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Who designs the best looking smartphones?

The HTC One is a gorgeous device.

The HTC One is a gorgeous device.

Look, it is hard to judge design as it is sometimes so subjective, but there seem to be some general agreement on what’s good and what’s not. And the just unveiled HTC One has pretty much swept us away with its refined aluminum unibody, carefully chamfered edges and thin profile. Slick looks.

But you cannot deny it also looks very similar to the iPhone 5 in its aluminum aesthetic.

Then we have the gorgeous glass Sony Xperia Z that is not just beautiful but also practical, dust and water resistant.

On the other side of the fence are Samsung’s devices, a uniform bunch with a soft, glazed polycarbonate plastic that feels great to hold, but does not necessarily have the same solid feeling.

And finally, there is Nokia, with its colorful plastic Lumia smartphones that are fun with their vibrant reds, yellows and blues. But just as Samsung, Nokia is on the side of the fence preferring plastic to the intricacies of aluminum.

Apple iPhone 5
4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches
123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm
3.95 oz (112 g)

Apple iPhone 5

Sony Xperia Z
5.47 x 2.8 x 0.31 inches
139 x 71 x 7.9 mm
5.15 oz (146 g)

Sony Xperia Z

Samsung Galaxy S III
5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34 inches
136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm
4.69 oz (133 g)

Samsung Galaxy S III

Nokia Lumia 920
5.13 x 2.79 x 0.42 inches
130.3 x 70.8 x 10.7 mm
6.53 oz (185 g)

Nokia Lumia 920

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


We have also added LG and BlackBerry with their less consistent designs, but we’d rely on you to justify your choice in the comments, if you pick them.

Enough with the introduction, though. It’s time to vote - who has the best smartphone designs? Why? Would you vote for a phone maker for just one phone, or do you value consistency? Does copying and stealing count, and what is good design? Let's kick off this discussion with your thoughts in the comments right below.

[poll id="198"]

196 Comments
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posted on 19 Feb 2013, 11:46 35

1. alekso9 (Posts: 40; Member since: 30 Jan 2012)


Wheres Motorola?

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 11:49 41

4. Wiki_jaan (Posts: 702; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)


moto is sleeping for now.............

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 11:54 36

12. rihel_95 (Posts: 212; Member since: 21 Mar 2012)


Actually, The Beast is sleeping. 'X'

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 17:08 8

99. Nadr1212 (Posts: 741; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)


I can't decide between HTC and Sony, but 4 some reason I voted HTC.

posted on 22 Feb 2013, 04:11 3

170. jameshoe (unregistered)


'The Beast' is waking up.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 20:12 5

116. MrJerry (Posts: 392; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)


I like samsung phone but my vote is for apple in terms of design

However the result shows nokia is exceptional 44%??? loool

This is why you cant just argue with nokia troops in PA
Nokia what did you do to your poor cults?

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 22:32 6

126. Johnnokia (Posts: 492; Member since: 27 May 2012)


Now, Nokia passes 50%.

I'm really surprized !!. How 48 % of the readers don't think that Nokia does not have the best design?!.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 22:36 12

127. Johnnokia (Posts: 492; Member since: 27 May 2012)


Just have a look Samsung, >> , and read this.

If Nokia had adopted Android, no one would have cared or listened to something called Galaxy or Note.

You really was so so lucky.

Idiot Stephan Flop;

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 11:54

151. Lauticol (Posts: 186; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)


Go to WMPowerUser and see they make all WP owners to vote for the Lumia, that's why they won the "Smartphone of 2012" and probably going to win this..

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 00:50 4

128. haseebzahid (Posts: 1813; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


hahah nokia made best designs and most confortable too even my Lumia800 looks much beutiful then iphone4 or 5 and that is what my friend with iphone4s said to me and many other said that although they had no taste for windows

posted on 22 Feb 2013, 19:58

173. lolol (Posts: 64; Member since: 14 Nov 2012)


Yeah, I own a cyan Lumia 800 , everyone looks at it when i take it out of the pocket.. The phone looks so good :D

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 20:29 12

118. MONUQ (Posts: 31; Member since: 26 Jan 2013)


One thing i Know in terms of Looks Nokia and Sony rocks.....

