Notches are in, no matter how bad you want them to be out. Apple wasn’t the first company to put a display cutout on its flagship, but the iPhone X kicked off what’s turned into a trend. There are very few high-end phones that go without a notch despite the love-hate relationship so many consumers have with it.
Don’t be discouraged by the notch on Pixel 3 XL. It arrived on this flagship as a method for increasing screen real estate, but you’re not required to keep it anyway. Google will let you ditch notch on its top-of-the-line model.
How to hide the notch on Google’s Pixel 3 XL
Go into the settings on your phone; scroll down to the bottom for ‘System’ and its related options
Choose ‘About phone’ at the top and find ‘Build number’ at the bottom of this menu
Tap on your software’s build number several times, and eventually it’ll enable developer settings
Return to the ‘System’ menu to find ‘Developer options’ in the list
Scroll to the middle of list, choose ‘Display cutout’
From the options, switch from ‘Device default’ to ‘Hide’
If your Pixel 3 XL doesn’t refresh with the notch hidden, follow the same step from above and choose ‘Hide’ again
Voila! Now your Pixel 3 XL put its notch into hiding. Here, that’s accomplished by turning the left and right sides of the notch into a deep black. The Pixel 3 XL has an OLED panel, and thus the color looks deep enough to fool you into thinking a notch was never there.
Because its overall dimensions are nearly identical, the Pixel 3 XL without a notch looks a lot like last year’s Pixel 2 XL. So the experience between them shouldn’t be too different if you don’t care for Google’s display cutout. Plus, the notch doesn’t actually serve a purpose. It’s not like you’ll be missing out on anything major.
It’s easy to convert back and forth, but we wish Google didn’t force users to dig into developer-related settings. Maybe that’ll come in a future software update. For now, this is your best path to hiding the notch on the Pixel 3 XL.