5 unorthodox phones released in 2015

This year had its fair share of crazy phones, and we don't mean unorthodox shapes and forms only, but also unique offerings from reputable manufacturers that really pushed the boundaries of phone-making in 2015.

From crazy flip camera shenanigans, through screens sloping on the sides like a pixelized waterfall, manufacturers went out on a limb with ideas and execution, that's why we are rounding up some of the more unorthodox handsets that 2015 brought onto our unsuspecting heads, check'em out below, and tell us which one is your fave.

Huawei ShotX ($350)

The flipping camera phone

With its wacky camera, the Huawei ShotX (or Honor 7i) deserves a pantheon in our ranking of the craziest 2015 phones. Not only does it come with a system that turns the 13 MP rear camera into a front-facing one with the flip of a finger, but was also the first phone that moved the fingerprint scanner on the side, embedding it in the power/lock key. 

The sole camera unit has been given an additional emphasis, too, boasting a Sony sensor, f/2.0 aperture, sapphire lens protection, the works. For those worried that the rotation which flips the camera 180 degrees will wear with time, Huawei is quick to assure us that the mechanism can withstand at least two years of usage even if you flip it 132 times a day. Other than the intriguing camera, the Honor 7i is a midranger, with a 5.2" 1080p display, Snapdragon 616 SoC, 2 GB/3 GB of RAM, and 16 GB/32 GB of internal memory, as well as a 3100 mAh battery to back it all up.

LG V10 ($600)

The dual-everything phone

The crazy, dual-everything V10, feels like it is LG's answer to the dual-edge phones with flexible displays that Samsung outed this year. It is stuffed to the gills with the latest in tech, but the most notable feature is its secondary 2.1" front display that serves as a garage for shortcuts, a notification ticker, or a date and time clock. That's not the only hardware component that the V10 doubles down on, though, as the phone also sports a dual 5 MP front camera, and a dual-tone, dual LED flash for the 16 MP OIS camera on the rear.

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge ($600)

The bends-like-Gumby phone

Speaking of dual-edge displays, Samsung really took its line of flexible YOUM screens with plastic substrates to the next level by introducing the unique Galaxy S6 edge back in the spring, followed by its larger, 5.7" S6 edge+ sibling in the summer. The phone offers every little bit of cutting edge tech that the S6 has, such as a record pixel density, 14nm processor, and 16 MP camera with OIS, but comes with a screen panel that is wrapped around both sides, and can serve as a quick access field for shortcuts, favorite contacts, and the like. We can only guess where Samsung will take us next year with those flexible displays, if the rumored Project V foldable phone materializes.

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium ($800)

The 4K pioneer

Sony's Xperia Z5 Premium arrived as the world's first phone with a 4K resolution display, cramming 8 million pixels in a 5.5" display for the breathtaking 800+ ppi pixel density for the first time on a mobile device. How huge is the gap with the next best thing in pixel density? Well, the Galaxy S6 with its 5.1" Quad HD panel has 577ppi, for instance. 

Granted, Sony only runs the screen in the full 2160 x 3840 resolution when displaying high-res pictures in the gallery, or running 4K video in the default player, to lessen the toll on the battery and the graphics subsystem, but that's a tradeoff we can stomach. A 4K screen is not the only unique thing about the Z5 Premium, though - its 5.5" diagonal is a first for the Xperia Z line, plus it also has a finger scanner on the side, and is as waterproof as its smaller Z5 siblings.

Motorola Droid Turbo 2 ($624)

The Untouchable

When Motorola asked its focus groups a few years back what worries them the most about their smartphones, they replied that they are always conscious they will run out of juice in the middle of the day, or that the screen will break when they dropped their phones. Well, Motorola rolled up its sleeves, and created the Droid Turbo 2 (Moto X Force abroad) with a ShatterShield display and a huge two-day battery.

That's the first time someone is offering a phone with flexible AMOLED, besides Samsung and LG that make them, but Motorola didn't stop there. It tacked a dual digitizer on top, so that if one of the touch layers gets damaged by an impact, the other one can take over. The actual protection from falling face-down on concrete is achieved by two layers as well. The transparent interior lens is made with plastic substrate, too, and won't crack or shatter when dropped, while on top of it is the last, exterior lens layer, which is hardcoated against dents and abrasions.

Overall, Motorola is so confident in the tough and durable display package it has created with ShatterShield, that it gives you four years of warranty on the screen. Yes, you read that right - the screen on your Turbo 2 will be replaced for free if you manage to split or crack it within the first four years of ownership. Granted, it doesn't cover the top exterior lens, but this one is apparently replaceable, and we'd love to have been a fly on the wall when Motorola was testing the four-year warranty claim in its R&D labs.



1. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Almost forgot the Huawei honor 7i...

2. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

Hi PA, will there be a review of the Z5P?

34. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

Hopefully sooner rather than later.

3. Achillias

Posts: 52; Member since: Sep 24, 2015

Not even the Nubia Z9? Phonearena is a very based website.

4. lalalaman

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

other big oems will never do a shatter proof screen phone in near future,too bad...they want ppl to spend money and teenage girls with broken iphone screens is what they want

15. bucky

Posts: 3783; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

yes, that is exactly what a company hopes for, people will break their products and bank on repairing $150-$200 screens...genius.

5. TyrionLannister unregistered

No blackberry priv. Disappointed :/ It has issues, but it's more unique than any phone here. Having a 4K screen doesn't make a phone unique. From that crappy logic, I can say HTC A9 is unique as it's the only phone with SD 617.

6. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Agree to you, a sliding mechanism with hardware keyboard(also doubles as a trackpad) and a curved QHD AMOLED display is the most unique combination ever created. l really wanted the Priv because l always want to be different than the others.

7. kabiluddin

Posts: 276; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Unique-(adj)- being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else. The very definition of "unique" will disagree with you. Yes, Having a 4K screen in 2015 does a make a phone unique because no phone released in 2015 have 4K screen. Not surprised though you have a tendency to undermine Sony's feature whenever you can. Next time read the title of the article carefully and if possible learn the meaning of the key word of the article.

9. TyrionLannister unregistered

I don't need a dictionary. Read the headline, it means crazy and unique phones. 4k is not crazy by any means. By the same logic, every phone is unique as it has a different design and feature-set. No 2 phones are exactly the same, so it makes them unique right. Unique specs don't make a phone unique and crazy. If they did, HTC ONE A9 will be in this list as it's the only phone with an SD 617 inside. I can give you countless phones in that criteria. But that's abusing the literature, isn't it. Let me give you a few examples of some 'unique phones' by your definition: Nexus 6p: The only 5.7" Nexus LG G4: Only phone with LG's quantum display. oneplus two: only phablet with a mute/priority switch iPhone 6s: Only 2015 phone with a 750p display and A9 processor. and countless others. You still won't get my point as Sony fanboyism has blinded you.

11. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

4K is still crazy, as no one dared to make one in 2015.(Read again the title) Z5P have the craziest display of 2015 generation.

13. TyrionLannister unregistered

I don't think it's crazy. It's crazy as in from an engineering, but not that daring crazy and unorthodox. For example, could you call the S6 crazy in Q1 as it had the first 14 nm processor? No, you can't. It's just the next step in terms of specs. A crazy phone has to be daring, as in unorthodox. Having the highest numbers in specs just don't count.

12. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

"Crazy and unique". the screen goes beyond 800ppi which is crazy, considering that the next highest ppi is 580. What's "Crazy" about sd 617? you'd do anything at all to deny any Sony smartphones to the list e.g. highest screen-body ratio under 5" is the galaxy 4 which has a 4.99"display. If it was about the highest screen-body ratio with at least 5", you'd also include the S4.

14. TyrionLannister unregistered

So to prove your point, you come to a personal attack. Calling someone biased with a name like yours, LOL. The reasons I hate Sony is not due to their phones, it's due to their moronic fanboys and their insane prices in my country.

16. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

I didn't say you were biased nor did I attack you in any way, but from my observation, you were quick to comment against articles and comments mentioning Sony. What country do you live in? Here in the UK it costs as much as other flagship smartphones except the iPhones.

19. TyrionLannister unregistered

you'd do anything at all to deny any Sony smartphones to the list e.g. highest screen-body ratio under 5" is the galaxy 4 which has a 4.99"display. If it was about the highest screen-body ratio with at least 5", you'd also include the S4. How will you think I perceive it? In no way you meant it except calling me a Sony hater. I commented as the priv was not mentioned. I don't even comment on Sony articles anymore as fanboys attack me and I simply don't bother on Sony phones as know they will cost over 900-1000$ and offer nothing new. I like a few Sony phones and I absolutely love their software. Unfortunately, Z5P is not one of them as it's 4k screen is useless and 99% of the time it's going to be 1080p anyway. I like the Z5 though. About location, I'd like to keep it to myself. But to give you an idea, a Z5 costs 200$ more than something like the S6, G4 or 6P. You can imagine the price of Z5P.

24. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Maybe you have a different concept of personal attack but I've added more than just that, and you weren't any different, insinuating that I'm biased. I've seen a lot of "fanboys" responding with only attacks, so no - fanboys aren't limited to Sony. Didn't you mention something about browsing in 4k? maybe rooting it will let control the use of 4k. I've never seen a review of the Z5 flagships but reviewers may or may not find it useful when watching videos or viewing pictures. On their official website or some phone store online/anywhere else? it's usually the latter that makes it a regular price.

28. uzimafioso

Posts: 469; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

He's from India btw if he's the same guy as GSMArena Iron Man or Tyrion Lannister (I think he's the same cause of the way he writes). Anyway just chill dude. I like Sony phones but I think Sony is in need of a major design refocus just like HTC (and not towards iPhone designs but original designs). I wont agree with the S6 edge placement in the article since the edged parts of the screen are actually redundant in my opinion. Z5 premium has the densest screen, Motorola made an indestructible screen and i dont care about Huawei.

22. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

There have been slider phones before so the priv instantly falls of the list if I follow your logic.

30. Kumar123 unregistered

Hey, good one. Here is my +1.

23. kabiluddin

Posts: 276; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

LMAO. So finally you admit you hate Sony and the cheap shot you take at Sony just to piss off their fanboys. LOL. I always thought you hate Sony and thats why you always take cheap shot at Sony. Your comment just confirms it. Thanks for the confirmation. You could at least read the first para of the article. PA clearly state this - "This year had its fair share of crazy phones, and we don't mean unorthodox shapes and forms only, but also unique offerings from reputable manufacturers that really pushed the boundaries of phone-making in 2015." They make it clear why they include They Z5P. But if you only bother to read you would understand this. But too bad Instead of reading the article our highly "intelligent" TyrionLannister make up his own logic/point to define what crazy or unique phone are. Next time READ the article.

25. TyrionLannister unregistered

Really pushed the boundaries of phone making. Z5P is the last phone that will do it. 4K is not the future, hopefully if there is still hope left in humankind.

26. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

They've offered other flagship phones without 4k (Z5, Z5c). Samsung is allegedly making the next flagship phones with and without 4k display. Nothing wrong with that as long as they give choices.

29. Kumar123 unregistered

Ha ha ha. Can't stop laughing. Samsung's paid blogger just got rekt. And Samsung fans call him one of the most "unbiased" people here on PA. He is soo unbiased that he say iPhone is for weirdos. Samsung's paid sheep are the worst. If you ever read his blog you would instantly knew. Pure rubbish writing. When you have no job and failed as a programmer I guess that's the only thing you do. Write rubbish on your tech blog and comment on a famous tech blog all day without doing anything productive.

33. TyrionLannister unregistered

I know I shouldn't reply to you but here's my reply. Firstly, No one pays me and I'm not a blogger. I just wrote 2-3 articles as I had free time to redirect people to share information. Secondly, I'm not a failed programmer. I can bet I am more settled than you and set for my life. I'm not gonna brag here, but that's the truth. Thirdly, you deserve no right to comment on how I live my life. You talk about how much free time I have. How about all the research you've done on me. Clearly you're either jealous or obsessed with me. Go and do something with your pathetic life and stop being a disgrace on the face of earth and humanity.

17. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

You guys don't understand what Tyrion's saying... And no, 4K screen is nothing unique, it's just another step in engineering, sliding keyboard on Priv is unique feature, no phone had it in 2015 and probably none will in next years. Also 3D Touch is unique, it's new feature on phones, like it or not, but Apple was first this time. Of course you will call me iSheep or some other s.it but this is not the feature that is resolution of more advanced hardware. It's just new feature, that's what being unique in tech world means.

20. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Sliding keyboard existed before 2015. 3D touch existed on Lumia Mclaren, tho it.s a different thing. Force touch isn't unique on smartphones.

31. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Yeah, but show me smartphone from recent years that has slider keyboard. And You're talking about phone that existed only in rumors? Are You serious? If force touch isn't unique why there is no phone except 6S that uses it? I'm not counting Huwaei because you can't even buy this phone. How does it matter that Android had API for it and some screens could differentiate touch sensity if there was no single app or anything that you could use it for

35. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

This is becoming foolish, now. Have other smartphones with sliding keyboards suddenly disappeared in 2015? There's the mate S which you probably know about but don't give me the "you can't buy that right now" crap, because it's not like that phone is in mars right know which nobody can reach.

21. TyrionLannister unregistered

Finally someone gets it.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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