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Crazy concept phones

Look at your phone. Now back to us. Now back to your phone. Now back to us! Sadly, it isn't us, but if it was one of these crazy new concept phones, it could smell like us. No, hang on, that doesn't make sense. (And that reference is a year old, and everyone's bored of it now - Ed.)

OK, let's start again. Look at your phone. Bit boring, isn't it? I mean, yes, multi-touch screens you could use with your fingers seemed amazing once, but now it's all a bit meh. Isn't it time for another massive, paradigm-shifting innovation?

Welcome to the world of the concept phone - where designers let their imaginations run wild and produce lovely videos of amazing phone designs which'll never come to life. And this week we've seen two lovely examples. The first, courtesy of Gizmodo, is the Line Phone, which recently won a design competition in China. It looks like a regular smartphone, albeit a long one, but it's packing a crazy user interface - and a touch-control frame.

We're not sure how practical that frame is - how do you not make things happen just by holding it? But full marks for imagination.

More exciting, though, is the Flip. Designed by Kristian Ulrich Larsen, and brought to our attention by Engadget, it's got a more recognisable software interface than the Line Phone - it's running Google's Android operating system - but even wackier hardware. The Flip has three sides - two screens and a keyboard - and can be operated flipped out into a triangle, flipped in as a normal phone, or with two sides out - either two screens or one screen and a keyboard. We know we're not explaining it very well, so let the video - with twee music and annoying voiceover - lay it all out for you.

We don't think we'll see the Flip in stores any time soon, but it seems more feasible in many ways than the Line. We'd like to see a manufacturer have a go at this design, just to see how it works. Mind you, that's easy for us to say, we wouldn't be the ones pouring millions of dollars of research into it...

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