Vivo X80 Pro design highlights the cameras in an awkward way

There are many ways to put the visual focus on a smartphone’s camera, and some designs stand out in less than pleasing ways.

While Samsung seems to be focused on making its foldable phones more acceptable and sellable in mainstream markets, other brands continue to play the mobile photography card that has never lost its luster in the past few years. Hardware for these cameras continues to impress with new technologies and features that try to outdo or at least match those on professional cameras. In order to emphasize the role these cameras play, some phone makers have embraced designs that make the lenses the visual focus of a phone’s back. In some cases, the strategy works, but there are also instances like the Vivo X80 Pro that does have you staring at that camera bump, but probably not in a good way.

Designer: Vivo

In general, there are two ways to call attention to something. You either make it so beautiful that people can’t help but marvel at it, or you make it so perplexing that people are left scratching their heads. To be fair, the Vivo X80 Pro’s camera design isn’t on either extreme, but its “circle in a box” takes its oddest turn here. Fortunately, the phone isn’t all talk.

Vivo likens this motif as resembling traditional cameras, where the lens is enclosed in a circle that’s a bit off-center of a larger rectangular box. Of course, a camera’s lens and sensor are more in the middle, and the entire camera design is well-balanced despite how some parts look larger and longer than others. There’s really not much choice there since the camera has to be ergonomically balanced, or else it will be difficult to hold up and use, especially with just one hand.

In contrast, the Vivo X80 Pro’s camera design seems to revolve around the idea of asymmetry and imbalance. Although it has used this motif in other models, like the Vivo X Note, the Vivo X Fold, and the non-Pro Vivo X80, it looks more awkward and almost cluttered here with more elements to accommodate. In order to keep the design consistent between those four 2022 models, Vivo opted to keep the “extra” 8MP periscope telephoto camera out of that circle. The result is that the rectangular island extends well below the circle to accommodate that square lens on its own row, unlike the others that have a tight fit on the top and bottom edges of the circular enclosure.

Even the position of that periscope camera itself is awkward and could trigger some people with OCD tendencies. It sits on its own, not aligned with any other visual object horizontally or vertically. It’s almost as if the designers couldn’t really decide where to place the camera best and just used an empty space there. For the record, the right side of the camera array is nearly empty save for the LED flash and branding. There is a case to be said for the proper use of white space, but there’s also a matter of wasted space.

To its credit, the Vivo X80 Pro seems to at least deliver all the photography prowess it promises, and owners will be more focused on taking photos and recording videos rather than staring at the cameras on the phone’s back. That said, Vivo could have probably done better, especially to maximize the space it can use, even if it meant deviating a bit from the Vivo X80 and their cousins. Then again, Vivo could have also done worse, like the Honor Magic 4 Ultimate and the upcoming Xiaomi 12 Ultra, both of which put a large wart with many holes in the middle of the phone’s back face.

Designer: Honor

Designer: Xiaomi (via /LEAKS)

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Sony Xperia 1 IV proves that speed is everything when it comes to camera phones

Sony remains a popular brand in consumer electronics. It’s one of those few tech giants that has entered multiple industries, from entertainment to gaming to appliances to mobile devices.

Sony hasn’t left the smartphone arena, and we believe it will continue to do so until people patronize the Xperia line. This smartphone series is a favorite among mobile photography enthusiasts for its professional and DSLR-level features. The latest is the Xperia 1 IV, another powerful premium phone running on Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor.

Designer: Sony

Sony Xperia 1 IV Features

The Xperia phone series’ aesthetics have not changed much, but this new model reminds us a bit of an iPhone. There is no more of that familiar pointed boxy form because the corners are now curved. If you know the Sony Xperia 5 III, this new phone looks more like it, especially with the same pill-shaped camera module.

