We don't need that hunk o' love: here are the current flagships that don't have a protruding camera

We don't need that hunk o' love: here are the current flagships that don't have a protruding camera
If you are one who only uses their smartphone camera for the very occasional social media share, and could care less about your Instagram portfolio, you are probably not a huge fan of the current trend of smartphone cameras being accompanied by a design balance-throwing bulge on the phone's chassis. Having a protruding sensor is definitely not a new thing – handsets have been getting thinner, while manufacturers have been persistently trying to make their snappers better – but the topic became hotter than ever a few months ago, when Apple unveiled its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets.

The reason why it caused an uproar (and a number of videos and messages poking fun at it, both from users and competitive manufacturers) is most probably a complex one, but we'd wager that the main ingredients involve – users being shocked that a company, so highly acclaimed for its product designs, would allow for such a disbalance in its newest smartphone; Apple initially photoshopping the bump out of its promo materials; and the fact that, while other competitors try to mask the bulge, by building a gradual hill around it, the iPhone 6 has a ring, directly slapped over the camera sensor, making it stick out more than usual.

Of course, the camera hunks are not as bad as the Internet makes them out to be – especially if a protective case, which usually wraps around it and makes it flush, is involved. Still, it may be just that we've learned to live with them for now. The fact remains that phones with protruding cameras do not sit even, when placed on a table, and will keep some users paranoid about the safety of the sensor's glass.

So, if you are not a big fan of a phone's back having a camera-housing dune, fear not – there are plenty of flagships out there that prefer to keep a flush back. Here they are:

LG G3


The G3 is a pretty impressive handset all around – it was the first worldwide-available phone with a QHD screen, it has packed its 5.5” display in a very screen-to-body efficient chassis, its laser-assisted autofocus makes picture snapping fast, and its interface was flat before it was cool. Its camera has a 13 MP sensor, which sits flush to the body like it's nobody's business.



Motorola DROID Turbo


The DROID Turbo was launched at the end of October, 2014, as a Verizon-exclusive. It is jam-packed with the most powerful hardware available at the time, and holds a 3,900 mAh battery for some extreme longevity. Its 20.7 megapixel camera is nicely ducked inside a metal ring, which sits almost flush to the body.



Motorola Moto X


Of course, Motorola's widely-available, highly-customizable flagship – the Moto X – also falls in our little list. The phone sports a 13 MP snapper, surrounded by Motorola's proprietary “flash ring”, yet it still does not stick out. Well, its body is 0.39” thick, so there was room to jam the sensor in properly.



HTC One (M8)


The One is a user-favorite for sure. Maybe it's the metal unibody, maybe its the loud BoomSound front-facing stereo speakers, or it's the snappy interface. Most likely – a mixture of all. Now, HTC went with its proprietary UltraPixel tech for the snapper in the One (M8), which resulted in a camera that we found disappointing. Still, it's well hidden behind the back shell's outer lines, and the phone's design appears balanced all around.



Xperia Z3


Another fan-favorite, which struck the right notes where it needed – the Xperia Z3 was fairly well-received. It improved on the stereo speakers of the Z2 and sports an easier-to-handle form factor, while its glass-on-metal build oozes premium feel. The 0.29-inch handset's back is completely flush, even though it houses a 20.7 MP sensor. To be completely fair – Z3 users have reported a pink blotch issue with their handsets, which many speculate is caused by their decision to pack the sensor flush to the body, instead of giving it some room and going the protruding way.



Google Nexus 6


The 6-inch monster of a phablet that Google decided to showcase its newest Android build on – the Nexus 6 is loaded with cutting-edge hardware, 1440 x 2560 AMOLED screen, 3,220 mAh battery, and a 13 MP camera, which stays put inside the confines of the rear panel. To be fair – the handset is 0.40 inches thick (at the thickest point), so avoiding a back lump was probably not only welcome, but also – more easily achievable.



Nokia Lumia 930


The Lumia 930 (a.k.a. Lumia Icon for Verizon) is still bravely holding the “Windows flagship” spot, even though it's starting to age a bit – between the Nokia acquisition, and prepping Windows 10 for launch, Microsoft seems to have postponed refreshing its top-shelf line. Still, while it's SoC is not cutting-edge, the Snapdragon 800 is still a pretty capable unit. The handset is equipped with a 20 MP PureView camera and its 0.39” body doesn't let any of it stick out.



Huawei Honor 6 Plus


The Honor 6 Plus sports not one, but two 8 MP sensors for its rear-camera, which work both towards capturing more light for the images, and providing depth-of-field effects. The phone is a build-up on the already existing Honor 6, adding a larger 5.5” display, toting the newest Kirin 925 SoC chip, and packing a 3,600 mAh battery. Despite the fact that its body is 0.28” thin, the camera's sensors do not need a bulge to be housed in.



Meizu MX4 Pro


Meizu's newest flagship totes the same impressive design as the MX4, with a screen-to-body ratio of 74.53%, which makes the phone surprisingly manageable for a 5.5” display-equipped handset. It sports an octa-core Samsung-made CPU, 3 GB of RAM, a 3,550 mAh battery, and a Sony-made 20.7 MP sensor for its camera. Does it stick out of the 0.35” body? Nope.



