG V40's five, yes five, cameras give you a variety of photography options, including wide-angle pictures and bokeh-style portraits. The phone has a 6.4-inch screen, but is still comfortable to hold. It's also water resistant, has expandable memory and a headphone jack (a rare find in high-end phones these days).

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Though the Mate 20 Pro's notch looks just as familiar as other phones, the device itself is quite innovative. It has an in-screen fingerprint scanner, a face unlock feature that works similar to Apple's Face ID and it has three rear cameras. Unfortunately, you can't get it in the US.

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9 of 15 Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Motorola One

Available for just $400 (the phone's 299-euro price converts roughly to £270 or AU$485), the One runs a lighter version of Google's mobile OS called Android One. It features a 5.9-inch display, has two cameras on the back (13- and 2-megapixel) and a fast-charging 3,000-mAh battery.

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The Essential Phone

With just an itty bitty tab carved out for its front-facing camera, the Essential Phone was one of the first phones to incorporate the notch. That's because it wanted to push its bezel-less design to the fullest. Too bad, however, that its battery life and camera were only so-so.

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Apple iPhone X

Last year's iPhone X introduced a notch that housed the phone's front-facing 7-megapixel camera, various sensors and a "TrueDepth" sensor that was made up of three things: an infrared camera, a dot projector and a flood illuminator. Together they made the iPhone X's FaceID unlocking feature work.

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OnePlus 6

The OnePlus 6, which launched earlier this year, was the first OnePlus phone to have a notch (followed shortly by October's OnePlus 6T). The company's founder Carl Pei said that this cut-out enabled OnePlus to move the phone's display and notification bar further, giving the phone a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio.

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LG G7

Announced in May, LG's marquee G7 phone has a notch, exactly like its rumors predicted. But if you're not a huge fan of it, don't fret. Like other phones, you can black out the bars on each side of the notch -- or choose a not-so-subtle psychedelic rainbow pattern.

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Huawei P20 and P20 Pro

If you're in the US and are interested in buying the P20 (right) or P20 Pro (left), good luck. In February, the heads of the FBI, CIA and NSA all expressed security concerns over the company's phones. 

Since then, AT&T and Verizon reportedly torpedoed plans to carry Huawei's Mate 10 Pro and Best Buy dumped Huawei as a customer

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Asus ZenFone 5

Launched in March, there were a lot of reasons why the ZenFone 5 looked similar to the iPhone X. But the screen's notch was the cherry on top. Its price, however, was much cheaper, and the phone featured a 6.2-inch display, a Snapdragon 636 processor, and two rear cameras.

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