Xiaomi beats Samsung to the rounded notch design

On Monday, Xiaomi introduced the Mi Play, a smartphone featuring a teardrop-shaped notch — and it comes at a very affordable price.

While Samsung has been showing off various innovative notch concepts, Xiaomi has just made a design that closely resembles the Infinity-U display that Samsung teased at its annual Samsung Developers Conference last month a reality.

The new Mi Play is Xiaomi's first phone to launch with a tiny, half-moon shaped notch. While other smartphone giants like Samsung and Huawei are opting for an off-center, circular hole-punch notch design, Xiaomi stayed true to the notion of just shrinking the classic notch design.

Depending on your taste, this cut-out option may be less obstructive than the pinhole-like punch of the alternatives.

The company has a track record of switching up the notch. Earlier this year, the completely notchless flagship Mi Mix 3 was launched, but that full-screen display came with a price: the notch was replaced with a slide-up mechanism that housed the front camera and speaker.

While this gave users the coveted bezel-less display, they had to mechanically slide the screen down to take a photo or answer a call.

The Mi Play brings a more pragmatic, but still innovative design to users, at a reasonable price. The 5.84-inch display phone comes with a MediaTek P35 processor, 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage, and two rear-facing cameras (12MP and 2MP) all for 1,099 yuan or about US$160.

The phone is currently only available in China. Over the next year we're sure to get options with similarly designed notches, but the price of the Mi Play is definitely one of a kind.

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