A couple of months ago, we heard about a peculiar smartphone being in the works – one that lacks any hardware button on its chassis. The device is to be called the Manta 7x (back then, it was reported as X7, so – apologies), and it is currently available for pre-order, with a shipping date set after two weeks. The handset will soon have a sibling released - a Manta 7L, which appears to be a lower-range choice, and sports a more traditional look (read: has buttons).
So, the Manta 7x sports a 5.5" Sharp-made display with a 1080p resolution, resulting in the pretty dense 401 PPI ratio. Hardware-wise, the phone lags slightly behind modern flagships – sporting a 2.5 GHz, quad-core Snapdragon 801 and 2 GB of RAM, though, it still has the rather generous 32 GB of internal storage. Nothing interesting yet? Well, the handset has IP 55 rating, which means that it's somewhat resistant to water and dust, and here's a couple of shockers – firstly, both its front and rear cams sport a 13 MP Sony IMX 214 sensor, both have optical image stabilization, and are specced to have the same super-wide angle (88°) and F/2.0 aperture. The main snapper is protected by a sapphire glass and has a dual-tone LED flash, and it seems this is where the differences end. Secondly – the handset sports an impressive 4,200 mAh battery.
Now, about the point of controlling a device that has no hardware buttons – the Manta 7x sports touch sensors on its bezels and is loaded with a heavily customized version of Android 4.4 – a skin, dubbed "MO7 OS". From what we understand, once the user grabs the phone, the software will determine which bezel the user's thumb is on and will then display its different functions on that side of the display – for example, in the instance of an incoming call, the caller ID will display in a small, comfortable window, placed right next to where the user's thumb is touching the bezel. There is also a single capacitive button on the bottom of the device – acting as a home button, presumably, it also supports gestures for sleep, wake, volume up / down.
The Manta 7x can be ordered internationally, and its OS even supports English, however, the pricing may put down any potential takers – the handset costs roughly $650 (4,080 Yuan), which is a bit steep, especially considering the year-old hardware and the risk involved with the actual functionality of the unorthodox control methods.
Now, we are still unsure what the hardware of the Manta 7L variant will be, aside from the fact that it is said to sport a 5.5" display and a smaller, 3,610 mAh battery. Its render shows a frontal camera that isn't as big as the one on the 7x, we can also see it has a physical power button and a volume rocker, so, we are guessing the 7L may have less-overkill features for a curtailed price.
Does the concept of a buttonless phone appeal to you? What do you think of the Manta 7x's design?
source: Manta via GizChina