Concept phones we wish were real in 2012

Smartphone-lovers are a fortunate bunch right now; if the Apple iPhone 4 doesn’t take your fancy, there’s plenty of Android phone alternatives, and if neither of those options satisfy your mobile needs either, a slew of new Windows Phone 7 handsets might just win you over instead.

If you’re still not inspired, there will no doubt be a slew of new handsets hitting shelves in the months after Mobile World Congress.

Despite this veritable barrage of all-doing, app-consuming devices, there are those who are already dreaming up how the next must-have mobile could take shape. From the creative minds of some of the industry’s leading innovators, to the imaginations of design students, here’s our pick of the concept phones we’d love to see created. 



1. iPhone 5 concept

We are currently no nearer to knowing when the next generation Apple smartphone is going to land, so until then we’ll have to make do with visions of the iPhone 5 through the eyes of designers like Federico Ciccarese. This stunningly gorgeous take on the iPhone 5 has taken on board many of the rumoured specs while including some of the signature iPhone features like the home button and volume controls. With an Apple Magic Mouse-inspired body, a slightly repositioned headphone jack and the all important Retina Display, we can only wonder if Jonny Ive and the Apple team are dreaming out of the same creative brain.

Link: Ciccarese Design

2. Blackberry Flex concept phone

This Blackberry concept is built around a striking wrap-around flexible screen, that recognises the difference between you trying to call a mate and simply fumbling around for it in your pocket. The flexible screen also means that the phone is very light, and with both the front and the back of the phone usable, you can separate your tasks without having to fiddle about with different windows.

Link: Yanko Design

3. HTC Magnesium Unibody concept phone

Rybarczyk Francois has created this concept with battery life firmly in mind. The magnesium unibody of the smartphone allows you to slot an extra battery module into the back of the handset. This module can be pre-charged, or can charge whilst embedded in the phone via an AC charger. Even if the extra battery is not attached, the phone has a primary battery that works as normal. This idea is obviously not a new one, but the implementation is clean and stylish, and that is definitely a first.

Link: Read more

4. LG Exo concept phone

In the LG Exo, designer Benjamin Lotte has pulled together a concept for an immensely strong phone that can withstand a huge amount of punishment. The secret? The handset is actually curved and contains an exoskeleton, both of which allow it to absorb the energy from impacts that would shatter any ‘normal’ phone.

Link: Coroflot

5. LG Leaf concept phone

The Leaf, in case you hadn’t already guessed, is all about eco-friendly credentials. Designer Terrillo Wells has integrated solar panels into the phones reused plastic casing, giving you a semi-sustainable way of keeping the battery topped up. With front and back facing cameras and what must be a sizeable touch-screen, the LG leaf is a modern concept with an eye on its own carbon footprint.

6. Nagisa concept phone

Japanese designer Mac Funamizu has come up with this surf-inspired phone concept, appropriately named the ‘Nagisa’ (nagisa being Japanese for ‘beach’). The keypad is raised, and laid out to resembled a wavy seabed, whilst the beautiful wrap-around screen is incredibly ocean-like. The form in general is a thing of beauty, and from top to bottom the phone realises its inspiration in spectacular fashion.

Link: Yanko Design

7. Go concept phone

With plenty to tantalize our tech taste buds, the ‘Go’ Uses a flexible OLED touch display, with a sliding body that houses the mode keys as well as a camera. To alert you to a flat out battery, the phone will light up red at the back notifying you to charge up, while a flashing white handset means you have an incoming call.

Link: Read more 

8. Philips Fluid concept phone

Brazilian designer Dinard da Mata poses the prospect of a beautifully stunning bendy OLED device with bright, high-res image quality, PlayStation styled gaming controls and an exciting looking user interface. The Philips Fluid also sports a tiles based app menu and curved handset form.

Link: Read More

9. BlackBerry concept phone

A Future BB? Possibly not, but it hasn’t stopped the guys at dreaming up a handset that removes the side buttons, keyboard and audio jacks opting instead for an all-touch design.


