13 wacky phones unlike anything you've ever seen

In 2018, most smartphones look nearly identical. That wasn't always the case.
1 of 13 Apple

iPhone X

When Apple first announced the iPhone X, you have to admit, it looked different. The notch on the front and vertical dual-cameras on the back just felt... wrong.

But over time, users have adjusted, and nearly every smartphone company has decided to adopt the notch look as well.

It just goes to show, sometimes the weird becomes the norm. Unfortunately, for the rest of the phones we've included here, that wasn't the case.

2 of 13 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

ZTE Axon M

ZTE took a chance and made a smartphone that has two screens, the Axon M. This Android-powered phone uses two 5.2-inch displays -- either independently of one another or as one large display for things like browsing the web.

One drawback, however, is the big black bar running down the middle of the displays. That bar is the hinge, separating the two screens. When closed, you have a screen on each side, meaning you'll have to worry about scratching two screens, instead of one, when the phone is in a pocket or bag.

3 of 13 BlackBerry

BlackBerry Passport

You have to applaud BlackBerry for trying something new when the company's mobile efforts were in a freefall. The Passport meant well, but it's odd footprint lead to awkward comparisons.

At the time, the company justified the design by comparing it to the dimensions of an actual passport, which is something most business executives are familiar and comfortable with.

The square display measured 4.5-inches and featured BlackBerry's keyboard just beneath it. The keyboard also worked as a touchpad, using gestures to help when scrolling through webpages or spreadsheets.

4 of 13 Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

BMW Key Fob Phone

Do you frequently lose your keys? If so, then this phone was designed without you in mind.

BMW's Key Fob Phone is just as its name implies, a key fob for your luxury vehicle that doubles as a phone. The Key Fob Phone is small and didn't offer much in the form of features -- it wasn't a smartphone -- but it did have a color display and fancy sound effects as it powered up.

5 of 13 Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Nokie N-Gage

Before Fortnite was available on mobile devices, Nokia pushed the boundaries with mobile gaming, thanks to its N-Gage line.

The N-Gage was designed to be held horizontally, much in the same way a gaming controller is held. Buttons on either side of the display were used for gaming.

The top edge of the phone is where the earpiece and mic were found, which made whoever was holding it look, well, weird.

6 of 13 LG

LG G Flex 2

Ah yes, how could leave the Banana Phone out of this?

LG's G Flex and G Flex 2 were some of the first smartphones to feature a curved display. Only instead of taking the same approach Samsung eventually adopted, where a display's curves are found on the sides, the G Flex curve from top to bottom.

The end result was a phone that hugged your face, much like a banana does when you hold it up like a phone.

One thing that stands out in my memory about the G Flex was the ability to put the phone face down on a desk, and press in the middle to bend the screen to the point where the phone was flat.

The screen didn't crack, and as soon as you let go it popped right back into place, curve and all.

7 of 13 Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Microsoft Kin

The Kin One and Kin Two didn't last long after they were launched on Verizon Wireless.

The Microsoft designed phones had slide out keyboards with keys that looked like miniature Tic Tacs.

The One, on the left, fit nicely in your palm when the keyboard was hidden. The Two, pictured on the right, looked more like a Sidekick, only not as well designed.

Nonetheless, the Kin line lasted all of two months before Microsoft and Verizon removed it from the shelves, never to be talked about again.

8 of 13 Vertu

Vertu Smart Touch

If you don't really care about money, the Vertu Smart Touch is the only phone for you.

It's an Android phone that uses Grade 5 Titanium for its housing, leather for accents, sapphire for its display, and an engraved nameplate where the person who hand-built your phone leaves his or her signature.

Various models include alligator skin, calf leather, lizard skin, and alligator skin... because why not?

Each model is as unique as it is expensive, with pricing reportedly starting at $10,000.

9 of 13 YotaPhone

YotaPhone 2

Imagine your Android phone and an Amazon Kindle had a kid. The end result, I imagine, would be the YotaPhone 2.

On one side is your typical 5-inch color display. On the back, however, is a 4.7-inch e-paper display.

The idea here is that the rear display uses less power, making it possible to still use your favorite apps -- albeit in black and white -- and save on precious battery life.

10 of 13 Aloysius Low/CNET

Oppo Find X

When you first look at the Oppo Find X it leaves the impression that it lacks any sort of camera modules, and is nearly all display.

That's because the camera's slide up from the top of the device's display in a fluid motion.

Take that, notch-loving phone makers!

11 of 13 CNET Networks/Corinne Schulz

Samsung Juke

The Juke was made and marketed for those who cared more about carrying around music than texting or talking on the phone.

Even the name of the phone made it clear this was to act as your jukebox, and not something for quickly using T9 to reply to a text message.

The switch-blade like display would rotate around, revealing the keyboard while simultaneously making you look cool.

12 of 13 Turing


In 2020, Turing plans to release the HubblePhone.

This three-screened phone twists and folds and looks more like a handheld camcorder (a good-looking one at that) than it does a phone.

It will have one 4K display and two Full Hud displays.

Turing told Digital Trends it expects to use two Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processors (Qualcomm hasn't even announced the 855 yet) and two batteries in the phone, which is expected to cost $2,750. Yikes.

13 of 13 Samsung

Foldable phones

Pictured above is a patent from Samsung for a foldable phone. Not foldable in the same sense as the Axon M, but with a display that folds only itself without cracking.

Admittedly a preemptive entry on this list, foldable phones are sure to be weird or wacky once we start seeing them announced.

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