Essential has just pushed yet another update to its Essential PH-1 handset, and this update will let you hide the notch, basically. Display notches have managed to become a new trend in the smartphone world thanks to the iPhone X; even though Apple’s flagship was not the first one to introduce the notch, even the Essential PH-1 was announced before it. In any case, the notch has managed to become a new trend, but considering that users are not exactly overjoyed with display notches, companies have started including a way to hide those notches via software, by adding black space on both sides of the notch. That works much better with OLED panels, as expected, but it seems like Essential decided to board that train as well, despite the fact the Essential PH-1 comes with an IPS LCD panel.
This is software build 141 of Android 8.1 Oreo on the Essential PH-1 that we’re talking about here, and once you install it, you’ll get the ‘Essential notch settings’, which will allow you to customize how the notch ‘behaves’ per-app basis. So, for example, you can hide the notch when you fire up YouTube, but keep it when you’re using Hangouts, or something of the sort. You can do this for all apps that are installed on your device, and it’s a nifty feature if you really can’t stand the notch, even though Essential’s display notch is one of the thinnest one out there, if not the thinnest one. Do keep in mind, however, that the ‘Essential notch settings’ are located in the Developer options sub-menu, as you’ll need to head to Settings, then System, and then located Developer options. Developer options are not enabled by default though, so if you haven’t enabled them just yet, you’ll need to hit the build number a couple of times, and the Developer options menu will appear for you. You can find ‘build number’ under software settings, so you’ll need to go to the ‘About phone’ menu.
Now, other than settings how the notch behaves per-app basis, you can also set a global default setting, and you have three options here, ‘Essential recommended’, which follows the settings the company prefers, and the other two are more or less self-explanatory, ‘Don’t use notch area in landscape’ and ‘Always use notch area’.