Counterclockwise: celebrating the weird form factors of yesteryear

A couple of weeks ago we look at weird ways to mount a phone"s camera. That inspired us to dive into weird form factors this week.

Phone form factors generally fall into four categories - static, slider, flip and swivel. Static is the simplest, but that certainly doesn"t mean boring. The Nokia 7280 is a favorite to bring up in this tip of articles - look at it - like a prop from a sci-fi TV show. Not that the 3650 or 7600 are any saner. Or the Siemens SX1.

Nokia 7280 Nokia 3650 Nokia 7600 Siemens SX1
Nokia 7280 � Nokia 3650 � Nokia 7600 � Siemens SX1

The flip form factor is home to some of the most popular to some of the best-selling phones of all time. Show of hands, who here hasn"t seen a Moto RAZR? No one? That"s what we thought.

Then there"s the Backflip, which puts the QWERTY on its back. A more traditional flip design with Android is the LG Wine Smart, but they are rare (especially outside of China). Of course, some phones combine multiple actions like the Nokia N93i - it does flip and swivel.

Motorola RAZR V3 Motorola BACKFLIP LG Wine Smart Nokia N93i
Motorola RAZR V3 � Motorola BACKFLIP � LG Wine Smart � Nokia N93i

We"ve seen vertical sliders like the Samsung D600 and horizontal sliders like the Nokia E7 and odd-balls like the Xperia Play. The BlackBerry Priv is probably the last of the true sliders (that is if you don"t count what the Oppo Find X does as "sliding").

Samsung D600 Nokia E7 Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY BlackBerry Priv
Samsung D600 � Nokia E7 � Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY � BlackBerry Priv

Swivel is perhaps the rarest and like the slider it is used to hide the keyboard. The Siemens SK65 is an early example, but the X shape is perhaps not the most practical. The Motorola Aura is unique with its round screen that serves as a pivot for the swivel mechanism. Another Moto, the FlipOut, combines a squarish charm and a hardware QWERTY. The Nokia 7370 looks almost pedestrian in comparison.

Siemens SK65 Motorola Aura Motorola FlipOut Nokia 7370
Siemens SK65 � Motorola Aura � Motorola FlipOut � Nokia 7370

Rumors of "foldable phones" abound with many major companies showing tech demos at trade events. The ZTE Axon M is not unique in its implementation - it shares a design with the Sony Ericsson Xperia P and the Kyocera Echo - but it"s more of a flip phone, really. True foldable phones should have a single uninterrupted screen. A slider solution is also possible, though with more screen and less keyboard than the LG DoublePlay.

ZTE Axon M Sony Tablet P Kyocera Echo LG DoublePlay
ZTE Axon M � Sony Tablet P � Kyocera Echo � LG DoublePlay

Okay, here"s a question - is the Nokia 6810 a flip phone? What about the Sony Ericsson P800? Is the Oppo N1 one of the swivel phones or in a category of its own? And LG G Flex looks like the usual slab, but it"s curved and even more unique - you can bend it! That"s a long way away from boring.

Nokia 6810 Sony Ericsson P800 Oppo N1 LG G Flex
Nokia 6810 � Sony Ericsson P800 � Oppo N1 � LG G Flex

Which is your favorite phone with a weird form factor or just a kooky design?

Nguồn: www.gsmarena.com