Motorola has unveiled the thinnest mobile phone in its product range, designed by its in-house team. The V3 model uses materials not traditionally associated with the design of handset technology, including glass on its exterior and magnesium inside.
A protracted design process saw the team work on creating the thinnest phone possible, while retaining the functionality and usability that consumers demand.
‘We wanted to create an incredibly small phone that didn’t force the user to make compromises,’ says Paul Pierce, director of design at Motorola. ‘Often with small products the user ends up making a trade-off.’
The keypad is one-third of the usual thickness, but retains its signature Motorola features and design, including a spun-metal finish and a blue electro-luminescence panel.
As less than one millimetre of height was available for the lenses on the external display and the camera, the team used chemically hardened glass, which they believe is the first for a mobile phone exterior.
‘It was clear we couldn’t use plastic,’ Pierce explains. ‘We couldn’t get it thin and strong enough.’
When it came to housing the internal components, the team substituted plastic for magnesium which, claims Pierce, is 18 times stiffer.
The product went through numerous tests to ensure its usability and durability, and Pierce believes that the finished product marks the future for mobile phone design.
‘As more and more consumers are looking for data and other services beyond voice they want a large screen that can display different kinds of content,’ he says.
‘The challenge for the industry is how to take a large screen and big batteries and make them usable for consumers.’