10. Nokia 888

Crafted by design student Tame Nakisci, this bendy concept is worn like a wristband, is powered by liquid batteries and can send E-motions when you have fallen out with your lady. Other notable features of the 888 include a bendable touchscreen, a touch-sensitive body cover and all important speech recognition capability.

Link: Nokia 888

11. Revive concept phone

With extreme green credentials the Revive smartphone designed by Kinneir Dufort combined with a UI devised by Duncan Shotton, owners will be able to take the handset apart to upgrade over and over again. Specs include a 10 megapixel camera, 3x zoom and a leather back for extra comfort.

Link: Kinneir Dufort

12. Nokia U concept

Dubbed the Nokia U, this concept handset was cobbled together as part of a Design By Community project, with Nokia fanatics dreaming up the sleek cell and its top-end spec sheet. The design which is reminiscent of the Nokia N8, albeit sleeker and with an apparently metal finish. The specs sound stellar, with a 4-inch capacitive touchscreen, HDMI, USB 3.0 skills, Dolby Surround Sound and an 8 megapixel snapper with 4x optical zoom.

Link: Read more

13. NOT A Phone – Next Generation iPhone

On a scale of 1 to 10 on whether this will be the next iPhone, we are probably looking at minus digits, but in a future far, far away it could be a little more feasible. Designer Samuel Lee Kwon thinks Apple’s smartphone will one day work like a projector lifting the interface onto your palm as you scroll through screens right on your hand.

Link: Yanko Design

14. HTC 1

The Desire-makers by no means struggle to serve up sleek-looking handsets, but designer Andrew Kim still thinks things can get even sexier. Made from machined brass the ‘HTC 1’ concept also has a hidden speaker and a kickstand that will turn your phone into an alarm clock.

Link: Design Fabulous

15. HTC Gemstone

Should HTC ever opt to go down the luxuriously expensive route, designer Sylvain Gerber will hope they take a leaf out of his luxurious book with the HTC Gemstone concept that sports an AMOLED screen and borrows design elements from the HTC Touch Diamond 1 and 2.

Link: Sly Art

16. Kyocera EOS folding concept phone

An OLED gadget for the future, adventurous designers at Kyocera have thought up this mobile phone creation that folds up like a clutch handbag. A flexible OLED screen will be its focal party piece, accompanied by such innovative functions as a kinetic energy power source, so you never have to charge your battery from the mains adaptor again.

Link: Read more

17. LG Eagle

With a design inspired by the hooked beak bird, the ‘Eagle’ concept sports dual multi-touch screens to make it ideally suited for mobile gaming and outer buttons to control the phone without having to flip it.

Unfortunately for designer Euguene Kim, the Eagle did not make the cut for the LG electronic design competition. Maybe next year…

Link: Tuvie

18. Nokia Kinetic

British designer Jeremy Innes-Hopkins thinks he has painted the future of Nokia with the handset that is all about movement. The sizeable posterior contains an electro-magnet and holds a camera The magnet moves, shifting the weight distribution and allowing the phone to effectively ‘stand up’ on its own. This allows for a rather novel way to interact with the phone, to reject a call, you simply tap the phone and it will retreat back to its original position.

Link: Read more

19. Mobile Script

Designer Aleksander Mukomelov puts his visual case forward for a futuristic phone with the dual-touchscreen Mobile Script.

The ‘main’ big screen is made from two layers: an OLED touchscreen and a soft nano material that stiffens with a low voltage charge. The nano material converts solar energy into power for the phone, so that it never has to be hooked up when it’s out of juice. The accompanying smaller screen is crafted in a candy bar style design.

Link: Industrial Design Served


20. Mozilla Seabird 2D

Firefox browser-creators unleashed the Seabird concept which arrives courtesy of Mozilla Labs community member Billy May.

Notable features of the design inspired by ‘various aerodynamic, avian and decidedly feminine forms’, include dual pico projectors, a pop-out wireless pointer, wireless charging and a Bluetooth headset.

Link: Mozillalabs

Source: T3