How to buy a monitor in 2021

With the COVID pandemic still upon us, a monitor is one of the most important computer buying decisions you can make. Luckily, there’s never been more choice, and we’ve seen vast improvements in color accuracy, size and resolution since our last update.

It’s great to have lots of choice, but it can also make your buying decision a challenge. For example, do you need HDR, and if so, how bright should your monitor be? How important is color accuracy, refresh rates and input lag? What size do you need? Should it be curved or straight?

Luckily, we’ve done the research and can help you figure all that out depending on your specific needs and, most importantly, budget. Read on to see exactly what to look for in a monitor and which makes and models to choose.

The basics

Screen size, resolution and display format

In this day and age, screen size rules. Where 24-inch displays used to be more or less standard (and can still be useful for basic computing), 27-, 32-, 34- and even 42-inch displays have become popular for entertainment, content creation and even gaming these days.

Nearly every monitor used to be 16:9, but it’s now possible to find 16:10 and other more exotic display shapes. On the gaming and entertainment side, we’re also seeing very wide and curved monitors with aspect ratios like 21:9. If you do decide to buy an ultrawide display, however, keep in mind that a 30-inch 21:9 model is the same height as a 24-inch monitor, so you might end up with a smaller display than you expected. As a rule of thumb, add 25 percent to the size of a 21:9 monitor to get the size you need.

4K is nearly a must for content creators, and some folks are even going for 5K or all the way up to 8K. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need a pretty powerful computer to drive all those pixels. And 4K should be paired with a screen size of 27 inches and up, or you won’t notice much difference between 1440p. At the same time, I wouldn’t get a model larger than 27 inches unless it’s 4K, as you’ll start to see pixelation if you’re working up close to the display.

One new category to consider is portable monitors designed to be carried and used with laptops. Those typically come in 1080p resolutions and sizes from 13-15 inches. They usually have a lightweight kickstand-type support that folds up to keep things compact.  

HDR

HDR is the buzzy monitor feature to have these days, but be careful before jumping in. Some monitors that claim HDR on the marketing materials don’t even conform to a base standard. To be sure that a display at least meets minimum HDR specs, you’ll want to choose one with a DisplayHDR rating with each tier representing maximum brightness in nits.

However, the lowest DisplayHDR 400 and 500 tiers may disappoint you with a lack of brightness, washed out blacks and mediocre color reproduction.If you can afford it, choose a model with DisplayHDR 600, 1000 or True Black 400, True Black 500 and True Black 600. The True Black settings are designed primarily for OLED models, with maximum black levels at .0005 nits.

Where televisions typically offer HDR10 and Dolby Vision or HDR10+, most PC monitors only support the HDR10 standard, other than a few (very expensive) models. That doesn’t matter much for content creation or gaming, but HDR streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other services won’t look quite as punchy. 

Refresh rate

Refresh rate is a key feature, particularly on gaming monitors. A bare minimum nowadays is 60Hz, and 80Hz refresh rates and up are much easier on the eyes. However, most 4K displays top out at 60Hz with some rare exceptions and the HDMI 2.0 spec only supports 4K at 60Hz, so you’d need at least DisplayPort 1.4 (4K at 120Hz) or HDMI 2.1. The latter is now available on a number of monitors, particularly gaming displays. However, it’s only supported on the latest NVIDIA RTX 3000- and AMD RX 6000-series GPUs and requires a very powerful PC.

Inputs

There are essentially three types of modern display inputs: Thunderbolt, DisplayPort and HDMI. Most monitors built for PCs come with the latter two, while a select few (typically built for Macs) will use Thunderbolt. To add to the confusion, USB-C ports may be Thunderbolt 3 and by extension, DisplayPort compatible, so you may need a USB-C to Thunderbolt or DisplayPort cable adapter depending on your display.

