April 17, 2024
Gray Samsung Galaxy S24 (left), Rose Gold Google Pixel 8, Flowy Emerald OnePlus 12, Green iPhone 15, Titanium Gray iPhone 15 Pro on a pink and red heart blanket.
Samsung Galaxy S24 (left), Google Pixel 8, OnePlus 12, iPhone 15, and iPhone 15 Professional. Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Developments

Once you have a look at smartphones lately, the choice has grown a bit … stale, to say the least. You’ll see telephones from high manufacturers like Samsung, Apple, and even Google, however most choices look the identical — they’re glass slabs.

Samsung and Google even have their folding telephones, including selection to your cellphone selection, however Apple’s iPhones will all the time be slabs. The worst half is that the majority of those telephones are additionally supplied in among the most boring colours these days, particularly from Apple with the iPhone 15 Professional line. Which shade of grey do you favor? That’s finally what it comes right down to if you’d like Apple’s flagship smartphone.

Google and Samsung have executed a bit higher than Apple with the colour decisions, with the Bay Blue Pixel 8 Professional and Sandstone Orange of the Galaxy S24 However all of those manufacturers have been utilizing the identical design for the previous a number of years.

Nevertheless, one smartphone model has been standing out to me these days, and that’s OnePlus. Not solely is the latest OnePlus 12 an ideal total cellphone, nevertheless it’s one of many prettiest ones I’ve used these days.

Make cellphone colours enjoyable once more

OnePlus 12 in Flowy Emerald held in hand in sunlight.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Developments

After I obtained the OnePlus 12, I hoped to get the Flowy Emerald shade as a result of I’m uninterested in boring black telephones. Fortunately, I did get the emerald shade despatched my method, and although I could also be slightly biased (inexperienced is certainly one of my favourite colours), I love all the pieces about it.

Although the attractive white would have been my desire, that shade was solely obtainable in China, so Flowy Emerald was my second selection. Like all colours, inexperienced might not be everybody’s cup of tea, nevertheless it exhibits that OnePlus not less than takes an opportunity with one thing distinctive.

There’s a little bit of backstory behind creating the Flowy Emerald shade, in response to OnePlus. It’s impressed by the Dart River within the Southern Alps, and OnePlus needed to recreate these inexperienced ribbons that stretch throughout the land. In fact, OnePlus has a tacky line about the way you’ll “seize the true essence of time inside nature” when holding the Flowy Emerald OnePlus 12, which I chuckled at, however there’s little doubt about it — Flowy Emerald is gorgeous.

OnePlus 12 in Flowy Emerald camera module showing subtle shimmer.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Developments

And it’s not simply because it’s inexperienced, which is my second favourite shade (pink is first). However OnePlus additionally added a beautiful silver shimmer all through the cellphone, even within the color-matched digital camera module, which actually shines when mild hits it on the proper angle. That is positively one thing you don’t see with different cellphone producers, which not solely provide boring, customary colours, however they’re additionally strong colours with both a matte or shiny end.

Once more, it’s not like Flowy Emerald will likely be a favourite for everybody. However not less than OnePlus is taking an opportunity by creating some distinctive shade choices that actually stand out for its telephones, in contrast to the competitors. It wasn’t till I observed the shimmer on the OnePlus 12 that I noticed I wanted extra shimmery telephones in my life. I like shimmer and glitter (so long as it doesn’t find yourself throughout my fingers). Extra of this, please!

Have we reached peak smartphone design?

The Galaxy S23 Ultra and Galaxy S24 Ultra's rear panels.
Galaxy S23 Extremely (left) and Galaxy S24 Extremely Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

Whereas colours are one factor, the general design of smartphones has gotten boring and rancid. Telephones are both glass slabs, or a model might do one thing slightly extra attention-grabbing with a foldable or flip cellphone, just like the OnePlus Open or Motorola Razr Plus.

I do know some individuals are fairly vocal about not wanting Apple to enter the foldable cellphone market. I might have been a type of individuals, too, however since I’ve began diving into Android telephones, I’ve discovered foldable telephones to be enjoyable to make use of, attention-grabbing, and one thing totally different. I might truly prefer to see Apple make a foldable iPhone someday.

Apple iPhone 15 Plus and Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max seen from the back.
Apple iPhone 15 Plus (left) and Apple iPhone 15 Professional Max Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

Nonetheless, I miss when smartphone design was bizarre, gimmicky, or enjoyable to make use of. Bear in mind the T-Cell Sidekick 3? That was certainly one of my favourite gadgets earlier than the iPhone got here alongside, and I miss having one thing enjoyable like that. I might like to see a modern-day implementation of that sort of swivel-out display screen.

OnePlus stands out to me as a model that does issues a bit in another way, particularly with the colours, and I like that. Even its first foldable cellphone, the OnePlus Open, was spectacular in dimension and design, turning into certainly one of my favourite foldables from 2023.

The Google Pixel 8 Pro and Google Pixel 7 Pro being held next to each other.
Google Pixel 8 Professional (left) and Google Pixel 7 Professional Joe Maring / Digital Developments

Apple was once progressive with the iPhone, nevertheless it’s been the identical total search for the previous 4 years. I’m positively hoping for one thing extra attention-grabbing with the iPhone 16 lineup, however I received’t maintain my breath. And although I just like the Samsung Galaxy S24, except for the AI options and flat body, it’s just about similar to the Galaxy S23 earlier than it and appears too near an iPhone with that flat body.

I like tinkering with smartphones, however I’m simply losing interest of the designs and, for probably the most half, colours. It looks like we’ve plateaued, and generally, it’s laborious to be excited for a cellphone that appears similar to final yr’s.

OnePlus 12 Flowy Emerald laying flat on astroturf.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Developments

Although OnePlus might use much less cheese of their advertising about design inspirations, different manufacturers might be taught a lesson from OnePlus. A minimum of put slightly extra effort into the design and colours as a substitute of placing out the identical boring factor yr after yr. As a result of when it’s executed properly, it makes a giant distinction.

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