It's increasingly seeming like the trend for flagship 2019 phones is a gargantuan booty, something literally nobody asked for.
We're in the middle of leak season for mobile phones. The leaks have always been good in the past, because your big phone brands — Apple, Google, Samsung, Huawei etc. — have to provide physically accurate designs of their new flagships to the case manufacturers. So around about this time every year, someone gets their hand on a dummy case from somewhere, and the internet gets to chuckle about what all the new phones are going to look like.
And just like last year when everyone adopted the butt-ugly notch — except for Oppo — 2019's design trend is just as ugly. Who's keen for a giant rump from your $1000-plus phone?
Image: Jonas Daehnert on Twitter
Having cracked the shits over just about every aspect of the phone leaking beforehand, Google finally threw their hands up and confirmed what people already knew. Like the Mate 20 Pro, which had a centred square bump for their camera array, the Pixel 4 would have an alien-arse looking square on the top right for their rear camera.
And sick of being outdone in the camera department, Apple has joined the party with a triple camera setup for this year's iPhones. CAD renders and various leaks all pegged Apple as following Google with a huge square on the back of their phone, and YouTuber Marques Brownlee followed that up by showing off some prototype iPhone 11 cases and dummies, as supplied earlier by Australian Sonny Dickson.
Just ... ugh. One of my favourite phones of the last couple of years, the Mate 20 Pro, has a fairly gaudy square camera array on the back. The kicker is that Huawei at least centred the array, so it doesn't look as awful, and you can get versions of the Mate 20 Pro that have a textured back that doesn't get grubby.
But it still doesn't sit that flat on a desk, because the camera array props the whole phone up. I'd rather have a thicker phone so there's no camera bump at all, and if there is going to be a bump, then at least make it an aesthetically pleasing vertical or horizontal slice. Samsung's upcoming Note 10 has a vertical notch (rather than the horizontal setup on the S10 range) that's very akin to Huawei's P30 Pro series. It's also looking likely that the headphone jack is going the way of the dodo, which is a real shame.
We're still a couple of months out from the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, but the leaks and rumours are already flowing. We know they might not be 100% accurate, but we are also aware of how thirsty you lot are for the Note series. So here's what we've heard so far.
So at least one major manufacturer is dodging the thicc bump nightmare. And let's all be grateful that Apple and Google decided to stop at a square, and not the absurd UFO-like dome that appeared on the Mate 30 Pro render recently, although the circular setup doesn't look as bad as the horrific rectangular design that first leaked out.
HUAWEI Mate 30 Pro - Render based on leaks ???? pic.twitter.com/U1WKTbFKN2
— Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin) July 4, 2019
But that's seemingly what we're in for this year: thinner phones with some real thicc bumps. It's not a trend I'm thrilled about, much like the ditching of the headphone jack. At least the LG V50 and G8 have flat camera arrays on the back, although I don't know if dual screen sandwiches or airwaving are the trends I want from phones in 2019 either.