Panel type

The cheapest monitors are still TN (twisted nematic), which are strictly for gaming or office use. VA (vertical alignment) monitors are also relatively cheap, while offering good brightness and high contrast ratios. However, content creators will probably want an IPS (in-plane switching) LCD display that delivers better color accuracy, image quality and viewing angles.

If maximum brightness is important, a quantum dot LCD display is the way to go — those are typically found in larger displays. OLED monitors are now available and offer the best blacks and color reproduction, but they lack the brightness of LED or quantum dot displays. Plus, they cost a lot.

The new panel on the block is MiniLED. It’s similar to quantum dot tech, but as the name suggests, it uses smaller LED diodes that are just 0.2mm in diameter. As such, manufacturers can pack in up to three times more LEDs with more local dimming zones, delivering deeper blacks and better contrast. 

Color bit depth

Serious content content creators should consider a more costly 10-bit monitor that can display billions of colors. If budget is an issue, you can go for an 8-bit panel that can fake billions of colors via dithering (often spec’d as “8-bit + FRC”). For entertainment or business purposes, a regular 8-bit monitor that can display millions of colors will be fine.

Color gamut

The other aspect of color is the gamut. That expresses the range of colors that can be reproduced and not just the number of colors. Most good monitors these days can cover the sRGB and Rec.709 gamuts (designed for photos and video respectively). For more demanding work, though, you’ll want one that can reproduce more demanding modern gamuts like AdobeRGB, DCI-P3 and Rec.2020 gamuts, which encompass a wider range of colors. The latter two are often used for film projection and HDR, respectively. 

Engadget picks

Best monitor around $200

Acer KG241Q

Acer KG241Q monitor
Acer

Whether you need a monitor for gaming, entertainment or work, Acer’s 24-inch KG241Q offers a lot of value. Resolution is limited to 1080p, but it delivers a 144Hz refresh rate and comes with AMD FreeSync support. Other features include a 1-millisecond lag time, 300 nits of brightness, HDMI and DisplayPort inputs and a tilting stand. The downsides are tricky access to the ports and a TN display that looks dim at an angle, but it’s a heck of a steal right now at $155.

Buy 24-inch Acer KG241Q at B&H Photo - $180


Best monitors around $300

ASUS ProArt PA278QV

ASUS ProArt PA278QV
ASUS

Moving your budget up by just $100 opens up a whole lot more options. A case in point is our pick for content creation chores, the ASUS ProArt PA278QV. You get a larger 27-inch size, increased 2,560 x 1,440 resolution and a superior IPS panel. As with other ProArt models, the PA278QV is designed specifically for photo and video editing, with a 100 percent Rec.709 gamut, Calman verified color accuracy and ProArt presets and palettes for different kinds of work. It also offers DisplayPort and HDMI ports and tilt, swivel, pivot and height adjustments. That’s a lot of monitor for a current street price of $315.

Buy 27-inch ASUS ProArt PA278QV at B&H - $319

Dell S2522HG

Dell S2522HG
Dell

There are numerous decent gaming monitors around $300, but we’ve managed to narrow it down to one: Dell’s S2522HG. For a monitor in this price range, you get a lot: a 24.5-inch IPS 1080p display with a 240Hz refresh rate, 400 nits of brightness, 1-millisecond response time and AMD Free-Sync and NVIDIA G-Sync compatibility. It comes with HDMI, DisplayPort and SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen1 inputs, along with a stand that allows for height adjustment, tilt, swivel and pivot. You can pick one up now at Amazon for $320.

Buy 24-inch Dell S2522HG at Amazon - $320


Best monitor around $400

LG 27UK500

LG 27UK500
LG

LG’s 27UK500 is a nice all around monitor that can cover gaming, entertainment and some content creation. The 27-inch 4K IPS display covers 98 percent of the sRGB gamut and supports HDR10 with 10-bit color, though it only outputs 300 nits of brightness so it isn’t DisplayHDR certified. If you like 4K gaming, it can handle that decently thanks to AMD FreeSync support, a 60 Hz refresh rate and a 5-millisecond response time. The downsides are a tilt only stand, but it’s very well priced at just $347. 

