Editorials

New Huawei Nexus photos put the designer in the Hall of Shame

I wouldn’t describe myself as a design-sensitive person. In fact, when Samsung was railed on for its Galaxy S5 last year because it didn’t have a metal design (what some see as “premium”), I was confused. “What’s wrong with the Galaxy S5?” I thought to myself. “It’s water and dust-resistant, has a microSD card, removable battery, and a stellar, 16MP back camera. What’s not to like?” So, because I didn’t see what made the Galaxy S5 so ugly, or, “a giant Band-Aid,” as one tech reviewer said, I just assumed I was (and still am) “design-blind,” in the same way that one is color-blind: I see design, but most products are good enough for me; not terribly beautiful, or strikingly beautiful, or drop-dead gorgeous – but sufficient for the average consumer. In other words, smartphones will likely go in a case to protect them anyway, so the whole “design-first” mindset has never been something I’ve ascribed to.

But it seems as if Huawei’s already ruining a good thing. We’ve been talking up the Huawei Nexus here at Aptgadget for the last few weeks, showing off one of Google’s next two phones for Android consumers, all the while having excitement about Google’s upcoming Android 6.0 Marshmallow – wallpapers included!

But now, Huawei is killing what could have been an excellent smartphone by murdering its design.

That’s right: new Huawei Nexus photos have leaked, and the photos show a gorgeous white Nexus that will end up making it to the top of the “tacky and whacky” list in the Android smartphone world. The Huawei Nexus photos we leaked earlier consist of a black back cover, but the white Huawei Nexus has now surfaced, and it’s anything but pretty. I get the whole protruding camera idea, although some think it’s a matter of bad design, but must the Huawei Nexus’ designer(s) throw “ugly” onto the device with a black bar across the top where the camera and LED flash must be?

I’m of the mindset that, if a person has a black phone, they should encase it in some color or just go with a black case. If a person has a white phone, he or she should encase it with a white case or some other color. But I have never been of the mindset that “white-on-black” or “black-on-white” looks good. To make matters worse, the camera and LED flash look protrusive enough; why add what some are calling a “black barcode scanner” to the back of it and emphasize the protrusiveness? Designer-freak smartphone buyers will tear their hair out if this design makes it to the market this Fall!

I work in the tech world and am used to smartphones being criticized when they fail in the design arena, but the latest jokes on the Huawei Nexus are nothing short of hilarious. Take a look at these photos to see what I mean.

Huawei Nexus white photos

bender Huawei Nexus laugh

Huawei Nexus razor jokeI’ve never been one to slaughter design, but how can you deny that the Huawei Nexus looks like a “razor” from the back (and we’re not even talking about the Motorola Razr phones, which actually looked good for flip phones, back in the day)? What’s even worse is when consumers can find pictures like the Bender cartoon pic, upload them to social media, and actually have people who agree with them. The Huawei Nexus designer should be put in the Hall of Shame for this atrocity of a smartphone design. Even if the price is cheaper than most, no one wants a poorly-designed phone. Who cares about the vanilla Android experience on it if it looks like a brick with a bad paint job?

All in all, it’s a bad day for design when someone can create a phone like this and then hope to sell it. If Huawei and Google both want Samsung’s Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge Plus, and Note 5 to win design of the year, then their wish will come true in October. Not even the sweet taste of Android Marshmallow will make up for the bitter taste in design.

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