If you're an Android fan who hates the notch, chances are good that you've felt a bit of ire for Apple. Clearly, it is most definitely the reason for the Android copycats, but you may be surprised to learn that the Cupertino giant wasn't first, at least in the modern era. That recognition belongs to the Andy Rubin-based Essential. Its first phone has a notch for only the camera; it is not nearly as wide as what's found on the iPhone X and its copycats.
Even though Essential was first with its notched design, it has no qualms working towards killing it off. The only reason the notch exists is because of the camera, and that's why Essential decided against a wider notch, choosing to maximize screen real-estate instead. What could fix that entirely is putting the camera under the screen; something a new Essential patent points towards for future phone designs.
It was inevitable that a design like this would eventually come along, but to see it laid out like this gives hope we may actually see the design in the real-world in the near future. As the shot above illustrates, the camera would be placed directly underneath a series of layers arranged in a way that the surface would continue being usable as a touch screen. It ultimately appears that the camera lens will be integrated with the top layer, but presumably (or ideally) be hidden to the naked eye.
This patent (9,843,736) was filed last February, but was granted in December. As it goes with these things, it's truly hard to gauge when we'll see products using this technology hitting the market, or if it ever will. For the sake of getting rid of the notch, many Android fans are praying for success.