Buy 27-inch LG 27UK500 at B&H - $347


Best monitors around $500

BenQ PD2700U

BenQ PD2700U
BenQ

For creatives, the BenQ PD2700U pushes all the right buttons. The 27-inch 4K IPS panel delivers 10-bit HDR color and covers 100 percent of the sRGB gamut with Calman verified Delta E color accuracy less than 3. It’s also a fine choice for entertainment and gaming with 350 nits of brightness, a 1300:1 contrast ratio, viewing angle of 178 degrees and a 5-millisecond response time. It has tilt, swivel, pivot and height adjustment and most of the ports you need, including HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4. You can pick one up now at B&H for $500.

Buy 27-inch BenQ PD2700U at B&H Photo - $500

Acer Nitro XV252Q

Acer Nitro XV252Q
Acer

Acer’s Nitro XV252Q is the only gaming monitor under $500 that supports 360 Hz refresh rates, but there’s more to it than just that. The 24.5-inch HD display outputs 400 nits of brightness, so it’s DisplayHDR 400 certified for HDR games and movies. It also comes with AMD FreeSync compatibility, a 99 percent sRGB color gamut and DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 connections. You can tilt, swivel, pivot and adjust the height by up to 4.7 inches, and it looks pretty snazzy, with very slim side and top bezels.

Buy 25-inch Acer Nitro XV252Q at Amazon - $500


Best monitors under $700

Dell UltraSharp 27 U2720Q

Dell UltraSharp 27 U2720Q
Dell

Dell’s 27-inch, 4K U2720Q IPS monitor offers 4K HDR performance for a decent price. It conforms to the DisplayHDR 400 spec while offering 10-bits of color and 99 percent sRGB coverage, with a Delta E color accuracy of less than two out of the box. So this is a good monitor for HDR movies and doing some graphics chores, particularly HDR video work — all for under $700.

Buy 27-inch UltraSharp U2720Q at Dell - $580

Acer Predator XB273K

Acer Predator XB273K
Acer

Though it’s marketed as a gaming monitor thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate, 1-millisecond response time and G-Sync support, Acer’s 4K quantum dot Predator XB273K is really a jack of all trades. It’s also DisplayHDR 400 compatible, covers 90 percent of the challenging DCI-P3 color gamut and offers a Delta<1 color accuracy. You also get tilt and height adjustments, HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 ports and pivot and height adjustment.

Buy 27-inch Acer Predator XB273K at Amazon - $621


Best monitor for Mac users

LG Ultrafine 4K and 5K

LG Ultrafine 5K
LG

Apple’s $5,000 Pro Display XDR is much too rich for most of us, so the next most logical option is LG’s $1,300 Ultrafine 5K display, also sold on Apple’s Store. With a 27-inch 5K panel, you not only get very high resolution but also 500 nits of brightness (albeit, without HDR capability). It’s color-accurate out of the box, making it great for video- and photo-editing work on a Mac or MacBook. Finally, it supports Thunderbolt 3 with daisy chaining and power delivery, all of which is very useful for Mac users.

If that model is too much, you can also consider LG’s 24-inch Ultrafine 4K. For nearly half the price ($700), it offers many of the same features (including the powered and daisy-chained Thunderbolt ports, color accuracy and more) in a smaller size and with just a bit less resolution.

Buy LG Ultrafine 5K at Apple - $1,300Buy LG Ultrafine 4K at Apple - $700

Best ultrawide monitor

MSI Optix MPG341CQR

MSI Optix MPG341CQR
MSI

Ultrawide 21:9 monitors are a great option for some types of content creation, flight sims and financial work. The best model this year (with perhaps the worst name) is MSI’s Optix MPG341CQR. With an 1800R curve and 3,440 x 1,440 resolution it’s ideal for gaming, with the 120Hz refresh rate, 1-millisecond response time and HDR 400 also helping in that regard. It also offers a frameless design, tilt, swivel and height adjustment and HDMI 2.0/DisplayPort 1.4 ports. It also has an LED strip that provides helpful cues for in-game status like remaining health or ammo, too.