The Xperia 1 IV is expensive compared to the latest flagship phones in the market. It costs $1,600, which is about the same price as a premium foldable smartphone. This flagship device has a 6.5-inch 4K OLED screen 120Hz refresh rate and a 21:9 aspect ratio. It uses Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset with 512GB storage and 12GB of RAM. The onboard memory is expandable up to 1TB with a microSD card.

Sony Xperia 1 IV Features

The Xperia 1 IV boasts a triple camera system on the rear when it comes to imaging. All lenses are 12MP but come with 16mm ultra-wide 16mm + 24mm wide-angle 24mm+ telephoto with 85-125mm true optical zoom. This means shooting with zoom will yield improved results.

The phone runs on a 5000mAh battery with wireless and fast charging support. Mobile security is accessible via the power button with an embedded fingerprint scanner. Other features include a dedicated camera shutter button, dual front-facing speakers, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Sony Xperia 1 IV Design

The Music Pro enhances the audio experience as it can record songs studio-style. The phone can capture 4K HDR 120fps video on all cameras. There’s also live video streaming, Eye AF, and Object tracking technologies. The latter can be helpful to videographers as the camera features are easy to understand and operate. Object Tracking helps in tracking a moving subject automatically. The feature helps keep objects in sharp focus even if they are not still.

Sony Xperia 1 IV Details

The phone also features built-in live streaming features for mobile gamers and videographers. Specifically, the Videography Pro features are for creative control in video streaming and recording. The display is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass VictuS and IP65/68 water resistance. There’s also the standard Bluetooth connectivity, 3.5mm headphone jack, and full-stage stereo speakers. The 360 Reality Audio support is also available and very evident with the full-stage front-facing stereo speakers.

Sony Xperia 1 IV Images

Sony Xperia 1 IV

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This smartphone lock physically prevents you from using your phone while studying or working

Designed to curb your screen addiction, disConnect is an absurdly clever timer-based phone lock that basically goes ‘facehugger’ on your smartphone’s screen, preventing you from using it. While I personally have enough self-restraint to not need such a device, the disConnect is arguably for serious phone addicts, Twitter junkies (you know who you are), and kids who should be studying instead of aimlessly scrolling on TikTok.

Designed originally as an entry into the Braun Prize, Joao Pereira sought to find a more fool-proof, analog way to keep you from using your smartphone. Sure, you could try stuff like having app locks, app timers, or just plain shutting down the WiFi, but there’s really no escaping with the disConnect. It’s designed to physically obstruct your phone’s touchscreen, so sure, you can use it if you want, but all you’re really going to be able to see are the four corners of your display. Handy if you want to check the time or your battery. Useless if you want to try doing anything else (chances are you won’t even be able to unlock your smartphone, since the disConnect will probably block the fingerprint reader or your front-facing camera!

Designer: Joao Pereira

The way disConnect works is pretty elementary. Strap your smartphone in and set a timer, and the disConnect keeps your phone locked in its fabric bands until the timer ends. The disConnect works with more than just one phone too. Stack as many as 4 smartphones together and secure the strap, and you’ve effectively got yourself the perfect dinner party or movie night without you or your friends being bummers and staring at their phones. Want to pre-emptively unlock your smartphone (in case you get an important call or text), simple – enter the unlock PIN and the disConnect comes apart, letting you use your phone normally again!

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Top 10 Apple-inspired designs for tech lovers to drool over

Since its foundation in 1976, Apple has been always been at the peak of modern innovation! And let’s take a moment to appreciate all the awesome products and inspiration Apple has provided us with. The groundbreaking tech giant never fails to surprise us, we always find ourselves biting our nails and squirming with curiosity, whenever Apple announces a new product launch! Their ingenious and mesmerizing designs and design philosophy have inspired and influenced designers all over the world, resulting in some pretty unique Apple-inspired designs! From an Apple game console concept to a 2022 MacBook Air render – these mind-blowing designs are the best of the lot and a dream for every Apple lover. Although we’re pretty satisfied with Apple’s latest launches, we can’t help but just hope that Apple converts these into a reality soon as well!

