5 of the best new concept phones

Concept phones often go beyond the realms of possibility, but that doesn't mean we can't drool over what might be...

BlackBerry Empathy by Kiki Tang and Daniel Yoon

Remember mood rings? Well, this touchscreen phone works a bit like that, except it's not naff. A biometrics ring works alongside the hexagonal phone to collect your "emotional data". Your emotional status is then transmitted to a social network-style system, which by the time this phone makes it into production will be some kind of super platform that obliterates Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. User avatars are surrounded by two rings that show your previous and current emotional state, with an Emotional Health Chart on hand to put it all into a handy timeline. An optional feature allows friends to view your chart – but would you really want them to know you were bored senseless while they prattled on about their new girlfriend? Probably not. An OLED screen that becomes transparent when not in use and opaque when it senses interaction sounds pretty nifty, though. 

Windows 7 Concept phone by Lin Jin Feng

If you don't mind sacrificing pocket space or are fed up with phone manufacturers intent on making everything thinner, this bulky number, pitched as a "super computer in our palms", might sate your appetite. It sports a mahoosive display, mouse-like controls, multimedia shortcuts, Windows 7 and a slide out keyboard – but not in the traditional sense. It slides out sideways to form a full size keyboard, which coupled with the pivoting screen transforms the phone into a mini computer. Reminds us of the Nokia 6820 – those were the days...

iPhone 5 by Michal Bonikowski

Ever since the dawn of the iPhone, Apple-shaped concepts have been rife, ranging from realistic to downright insane. This iPhone 5 concept is the former – there's nothing outlandish about it. In fact, this sleek, drool-worthy take on the impending iPhone 5 is pretty plausible, while remaining loyal to the much-loved iPhone aesthetic. Interestingly, it features a few cosmetic features rumoured to be iPhone 5 bound, like an iPad 2-style brushed aluminium casing and a return to the curved behind. The biggest change, though, is the disposal of the mechanical home button for a touch sensitive one. We'll find out how close this concept comes to the real thing when the real iPhone 5 stands up in September.

Rotary Mechanical Smartphone by Richard Clarkson

A combination of brass detailing with modern mobile technology sees a smartphone that caters to lovers of vintage revival and modern day functionality. We're not sure old fashioned rotary dials on smartphones are the future, but this steampunk guise does a marvellous job of disguising its techie undercoat. A combination of interchangeable brass dials, a true rotary dial and a button dial, coupled with electroplated copper and a lick of paint, completes its retro look. There's no mention of what lies beneath apart from a small screen at the back, which looks more Nokia circa 98 than iPhone. But if you love all things steampunk and miss the tactile satisfaction of the rotary dial, it's a winner. Shame it will probably never see the light of day.

Flip phone by Kristian Ulrich Larson

Flip phone has been given a whole new meaning. Crave more screen estate? You got it - this phone has three. Each flexible AMOLED touchscreen is complimented by a keyboard on the reverse, so it's the perfect solution for serial multitaskers. It's triangular body may prove difficult to grapple with when taking a call, but propping the phone up for movies, messages and alarm clock functionality will be effortless. Getting it in your pocket might not be so easy, though. Screens can combine to form a super screen when you're craving more screen real estate - perfect for web browsing or checking out snaps. And with Android running the show, the Flip Phone sounds like a media junkie's dream.

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