[Updated] Android 9.0 Pie take-off creates notch turbulence on Essential Phone

Update (October 02):

The October update brings back notch settings.

Update (August 16):

Company says the notch settings will b back. Head here for details.

Original story:

Notch, a trending feature that majority 2018 big house smartphone manufacturers incorporated in their flagship phones, was actually pioneered by Essential (Android creator Andy Rubin’s company) in their first flagship phone PH-1 last year.

But the notch controls that Essential offers appear to be changing with the advent of Android 9.0 Pie. Going by reports from Essential PH-1 users who installed the newest Android OS on their units, the notch settings (that can be seen in the following image) have disappeared from Developer options.


Removal of Essential notch settings was highlighted a few hours back by a user on Reddit, who noted the change on their PH-1 unit after Android Pie, saying they cannot play games or see videos in full screen mode any more. Soon after, other users also joined the league confirming the change.

Take a look at what some of them have been saying:

After updating to Android P, notch setting disappeared from the developer settings tab.

I’m in the same boat. Having the notch settings removed makes me instantly regret updating to 9.0 so quickly. I LOVED that feature.

I used it for everything! Games and videos were the most noticeable, viewing websites was greatly improved as well. It makes the screen feel so much bigger!

Videos, Comics, Android Auto and Maps. Now I have lots of wasted screen space.

Yeah.. Just played a game since first updating to P and it honestly looks bad. They need to get the notch settings back. Phone feels clunky without full screen

Yes this needs to be put back. Full screen mode sucks for some games and apps. Only exception is YouTube vanced still works the same meaning you can pinch out and extend the video to fill the screen.


With multiple users complaining, a couple of Essential users who had enrolled in Android P beta shared that notch settings were removed in beta itself.

It hadn’t been in any of the P betas

They didn’t have it on beta… They might not release it.

But as is usually the case, not everyone enrolls for developer betas, that’s why those who are noting the change after Android P’s public release are complaining about it, and hoping the company brings back the feature.

Essential’s take on the matter

There’s a ray of hope that the company might bring the feature back. Reason being, in the July AMA, the company told one of the inquirers that they’ll wait until Android P’s public release, access the situation and then act accordingly. Take a look at what they said:

Its possible, We are going to wait and see what Google does in the final release build before we manipulate the notch any further. We have worked very closely with them on the notch implementation so they are using our best practices. After the final drop, we will access if it makes sense to put the settings option back in. Good news is a lot of us here like you want it in.


We hope Essential considers bringing back the notch settings, if that’s what users want. Anyway, we’ll let you know as and when the company clears the air on this matter.

Meanwhile, those of you unaware, the notch setting feature in question have been pretty well explained by youtuber AndroidStud in the following video. Take a look for more clarity.

Note: We have also compiled a (continuously updated) list of issues/problems/bugs reported with (or triggered by) Android 9 Pie ever since it got live. Take a look to catch hold of all Pie-related issues.

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Dr. Aparajita Sharma

A budding entrepreneur by profession, and a psychologist by education. As a founding member of PiunikaWeb, I am nurturing this firstborn with my sharp-eyed expertise and even journalistic writing when needed.