1. 2022 MacBook Air Concept

If you have been following Apple leaks, you would be aware that the MacBook Air is expected in multiple colors, which is more than the gold, silver, and space grays we are used to. The new MacBook Air could roll out in a multitude of hues that would match the iMac colors. Taking leverage to show off the new MacBook Air renders in multiple colors, the YouTuber has created a design of the device to match that of the 14-inch MacBook Pro with the rounded body. This is done to unify the entire MacBook lineup to look the same, which would be Apple’s idea too, as it has followed a unified design approach for the entire MacBook Air lineup in the past.

2. Apple game console concept

Built for peak gaming performance along with tactically placed joystick, buttons, and shoulder triggers; the Apple handheld console comes with complimentary photography and video shooting capabilities. It’s loaded with a rear camera sensor and a front camera as well. The latter will come in handy for live game streaming on the fly. The front-facing speakers are positioned on the top left and right corners for surround sound effects while identifying the muffled enemy’s footsteps.

3. AirPods Pro 2022 model

In line with the leaks and speculations about Apple’s upcoming flagship earbuds, designer Konstantin Milenin has created this concept AirPods Pro 2022 model to give our imagination a tangible form. The stemless design of the audio accessories looks minimal and compact. The charging case also gets a flatter design to accommodate these little earbuds. Unlike the current version, these lay flat on their belly like a clamshell design, and don’t have an upright stance. This will mean, a lot less space needed to stash them in your pocket or keep them in the bag pack.

4. iPhone Air

Before Apple perfects the iPhone that flips probably like the Motorola Razr, Antonio shows “iPhone Air”, a premium iPhone Flip with an iPhone 13 Pro-like, triple camera module. Next to the flagship-level camera array is the secondary display to show notifications when the iPhone is flipped close. When flipped open, the iPhone has a large, lively display with a punch-hole camera alongside a longer cutout for sensors. The display looks as large as the rumored 8-inches with 144Hz screen refresh rates. This is indicative of Apple’s intention to offer iPhone Flip with a screen that’s larger than on the regular iPhone Pro Max variants. We love the conceptual interpretation of floating rumors in this iPhone Flip design, but the peculiar hinge distinction on the back is a put-off for me.

5. Macintosh Pocket

This Macintosh Pocket isn’t a simple rehash of that failed concept, though. Instead, it takes its DNA from two unlikely sources. On one side, you have a QWERTY keyboard in a cramped space that has become synonymous with BlackBerry. On another side, you have the two-step chassis of a Game Boy Pocket of that generation, hence the “Pocket” in the concept’s name. At the same time, you still have the telltale design language of Apple from the late 80s to early 90s, like that off-white color scheme and Macintosh keycaps.

6. Apple Arcade Pro

The Apple Arcade app/service may seem like a half-baked effort on Apple’s part to enter the gaming industry. One could argue that Apple doesn’t even care about gamers or gaming beyond the odd Monument Valley or AR-based game that they’ve showcased at their keynotes. However, the Apple Arcade Pro changes ALL of that. Designed as a hardware concept that rivals the Nintendo Switch, Steam Deck, or any of the Android-based gaming phones, the Apple Arcade Pro is a handheld console modeled on the iPhone, however with not one but TWO notches that allow the console to have its own button layouts.

7. Mac Mini Concept

An interesting concept design by Qocept Graphics gives us a purview of the Mac mini design for this year with very subtle modifications on the outside and some major improvements on the inside. The size on this one reduces the footprint a tad with dimensions of 13.5cm in width and length, and a 3cm thickness – making it the thinnest Mac thus far. To provide extra protection to the aluminum body, and a premium overall feel, the Mac mini concept gets a 2cm thin acrylic enclosure. This also raises the machine slightly above the work surface for active dissipation of heat.

