Apple’s new iPhone X is an interesting example of adding things and taking them away. They added height; they took away the Home. They added a gesture to swipe up; they took away control center. Etc.
People love it when new things are added, but they similarly hate it when things are taken away. People are excited about the face detection technology, but they are equally annoyed by the eye-sore in the middle of their otherwise clean photos and videos.
Rather than focusing on the 2.74M pixels that you do have, the brain starts to focus on the things that are missing.
The magical thing about the notch is that the beautiful OLED display could easily hide the notch in many situations.
Because we’re used to seeing a bezel, a software-based bezel could feel very natural. Further, the notch can still be the “hero feature” on select screens like the lock screen or the home screen and media playback.
Media controls placed along the edge could appear with a tap and provide media playback controls that could be tuned for use with one hand.
It’s clear that Apple is looking to differentiate itself from the many look-alike devices. Apple has a long history of thinking different. But the thing that makes Apple’s unique is that it chooses to challenge the status-quo to make things that are not just different but purposeful and “insanely great.” The technology packed into the face recognition sounds amazing, but the software and design treatment stop at just different for the sake of different.