Samsung Galaxy S 4 is undoubtedly the smartphone of the year 2013 already, what with the huge demand of Samsung’s flagship devices that keeps increasing every year. Samsung worked hard at getting all the knobs right and branded the device “Life companion”, apparently, it actually is. They bundled in all the right software making it a supreme experience among smartphones, they also managed to put in all the best interiors, the octa core processor, 2GB RAM, Super AMOLED Full HD display with very awesome viewing angles, battery life and media consumption experience. But you cannot get everything right.
There is an angle that Samsung still hasn’t got right, and that’s design. There is other players, even with inferior others, have design going for them, and these are the ones on focus today. This is about the exterior, we won’t even be talking about display quality, user interface or OS type. Also, this is in no particular order.
The HTC One is one device that came to change the fortunes of HTC, in-fact its at this point that they have experienced good growth in major markets like the US and Europe, although the COO still resigned after the performance announcements. The HTC One stands out as one piece of art. At announcement, many felt that it has taken too much from the iPhone, but there is a way it manages to look different, with the no-button front, the all metal casing that is uni-body and the black screen. The sleekness of the device makes it sharp, with the positioning of the speakers on the front and minimalistic back, it is indeed beautiful.
Sony Xperia Z
The Xperia Z is also another work of art. I may not agree with most of the things Sony calls key selling points, like a nicely designed button on the side and the fact that it’s water-proof – these are secondary, but the overall design is sharp. The shape, the finesse in linear finish. The uni-colour, uni-body all come out to bring the overall beauty, although this is not necessarily convenient to have non-removable battery. Actually all these devices listed here fall into this category.
Blackberry Z10 represents the shift from the sinking platform of Blackberry OS 7 and below which rendered RIM and Blackberry a dying breed. Blackberry, formerly RIM took enough time to work on both the platform and their first device running on the BB10 platform. The Z10, although coming before the HTC One, tends to look like the HTC in some ways, while at the same time having a strong iPhone 5 look. All the same this is another beauty when it comes to design.
Oppo Find 5
Little known Oppo Find 5 is a preserve of a few markets where the makers are able to distribute to like in Europe and the US, with many other places accessible via DHL shipping that is quite pricey. Oppo positioned the device as high end and they only have two devices the 5 inch Oppo and the 6.65 Oppo Finder. It just went on sale earlier in the year a few weeks ago and is also what one would call eye candy. It’s also a sleek design with no-buttons front and a similar flat behind.
Lumia 720 is also another attempt at Nokia bringing in sexy back. Lumia 920 got the awards, but this is my opinion, also the awards came before the 720 came to being. It’s a mid-range device but it has two things going on for it, the smooth design that is like a blend between the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 while missing the thickness of both and the sharp corners of the Lumia 920 that work their way into your pinky finger after long use.
As a bonus
The Galaxy S 4 Active is also another sleek device that in my opinion stands out better than the Galaxy S 4. Although all the other devices listed here are devoid of the curves, the Galaxy S 4 Active has both the curves and the beauty, even with the fact that it is not the Key Selling Point. The KSP here is the water-proof and dust-proof capabilities. The Active does manage to stand out to these other stalwarts of design, particularly the turquoise one.
So what do you think, what is the hottest or best designed smartphone according to you? Hit us in the comments.
WOW That Oppo phone! I’d never even heard of it! Good Stuff!
Wapi Lumia 925?
Somehow I feel the Lumia 720 is a better design than the 925. But that’s me.
Till now I didn’t know the existence of the third design king… I’ve always known of HTC and Nokia but Oppo comes as a surprise, a welcome one as a matter of fact.
Sammy needs to outsourc/poach design staff from either of the three.
I have had a chance to play with the Sony Xperia Z, its a beauty!
True. There all good phones. But when it comes to features, clarity, FEATURES, Samsung have it!
Yes, we made that clear in the beginning of the post, this was just about the design part, aesthetics.
I will still go for Lumia…if only they could get their battery longetivity right!!! Still waiting to experience S4, though!
Boss, wait until you get your hands on the Lumia 720
Where can I get one…hope H and K guys have
You didn’t mention which Lumia, not all Lumias are well designed.
I had 820 and 620 they had pathetic battery life even doing what Bobby has posted above
HTC ONE is the best
With build quality aside, I think I would still lean towards the HTC One.
I agree the S4 phone has nothing outstanding about its design, I’ve had my criticism of the S3 too. I would not place the Z10 that high. But truth be told the average design has been compensated by the software
HTC one and oppo find are my best!
Martin, good choice on the top 5, though I am curious why you missed the iPhone5 (and trust me, I am not a Fruit Fan).
My main issue with Samsung design Is the faux finishes. e.g Plastic painted to look like metal. Classic design is hard to achieve, but when its done right, it looks effortless and withstands the test of time.
Unlike all the 5 OEMs listed by Techweez, Samsung will have to work on improving its design heritage. in fact the only Samsung product that I can think of with outstanding design is the Series 9 Ultrabook.
Yes you are right, Samsung design needs some work to reach the top design pieces, but I think the Galaxy S 4 Active is some good work, don’t you think?
First of all, i wish the post could be “10 phones that are better designed than the Samsung Galaxy S4” since there a lot of phones which are better designed than the S4. Though i’ll try to stick to the current models.
Other phones that are designed better than the S4 include the LG Optimus Pro G, The new Jolla phone, Nokia Lumia 925 & 928, Sony Xperia SP, Google Nexus 4 (Its back is striking especially the Optical illusion effect)
Also, i see the Apple iPhone 5 was blatantly left out, which by the way has a striking industrial design. its aluminium chassis splendor is only the HTC one.
Among all these devices, people will still buy the Galaxy S 4 because design only doesn’t sell, the way Samsung gets the software combination right, things that are essential, things that are fun just to have, software updates, a night brand that they have cultivated, high end specs and also make sure it’s available in the shortest time possible to the market. None of these other phone company beats that, no wonder even with great design, the phones you will find people on the streets with are Samsungs.
Unlike many, I have no issues with the plastic build of the S4 and just about any other phone (which ain’t ugly like the 808 Pureview and a few other high end phones I’ve seen) as long as other specs are top notch and the software speaks for itself. However, smartphones like the HTC One are an absolute beauty, and you can’t take that away from them. Most of these sleek designs and high quality builds involve trade-offs like a non-removable battery which is a no-no for me. I wonder why you left out the ATIV S. That’s the most beautiful Windows Phone device if you ask me. The Lumia 720 does not even come close. The HTC Droid DNA/Butterfly/Butterfly J is another very beautifully designed and crafted smartphone. Actually after its younger sibling, the HTC One, I would rank it second in my listing of the best designed smartphones. I’m not a fan of iDevices so while Apple always outdoes itself when it comes to churning out premium devices with great design, none of the iPhones would make it to my list. The Oppo Find 5… spot on! That phone is an absolute beauty.
The Lumia 820 should have been on that list even though the 720, which is somewhat similar, is on there as well.
I’d never heard of the Oppo Phone before today. Great article.
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