8.  27″ iMac Pro

This iMac concept by Khahn Design features a 27″ mini LED display with ProMotion technology. It also boasts darker yet slimmer bezels, 16GB RAM, and 512GB of storage. Other features include – an HDMI port, an SD card slot, and several USB-C/Thunderbolt ports. An Ethernet port on the power adaptor is also an added bonus. It does look a little similar to the 24″ ‌iMac‌ and the Pro Display XDR. What do you think?

9. Portable M1 Mac Mini concept

Designer Scott Yu-Jan took to YouTube with an idea of a portable M1 Mac Mini, that paired with an iPad Mini, can be a MacBook alternative for the heavy-duty workaholics who would want to enjoy the power of M1 on the go without owning a MacBook. The DIYer, designer, and creator has made the Mac Mini really portable so that it would allow you to take your M1-powered workstation anywhere and use it conveniently as long as you can plug it into a socket.

10. Fresco XL

The suffix XL in Fresco XL comes from the fact that even though the car looks like a compact minivan, it is, in fact, an 8-seater sedan, designed to perform as an all-weather, off-roader too. Is it trying to disrupt the sedan category the way the Tesla Cybertruck disrupted the pickup-truck category? Well, probably. The car looks more like an abstraction of a Daft Punk helmet than an automobile, and sports absolutely no branding on it aside from the minimal Fresco logo embossed on the front and back. In fact, the logo isn’t even visible until you see it against angled light. The purpose, one could assume, is to ensure the design of the car does the talking.

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No this isn’t a modular Project Ara phone – its grid-based design was inspired Manet and Mondrian

If you think about it, the back of your phone is really its defining visual element. Virtually every phone looks identical on the front, but flip it over and you’re faced with an empty canvas that most phone designers use to set their phones apart. Designers do this using a few proven techniques, namely color palettes, and the shape/placement of the camera lenses. The Polychromatic Mobile Phone ups this ante.

Using patterns and light to define how unique your phone looks, the Polychromatic Mobile Phone comes with a rather Mondrian-inspired grid of pearlescent swatches that change colors based on whether it’s exposed to UV light or not. At first glance, the Polychromatic phone instantly reminds one of Google’s Project Ara… however as Google quietly killed that endeavor citing complex issues, the team at Tecno Camon looked at the Ara’s distinct design (courtesy NewDealDesign) and noticed how incredibly captivating that grid pattern was. Combining that with inspiration from French painter Edouard Manet, who brought light into painting and is credited with creating the Impressionist art movement, Tecno Camon created the Polychromatic Mobile Phone’s design – a striking grid-based rear design that’s also UV light-responsive, changing colors/tints when exposed to ultraviolet light.

Designer: Tecno Camon 19 Pro Design Team

The Polychromatic Mobile Phone looks like a plain white grid when in normal light, but as soon as it’s exposed to any form of ultraviolet light From the sun or a tube light, the colors dramatically shift, giving the phone a wash of pink and blue. “Multi-color photoisomer technology, which means the cell phone battery cover appears white when it is not exposed to UV light under interior area,“ mentions the Tecno Camon design team. ”When the mobile phone is taken outdoors and exposed to sunlight, the color of the mobile phone battery cover shows different color blocks.”

Achieving this unique technique took 500 different iterations, and the final outcome was the result of a painstaking 22-step process performed on the nanometer level. This process breaks through the technical limitations of what’s really possible with smartphone design. Having a phone’s color and finish react to UV light is surely no small feat, and as a result, you get a phone that transcends contemporary smartphone design, bordering into technological art!

The Polychromatic Mobile Phone is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2022.

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Pixel 6a and Pixel 7 cement Google’s design language

The smartphone market is often characterized as fast-paced, frantic, and whimsical, with features and designs getting changed almost every year. While that helps keep products look fresh and allows companies to experiment with new ideas faster, it also makes it difficult for people to form familiarity and confidence in these products. Apple is the lone exception, as always, and sticks to its designs longer to build brand loyalty. Other manufacturers have started to realize the wisdom of staying put, even just for two generations or three, especially when they come across a design style that uniquely works for them. That seems to be the case with Google’s latest generation of Pixel devices, establishing what will hopefully be Google’s signature look until 2024 at least.