And i case of durability only few are par....I personally prefer Nokia....

posted on 21 Feb 2013, 13:20 3

166. TA-21 (Posts: 20; Member since: 22 Oct 2012)


I just thinking about now not about the past in this period of the time want to say "HTC is rocking".

posted on 03 Mar 2013, 11:38

190. richardyarrell2011 (banned) (Posts: 510; Member since: 16 Mar 2011)


Sleeping for ever...

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 11:51 2

7. alekso9 (Posts: 40; Member since: 30 Jan 2012)


But I have an HTC so just asking...

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 12:50 12

47. Johnnokia (Posts: 492; Member since: 27 May 2012)


Get the shock of the marvelous phones that will come from Nokia next week.

Nokia has always the best hardware and design

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 13:01 1

55. cornerofthemoon (Posts: 505; Member since: 20 Apr 2010)


I hope you are right

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 03:37 1

137. batman888 (Posts: 37; Member since: 06 Dec 2012)


oh yeah jhonnybaby the galaxy s4 comes out,then you should see the look on your stupid face!!

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 11:51 15

8. Victor.H (Posts: 410; Member since: 27 May 2011)


Since the company is undergoing a huge change under Google and hasn't really released anything new recently, we've not included it. Feel free to mention it in the comments, though. We'd also appreciate you mentioning a device you like or what you like about its designs the most.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 16:09 4

89. gmracer1 (Posts: 646; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)


Yeah but the poll is "Who designs the best looking smartphones?," and not "Which company makes the best-looking recent phones?"

Just sayin ;-P

Razr Maxx for the win! Kevlar/Titanium color/metal body/masculine curves. Omg I think I've developed a heart murmur...

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 11:52 34

11. tusshharish (Posts: 341; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


i still love nokia in design.....all phone of nokia are great........

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 12:13 11

30. Kriksis (Posts: 80; Member since: 27 Aug 2012)


oh so true...

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 12:45 26

44. Johnnokia (Posts: 492; Member since: 27 May 2012)


I have Galaxy S3 , but Nokia has the best ever designs

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 12:49 17

46. SamsungFan (Posts: 201; Member since: 16 Apr 2012)


Htc one looks better than lumias

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 12:53 9

48. Johnnokia (Posts: 492; Member since: 27 May 2012)


HTC One is just released.
The design of Lumia came from N9 which is 3 years old now.
Wait till the next week and let's see what Nokia will release.
Titanium FX

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 16:47 6

94. pookiewood (Posts: 566; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)


Lumia 620. ;)

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 20:56

119. SamsungFan (Posts: 201; Member since: 16 Apr 2012)


Ok we can wait ans see

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 13:28 20

63. emadshiny (Posts: 1127; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


HTC one is a copy of BB Z10.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 14:09 5

70. tedkord (Posts: 4511; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Wow, they sure are quick.

posted on 23 Feb 2013, 13:01 1

176. nogetch (Posts: 11; Member since: 23 Feb 2013)


HTC was working on the design of the ONE for more than two years !!
Its the first Full Metal phone !!!

And the design was actually a coincidence !!

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 17:05 9

98. shadez10 (Posts: 398; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)


Really?.. One looks ugly compared to lumia...

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 21:02 2

120. Omar-BHR95 (Posts: 184; Member since: 23 Dec 2012)


yes because htc actually copied nokia

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 04:59

143. husfus (Posts: 62; Member since: 21 Oct 2012)


how come you think one looks better? have you seen the z10?

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 04:26

140. rgxVOiD (Posts: 433; Member since: 30 Aug 2012)


Asha sure looks great... /s

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 12:00 15

19. sayedejaz (Posts: 24; Member since: 05 Feb 2013)


So Sony released, LG released , Blackberry released , NOW HTC too !!

All were build upon best of thier effort !

Now its time for the KING !!! ICONIC PHONE OF THE YEAR > Samsung Galaxy S IV <

With All New Next Generation Gorila Glass 3 , 8 CORE CPU !!
Waiting for March 14 ....
i admit they must do sumthing for design !! That is the only thing ! lets see

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 12:19 4

32. GALAXY-STORM (Posts: 328; Member since: 13 Oct 2012)


Lets just hope we won't be disappointed from design perspective.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 12:34 12

41. htc_prep (Posts: 303; Member since: 09 Oct 2009)


not being sarcastic or biased; outside of internals and screen have you ever seen a Samsung device that has made you drool over it strictly from a design point of view?