Oppo Find 7


Yes, Oppo did release the N3 a few months ago, but we'd consider it more of a niche device, than a flagship. Meanwhile, the Find 7 may be in need of a refresh, but it still packs a potent punch, and it's still considered Oppo's “flagship”. So, powered by a Snapdragon 801, 3 GB of RAM, and toting a 5.5” QHD display, this 0.36” thick handset has a 13 MP sensor under the hood – and we mean “under” as in “not sticking out”.



OnePlus One


Of course we are going to go there. Whether OnePlus is a subsidiary of Oppo is still up in the air (both companies deny it), but the fact remains that the OnePlus One bears a striking resemblance to the Find 7. And as such – its 13 MP sensor is tucked behind the body's limits as well.



Xiaomi Mi Note


Xiaomi didn't miss to make fun of the iPhone's protruding camera in its own... slightly weird way. Apparently, trying to flatten the hump of an iPhone 6, by hitting it, with a frying pan no less, results in the phone magically turning into a Xiaomi Mi Note, at least according to this commercial.

Weird jabs aside, the Mi Note does look gorgeous, and its 13 MP camera is, indeed, flush. Sporting a Snapdragon 801 SoC, it will not appease the fans of bleeding-edge tech, but fear not – that's why the 64-bit SD810-equipped Mi Note Pro is in the pipeline.

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22 Comments

1. AlikMalix unregistered

I have voiced my opinion about iPhone 6 camera protrusion and I dont like it, but MOST of those phones have bezels protrude as much as iPhone 6/6+ (and they're thicker phones too).. and the ones that dont are much thicker phones (their entire back panel bevels out - they better not have camera's protrude!!! I think only Nexus hides their camera well - the rest, really???

20. buccob

Posts: 2981; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Z3 and Z3c both have great screen-to-body ratio, are very thin (specially Z3) and have a flush camera design. Apple should have use the extra millimeter for battery instead of protruding the camera.

25. mixedfish

Posts: 1569; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Sounds like you should stick to your Nokia 3310.

2. mistercarter

Posts: 360; Member since: Sep 01, 2011

only the Xperia Z3 is thin, and the G3 can get away with it cuz of the tapered edges i would be offended if the Motorola's had a protruding camera even with that 10mm thickness bodies

3. Simona unregistered

ip 6 is crap it is small 8 mpx and still thick as brick

4. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

In all honesty, I think the iP6,s protruding camera is the worst of them all, it just sticks out of the otherwise elegant and beautiful design...

9. vincelongman

Posts: 5804; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I think the plastic bands on the iP6 are also quite bad They way they wrap around the top looks off They would look a lot better if they were just straight across like on the One M8

13. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

The iPhone design team took a trip to Taiwan. That much is obvious.

5. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

I hate the protruding cameras in phones. It's a deal breaker for me. It is almost always ugly, and when put down it rests on the camera. Just can't stand it.

6. GeekMovement unregistered

I've gotten used to protruding cameras, but I still prefer the design without it. I really like the design of the Xperia Z3 the best, followed with HTC's flagship. LG's is not bad either. *Then again, I'd prefer better image quality with a protruding camera.

7. BobLawblaw unregistered

An article about protruding camera's? Really clutching at straws these days PA..

8. _NBH_

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Protruding cameras are just a horrible side effect of phone manufacturers all trying to create another selling point by making slimmer phones until they reach the point where the camera hardware simply doesn't fit. Not only does it look ugly but it makes the very part on the back of the phone you want to protect (the camera lens) stick out and increases the chances of it getting scratched or cracked. The Nexus 6 has it nicely flush but to stop that phone being a thick slab it has to be curved which makes it spin round on the desk like a spinning top just swiping.

10. datagrab

Posts: 50; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

Waiting for that lannister dude to comment. I know he's got a lot to say about this topic.

11. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3183; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

The M8 might as well not even have a camera.

12. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

More blind, sheep hate about the M8's camera. Troll harder next time.

22. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3183; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I once owned the M8. The camera is atrocious and there's no way around that. What you call trolling, I call fact.

19. jessyi

Posts: 327; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

Thats why i hate samsung phones disign.

21. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2267; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

ha samsung and apple not here ...GOOD.

24. JMartin22

Posts: 2410; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

With phones getting slimmer this year and camera sensors staying the same size or bigger, expect protruding camera bulges. This is the price we all pay for product marketing.

27. j7urner

Posts: 10; Member since: Nov 26, 2014

That's a lot of phones. This was pointless article, just say every phone but the i6, s6, lumina, asus zen zoom, and Galaxy zoom.

29. LikeMyself

Posts: 631; Member since: Sep 23, 2013

The S6 tenders appear to have a big protruding camera as well! But it's placed centrally. So a little more forgiveable than the ip6 corner positioned. Hope these cameras are covered by sapphire glass like Nokia does!

30. Android-HD

Posts: 4; Member since: May 27, 2014

so... the point of this article is? complaint about thickness of ALL NON APPLE phones and make special mentions to their vulnerabilities to make Apple Fans Happy? Aww that SOO cute "PA"! You seriuosly need to stop bothering about other phones... ACCEPT APPLE JUST SUCKS! And thats it! a near mediocre 8mp rear camera that is smashed face to face from ANY other Android or Windows smartphone! and.... if the pathetic 8Mp rear camera or the incredible stupid or ridiculous price of this device isnt enough! it have the uggliest protuding sensor out there! COME ON! we are "Flaggship Speaking" its a deal breaker to ANYONE that isnt a blind apple fanboy! Accept that..."TO BE COMPLETELY FAIR"

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