iPhone 13, Galaxy S22 Ultra, and Pixel 6: new designs or blasts from the past?


Over the years, the smartphone industry has blossomed with new ideas, designs and features. From the revolutionary first iPhone to the rise of Android smartphones to Microsoft’s Nokia catastrophe, there were ups and downs everywhere.

But it wasn’t just software and specifications. The design of smartphones has changed dramatically, with all brands producing devices with similar looks and specifications that are very similar. So what are these brands doing to distinguish new models each year?

Phone brands can be divided into two sections: a trending section and a subsequent section. With apple Samsung is often the two brands that set the trend, but other brands like Xiaomi and Motorola simply stick to what works (most of the time).

However, it seems that the number of smartphone design changes is decreasing year by year. This is probably because the form factor of today’s smartphones is almost perfect. As such, design changes are primarily purely aesthetic and marketing, not functional or innovative.

This is where things get difficult for designers. There is a trend that has been going on for the last few years and I will call it an “explosion from the past”. When you run out of smartphone brand ideas, open a large phone archive to explore past designs. The brand is looking for iconic and identifiable design elements that have worked and have been loved by people.

What the industry has done to Apple

Of course, the purpose of the idea of ​​reviving old design elements is not only to reduce the risk of the phone, but also to bring certain elements of nostalgia that are most useful to the customer.

That’s Apple iPhone 12 series. Cupertino has spent years manufacturing phones with rounded edges and soft, curved sides. But what do you think happened? Everyone started choosing the same type of design, so we had to prepare something new.

Now, it turns out that the future is a good old past. The iPhone 12 made a wave with a frame design that was mostly borrowed from the iPhone 4. A smartphone that debuted in 2010.

Some said the new design wasn’t comfortable, others liked the nostalgic feel, but in the end it was a huge success.The smooth edgy frame is still inherited today. The iPhone 13 series, and people continue to buy iPhones like pancakes.

And this isn’t the first time Apple has done that.Basic The 10.2-inch iPad looks a lot like Apple’s iPad The design of the iPad 2 hasn’t changed for years. This makes the device a classic, significantly saving Cupertino’s costs and increasing profits.

Both iPhone SE models have an older design, with the latest hardware, significantly lower prices, and capture the type of user who prefers familiar technology. Believe me, especially among the older generation, there is more than you think.

In the end, Apple did that and others started paying attention. Is the future of smartphone design really a thing of the past?

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra … is almost Galaxy Note 10

Well, I know it’s pretty controversial to call Samsung’s latest Ultra Premium Flagship from 2019, but ask me.

Regarding the specs, of course, it’s new The Galaxy S22 Ultra is one of the best on the market and far superior to any previous Galaxy Note phone. But you still need to look at things objectively.

When talking about design, the Galaxy S22 Ultra looks more like a Galaxy Note phone than the Galaxy S. Samsung’s Galaxy S series has always had a round, small and user-friendly design. While it has always been a phone call for the masses, the Galaxy Note has been a phone call for professionals and tech enthusiasts.

As Samsung abolished the notebook line, Samsung decided to replace it with the Ultra brand. Is it wrong? of course not. But is it a brand new design? No, it’s not.

You see, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has the same sharp corners, sleek slim design, curved display, small camera bumps, and Galaxy Note 10 and Note 20 series.

If you don’t know the model name and look at the Samsung brand, it’s easy to mistake it for a Galaxy Note. This is another way to improve existing designs and give people a nostalgic and friendly look.

It’s also easier and cheaper to upgrade an existing design than to create a new one from scratch.

But there is a problem.Galaxy S22 Ultra is nothing like Galaxy S22 Galaxy S22 Plus. The latter is a true Galaxy S phone that preserves the design of its predecessor. This makes the new Galaxy S22 series look a bit like a mixed bag. literally.

You have two new Galaxy S phones, and it’s great. But what is that Galaxy Note doing there, and why do they brand it as the S22 Ultra? Do you already know my point?

It’s clear over time whether this new further separation of the Ultra model will work, but when you think of the Galaxy S22, you’ll see two nearly identical phones and one that looks like it’s been adopted by the Galaxy Note family. To fit.

Apple also has regular iPhones and Pro iPhones, but they look more like siblings than distant cousins.

Google regains nostalgia

Google wasn’t a big seller of smartphones. It was successful here and there, but it relied on other established manufacturers to design the phone and treated it as a device made solely for the purpose of introducing a new Android version.

Of course, Google has put an end to its marketing strategy and decided to go hand in hand with the big guys. In 2016, the company replaced the Nexus series with the new Pixel series.

OGPixels sought to be an iPhone killer. A phone with a great software experience, years of OS upgrades, premium design, and top-notch specifications. But there was a problem.

You see, the Google Nexus Phone was popular for offering one of the best money values ​​in the industry at an affordable price. Pixel has beaten this model with iPhone-like pricing. And while the phone was pretty good, it wasn’t a bigger upgrade than the iPhone at the time.

Of course, Google is pretty stubborn. We also spend a lot of money developing devices that aren’t selling well. That’s why Google announced a new generation of Pixel smartphones every year. And every year, after all the disappointing models, Pixel’s excitement diminished.

The company has taken drastic steps and decided to enter the once successful midrange class market. The Pixel 3a smartphone was a much more affordable alternative to the Pixel, with great specs and great camera performance. But Google’s dream of creating the ultimate flagship smartphone hasn’t come true yet.

At the end of 2021, Google finally seemed to take things seriously with the release of a new one. Pixel 6 series. The new phone excels in the company’s first in-house designed processor, excellent camera system, flashy new design, and cost performance.

At this point, you may be wondering why I had to dig so deep into Google’s device history. Well, don’t you know Pixel 6? That’s right for me.

You see, the design of the camera module on the Pixel 6 smartphone is very similar to the smartphone released seven years ago. Google Nexus 6P. I’m not sure if the matching name on the cell phone inspired Google designers to adopt the old cell phone design, but that’s certainly a good theory.

The Google Nexus 6P was the only Nexus made by Huawei. The flagship specs, premium design, and unique look of the camera module made it a fan favorite.

When we announced the Pixel 6 series, Google never mentioned that its design was inspired by older devices. Instead, I was bragging about how different and innovative it was.

But after all, this is another case of an “explosion from the past.” The Pixel 6 reminds us of one of the last great Nexus smartphones, just as the iPhones 12 and 13 remind us of the iPhone 4.

People seem to love the Pixel 6’s camera module, which may be due to its nostalgic feel.

Time is ticking

In conclusion, it must be said that borrowing an old and iconic design is a genius idea. It brings nostalgia, makes the phone instantly recognizable, and even saves design costs.

The smartphone industry had to make a few changes in appearance as things became so tactile in the late 2010s, but now it’s happening. Trendsetters always set trends and followers always follow.

But time is ticking. This strategy of improving old recognizable design elements and implementing them on modern phones is a genius, but there are so many iconic designs that I had in the past.

Smartphones may seem to exist forever, but in reality they are less than 20 years old, so not many phone models have gained worldwide popularity during this period.

The iPhone 4, Galaxy Note 10 and 20, and Nexus 6P are iconic devices, but they’re part of a fairly small and elite club, a classic smartphone club. And with so many iconic retro designs that can be reused, time is ticking. Therefore, the number of days in this trend is quite high. The industry needs new, fast stuff.


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