Signature styles: The most recognisable smartphone designs of our time

These are the Nokias for future generations

Who says phones look the same these days? They might not be vastly different like the Nokias of yesteryear, but today's smartphones are instantly recognisable in their own way.

From the Samsung Edge series to the Huawei P series, these modern smartphones are putting their own spin on the ubiquitous glass and metal combination. Instead of going through a major design overhaul with every new generation of phone models, these brands have carved out an identity for themselves by creating signature styles. 

Samsung’s Edge-y

Who would have thought the Galaxy Note Edge back in 2014 would herald what's now Samsung's signature look - that curved glass edge.

That curved glass edge has led the way ever since and appeared in many of the Korean giant's flagship phones, duplicating itself on the Galaxy S6 Edge for a symmetrical seamless look. morphed into the bezel-less beauties that are the current Galaxy S8 and S8+, the first time both phones in the Galaxy S series have taken on those gleaming glass edges, showing that that style's probably going to stick around for a long time. Perhaps, we'll be seeing it on the tablets in time, too. 

Apple iPhone comes full circle

The iPhone has come a long way since it was first launched in 2007. While it might have abandoned its blockier shape and chamfered edges for all round smooth curves with the iPhone 6, it’s undoubtedly set the design example for many, many smartphones, even when it came to colour options (remember Rose Gold everything?). All you have to do is Google “looks like an iPhone” to see what we mean.

That big round home button still remains the surest sign it’s an iPhone that that person on the bus is holding. But given that it’s morphed into a solid state button and the rumours in the wild about its future on the upcoming iPhone, you should probably not hold your breath for its continued existence.

Huawei’s P series pulls out the fashion stops

Huawei did the dual-camera thing even before the iPhone 7 Plus with the Huawei P9. That also happens to be the first time Huawei worked with Leica for the phone camera, and has been ever since, turning out incredibly natural bokeh effects on every shot you snap with your Huawei phone. But that’s just one part of what makes them instantly recognisable, the other is that signature glossy bar that first appeared on the Huawei P8 in 2015, serving to draw people's attention to the camera that's the pride and joy of the P series. It might be a minor detail, but it makes for maximum impact, making any Huawei phone an instant standout from the back. If you need any more indication of the fact that it's become Huawei's signature look, you just have to look at the Nexus 6P's slightly exaggerated camera bar. 

That’s not the end of their partnership attempts to put their best smartphone face forwards. They’ve also teamed up with brands like Porsche for an ultra lux version of the Mate 9 and even more recently, Pantone to bring you bold colour choices like Dazzling Blue and Greenery for the sleek P10 and P10 Plus.

What’s next, Huawei?