From feature phones to smartphones, flat screen to curved, fragile to shatterproof, mobile phones have evolved over the years. Although many industry analysts would like to call the current level of innovation reaching a stagnation point, there still are some manufacturers which have been able to surprise consumers by truly packing something different in their smartphones.
We have compiled a list of phones which offer first-of-its-kind features, and they are not merely concepts.
1. Motorola X force - Shatterproof display
Display today is the most vulnerable yet the most neglected element in modern smartphones. But Motorola finally paid heed to the fragile screen with the launch of the the Motorola X Force – the world’s first smartphone with a shatterproof display. The phone uses the Moto ShatterShield display technology, which is said to be an integrated system consisting of five layers designed from materials that absorb shock from impact and are guaranteed not to shatter. Motorola has replaced glass with various forms of plastic to make the screen shatterproof. We had ourselves tested the durability of the phone.
2. Jupiter IO 3 - Smokable Phone
Giving a completely new twist to the idea of e-cigarettes, a US-based company Vaporcade unveiled what is touted as the world's first smartphone that you can smoke. The Jupiter IO 3 comes with a battery-powered vape and a button to regulate the heat and get a stronger pull. The quirky smartphone has an opening on the top where one could attach a flavoured liquid cartridge with a mouthpiece and smoke right from the device. The device not only functions as a way to quit smoking but is 3G-enabled and thus, lets you place calls, text, browse the web like any regular smartphone.
3. LG G5 - Modular Phone
A modular smartphone is made out of separate components, which enables users to replace or upgrade certain functions independently. With LG’s G5, the first modular flagship, users will be able to pop out the phone's bottom and swap in new hardware features. Adding onto the uniqueness, the phone also features dual rear cameras and an always-on display. The phone will be launched in India sometime this quarter.
4. Sony Z5 - 4K display
Pumping more pixels per inch resolution onto a smartphone display is what makes Sony stand out with its Z5 which is the world’s first smartphone that boasts a 4K display. A 4K display is sharper and scales up your images or videos to a higher quality. The 5.5-inch display on the Sony Z5 packs in four times the resolution of Full HD with 806 ppi for ultra sharp viewing experience.
5. Saygus V Squared - Two microSD card slots
How much storage is too much storage? Saygus – an American smartphone maker – is offering not one but two memory card slots, each a bumper 200 GB capable, over the existing 64 GB internal storage in its V Squared smartphone. The highlights don’t end just here. The phone also features a unique fingerprint scanner at its side. The Saygus V Squared has also been awarded the Top Disruptive Innovation CES 2015 award.
6. LG V10 - Dual front screen
Another innovation coming from LG is the V10 smartphone that features two screens at the front. In other words, the phone has an always-on e-ink display on top of the primary screen. This e-ink display is especially built to show time and notifications so that you don’t need to tap open the actual screen to check. It also helps reduce power consumption.
7. Yotaphone 2 - Screen at the back too
Based on Android, Yotaphone is the world’s first smartphone with a dual-screen. The catch here is that the secondary display at the back is an e-ink touchscreen display. Aimed at especially making the battery consumption tamed, the second screen also functions as an e-reader. However, its functionality isn’t limited to just displaying e-books. It can also stream social media, maps, weather, and news.
8. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge - Curved Edges
Breaking away from the traditional flat displays, Samsung redesigned its Galaxy lineup by introducing the Galaxy Edge. The latest in the lineup is the Galaxy S7 Edge which features a display that curves on both sides. The spilling display – by far exclusive to Samsung Galaxy Edge smartphones – is to access notifications or frequently used apps. Also, as the company claims, ir brings the first Dual Pixel camera on a smartphone.
9. Blackphone 2 - 100% encryption
Focused on encryption, the Blackphone 2, has been designed to be a truly private device. Aimed at corporations and individuals alike, the phone comes with its own Silent OS – an operating system based on Android but enhanced to boost privacy.
10. Oppo F1 Plus - 16 MP front camera
Taking the levels of narcissism sky high, Oppo has brought the F1 Plus smartphone with a bumper 16 megapixel camera at the front. The phone is squarely aimed at selfie lovers. Along with the powerful front camera, it features a 13 megapixel rear camera with LED flash and soft light. The phone is priced at Rs 26,990 and goes on sale in India starting April 20.