5 Phones With Unusual Features: Vivo Nex S, Oppo Find X, Moto Z3 Play, Huawei P20 Pro, Mi 8 Explorer Edition

Departing from your usual design, these smartphones do something different to stand out.


Smartphones have entered an era where the design is relatively defined to a point where an unreleased device can be guessed as to what it will look like.

Whether that be a slab of glass, plastic, or something else, a smartphone is a rectangular slab that looks similar whichever OEM created it. The most radical design change that we’ve seen in recent years is the introduction of the bezel-less display that removes the bezels that were part of an accepted design for years. This was taken one step further and the notch appeared as a way of reducing the bezels even more but creating a space to house the sensors and front-facing camera necessary to provide essential functions such as facial recognition.

However, as is with the tech world, some manufacturers like to shake things up and come up with a wild and wacky design that helps it stand out from the masses. While these features may make the device stand out against the competition, that doesn’t always necessarily mean that it is a better way of doing it.

We take a look at some of the devices that take things to the next level and buck the trend away from the typical design language we are used to seeing with devices like the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Vivo Nex S

Remember we mentioned the notch as a way of preserving a front-facing camera with a bezel-less display? Well, Vivo decided the notch wasn’t for them and instead opted for an entire full-body display. The front-facing was then placed in a motorized bay that revealed itself from the top of the device when the camera was needed and recessed back in when finished. Not stopping there, the Vivo Nex S also has an in-display fingerprint sensor as the company really did seem to be on a mission to remove all physical elements of the device to achieve that full-screen display.

Oppo Find X

A similar design to that of the Vivo Nex S, the Oppo Find X again decided against the idea of a notch and instead went for a camera that slides out from the phone body itself. The result is an incredibly sleek looking all body display with absolutely nothing getting in its way. The slide up mechanism houses the 25-megapixel front-facing camera and the 16- and 20-megapixel dual rear cameras.

Moto Z3 Play

Motorola continues the theme of modular components for its smartphone range with the Moto Z3 Play. The idea that the smartphone itself is just a base to which external add-ons can be attached to enhance the functionality. Want more battery? Sure, there’s a Moto Mod for that. Better speakers? There’s a mod for that too. The premise of snapping on attachments depending on your use case is extremely appealing in principle and something Motorola has stuck with throughout the generations of the Z series, but in practice, the idea just never really took off into the mainstream.

Huawei P20 Pro

Perhaps not as radical as the other OEM’s design choices, but the Huawei P20 Pro took the camera capabilities of a smartphone to the next level. Not content with dual-cameras on the rear, Huawei added yet another camera to the mix. The cameras offer one in color, one in monochrome and one telephoto lens. The hardware works in combination to create some of the best pictures an Android smartphone has seen to date.

Mi 8 Explorer Edition

The Mi 8 took a different approach to the standard block color that is usually found on the rear of a device and instead opted for a transparent setup. Since the design was unveiled, it’s since been proven that these aren’t the actual internals of the device but actually a printed cutout to make things look a little neater, but still, the sentiment provides a very interesting and different look for the back of a smartphone.

Let us know in the comments section below, which is your favorite device that offers an unusual feature?