6 unusual smartphones released in 2015

6 unusual smartphones released in 2015
We've been watching the mobile industry for quite some time now, and it looks like each and every year is bringing at least a few smartphones that manage to surprise us in one way or another - sometimes it's the design, other times it's the innovative or unique features, or just previously unseen associations of brands and certain types of end products. 

Last year, we had things like the Android-based Nokia X series, Amazon's first smartphone (the ill-fated Fire Phone), or Apple's first phablet (the iPhone 6 Plus).

Naturally, this year, other unusual smartphones came into the spotlight, and, with 2016 being almost here, we thought that now would be a good time to talk about them. So join us below, will you? In case you're wondering, the handsets are listed in alphabetical order.

As you've probably already heard, BlackBerry this year officially adopted Android as its newest OS (though without ditching BlackBerry OS). The first BlackBerry smartphone to be based on Android is the Priv, a device that was released in November, and seems to be selling quite well. The BlackBerry Priv is not unusual just because it runs Android (with a touch of extra security that's specific to BlackBerry), but also because it's got a sliding QWERTY keyboard that's accompanying the large 5.4-inch Quad HD touchscreen display. Speaking of it, the display is curved on the sides - just like the screens of two Samsung handsets that we'll present a bit later in this article.

At first glance, the LG V10 may look like yet another Android phablet, but, upon closer inspection, you'll discover that it features a dual front-facing camera (for wide-angle selfies), and a secondary display next to it. This secondary display is a 2.1-inch one with 1040 x 160 pixels, and it's always on, letting you peek at notifications, or quickly open app shortcuts. Of course, the main 5.7-inch, Quad HD display will still be the one to provide the full smartphone experience.

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Motorola Droid Turbo 2 / Moto X Force

Released in the US as the Droid Turbo 2, and in other parts of the world as the Moto X Force, Motorola's newest high-end smartphone is the world's first to feature a shatterproof display. The technology that allows this screen to be shatterproof is developed by Motorola and is called ShatterShield. Motorola is guaranteeing that the display of the Droid Turbo 2 / Moto X Force won't crack or shatter for four years. Various drop tests have confirmed that this is, indeed, a shatterproof screen while makes this Motorola handset unique.

We already talked about the dual-curve screen of the BlackBerry Priv, but the world's first smarphone to have such a screen was Samsung's Galaxy S6 edge (released in March this year), while the second one was its bigger brother, the Galaxy S6 edge+ (released in August). The S6 edge and S6 edge+ are unlike any previous smartphones, having evolved from last year's Galaxy Note Edge (with its screen that's curved on only one side). Of course, from now on, we expect to see many other similar handsets, but we won't forget that the S6 edge series pioneered the dual-curve screen category (if we may call it that).

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The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium is another device that may look like a regular Android phablet, but it's hiding something that no other smartphone has: a display with a crazy 2160 x 3840 (4K) pixel resolution and a 801 ppi density. However, most of the time, the display (a 5.5-inch panel) runs at just 1080 x 1920 pixels. The 2160 x 3840 pixel resolution is currently reserved only for images, videos, and apps like Netflix and YouTube. Nevertheless, the Xperia Z5 Premium already made history as the world's first smartphone with a 4K screen.



1. bistech

Posts: 59; Member since: Jul 23, 2015

Why there is no iphone 6s that phone is the best smartphone and the most innovative.

2. meanestgenius

Posts: 22847; Member since: May 28, 2014

You're kidding, right? The title says "6 unusual, surprising smartphones released in 2015". There was nothing unusual or surprising about the latest iterations of the iPhone.

8. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Well, he's just a troll trying to generate more Apple hate.

26. meanestgenius

Posts: 22847; Member since: May 28, 2014

Agreed. He's definitely a troll. But he'll get no "Apple Hate" from me. I have an iPhone 6s Plus and an iPad Air 2, and I'm enjoying them both.

10. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Aren't 2GB RAM, 12MP Camera, Full HD and 3D Touch surprising? ;)

18. meanestgenius

Posts: 22847; Member since: May 28, 2014

Not even close, lol!

20. AlikMalix unregistered

Whats surprising (and screw haters) that after the FT screen apple had less room for the battery on the 6s/6s+, yet the battery on 6s/6s+ lasts dramatically longer than iPhone 6/6+.

28. lalalaman

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

he is trolling PA as they will give highscore to any apple device and they are giving very low rating to even good phones nowadays :(

3. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

The iPhone 6s is neither unusual or surprising. Try reading the title and the article before posting your fanboy drivel. And best? That's subjective. Most most innovative? There's absolutely nothing innovative about the 6s.

9. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

By Innovative I Think He Means 3d Touch.

12. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Huawei beat Apple to it.

13. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

The Apple Watch Had The Feature First And Huawei Only Announced Their Phone First.

16. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Jesus effing Christ, you're just trying to start another fanboy war. Where could I buy this Huawei before 6s hit the shelves? Where? Announcement means sh.t, 6s was first available phone to have it and you're all stupid to think that this was Huawei's idea. If there weren't any 6s leaks before launch no one would even think about force touch. Sorry for my exultation but ignorant comments like these make me sick.

21. AlikMalix unregistered

They forget the MB and Apple Watch had it year or more before Hiway ANNOUNCED it. But just like with everything, Apple insured that all possible 3rd party developers can take advantage of the new UI feature and not just assign to a few stock apps. To an blind android-lover-apple-hater (not talking about the android fans) as long as it's on paper it doesnt matter how versatile, or useful, or how well it's designed, integrated or supported - "if it's got 4 wheels - than it's a car" mentality... They keep bringing up the damn airview that even samsung dropped because it just too erroneous to use, and they're calling it the same thing as FT. Or bring up longpress as if apple didnt have that before Android was on it's first consumer device...

30. PhoneBag

Posts: 8; Member since: Jul 06, 2015

seriously? you called 6S the most innovative? what's new with all the SUPER DELAYED features added on their newest 6S and 6S Plus? nothing, nothing new. nothing special and not even close enough to be called innovative. I just dunno why people keep on buying that device which is really not worth buying, I see some of my friends owns one but they are purchasing it to show as a status symbol. tssssssssss -_-

4. combatmedic870

Posts: 987; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Good god....had to be the first comment.... *grab popcorn*

5. dil2abu

Posts: 315; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

However, most of the time, the display (a 5.5-inch panel) runs at just 1080 x 1920 pixels. We know this PA, No need to remind us every time..

6. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Yep. Very unusual PA. Might as well call Scooby and his Gang to look on these whereabouts?

7. aashis.sapkota

Posts: 85; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

Loyal fans of Apple praise about anything constructed by them. This is actually making the biggest tech company one of the laziest. They are just adopting other's innovation after its verified and trusted in the market. Also, they claim its the first time ever. What an irony.

