A couple days ago, I woke up, reached for my phone and felt the satisfyingly cold metal of the iPhone 6. If you have ever felt a metal phone, you know what I am talking about. There is something wondrous about the feel of metal and technology. This simple realization, that metal being the main element of a phone enhanced the experience, got me thinking about all the major design pushes in the tech industry. Apple switched from glass to a brushed metal. HTC continues to impress with its all metal designs. Even Samsung, known for it notorious design efforts, crafted a beautiful phone in the new Galaxy S6. Fashion and tech are just the newest marriage in the tech world, and why is that? Why do we now demand glass and metal when just a few years ago we wanted plastic and durability? Lets dive into the history of fashion and the cell phone and see how the two have grown over the past years.
Here is a picture of a phone I am sure you are all aware of. This is the Nokia 3310. The Brick. The 3310 was released in September of 2000, and was one of the most popular phones to ever be released (The iPhone 5S sold about 20 million units for reference). Not only was the 3310 unbelievably popular, it has gained a reputation in its own afterlife as a staple of durability. And by durability, we mean smash the phone with a sledgehammer durable. Google this phone and you will find people smashing it with everything they can find. This durability came at a price. The Nokia 3310 is ugly. There are no redeeming qualities to its rugged box design. Long after the likes of the Nokia 3310 had died, there came the smartphone. Smartphones became such an integral part of everyone’s life, eventually they have to look and feel good. Look at the iPhone 4. Before the iPhone 4 there was the Droid, and the HTC Sensation, each good phones in their own respects, but when you just looked at the phones side by side, there was no comparison. The iPhone was beautiful. With glass and sharp metal edges, the design alone guaranteed that the iPhone 4 was a hit. Apple had the first popular phone that also had a jaw dropping design. Since then the smartphone world has jumped on board and continued pushing the curve of luxurious smartphones.
Since then there have been several phones come out with amazing designs. Lets gush over them a bit, shall we?
The HTC One, and the other One..
HTC emerged as a front runner in beautiful design. It all began with the HTC One M7. The M7 had a sleek aluminum body with accents and enough room for those boomsound speakers. This phone was sure to catch stares and HTC has only improved on it. With the M8 and M9, HTC refined the design. Using a brushed metal and a wrapped uni-body design, HTC claimed this phone was, “made to draw envy.” While it may not have been enough to make the phone a good seller, the HTC design philosophy remains one of the best.
Samsung used to put almost no effort into the design of their phones. Yes, there phones were slightly ergonomical, but they were nothing to look at. That is until the newest iteration of the famed Galaxy S series. The phone is not only crazy thin, it has an all metal and glass design that looks great, in an Apple way. Oh, and the Edge version of the Galaxy S6 has a curved display that will be sure to “draw envy” in the words of HTC.
Motorola. Comfort and Ergonomic.
I am a long time favorite of Motorola phones, but only recently can I endorse their design. While the Moto X and Droid phones may not the glass and metal lookers its competitors are, Motorola phones feel made to fit into your hand. The First and Second Gen Moto X are not only the most comfortable phones Motorola has ever made, but also the best.
Apple. First and Last Word.
There is no other way to put it then to say that the last several iterations of the iPhone are beautiful pieces of hardware. I personally prefer Android, but for me there is no denying that Apple makes the most beautiful (popular) hardware in the business. The iPhone 6 is no different. From the great color options, to the beautiful accents of the phone, the new iPhone is looker. They even made the Gold version of the phone look good, which is pretty impressive in my opinion.
Overall, making your phone beautiful is now very important to the tech elites. Finally companies like Samsung had enough of people railing on their terrible design and realized that good design is no longer a extra add on that is nice to have. Looks can make the difference between phones in the eye of the consumer. So to all the phone makers, good job. This latest batch of smartphones are the most beautiful yet and the next gen looks even better.