Designer: Google

Even before Google launched the Pixel 6 last year, the designs that were leaked already sparked interest and praise across the Interwebs. The form was unique, non-conformist, and quirky, traits that could be used to describe Google or at least Google in its youth. Just like the first Google Pixel phone, the new Pixel 6 design exuded a more humane and approachable appearance that belied that hard power that is crammed inside the phone.

The Pixel 6 continues this aesthetic with almost no modification. It has the exact same visor-like camera bump and dual-tone color split. The only difference, which most people might not know, is that the camera bump is always black, no matter the colorway you pick. More importantly, however, the Pixel 6a also partakes in most of the same hardware, particularly the Tensor processor, that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro use at a more approachable $449 price tag.

Perhaps trying to beach leaks to the punch, Google uncharacteristically also revealed the design of the Pixel 7, which looks a lot like the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, too. There are more visible differences now, with the camera lenses visibly separate from the rest of the camera bump and a more uniform color scheme. Despite those modifications, it’s not hard to pick out the Pixel 7 from a lineup, at least if it’s face down and showing its unique back.

The Pixel Buds Pro does deviate a bit from Google’s earbuds design for the past year or so. Whereas the Pixel Buds 2 and Pixel Buds A both sport “wings” to aid in fitting the buds into ears, the Pixel Buds Pro’s shell is more streamlined and more refined. Just like their predecessors, the buds come with a vertically oriented charging case, and just like their predecessors, it carries a dual-tone color scheme. All color options have a black body and differ only in the outer touch surface.

Google is clearly aiming for a more consistent and more identifiable branding with its latest products, and hopefully, that will continue to be the case even after the Pixel 7 launches later this year. The one outlier, however, seems to be the still-unnamed Pixel tablet that will launch in 2023, though there’s hope that Google will change directions before then. A bit more interesting will be the Pixel Watch, Google’s first-ever first-party smartwatch, with a design that some have already mocked as a “round Apple Watch.” It does fit in with Google’s use of smooth, curved surfaces and the duality of colors and materials, but we’ll have to wait until Fall to see who it plays in practice.

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Google unveils Pixel 7 in a rare move at the Google I/O 2022 Keynote

In a pretty unprecedented move at today’s Google I/O, the company gave a sneak peek at a phone that’s months away from being launched. Unlike other tech giants (especially looking at you, Apple) that keep their upcoming projects incredibly well-guarded secrets, Google just decided to rip the old bandaid instead of having people play the speculation game. Along with the Pixel 6A (which really quickly became stale news), Google’s Brian Rakowski also presented the world with a ‘first look’ at the Pixel 7, due this fall. The 7 follows the unique camera bumper style of the Pixel 6, but cuts its visual mass by providing ‘eye-shaped’ outlines around the cameras. The bump still exists, but there’s a cutout within the bump, adding an extra visual element to the phone. I’ll let you decide whether you like it or not. Me? Well, I honestly think it’s refreshing, but I belong to the group of people who wants to see phones reinvent THEMSELVES, not just their camera bumps.

Designer: Google

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ZTE Axon 40 Ultra takes another stab at the full-screen phone design

We might finally be close to reaching the point where there is little to no sacrifice needed just to hide that unavoidable selfie camera.

When we use our smartphones, 90% of the time, we spend it on the screen, either looking at it or touching it. Even when using the phone’s cameras, we still use the screen as a large viewfinder to frame the perfect shot. It’s not surprising, then, that almost all smartphone users and manufacturers want the front of the device to really be all about the screen and only about the screen. Due to limitations in technology and manufacturing, however, that wasn’t the case until recently. There is no shortage of attempts to banish any and all notches and holes from the phone’s face, but not all of them have ended happily. ZTE hasn’t given up yet, though, and the third time might really be the charm as it tries to prove that it has finally nailed down that elusive Under-Display Camera trick.

