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Top 10 most coolest/innovative mobile phones (2020 edition)

There’s been a lot of mobile phone designs throughout the years, but IMO the coolest and innovative ones came from the 2000s. A time when mobile phones started becoming popular and trendy and manufactures started experimenting with different designs. A time before the iPhone and Android phones homogenized the way that phones look into a singular black slab. Here are just a few designs I found quite interesting:

10. Nokia 7600 (2003)

Nokia 7600 (Dengan gambar) | Ponsel, Teknologi, Mobil

I mean, just look at it. It looks like a leaf. Now this phone wasn’t going to win any awards for usability but it certainly was a unique design that’s for sure. So just for that creativity I put it at this spot here.

9. Nokia 7280 (2004)

Mobile-review.com Review GSM phone Nokia 7280

Another ‘what is that’ Nokia design. It has a lipstick form factor, and you can see the tiny buttons on the side of it for dialing. I mean, just wow how did Nokia come up with designs?

8a. Nokia N93 (2007)

Nokia N93i specs, review, release date - PhonesData

Get used to seeing Nokia on this list. They made ALOT of cool devices. The Nokia N90, N93 and N93i were phones that were basically camcorders, and used a swiveling display. This phone could be used in landscape mode and as a video camera, and is rather unique in this design. Only the Samsung Alias 2 tried something similar (but wasn’t exactly the same since it didn’t focus on video recording)

8b. Samsung Alias 2 (2009)

Samsung Alias 2 SCH-U750 (Verizon Wireless) review: Samsung Alias ...

The Alias 2 has a similar form factor the N93 except instead of being a camcorder, it has a unique e-ink keyboard which shifts and displays different text depending on the application and the context, which is very cool. So Samsung solves the problem of needing different keys very elegantly and in a way that hasn’t really been replicated since.

7. Nokia 3250 (2005)

Nokia Body Housing Replacement For Nokia 3250 http://shopperstech ...

Another phone with a really cool and usable form factor, the 3250 and the Xpressmusic 5700 after it had a twist design that let you switch between the different functions – as a music player, camera or phone. Again with Nokia and their out of this world designs.

6a. Nokia E70 (2006)

Nokia E70 Reviews, Specs & Price Compare

Really this entire list could be just Nokia phones, but the E70 had a unique flipover keyboard design that lets you use the phone as a text messenger in landscape mode. I have to say – another one of Nokia’s truly unique design choices.

6b. Sony Ericsson P990 (2006)

Throwback Tech Thursday: We Revisit the Sony Ericsson P990i ...

Tied with the Nokia E70 and released the same year, is another phone that shares the E70’s unique way of incorporating both a numpad and a physical keyboard. The P990 does it by having a numpad on the front of the phone and then peeling it back to reveal a qwerty keyboard underneath. Very cool.

5a. Samsung Exclaim (2009)

Samsung M550 Exclaim - Wikipedia

The first non Nokia on this list. The Exclaim along with the Pantech Matrix and Helios Ocean, packed not one, but TWO sliders into the device with different keyboards – one with a qwery keypad and one with a numpad. Again – remember how the days of non multi touch phones had to think of inventive inputs? 

5b. Motorola Flipout (2010) 

Motorola FlipOut pictures, official photos

Tied for the number 5 spot is another interesting phone, the Motorola Flipout – just look at the size – is a small mini phone that also has a mini qwerty keyboard that flips out! very neat

4a. TMobile Sidekick 3 (2006)

Sidekick 3: More features, smaller footprint - Technology ...

Looking more like a handheld gaming console than a phone, the Sidekick 3 had a display that swivels out, and d-pad and directional buttons for navigation. It also had a great keyboard for texting and messaging. Definitely a unique phone for unique times.

4b. Nokia E90 Communicator (2007)

Nokia E90 Communicator - Wikipedia

Another Nokia device, this one was the last in a long line of Communicator devices, and carried the ability to open up into a secondary display on the inside. Again very cool retro-futuristic design that we haven’t really seen since. Wish Nokia would revisit this series sometime. 

3a. Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (2011)

Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY Sim Free Smart Phone with 8GB: Amazon.co ...

This one is a TIE because both these devices are not even trying to be phones at all even though they are – but they are more like handheld gaming devices that also took a phone call. The Xperia play was like a PSP Go that ran Android. 

3b. Nokia Ngage (2004)

Flashback: Nokia N-Gage - the gaming phone ahead of its time ...

The Ngage was just a device that didn’t look like anything before or since and also looked like it had an identity crisis – like a gaming console that sprouted a numpad. 