Buy 43-inch MSI Optix MPG341CQR at Amazon - $645

Best portable monitor

ViewSonic VG1655

ViewSonic VG1655
ViewSonic

To best complement your laptop, a portable monitor should be small, lightweight and not too expensive. The model that best meets all those requirements is ViewSonic’s VG1655. At 15.6 inches and weighing under 2 pounds, the 1080p 60 Hz IPS display can be toted around fairly easily but still provide crisp, clear visuals. It’s also reasonably bright at 250 nits, comes in standard and touch version, packs dual speakers and has a built-in stand with a cover.

Buy 15-inch ViewSonic VG1655 at Amazon - $250

Best HDMI 2.1 monitor

Acer Nitro XV282K

Acer Nitro XV282K
Acer

If you’re gaming on the bleeding edge at 4K and 120Hz, you’ll first need either a fast PC or PS5/Xbox Series X console. If you’ve got that and would prefer to use a monitor rather than a TV, your best bet will soon be Acer's Nitro XV282K display. Along with 4K resolution at up to 144Hz, it offers a 1-millisecond refresh rate, 10-bit color and 400 nits (DisplayHDR 400 compatible) of brightness. It comes, of course, with an HDMI 2.1 input, along with DisplayPort 1.4. It’s not yet available, but should arrive soon for $900.

Pre-order 28-inch Acer Nitro XV282K at B&H - $899

Best luxury monitor

ASUS ProArt PA32UCG-K

ASUS ProArt PA32UCG-K
ASUS

ASUS still holds the prize for best luxury monitor, but it discontinued the previous mini-LED $4,000 ProArt PA32UCX monitor and replaced it with the $5,000 PA32UCG-K display. It uses the same mini-LED tech, but ups the ante with 1,600 nits of brightness, an HDMI 2.1 port, 4K 120Hz resolution, 10-bit, 98 percent DCI-P3 coverage and an impressive 85 percent Rec.2020 coverage. Oh, and it’s one of the few monitors out there that supports Dolby Vision, along with HDR10 and HLG.

You’re probably doing it wrong if you’re using a $5K monitor for gaming. However, it does support AMD FreeSync (good for gaming creation) and has a 5-millisecond response time, very respectable for a display essentially designed for professional colorists. And to that end, color accuracy is calibrated to Delta E < 1 and it’s a true 10-bit panel delivering billions of colors.

Buy 32-inch ASUS ProArt PA32UCG-K at B&H - $4,999

Best 8K display

Dell UltraSharp 32 UP3218K

Dell UltraSharp 32 UP3218K
Dell

Faster than we think, 8K video will be upon us, so you might be pondering an 8K monitor to stay ahead of the curve. Dell’s UP3218K is part of its UltraSharp lineup for creators, so it not only delivers 8K (7,680 x 4,320) 60p resolution but other nice pro features, too.

The 10-bit native IPS panel delivers 400 nits of brightness, though the UP3218K isn’t an HDR monitor. It also delivers 1.07 billion colors and covers 98 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut, with a Delta E of less than two out of the box. It’s also one of the few monitors that flips around 90 degrees, making it good for portrait photo work.

This monitor isn’t cheap either at $3,500 (8K monitors are still very rare), but Dell’s UP3216Q 4K monitor has most of the features for less than half the price. It’s not quite as bright at 350 nits and covers just 87 percent of the DCI-P3 gamut, but it offers 1.07 billion colors and is just as precise for color correction out of the box.

Buy 32-inch UltraSharp UP3218K at Dell - $3,755

This multi-monitor laptop’s detachable screens can be used as a standalone tablet

For someone who is used to multi-monitor setup and using a laptop is for mere portability, the Compal Airttach is reason enough to rethink the traditional setups.

