David Beckham

Fashion phones

Mobile phone manufacturers are increasingly watching fashion trends. We review the chic phones around today.

1. Giorgio Armani Samsung phone

Samsung pulls out all the stops and tries to wow the market with a handset bearing the name of a fashion industry heavyweight.

When we think of the legend that is Armani, sleekness and sophistication come to mind. The Giorgio Armani phone has these qualities.

However, every fashionista knows that to be seen dead with a copycat design is a fashion faux-pas, and unfortunately for Samsung, one look at this phone rings an all too familiar bell.

Cast your mind back a few months and you may remember the excitement surrounding the LG Prada handset. Black, shiny and beautiful, with the prestige of Prada's name, LG broke into the category of 'fashion phone' with a design that was simple and classic. Now fast-forward to today, we've seen it all before, and we want more than 'effortless sophistication' from high status collaborations such as these.

Samsung bills the phone as 'a perfect accessory for your Armani suit' which the phone cannot be faulted for. It has a luxurious silver and black casing with a high resolution touch screen adding a touch of glamour. The design is neat and not fussy, which lets the intricate technology speak for itself. But where does it leave those following the catwalk's latest trends of spring florals and bold colour?

Originality is a must in any fashion item, and unfortunately the Giorgio Armani Samsung has missed the mark. What Samsung may have proved here is that yes, the fashion conscious buyer appreciates beauty, but will never purchase the same coat twice.

2. LG KF510

When LG comes up with a winning formula, they sure do stick to it, yet every time it never fails to surprise and impress.

The charming KF510 is one of the latest phones from the KF range, and although similar to that of the LG Chocolate phones, this design stands out as one of LG's most stunning yet.

This season, fashion designers are playing it safe with simple silhouettes, but experimenting with outrageous print and colour. LG took note, deciding to create a phone with a minimalistic look which takes risks with two interesting colour options. The phone comes in Stardust Dark Grey and Sunset Red, which uses two-tone colour gradation to create an ultra unique look.

Another striking factor is the highly glossed finish thanks to the metal-framed casing, completed with high quality glass.

What is nice about the KF510, and other LG handsets, is the simplicity and care taken with design: consumers can expect something subtly beautiful.This handset encompasses all that those looking for a fashion phone should want, an interesting yet modest design.

3. Nokia 6600 fold

'The Flip' is officially back with the Nokia 6600 Fold. Recently, with slider phones dominating the fashion stakes, flip phones have been lagging behind, being the last 'has-been' craze.

Now, the 6600 Fold proves that Motorola aren't the only ones who can make sleek and slim flip phones with a stylish finish. Admittedly, Nokia is better known for phones that are reliable and hardwearing and isn't the first brand the savvy buyer would turn to for their fashion fix.

The 6600 isn't the most innovative design, but still ticks all the right boxes for neatness, colour options and that glossy finish, which is one of the biggest handset trends.

A major selling point of the phone is the hidden external screen which can be activated by two gentle taps, which gives a 'wow factor' without coming across as overly flash.

Nokia has also cleverly provided sensible colour options, high gloss purple and black to appeal to everyone. In turn, this provides a handset which is reachable to all buyers, due to a design concept which is good looking, and original to Nokia. The 6600 Fold is a good choice for the consumer looking to gently break themselves into the fashionable world of phones due to its 'understated chic' vibe.

4. Motorola Razr 2 V8 luxury edition

Luxury edition Just when we all thought that Motorola couldn't possibly come up with any more variations of the RAZR - behold: the V8 Luxury Edition.

An abundance of gold plates, snakeskin and engravings, this phone has certainly got it all. As consumers, we have all gotten used to OEMs attempting to impress us with unusual and sometimes pointless features. But never has such risk been taken with outrageous, unthinkable design.

Motorola seems to use the Luxury V8 to define a new generation of 'fashion phones' where the rules of sophistication go out the window and you are left with a big lump of glitter.

Respectfully, you must admire the Luxury V8 for its attention to detail, especially the stylised back panel which is covered in a snakeskin texture, and the engravings on the sides which give the phone a certain charm.

At least Motorola has a sense of humour, as the V8's charm comes from its sheer boldness which is always respected in fashion. But in this case, can the average consumer afford to be humoured with a price tag of £429? Better suited to those who prefer a costly slug of glamour rather than a long-term and sustainable fashion phone.

5. Sony Ericsson W890i

Part of the popular Walkman range, the W890i is an amazing example of how to do a practical music phone with style.

While many Walkman phones before it have a plastic look and feel, Sony Ericsson must be applauded for this more mature design approach, using the W890i to pioneer a modern and younger looking fashion phone, which still stays true to the Walkman characteristics.

The slim-line casing with metal finish certainly gives the phone a sophisticated feel. The colour options provide a fun feel, coming in mocha brown or sparkling silver, a nice change from avant-garde or severe looking design concepts so popular with many other fashion phones.

The large screen doesn't overpower the small handset, but rather blends in and gives it more personal character.

Although on the catwalk today, fashion is reminiscent of the English rose, Sony Ericsson seems keen to bring back the young urbanite, a strong, bold and noticeable individual.

The W890i is definitely for fashion buyers who are looking for a little bit of substance and style, which ultimately is what a fashion phone should be.

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