2. Motorola Aura (2008)

Motorola Aura pictures, official photos

Motorola’s swivel display here made of swiss bearings, was a luxury device that hardly anyone really saw when it was released and obviously still rare today. But what a unique way of opening the phone, it’s a phone that could be considered more of like jewelry than actual electronics

1. Samsung Galaxy Fold (2019)

Yes the most modern device on this list is also #1. Why? because of the pure technology of it. When have we ever thought about a phone with 2 different displays that also turns from a phone into a tablet? It’s just amazing what this device has heralded. A new category of foldable computers. Along with the Huawei Mate X, Z Flip and Motorola Razr Fold, a completely new category of devices has emerged, and I think that’s pretty incredible.

Samsung Galaxy Fold passes all testing with flying colors, re ...

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Tech

Top 10 coolest/most innovative mobile computers (2020 edition)

Here are my top 10 most innovative/coolest mobile computers. Note: I define mobile computers as anything that is portable or can fit in a luggage bag – and runs on a desktop OS. No iPads or mobile phones here.

10. GPD Win Max (2020) – (last year’s spot was the Dell Adamo XPS)

GPD introduces the Win Max, the 'world's smallest handheld gaming ...

Replacing last year’s Dell Adamo XPS at the #10 spot is the GPD Win Max. With a shoutout to the Alienware UFO Concept (Which would probably make it on here if it was in production) – the GPD Win Max is actually in production so thus makes it on this list. It is the mostly powerful UMPC available so far and can play AAA titles on a machine with only an 8″ screen and fits in the palm of your hand. That’s just amazing.

9a. Asus G700VO (2016) – (last year’s spot was the Dell XPS M2010 and Acer Predator 21X)

Amazon.ca Laptops: ASUS ROG GX700VO-VS74K 17.3" FHD G-SYNC Liquid ...

I mean just look at it! I think this supersedes even the Acer Predator 21X I put on this spot last year as the laptop that is really pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a laptop. I mean can anybody really use this thing on their lap? It comes with a water cooler that looks like a car engine. Talk about an unwieldy design, although I don’t doubt that it had a lot of power underneath its hood.

9b. Acer Helios 700 (2019)

Acer's new Predator gaming laptops feature fast Intel and Nvidia ...

This gaming laptop has a cool sliding keyboard mechanism that exposes the air flow above so that it’s able to cool down the laptop more for better gaming performance. And the sliding keyboard also doubles as a wrist rest for more ergonomic placement. Pretty cool!

8. Asus ROG Mothership (2019)

One of the coolest laptops unveiled at this year’s CES, the Asus ROG mothership is basically a battery powered all-in-one PC with high end specs. Core i9, 144hz display, RTX 2080, its all there – and the keyboard is detachable so that gamers can use their own keyboard/mouse without the built in one taking up space like in most gaming laptops.

7. Porsche Design Book One (2017)

Yes its similar to the Microsoft SurfaceBook – but it has one key difference which is a 360 degree Yoga hinge. This means the Book One combines the Lenovo Yoga’s convertible form factor with the Surface Book’s detachable hinge. It’s the only computer with this design.

6. Acer Concept D7 Ezel (2020) – (last year’s spot was the Acer Aspire R7)

Acer's ConceptD 7 Ezel is a smaller transforming laptop designed ...

A fitting replacement for the Acer Aspire R7 that I put on this spot last year, this laptop has a similar party trick – the hinge angles forward to give the user better access to the screen, which is very useful for use as an artistic drawing pad – or an Ezel as you might call it!

5. Lenovo X1 Fold (2020) – (last year’s spot was the Toshiba Libretto W700 / Acer Iconia 6120)

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold Hands-On: The World's First Foldable 5G ...

First a shoutout to Microsoft’s Surface Neo (we don’t know if it will make it to market this year), this “laptop” is my pick for the #5 spot. I think it’s an apt replacement for the laptops I had in this spot last year which was the Acer Iconia 6120 and the Toshiba Libretto W700 both of which were dual touch screen laptops. You know what’s better than a dual touch screen laptop? A laptop that has a folding display that can become either one or two screens! This is the first such device of its kind and thus makes it onto this list.

4. Sony Vaio UX (2006)

The ultimate UMPC, the Vaio UX is still a marvel of design and engineering. It ran Windows XP (can be upgraded all the way to Windows 10) and can fit in your pocket! It was the first computer to have an SSD and had a fingerprint scanner over a decade before it was commonplace on notebooks. Truly an amazing piece of tech.

3. Razer Edge Pro (2013)

Razer Edge Pro was a gaming tablet that ran a Core i7 with a GTX 640LE and paired it with a console grade gaming controller. This idea was very unique and allowed users to play Windows games on the go in a form factor much smaller than gaming laptops – and way before the Nintendo Switch as well.