A laptop brings the promise of portability that prompts many users to go for the proven useful gadget. Although it compromises on the multi-monitor setup aspect if you are carrying your laptop around, the configuration has its own set of advantages. But who says, you cannot have the best of both worlds – ie the portability of a laptop and the versatility of a multi-monitor setup on the go? What’s interesting is the fact that not only it brings the compactness aspect to a multi-monitor setup with a laptop, it is actually much more.

The Taiwanese manufacturer reimagines the general perspective of a multi-monitor setup and gives you the freedom for enhanced productivity. This laptop has a 13-inch main screen having canted edges with the option to join the other two 13-inch displays for a 48: 9 aspect ratio wide-screen real estate.

When not needed the screens can be removed for a seamless workflow. The feature I like the most is the ability to use these extra screens as a standalone big-screen tablet(s). Both the screen have kickstands, so you can use them in either vertical or horizontal orientation. All this comes with the luxury of wire-free clutter – another advantage that can’t be ignored.

Compal Airttach’s main laptop screen has no bezels, and the secondary displays also have visually no bezels. This means when in connected multi-screen configuration, the whole setup looks like one big wide-screen. When you’re done with the day’s work, the three-piece gadget can be easily carried in a folio-like bag which clearly shows the compact nature of the design.

The Airttach is still in the concept phase, and it’ll be interesting to see the details when Compal releases a prototype and hopefully a commercially viable product. Do expect Airttach to burn a hole in your pocket since the hardware and technology required to accomplish such a design will cost a lot!

Designer: Compal

LG DVLED Super-Sizes TV Cinema Walls up to 325 Inches

The biggest screen I’ve ever had in my house measured 96″ diagonal and used a front projector and a traditional movie screen. The room had to be totally dark to really enjoy it, but it was cool having a screen that big. Now, thanks to LG’s new DVLED technology, they can make screens up to 325″ diagonal, which can be viewed even in rooms with lots of ambient light.

LG DVLED Extreme Home Cinema screens comprise a grid of 2 million to 33 million individual diodes, each of which is self-illuminating for vibrant, high-contrast images at up to a 150,000:1 contrast ratio. LG says the display panels also offer a high color gamut for vivid and colorful images. The screens will come in 2K, 4K, and 8K resolutions in sizes from 108″ to 325″ diagonal, with both 16:9 and ultrawide 32:9 configurations available.

LG’s webOS tech allows the screens to display artwork stored locally and content streamed via Wi-Fi and supports multiple windows for viewing different source content simultaneously.

The displays are only available via LG’s custom dealer/installer program, and you can register your interest on the LG website. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but I can only imagine that something described as “the supercar of home display technologies” and “highly exclusive” by LG is likely to be extremely expensive.

Display Your LEGO Minifigs in a Giant Minifig

Do you or your kids like to collect LEGO minifigures? You could leave them scattered around the room where you could step on one, or the dog could try to eat them, or you could store and display them in a more appropriate place. This oversize wood minifig display is perfect for organizing and showing off your favorite LEGO figures.

The $36 wall display is made by Alabama Etsy shop JEMWorXCo using premium 1/2″ baltic birch wood and holds up to 19 figures. Each of its little cutouts is just the right size to hold a minifig along with accessories like their tiny hats, though I’m guessing the sombrero on my Mariachi Maraca Man Minifigure won’t fit.

The only thing better would be if they made a huge version that held the 200+ minifigs I have littering my basement, but I guess I could just buy a dozen of these, and that would look pretty awesome too.

This nifty gadget turns any laptop or desktop monitor into a massive iPad Pro and Stylus




Plug the Hello X3 in the top left corner of any display (or any flat surface) and suddenly you have a stylus-capable screen that you can draw on, annotate against, and present with.

