Nokia’s head of design, Alex Meyer, did a nice cover article about the importance of industrial design in the creation of products. Nokia has a goal of creating sustainable technology which is durable and has a great design. But the definition of great design isn’t just the appealing looks of Nokia Beacons or other industrial products.
Alex explained that design needs to be involved from the conception of the product till its very end. It needs to lower the costs of production, create sustainable and durable products by using better materials, be easy to maintain and be useful to the buyer and finally the end-user. Nokia still invests a lot in design with the main goal of creating experiences that enhance the lives of end-users. Nokia is doing that by using designers as the end-users thus improving the design and the quality of the product. Alex shared a nice example when designers noticed that the first generation of Beacons was generating a bit more temperature, so they changed the design to make the WiFi6 enabled Beacon 2 with a better cooling system.
The most interesting part of the article is definitely the proposed design of a Nokia smartphone. This phone is definitely not something we might see in mass production but gives us a bit of Nokia’s vision of the usable Nokia smartphone. The phone render seen on the photo is made for the creation of the Nokia WiFi application UI design, but there are some interesting solutions applied there that Nokia Mobile could or should use. For example, the bezels around the screen are unique and just 1-2 mm wide, which is great. I would remove that assistant button seen on the left. It is interesting to see the button there since it might suggest that Nokia cooperated with the Nokia Mobile designer team on creating something that would satisfy both. What I like about this render are the clean and gently rounded lines of what seems to be the aluminium frame, but a polycarbonate would be cool too.
Some bits on the phone look similar to the design of X10/X20, which suggests that Nokia’s design department was closely working with Nokia Mobile. Do comment which parts are similar!
This phone looks great, and probably Raun Forsyth thinks that too, but the question is how much does it cost to make it? If the display chin is removed, the circuits running the display should be positioned elsewhere which means some other parts should be removed or a more expensive display used. That all changes the manufacturing costs, and Nokia Mobile is also a company that wants to create some profit, not just indulge design judges and fans.
But, there should be a model that will look like this, create a bit of loss but attract the masses with the true Nokia design approved by both companies. The hardware specs don’t have to be brutal but just need to be good and software tuned well. That phone would sell like hotcakes if designed and priced well. Imagine something like XR20 but with a more powerful main camera, optically stabilized, Victus glass protection, waterproofness, stereo speakers, standard and wireless charging more than 20W, 5000 mAh battery and AMOLED screen with 90HZ refresh rate (and Z Launcher on top of that, hehe).
Anyways, I loved to see that Nokia still invests a lot into the design, and we can see that in the design of Beacons, app graphics, and some other networking products. I do recommend reading the article.