With the Pixel 3 XL, Google has retained the stereo speakers while offering dual cameras up front. The components need to go somewhere, and the end result is that the Pixel 3 XL has a huge notch. Google does offer a way to hide it, but doing so requires going into the developer options.
Hiding the notch makes using the Pixel 3 XL much more enjoyable. If anything, it adds some symmetry to the device as there are considerable bezels at the bottom as well. Here's how you can hide the notch on the Pixel 3 XL.
How to hide the notch on the Pixel 3 XL
- Open Settings from your app drawer or home screen.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
- Tap System.
- Tap About phone.
- Scroll down to the bottom.
- Tap the Build number field seven times until you see a dialog box that says, "you are now a developer"
- Go back to the Settings page and type notch in the search bar at the top.
- You'll see a single result called Display cutout. Tap the link to go to the Developer options menu.
- Select Hide to hide the notch.
That's all there is to it. The Pixel 3 XL has a lot to offer, particularly when it comes to the camera side of things, and while the notch negatively affects the overall experience of the device, at least there's an option to hide it away.
As a word of caution, there's no guarantee that everything will work perfectly fine when you load up third-party apps from the Play Store with the notch disabled. The whole point of these developer options for managing the notch is to make it easier for developers to test their apps with a variety of screen shapes, and things may get a little weird. But if this is the only way you'd ever consider using a Pixel 3 XL, you now know how to manage that notch so you can happily use the phone.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.