Up until just 5 minutes ago, I was ready to throw a little over a grand at a new, 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil. I’m honestly reconsidering now after stumbling across this $120 gadget that transforms any flat surface into a stylus-friendly touchscreen. Titled the YELANG Hello X3, this 3-axis-shaped device plugs onto the corner of any flat rectangular surface (although it’s much more useful when mounted on a display), practically turning it into an iPad. The Hello X3 works with displays as large as 27-inches, and comes along with a pressure-sensitive stylus too to rival the Apple Pencil.

Click Here to Buy Now: $120 $189 (37% off) Hurry! Just 14 hours left!

Currently in its third generation (hence the X3 suffix), the Hello X3 expands on what its previous generations could do. It comes with a camera-sensor that can now read surface areas that are anywhere between 10-27 inches, has 2mm precision (which is alright, to be honest), a 120 fps response time, and here’s the best part, compatibility with both Macintosh and Windows-based systems. Just plug it onto your iMac or your Windows desktop monitor and you’ve got yourself a massive tablet PC that you can sketch on, make models in, edit documents, sign papers, or even use in a bunch of other productivity apps and softwares. If you’re traveling, the Hello X3 plugs right off and is portable enough to be carried right in your bag along with the stylus.

The Hello X3’s universal design is perhaps its biggest selling point, but it’s also matched by the fact that setting it up on a new device is ridiculously simple. Just pop the gadget on the top-left of the screen (it works with left-handed as well as right-handed users), plug it in via USB, and you’re ready to calibrate it. To calibrate the Hello X3 to your screen, just tap the 4 corners of the display with the stylus and you’re done. The stylus is thick and grippy like a marker or a fountain-pen, and sports a pressure-sensitive tip that can make thicker strokes if you press harder and thinner strokes if you lightly touch a surface. In just minutes, your 4K monitor turns into a graphics tablet.

The Hello X3 works with regular surfaces too. If you’re not really comfortable with drawing on vertical surfaces (which, let’s face it, can get uncomfortable), just plug the Hello X3 onto a drawing pad or a clipboard and you’ve got yourself a makeshift tablet PC (remember the Wacom Intuos?). This setup works rather well when you’re using a projector too, instead of a laptop or a desktop monitor. Each Hello X3 comes along with its own drawing-board for good measure, and a stand for your stylus when it’s not in use. The stylus has a standby time of 120 days, and a use-time of 4 hours, although it charges completely in just under 30 minutes. The YELANG Hello X3 is currently in its final hours of funding and is set to ship as early as September. Grab it at its special early-bird price of $120 on Kickstarter!

Click Here to Buy Now: $120 $189 (37% off) Hurry! Just 14 hours left!

LG’s Foldable + flexible OLED screen can be carried like a folio bag!

A foldable phone and rollable TV are considered passe – that is the bane of innovation that finds us always looking for the next big thing! But, soon, you will be able to wear a screen around the wrist or even carry a display like a briefcase. If this scenario seems animated, industrial designer Kevin Chiam has stretched the limits of flexibility and conceived a portable LG branded OLED screen that you can carry along like a folio bag.

Companies like LG, TCL, Royole (the Chinese manufacturer who pioneered foldable phones), and more brands have experimented with rollable, bendable, and stretchable displays. The concept Chaim has envisioned for LG, however, throws open the domain for more enticing applications. It is directed toward the urban nomads working remotely and are always on the move, ready to explore options at work, home, and anywhere in between.

Dubbed the Folio – visibly because of its shape inspired by a folio bag – this conceptual display design works as a modular entertainment system featuring an extremely thin yet flexible 32-inch LG OLED screen with a leather back. The screen is fastened by cylindrical aluminum arms – with integrated magnetic clasps – on either end, and it can fold up in the middle and close seamlessly with the magnetic clasps. In addition, the display becomes its own carrying case has a handle attached to it for convenience on the go.

When unfolded, the display has infinite uses – entertainment, gaming, or even to display digital information and artwork. In addition, the magnetic clasps on the arms in the display’s open orientation can be used to connect speakers, cameras, and other accessories to the screen. Being extremely flexible and modular in design, the Folio complements a user’s ever-changing lifestyle by transitioning between work and play!