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 13:27 5

62. ReaperChief (Posts: 31; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Honestly yeah.. the Black S3 and the Gray Note 2.. Actually bought a Note 2.. love it.. Btw.. the most practical design is also the best design(plastic=resistance and easyness to replace, removable battery cover)

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 13:50 1

67. sayedejaz (Posts: 24; Member since: 05 Feb 2013)


I do love material .. i have no problem with that..
but that back panel know .. ?
that is very scrachable !!

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 13:50 2

68. sayedejaz (Posts: 24; Member since: 05 Feb 2013)


Anyway thank god better than Iphone 5 panel !

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 14:32

74. maccess (Posts: 583; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


and thank GOD you can just buy and change the back cover with the new one.. i bought one just to keep it so when i need to re sell my s3 , i just change the back with the new one and bang!! it looks new & shiny!!

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 21:06 3

121. Omar-BHR95 (Posts: 184; Member since: 23 Dec 2012)


your actually waiting for another piece of **** that is made out of plastic ( the cheapest hard material on this earth )

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 03:44 1

138. batman888 (Posts: 37; Member since: 06 Dec 2012)


yes yes very true the awesomest phone in the universe.....

THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!​!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!​!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!​!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!​!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!​!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!​!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!​!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!​!!!

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 13:20 6

153. BitterTruth (unregistered)


BRACE YOURSELF! Another over-priced plastic is coming :p

posted on 12 Mar 2013, 10:45

200. thiyagi (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Mar 2013)


If the body design of Samsung IV was not premium enough and in case it is " again the same plastic s**t " then i am going to rant on it all over the internet..

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 15:47 2

83. gmracer1 (Posts: 646; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)


They knew Moto would have been the easiest choice, so they left them off the list so others could contend xD

posted on 20 Feb 2013, 02:49 1

132. BattleBrat (Posts: 1062; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


When I first got my RAZR I was floored, so sleek, so sexy.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 11:49 24

2. feres13 (Posts: 306; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


HTC and Apple

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 11:49 11

5. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1322; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


i think the 10 year licence agreement has made HTC and Apple co-operate

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 11:54 16

13. RiseAgainst94 (Posts: 271; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)


Just HTC. The One X was the best looking phone of last year and the One may be of this year (though a step down). Apple has good feeling parts, but their design is seriously lacking. They have gone nowhere in the past 3-4 years and the back of the iPhone 5 has no design unity. Nokia's phone's are unfortunately bulky and Samsung's are unfortunately plastic.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 12:00 1

17. Mittal (Posts: 427; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


DItto!!

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 11:49 20

3. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1322; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


htc , quietly brilliant

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 11:49 13

6. Taters (Posts: 2682; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Sony for sure. I bought the Xperia S strictly based on looks and the Xperia Z is the nicest looking phone. The LG Optimus G looks like a well tailored suit as well.

HTC and Nokia just look too rice ticket Honda civic or scion to me.

Apple is just overrated and Samsung is nice but Sony is just better.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 12:03 10

23. Mittal (Posts: 427; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


I agree Sony designs are great.. I count the Arc as one of the best designs ever!!
But Xperia S and other NXT designs i found particularly ugly! Like slabs of brick

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 12:58 3

52. pwnarena (Posts: 844; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


yeah arc is the best though a little girly. too sexy it's become quite girly.

htc one is like a ripoff of blackberry and iphone but has superior innards and features.

posted on 23 Feb 2013, 13:06

177. nogetch (Posts: 11; Member since: 23 Feb 2013)


Actually the design similarity was a coincidence !!!
HTC was working on the design for more than 2 years !!
Its the first Mull Metal phone in the planet !

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 11:51 13

9. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3949; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Why isn't Motorola on the list? They make some pretty great designs themselves. I still think HTC is superior in design, but you have to give Motorola some credit with their Kevlar/metal designs that bring water resistance.

My list in order for best design:

HTC
Motorola
Apple
Sony
Nokia
LG
Samsung
Blackberry

That was based on just looks, not durability.

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 12:26 21

37. rusticguy (Posts: 2826; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


I would put Sony & Nokia above Apple ... because Apple never really deisgned the phone after first model .. they just stretched the size a bit here and there. Sony on other had has worked harder than Apple for sure :)

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 13:24 2

60. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5561; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


yeah, i agree with you on that list mostly. i might would switch Nokia and Sony but that's it. c:

posted on 19 Feb 2013, 14:11

71. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3949; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


I like Sony's curved and ergonomic designs rather than Nokia's industrial and blocky approach, that's just my own preference though.

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