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The Vivo X23 wouldn’t be the first unreleased handset that eagle-eye passengers in China have spotted on the subway. (Picture: 钟文泽/Weibo)

Vivo X23 might feature a “water droplet” notch

Tiny rounded notch is a welcome sight visually but suggests a lack of 3D facial recognition tech

This article originally appeared on ABACUS

The “water droplet” notch is catching on.

Photos circulating on Chinese social media show what’s believed to be the upcoming Vivo X23, featuring a tiny curved notch that’s shaped somewhat like a drop of water -- hence its nickname in China.

But the appearance of the notch would seem to contradict  earlier leaks, which suggested the phone will feature 3D facial recognition. That typically requires more than one camera: The iPhone X’s notch contains a selfie camera, an infrared camera, a projector and much more -- elements that simply wouldn’t fit in Vivo’s tiny notch.
The Vivo X23 wouldn’t be the first unreleased handset that eagle-eyed passengers in China have spotted on the subway. (Picture: 钟文泽/Weibo)
Still, that’s not stopping the new notch from catching on: It can also be found on Oppo’s new F9 and R17. Oppo and Vivo are, of course, sister companies -- which along with OnePlus, are all under BBK Electronics. New designs on Oppo and Vivo handsets are often signs of what’s to come on the next OnePlus device.
The alleged Vivo X23 (left) and the Oppo R17 (right). (Picture: 钟文泽/Weibo/Oppo)
The iPhone X wasn’t the first phone with a notch. The trend can be traced back to last year’s Essential Phone. Its sleek rounded notch actually came a few months before the iPhone X launched with a much larger notch that initially drew ridicule.

While the iPhone X has inspired an army of Android copycats with nearly identical notches, most failed to copy two essential elements of the design: 3D facial recognition, and the lack of a “chin” -- the thick bottom bezel.

But Vivo and Oppo have both tried to break away from having a notch. The Vivo Nex and Oppo Find X got rid of it altogether, introducing a pop-up camera that hides inside the bezel.

Someone added a clear back to Vivo’s pop-up camera phone and it looks awesome

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