Smartphones with unique designs (roundup)

For better or for worse, these unconventional handsets' risky shapes, colors, and materials stand out among the crowd.

Phone makers use every trick in the book to differentiate their phones on store shelves, from bright colors to unusual proportions, textures, and materials. Here are five smartphones that turn heads for striking shapes, aggressive style, and distinct physical features that you just don't see every day.

Note: This article originally posted August 13, 2012 and was most recently updated February 12, 2014.

LG G Flex
LG's curvy G Flex has a huge curved display and a self-healing finish. Josh Miller/CNET

LG G Flex
This curved six-inch smartphone may sell with three US carriers, but its underlying technology is far from commonplace. The Flex's bendable form can withstand 90 pounds of pressure and its self-healing backing is a small, but useful, innovative detail.Read our LG G Flex review.


Motorola Moto X
You can customize the Motorola Moto X's backing. Sarah Tew/CNET

Motorola Moto X
YThe beauty behind the Moto X's comfortable, everyman form is that you can make it look exactly how you'd like. While other phone-makers produce a range of wild colors when going out on a limb, Motorola's Moto Maker site lets customers choose their own colors on the front, back, and accents. Talk about one-of-a-kind design.Read the Motorola Moto X review.


Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is more camera than phone. Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

Completely impractical to use as a handset, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom's compact camera silhouette and protruding optical zoom is what makes the phone such an attention-grabbing device. Read the full Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom review.


iPhone 5S
You have to hand it to Apple for its smart fingerprint scanner design. Sarah Tew/CNET

iPhone 5S
Compared to these more outlandish displays of design, the iPhone 5S is positively pedestrian. However, there is one understated feature that does stand out, and that's the fingerprint scanner that's cleverly and elegantly integrated into the iPhone's home button. Part of the appeal is that the home button is now both clickable and tappable, depending on what you want to do, and weaving biometric recognition into the phone has implications for quick-access and shopping as much as it does for security. Apple may not be the first to utilize fingerprint scanning (Motorola's Atrix 4G preceded it back in 2011), but the iPhone 5S is sure to popularize the authorizing option. Read the full iPhone 5S review.


Samsung Hennessy
A flip-up Android phone? Yep, that's right. Samsung

Samsung Hennessy and Samsung Galaxy Golden
Leave it to Samsung to go neo-retro with the humble flip phone. Its Hennessy phone has dual 3.3-inch screens, runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and also tucks away two SIM card slots. The more premium Samsung Galaxy Golden is the same idea writ large, with 3.7-inch Super AMOLED touch screens, an 8-megapixel camera, and LTE support. Both are expected to remain in Asian markets. Read about the Hennessy here and Galaxy Golden here.


Do you have any favorites that didn't make this list? Chime in below in the comments.

 

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