Designer: Kevin Chiam

Add a Touchbar to your keyboard with this sleek, infinitely customizable touchscreen gadget!





The Touchbar on the MacBook honestly felt like a solution without a concrete problem. It was designed to be a highlight feature without a highlight purpose, and was probably reduced to being something that people used just as a volume slider while watching videos. The Touchbar, in my opinion, failed because it lacked the two C’s – Context, and Customizability. CORSAIR’s iCUE NEXUS fixes that with its infinitely customizable little keyboard attachment that does anything from work as a miniature app launcher to a control panel, to even an always-on ticker tape that lets you see your computer stats or the GameStop stock price!

The CORSAIR iCUE NEXUS forms a modular add-on to CORSAIR’s line of high-end performance and gaming gear. The nifty little gadget can be used independently or snapped right to the top of a selection of CORSAIR keyboards, turning them into command-centers. Powered by the company’s iCUE software, the gadget’s screen can be entirely customized, fitting as many as 6 different buttons or modules into it to suit your needs. You can create custom layouts that change based on the program you’re running, and the capacitive-touch display lets you do everything from tapping to sliding. The screen measures 5-inches diagonally, and comes with a resolution of 640×48. The iCUE NEXUS’s power, however, lies in its contextual flexibility, letting you control practically any aspect of your computer with it. As mentioned earlier, you could use it to launch programs, but you could even control options within each program, changing features, display settings, or even controlling your computer audio with it. Moreover, it ties in with CORSAIR’s other equipment too, letting you customize and change color layouts on your keyboard, mouse, and desktop, activate or mute your headphone’s microphone, or even monitor your machine’s performance and control aspects like fan-speed, etc. With the ability to customize up to 256 screens at once, the iCUE NEXUS promises to do what the Touchbar could not. It focuses heavily on context, while giving you an infinite world of customizability.

Designer: CORSAIR

This iPhone 13 concept sports a rear camera with a 3-inch display inspired by the Mi 11 Ultra

PS Design’s iPhone 13 concept poses a pretty interesting question. Wouldn’t it be nice if your smartphone had a display on the rear that let you see what was in the frame while you clicked selfies? Sure, you’ve got the front-facing camera for selfies, but hear me out. With multiple cameras and sensors on the smartphone’s rear, one could argue that the front-facing camera is a bit of a qualitative compromise. Instead, put a tiny display on the rear and use it to click all sorts of incredible selfies, while being able to compose your shot the way you want to. It’s something Xiaomi is apparently trying out with the Mi 11 Ultra, and it’s also something most folding phones have attempted too. PS Design’s conceptual iPhone 13 sports a secondary rear display too, although it’s capable of doing a lot more than just letting you click better selfies.

A better way to describe PS Design’s iPhone 13 concept is to compare the rear display to Apple’s closest product – the Apple Watch. The 3-inch always-on rear display practically mirrors the watch’s capabilities, allowing you to see the time, notifications, and a wide variety of other data on it. The display on the rear uses Apple’s low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) technology to provide its always-on feature, and the fact that it sits right beside the main camera setup (and that it’s larger than the Mi 11 Ultra’s display), means the front of the phone can ditch the notch entirely, creating a beautifully bezel-less iPhone that leaves little to be desired.

Another feature on this conceptual device is its ceramic body… which does seem unusual for the iPhone line-up, but it borrows from Apple’s Watch series, offering high gloss, scratch-resistance, and the ability to hold onto color better (Apple’s red iPhones have shown the color fading over time). The white ceramic body does stand out well against the large black camera bump, almost making it look like the original Google Pixel smartphone (it’s a good look, tbh). Moreover, the large camera bump is coincidentally both wide and centrally aligned, which means the phone won’t rock when you place it on a flat surface… although, with that useful, always-on display on the back, you’re more likely to rest your phone with the camera bump facing upwards right at you!

Designer: PS Design