2017 was a key turning point for smartphone design, most notablythrough the mainstream adoption of 18:9 displays. While we’ve seen thisdesign on devices ranging from the budget to the premium segment,a select few smartphones managed tothe bestthe others by opting for virtually non-existent bezels, curvy glass back panelsand elegantly crafted frames. Even so, not all the nominees in this category follow the 18:9 design trend, with a few standing out for other notable reasons.Without further adieu, here are the nominees and winners for Sexiest Phone of the Year. But before we get to those, first a look at the jury panel members who helped us zero in on the winners.
Xiaomi is no stranger to bezel-less displays, with the first-gen Mi Mix sporting a claimed screen-to-body ratio of 91.3 percent. The device featured virtually zero bezels on the top and three sides, with the chin incorporating the selfie camera.With the Mi Mix 2 (review), Xiaomishrunkthe device’s solitary bottom bezel further, bringing the device even closer to a true fullscreen design.The Mi Mix 2 is crafted out of ceramic, with an aluminium frame in the middle. There’s also an all-ceramic Special Edition of the device that’s made entirely out of ceramic, although that’sonly on sale in China. Available in a glossy black colour in India, the Mi Mix 2 also sports an 18Kgold ring around the primary camera.
TheHTC U11 (review) doesn’t feature an 18:9 display, but made it to the shortlist thanks to its gorgeous 3D ‘liquid glass’ design. Thanks to the use of layered glass, the back panel of the HTC U11 changes colours depending on the light and the angle on which you hold it. For example, the silver hue changes to grey or blue, and the red can look orange or gold. HTC’s made the U11 available in a total of five hues, so there’s plenty to choose from as well. While the front panel adopts a standard aspect ratio, the use of 3D glass for the screen as welladds symmetry to the design.And if that’s not all, thesqueezable ‘Edge Sense’ frame addsan extra flaunt factor to the smartphone.
The iPhone X (review) wasnt just a milestone for iPhone design, but for smartphones in general. Boasting a fullscreen front panel with just a notch at the top to house the front camera and sensors, the iPhone X looks like a phone out of the future. Apple even got rid of its iconic Home button and Touch ID fingerprint sensor, equipping the iPhone X with its revolutionary new Face ID and a gesture-based interface. The glass back panel is reminiscent of the iPhone 4/4s, with the dual primary cameras arranged in a vertical fashion. The iPhone X is incidentally also the first from the brand to feature an OLED display, resulting in richer colours and more contrast than other iPhone models.
With the Galaxy S8 and S8+ (review), Samsung brought its Infinity display to both its 2017 flagships, with the main difference between the two being the screen size. Boasting 18:9 screens, both devices feature smaller form factors thanks to the shaved bezels, and sport curved edges that melt seamlessly into the frame. Speaking of the displays, the Super AMOLED tech coupled with the QHD+ resolutionensuressaturatedcolours and crisp visuals. The back panel on both devices are made of glass, and are also curved towards the frame.
Launched in India recently, the LG V30+ (review) borrows its design cues from the LG G6 (review), but adds a glass back panel into the mix. Sporting a massive 6-inch display, the device manages to keep its dimensions on the smaller side thanks to the use of an 18:9 display. Unlike the iPhone X and S8 duo, the V30+ follows a more practical, industrial design with a screen that’s not toocurved and proportional bezels. The rearpanel is made of curved glass, and features the fingerprint scanner integrated into a physical home button.
The only mid-rangesmartphone in our list of nominees, the Honor 8 Lite (review) carries forward the gorgeous glass sandwich design of its predecessor, the Honor 8. The device is packed into a slim 7.6mm frame, and features gently curved 2.5D glass for the front panel. While thedevice doesn’t sport an 18:9 display like most others on this list, it features a compact form factor held together by a brushed metal frame.The highlight of the device though is the 12-layer glass back panel, which makes it one of the most attractive devices in the sub-Rs 20,000 segment.
And the winners are
Runner’s up: Apple iPhone X
Winner: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
Hitesh Raj Bhagat, Editor – Personal Technology, Economic Times says of the Mi Mix 2, “The original bezel-less phone Mix never launched here – this one ticked all the right boxes: SD 835, 6GB RAM, 128GB, capable camera and a great screen with no notch interruptions.”