Forget Flip Phones, this Smartphone has a Flipping Side Button Panel for Regular, Gaming, and Camera Modes

When mobile phones began scaling up, they used physical buttons for navigation. Steadily touchscreen smartphones took over more rapidly than mobile phones to reach our pockets in the first place. This was because of two considerable reasons: larger display real estate and lighter and slimmer design. But what we had to forgo in this barter was the tactile feedback on the press of a button that good old mobiles offered.

It has been seen that mobile gamers and camera enthusiasts prefer the tactile feel of the phone and this has given surge to a new league of accessories that make this possible from an everyday smartphone. Now a designer believes there is a scope of adaptation for a smartphone with tactile buttons for camera and gaming mode, in addition to physical volume rockers and power button of the touchscreen phone.

Designer: Wayne Lu

Appropriately christened the Phone One, this as the tagline suggests, is a multi-mode smartphone that revives the physical buttons for a tactile feel. The interesting aspect here is that these buttons do not take up the screen space but are provided in a uniquely designed three-pivot side panel of this smartphone.

The pivot allows the right-side panel of the phone to rotate within the phone frame itself, transitioning from normal phone mode to gaming mode and further into camera mode and back to the phone mode. The normal mode with volume and power buttons ensures the Phone One looks as close to normal as possible for daily usage.

The magic starts on the first twist of the side panel that reveals the game mode. This shows up a speaker grill in the center and D pa- style four buttons in as many colors. Taking things further into the optics arena is the camera mode that appears on the next pivot of the side panel. This mode with all the physical buttons for recording, clicking, flash and more has a very camcorder-like appearance.

Besides the bespoke pivoting side panel, Phone One is a run-of-the-mill smartphone with an edge-to-edge HD display and a slim profile. It has a single camera cutout on the back and a plasticky white body with the Phone One branding on the pivoting side that protrudes slightly from the main body. Of course, we do not have details about the possible innards of the Phone One, but it is an interesting concept worthy of seeing the light of day.