Designer: ZTE

There’s something almost disconcerting about seeing a hole or a cutout on your screen. Sure, your mind will eventually filter it out and become blind to it, part of the miracle of our human brains, but every now and then, it will call attention to itself and distract us. A lot of designers and engineers now want to wage war against those notches, but those didn’t exist until just a few years ago. It wasn’t really until smartphone makers tried to be smart and increase the space occupied by screens that they had to resort to cutouts.

Under-display cameras or UDCs are, to some extent, a solution to a problem of our own making. We wanted the best of both worlds, a full-screen phone with a good front-facing camera, but didn’t have the ability to deliver until recently. Even Samsung, a long-time player in this market, walked away with egg on its face for a disappointing first try, especially after ZTE has already seemingly perfected its UDC game.

The newly announced ZTE Axon 40 Ultra, at first, looks almost like more of the same things, just with slight improvements that widen the brand’s lead in this department. The highlight is, of course, the fact that you can’t even see where the front camera is hiding underneath the screen, not unless you inspect it very closely. There is still some debate whether the output of that front-facing 16MP camera will be decent enough, but it definitely can’t do worse than what Samsung put underneath the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s flexible display.

The Axon 40 Ultra isn’t just a rehash of the past two years, though, but you might find its new design oddly familiar at the same time. It finally says goodbye to the flat screens of its predecessors and makes its 6.8-inch AMOLED panel wrap to the sides with a gentle curve, meeting the equally curved edges of the back glass panel. The top and bottom edges, in contrast, are completely flat, so don’t be surprised if parallels to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra are drawn, especially considering the same suffix.

While the front of the phone is beautiful because of its clean and seamless surface, the same can’t be said of its back. The camera bump looks larger than it needs to be, with lots of empty space devoted to labels. Curiously, ZTE takes it even further with a small “tab” that peeks out of that structure, an embellishment with no other purpose than the have yet another area for branding. Then again, that’s not surprising given today’s smartphone design trends, and, thankfully, we spend most of our time looking at the front of our phones rather than their backs.

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Samsung Display teases a future filled with foldable and slidable devices

We are so dependent on screens and displays these days, even just for looking at content. Most of the things we need to see every day are often displayed on computer monitors, TVs, and our phones. With more content and more data coming into our lives, it’s almost like we can’t have enough screens around us. In the somewhat distant future, every surface might indeed have a display, an interactive display even, but there are still plenty of technological and psychological hurdles before we get there. In the meantime, Samsung is more than happy to fill our world today with screens that can fold, roll, or even slide in order to give us as much display real estate as we need without forcing us to carry large backpacks or briefcases just to fit a 12-inch tablet.

Designer: Samsung

It isn’t time yet for a new foldable phone, but it’s Display Week 2022 in sunny San Jose, California, and Samsung isn’t going to miss out on the opportunity to show off what it has been cooking behind closed doors. Then again, some of these aren’t particularly new to our eyes, given how they’ve been prefigured by patents and even revealed by Samsung a few months ago. And given how these are already on display for the public to see, they’re more likely to arrive in the next few years rather than the next decades.

Fold it Your Way

Foldable phones are no longer alien to us now, but they’re still novel enough to be seen with some suspicion and apprehension. As marvelous as these may be from an engineering point of view, we’ve barely scratched the surface. Earlier this year, Samsung showed off its Flex G and Flex S foldable screens in action, and this week it’s reminding everyone who will listen to what these flexible displays can offer, presuming they actually become products.

