The exotic materials of smartphones

From grass to crystals, is there anything that can't be turned into a phone?
The exotic materials of smartphones

This week saw LG unveil the beautiful G4. With its unique genuine leather rear, the new high-end smartphone begs one question – what can you make a phone from?

The real cow leather on the LG G4 is used to cover the plastic back, giving it a classy look and feel. LG says it only uses the highest quality leather to protect against wear and tear of being constantly touched, so it should keep that premium style the whole time you have the phone.

Using leather is an interesting way to set your new smartphone apart from the crowd, but it’s not really an integral part of the build.

The new phone from Turing Robotic Industries, on the other hand, couldn’t do without its exotic materials. The body of the Turing Phone is made from something called liquidmorphium, a metal alloy that’s stronger than titanium.

Turing Phone

The advanced alloy used in the Turing Phone doesn’t just make it extremely hard to scratch or dent if you drop it; it’s also more environmentally friendly than standard aluminium phones. That’s because almost no liquidmorphium is wasted when creating the phone.

Liquidmorphium might be an exciting new material, but O2 created a really unusual phone from something that’s been around for millions of years – grass.

Grass clippings from Twickenham Stadium were mixed with a natural resin and shaped into the body of a smartphone.

O2 grass phone

In the future, phones will be made out of even more incredible materials.

Sapphire will become the standard for super-tough screens as it’s almost as hard as diamond – it’s already being used in the Apple Watch and ultra-premium Vertu smartphones.

Inside our phones, graphene will take over. This futuristic collection of carbon atoms is almost indestructible, even when it’s just an atom thick. And as a battery, it can store energy so well that we would only need to charge our phones once a month.

On the outside of future phones, Liquidmetal will be used to keep things protected. This next gen material can be warmed and moulded like plastic, but is stronger than steel at room temperature.

Whether phones of the future are made from premium materials like leather and sapphire, or advanced metals that are stronger and lighter than ever before, one thing’s for certain, they’ll be tougher and more beautiful than anything we’ve seen so far.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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