As I've said time and again, I hate that talented smartphone designers produce beautiful glass rectangles that we have to bury inside bulky protective cases, obscuring the design details they slaved over. I'd much rather the protection was built in from the start. I take no joy in "individualizing" my phone with a protective case; I just want the darn thing to work, and to not break whenever it flies out of my butterfingers.
For the phone not to break is more important to me than slimness. Which is why the following concept design from Sweden-based industrial designer Jungha Lee is looking pretty good to me. Lee asked himself: "Can we make a better mobile phone for use on construction sites?" He then set about conceiving what a Hilti-branded smartphone would look like:
I'm digging the physical slide button and the big-ass, presumably loud speaker on the back. The curved shape of the body looks like it would fit better in a pocket on the body. And this looks like something I could drop down a staircase with no ill effects.
If the screen size looks dated, that's because it is: Lee conceived of the project back in 2010, when he was an ID student at Sweden's University College of Art. I wish his design had gone into production back then, and that the style had taken root; can you imagine how cool the ruggedized phones we'd have now would be?