The Flex G, for example, can either be a large screen that folds down twice into a more bag-friendly form, or it could be a makeshift laptop, with one-third of the screen as the keyboard and the other two-thirds for the display. The Flex S, on the other hand, can fold in opposite directions, forming a Z or S shape, and it’s easy enough to imagine it as a phone that transforms into a true tablet or vice versa. Both designs have been spotted before, both in patents and in prototypes, but Samsung might be more confident now to move forward and bring these displays to commercial products.

Let it Slide

The newest member of its gallery, however, is its “slidable” screens. Technically a combination of a sliding mechanism and a rollable display, this technology allows a device to expand its screen space without drastically changing the form of the device. A phone, for example, can remain a phone while its top slide out to show a bit more content. Given how tall smartphones are these days, that’s not exactly a big leap in form factors.

Similarly, an 8.1-inch tablet that suddenly has its sides slide out to expand to a 12.4-inch screen won’t drastically change the way you use the device. You just have more space for content or possibly more apps side-by-side. This kind of shape-shifting device might be a bit more approachable to consumers compared to foldables since it doesn’t require them to switch between modes or mindsets. Whether these are more robust than folding screens, however, remains to be seen.

For the Rest of Us

Truth be told, only a small fraction of today’s smartphone-using population has embraced foldables. There are a variety of reasons to hold off from those, with durability and price being the strongest deterrents. Until Samsung and other manufacturers have sufficiently addressed those concerns, foldables, rollables, slidables, and other -able displays will remain novelties and luxuries that could eventually die off as fads.

Of course, Samsung hasn’t completely forgotten about common people and has a few of its more normal but more usable innovations also on display, no pun intended. Amusingly, its latest QD-Display technology also stands as a testament to how technology, marketing, and even design go back and forth like a pendulum. The display market swings between LCD and OLED technologies every so often, sometimes with different marketing names and tweaks like MicroLED and Quantum Dots, in an attempt to get buyers’ attention and money. Samsung’s QD-Display TVs and monitors are just about to roll out to the public, so we’ll see soon enough what that buzz is all about.

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Braun “What if Phone” checks all the boxes for a likeable rugged design

Rugged phones are on the top of the list of people who are in professions that carry the risk of device damage, and thankfully, there are some good options on the market. So, how about having a newbie in this niche segment with a very measured design that could win hearts?

Smartphones of today are sleek gadgets with bezel-less screens and slim form factor to go with our stylish lifestyle. The evolution from a monochrome screen with thick bezels and a fat body into the current shape has been rather mind-boggling with the next big avenue being the folding and rollable phones. In this landscape, a designer imagines a smartphone by Braun, a company only known for its industrial product designs from the mid-20th century with chart-topping products including electric shavers and record players.

Designer: 葉 泓廷

If ever Braun was to jump into the consumer electronics market with its own smartphone, then the device for sure is going to be rugged and built to last a lifetime. Taking a detour from their current product line looks highly improbable, but in the concept design world, anything is possible. I see the Braun What if Phone taking on the likes of Doogee, CAT, Blackview or Ulefone. The USP here is the more compact design in a very slim chassis. While all the other market-leading options for rugged phones look more like an armored vehicle, this one maintains its thin style quo.

The thick bezels on the top and bottom of the screen are old school, and by common knowledge will only appeal to a certain niche section of the market. Although that doesn’t take away its persona as a minimalistic device, just like the iPhone SE. One unique feature that instantly caught my eye is the hybrid shape, wherein, the top has slightly edgy corners, and the bottom has the typical iPhone 13 contour.  The designer imagines the Braun phone to be draped in white, black and silver-colored hues.

The speakers are positioned at the front bottom section alongside the fingerprint scanner which lies outside the screen area. The same goes with the selfie camera which is positioned at the top middle. Moving on to the rear, the industrial design takes precedence with the riveted back and that peculiar dual camera lens setup. This brings in a robust character both visually and functionally. On the sides, the yellow power button and the green volume rocker buttons on the other side add a bit of zing to the overall balanced design of this phone.

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