22. AlikMalix unregistered

Is this why Android has been adding iOS features since the beginning? Even Marshmallow is finally adding Doze and Full App Permissions that iOS had since the beginning. Lets not forget that Atrix FP sensor did not fare well - a home button built-in, extremely accurate, super fast, and wont store your actual fingerprint model introduced in 5s is what's being copied, even Samsung gave up its "Swipe" version for the same as Apple uses. Did you also forget that apple was the first to travel into indistinguishable pixels screen and every just keep topping it for the sake of bigger marketing number? What about Forcetouch? I can bet money that it will be followed just like Touch ID was followed... Go to the earlier days: Mulittouch, Modern app store for 3rd party developers, Remote Lock, reversible charge port... and lets not forget the "under the hood features" like Metal, Swift, 64bit mobile, slow-mo at 128 and later 240fps at 1080p. I'm sure you gonna start digging up some ancient versions of some of this stuff, but then same applies to Android - Google never made Android, google bought it, google never made maps - google bought it, google never made you-tube, google bought it.... Android didnt have a capacitive touch screen - android was lazy, it just adopted after its verified and trusted in the market - a la APPLE!... Your words, not mine. The iPhone was the first phone that shipped with an OS as advanced as the desktop version. WIth revolutionary touch interface that re-imagined the way user interact with their phone and finger. In particular, the scrolling behaviour was very natural because that gives way to a very intuitive user experience. This may seem like a commonplace in nowadays smartphones, but really this is so important to users where they are always presented with contents bigger that the small screen permits, such as contact list, web browser, message list, musics and etc. The iPhone was the first phone that shipped with multi touch display. Multi touch is a big thing, bigger than what many people assumed. WIth multi touch, user can perform many natural gestures, such as rotating image. The iPhone was the first phone that had a big screen, great for watching movies, images. Combined with customised UI for each apps, you never need the physical keyboards anymore. The iPhone was also the first phone that came with data plans bundled. This seems so common now, but back then, data on mobile was very expensive. The carriers was dominating the mobile phone contracts, limiting the amount of data customers can used to really use the internet on-the-go. Apple made a special contract with AT&T first, and then with many carriers around the world to make the iPhone comes with data plans bundled, subsidised, and comes with free software updates. The iPhone was the first phone that re-imagine the smartphones as a mobile computer. It evolved into tablet computer 3 years later. How fast we forget, huh?

11. iM2.0

Posts: 52; Member since: Dec 14, 2015


19. meanestgenius

Posts: 22847; Member since: May 28, 2014

Comment #2 already answered this question.

24. AlikMalix unregistered

m.g. with all due respect (because post #1 was asking for it, lol) your comment #2 is subjective. What I mean is, some find curved screen to be cool and different, some find FT to be cool and different... if you're wondering, I'd vote for the edge's curved screen on the S6... I see people using it - it looks cool, but the view angles takes getting used to in my opinion - interactivity/feature wise, I'd take FT over curved screen.. But we're talking about distinctive features, and even though FT will be changing the mobile devices next year - the curved screen on the edge does look different - and that's what the article is about... Hope you see my point...

27. meanestgenius

Posts: 22847; Member since: May 28, 2014

Totally understand your point, A.M. I happen to like force touch as well, and am eager to see more developers take advantage of it so I can enjoy it even more on my 6s plus.

29. AlikMalix unregistered

Try WarHammer 40,000: FreeBlade for how force touch is used in games. But my favorite use is the cursor scrolling (like the two fingered version on BB, except no need for two fingers just force harder on keyboard and scroll with one finger). And my second most use is context menu when used on a contact within anywhere in UI to quickly choose method of communication.

14. nodes

Posts: 1164; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

how can Galaxy S6 Edge be surprising or unusual where Samsung already released Galaxy Note Edge six months earlier?

25. AlikMalix unregistered

It's still that good, that even if repeated - still looks unusual. You gotta agree... right? The 6/6s just looks uninspiring next to the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge...(phew, long title).

15. runzlord

Posts: 245; Member since: Oct 13, 2013

The sony xperia z5 premium is not unique or surprising in any way!!! I mean, if it is then the iphone should be there too for moving up that stats...its even more surprising knowing that apple hardly increase its specs What of lumia 950? the "passport" feature? Instead of finger print like others??

17. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

You're risking attack from Sony's fanboys right now, many people here tried to convince everyone that there is nothing innovative about Z5P but you just can't speak to Sonyfan's mind. 4K is just another step in screen's evolution, it is in no way innovative or unusual, what's more unusual about Z5P is that it needs almost PC-like cooling system to not explode with 810

23. NewroticSlob

Posts: 182; Member since: May 09, 2013

I hear Carlson of Get Smart is getting ready to release the next gen shoe phone! The report I heard says it would have been released sooner but Fang wanted out one morning.... well, let's just say, it wasn't pretty. Carlson was heard to report he wanted to release it in 2015. Maxwell was heard to say, He... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPwrodxghrw

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