Motorola has always closely followed Apple’s footsteps for its flagship smartphones. Back in 2016, Motorola beat Apple to the punch in launching a flagship smartphone without a 3.5mm headphone jack while Apple was yet to unveil the iPhone 7 and confirm the death of the headphone jack. Now, with Apple using a notch display design on the iPhone X, Motorola is once again following in Apple’s footsteps with its 2018 flagship: the Moto X5.
While the Moto X5 is still a few months away from launch, its design and key specs leaked out earlier today. The leak points to the handset coming with a 5.99-inch FHD+ OLED display at the front with a notch design similar to that of the iPhone X. Like Apple, Motorola is using the notch to display key icons like the network strength, Wi-Fi/mobile network indicators, battery indicator, and more. As for the notch, it houses a dual-camera setup which Motorola will presumably use to offer a Portrait mode and face unlock — again features that we have already seen on the iPhone X.
The lack of the bezels at the front of the device also means that there is no fingerprint scanner on the device. It is unclear if Motorola will use an in-display fingerprint scanner on the handset or just completely replace it with face unlock. Given how Moto seems to be copying key features from the iPhone X, my bet is that the company is going to give the fingerprint scanner a miss.
After the Essential Phone from last year, the Moto X5 is the second major flagship Android phone to sport a display with a notch design. However, while the notch design on the Essential Phone was unique, the Moto X5’s display notch seems like a clear rip-off of the iPhone X design.
And that’s not it. Motorola also seems to be copying the gesture-based navigation approach from Apple on the Moto X5. The leaked render points to the handset coming with a software button at the bottom which would likely act as a point to trigger various navigation gestures on the device. In Moto’s defense though, the company already offered a gesture-based replacement to the navigation bar using the fingerprint scanner on its previous devices. With the Moto X5, the company is possibly just replacing the fingerprint scanner with a software button on the display.
If anything, it looks like quite a few Android OEMs are going to follow in Apple’s footsteps here and end up using a notch display design on their flagship smartphones this year. I wonder what the notch haters have to say about this now.