2. Asus Zephyrus Duo 15 (2020) – (last year’s spot was the Asus Zenbook Pro Duo)

The Amazing ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 Has a Flip-up Second Screen

Asus follows up the dual screen Zenbook Pro Duo of last year with an even cooler device that replaces it on the same spot on my list – the Asus Zephyrus Duo 15 is similar to the Pro Duo but the second screen actually tilts up when the laptop is opened and is more geared towards gaming than artistic abilities.

  1. Onkyo DX (2010)

Technically this would belong to Razer’s Project Valerie if they ever made that laptop, but since they didn’t – this netbook gets it. It has a dual display – one display slides out from under the other – and its also a convertible display on top of that! I have no idea why this design idea was not adopted by other makers but out of all PC makers – Onkyo – an audio equipment maker was the one to come up with this. Surprising.

Categories
Tech

Top 10 coolest/most innovative mobile computers (2019 edition)

Here are my top 10 most innovative/coolest mobile computers. Note: I define mobile computers as anything that is portable or can fit in a luggage bag – and runs on a desktop OS. No iPads or mobile phones here.

10. Dell Adamo XPS (2010)

Dell came up with the thinnest laptop on the market in 2010 and one of the thinnest all time – only 10mm thin. They accomplished this by having the keyboard recess into the lid, the lid acting as a kind of ‘storage’ for the keyboard. And also a heat strip where the laptop opens with the swipe of a finger. pretty cool.

9b. Dell XPS M2010 (2006)

The father of the desktop replacement, this massive 20 incher weighed 20lbs! but folded into a briefcase so technically it was ‘portable’ and thus qualifies for this list. Still the fact that Dell thought up such a beastly machine over 13 years ago, is why it belongs on this list.

9a. Acer Predator 21X (2017)

Acer Predator 21 X - Notebookcheck.net External Reviews

Have to put this as a tie with the Dell because this is really pushing the limits of what could be considered a desktop replacement. A massive 21 inch curved screen device that weighs 20lbs and packs a huge amount of power this may as well just be a desktop at this point.

8. Asus ROG Mothership (2019)

One of the coolest laptops unveiled at this year’s CES, the Asus ROG mothership is basically a battery powered all-in-one PC with high end specs. Core i9, 144hz display, RTX 2080, its all there – and the keyboard is detachable so that gamers can use their own keyboard/mouse without the built in one taking up space like in most gaming laptops.

7. Porsche Design Book One (2017)

Yes its similar to the Microsoft SurfaceBook – but it has one key difference which is a 360 degree Yoga hinge. This means the Book One combines the Lenovo Yoga’s convertible form factor with the Surface Book’s detachable hinge. It’s the only computer with this design.

6. Acer Aspire R7 (2013)

A laptop that looks like the Starship Enterprise – this laptop has a screen that can be lifted upwards and moved closer much like an easel – this is geared towards artists and creators, but the screen can also flip backwards as well – and the touchpad above the keyboard. Very unique.

5b. Acer Iconia 6120 (2010)

A dual touchscreen notebook where you can use pretty much anything on the bottom screen, including a custom keyboard. This predates the Lenovo YogaBook by several years and is still an interesting design today.

5a. Toshiba Libretto W700 (2010)

Toshiba Libretto W105-L251 review: Toshiba Libretto W105-L251 - CNET

Coming out at around the same time as the Acer Iconia, this dual screen netbook also featured dual touch screens, again – WAY before dual screen multitouch devices were a thing. 

4. Sony Vaio UX (2006)

The ultimate UMPC, the Vaio UX is still a marvel of design and engineering. It ran Windows XP (can be upgraded all the way to Windows 10) and can fit in your pocket! It was the first computer to have an SSD and had a fingerprint scanner over a decade before it was commonplace on notebooks. Truly an amazing piece of tech.

3. Razer Edge Pro (2013)

Razer Edge Pro was a gaming tablet that ran a Core i7 with a GTX 640LE and paired it with a console grade gaming controller. This idea was very unique and allowed users to play Windows games on the go in a form factor much smaller than gaming laptops – and way before the Nintendo Switch as well.

2. Asus Zenbook Pro Duo (2019)

Just announced at this Computex 2019, the Zenbook Pro Duo packs a 15″ 4K OLED display along with a secondary 14″ 4K display AND a third numpad/trackpad display AND a RTX 2060 graphics card. This thing is the coolest computer I’ve seen in quite a while, and I’m excited!

  1. Onkyo DX (2010)

Technically this would belong to Razer’s Project Valerie if they ever made that laptop, but since they didn’t – this netbook gets it. It has a dual display – one display slides out from under the other – and its also a convertible display on top of that! I have no idea why this design idea was not adopted by other makers but out of all PC makers – Onkyo – an audio equipment maker was the one to come up with this. Surprising.