The world of smartphones is a very interesting one to live in. Lately, smartphones have a uniform form factor because that looks like the standard. Hence making almost all phones appear identical. In the pre-smartphone era, phones could very much look like whatever the company felt was nice and catchy. We had unusual phones from the weird phone design specialist. We will discuss the top 6 most unusual smartphones in recent times.
There are a few smartphone companies that have in the last decade dared to defy the standards of today’s smartphones and have earned the name Weird or Probably Strange. Let’s discuss these outlaws of the modern smartphone kingdom.
ZTE Axon 20 5G
ZTE Axon 20 5G in their quest to release the world’s first customer-available fullscreen smartphone shocked the world when they release their upper midrange device ZTE Axon 20 5G. The company employed an under-display solution on this smartphone. It had a particular display where the usual selfie shooter was located to allow the camera to shoot out of the display. Images from the camera are not the best, but at least ZTE has it to its name.
They were the first and through this brilliant effort, other smartphone brands can perfect the technology. And we might see this becoming the new normal in a couple of years. A full display might not be weird. We’ve seen popup cameras, and retractable cameras being used to attain, this under-display camera is a bit unusual, but we think it won’t be for long.
The next on our list is a BlackBerry Passport released back in September 2014, with a screen-to-body ratio of 53. 4% and a dimension of 5.04 by 3.56 by 0.37 inches, making the screen a perfect square. The BlackBerry Passport must be the shortest widest phone ever made.
It came with Blackberries’ good old physical, tactical quirky keyboard contributing to its unconventional design. It was pretty flagship grade for its time and had some great specifications. The phone could barely be used onehanded for Blackberries never. Ending love for the physical keyboards they’ve earned the passport the chance to join our list of strange smartphones.
LG Wing 5G
We’ve moved up a step on the latter of weirdness and we’ve come across the LG Wing 5G. It’s not what you are thinking. The phone has got no wings sorry if that is what you envisioned. The LG Wing 5G is a very strange device. We’ve seen smartphones folds on the inside, and some fold from the outside. We’ve got to see phones with rollable displays being considered but in this swiveling smartphone, no one saw this coming. Revealing the LG Wing last year, LG took smartphones to a whole new level.
The wing has two displays, a full-sized display like any other device. But the catch is it has a secondary display under it, which can be revealed in a swiveling motion. The concept is interesting. You can do a major task like watching media content on the large screen while chatting or doing unrelated meager tasks on the small display.
YOTA Phone 3
For YOTA Phone 3 the concept of a dual-screen smartphone was realized way back in 2012 with the YOTA Phone without much success. The company released a follow-up device to the Yota Phone in the form of the Yota Phone 2. The phone success was nothing to write home about. Then, in 2017, a Yota Phone 3 was released. It suffered the same fate as its predecessors. People weren’t interested and it was expensive as compared to other devices of its time. The device had two displays, one on the front and the other on the back. The front had an average 5.5 inches screen and the secondary display in the back had an always-on grayscale capacitive touchscreen, which was 5.2 inches in size.
The concept the company tried to push was that one could use the normal display for their day-to-day tasks, or could use a secondary Grayscale Kindle-like display for tasks such as reading and displaying time, date, and other extras to save battery and provide a less intrusive experience when the phone wasn’t in use. This made the phone quite unusual at that time and it’s even weirder now. The Yoda Phone Three is the last we might have seen from this company. It was reported by The Verge in 2019 that the company had gone bankrupt.
The Cyrcle Phone of the Consumer Electronic show CES 2020 a circular smartphone with two headphones Jacks was revealed. Yet you heard it right a circular phone. What will push a company to try a Circle as a smartphone form factor? The bizarre device called Cyrcle Phone had a circular display, and it looked much like a compact mirror. On its website, Circle explained.
The new Cyrcle Phone is designed to encourage real-life connections through technology. With two headphones ax, sharing is the new black. It seems the company seeks to promote the idea of sharing because in this day and age, where it’s only at a sheer lock that you would find a flagship phone with a headphone jack. The phone can boast not only one but two headphone Jacks. This was seriously strange, but I doubt if the concept phone is ever going to be in the hands of consumers since 2020. We’ve really not seen anything from them.
Xiaomi MI Mix Alpha
Xiaomi MI Mix Alpha moving on to the tech giant Xiaomi, the company unveiled the smartphone with almost a full wraparound display at 7.92 inches. The vibrant Supera mold display used wraps around the edges and nearly spans the entire width of both sides. The phone replaces the traditional volume rockers. With virtual ones, the Power button stays on the top of the device.
The only part of the device that wasn’t a display was a Sapphire vertical strip placed on the rear. It housed the cameras and the antennas of the device. It was scheduled to release in December 2019, but we think Xiaomi has no plans to release the phone because of some manufacturing complexities and the obvious flaws of the device. The list is strange devices in recent years is an interesting one to look through and the list never really ends.
It’s always interesting to see companies experiment with other form factors. At least it gives us a break from the more boring-looking, traditional handsets. The feeling is quite comforting to know some smartphone companies try out new concepts, even with huge risks involved, and yet still break the laws of standard smartphones to give their customer something different. The crazy ride through the crazy town ends here.