Class of 2017: The sexiest smartphones we’ve seen so far

A smartphone can have top-of-the-line specs and an affordable price tag but if it’s ugly, no one will buy it. Like it or not, design has a huge impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions. It can make or break a device.

Most of this year’s smartphone announcements have been pretty average-looking. Some are just plain ugly. However, a few devices sporting super sexy designs, which instantly grab your attention, were also released this year. A really great design is something every manufacturer aims for, but rarely manage.

Here are five of the sexiest smartphones we’ve seen this year. What makes them so alluring? Let’s dive in.


Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung’s phone design made a huge leap forward with the Galaxy S8. The front of the device is gorgeous thanks to its thin bezels and curved display, both of which give off a futuristic vibe. It’s clean and elegant. It also doesn’t have a Samsung logo on top like its predecessor, which no one liked.

The back of the Samsung Galaxy S8 is simple but still eye-catching.

The Galaxy S8 has a premium-feeling metal frame and glass back too. The back of the handset is simple but still eye-catching and features a nicely designed camera sensor, with the flash module and fingerprint scanner to the left and right. The Samsung branding on the device’s rear doesn’t make it any less gorgeous. The back also has curved edges that not only look nice but help with handling.

Samsung’s flagship features four buttons located on its sides. The power button is on the right, sitting right where your thumb naturally rests— at least if you’re right-handed. The volume rocker is on the left side, above the dedicated Bixby button used for launching Samsung’s digital assistant. There’s a SIM card/microSD card slot on top and a headphone jack at the bottom alongside the USB Type-C port and speaker.

The device comes in a number of colors, although not all are available in every market. You can get it in Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Arctic Silver, Maple Gold, Rose Pink, or my favorite, Orchid Gray.

The Galaxy S8 is a stunning device, but it’s not perfect — no smartphone is. I think the overall design could be improved by placing the fingerprint scanner below the camera sensor, instead of next to it. This would look better and make the scanner a little easier to reach.


Huawei Mate 10

Huawei’s latest smartphone is a stunner and looks way better than its predecessor. It features a bezel-less design, but unlike the Galaxy S8, has the fingerprint scanner on the front. Whether that’s good or bad depends on who you ask, but what’s important here is that the scanner blends in with the overall design and looks really nice.

What makes the Huawei Mate 10 stand out from the crowd is the reflective stripe that runs horizontally across the cameras.

The Mate 10’s glass back is what makes it one of the most beautiful smartphones released this year. It has curved sides and a vertically positioned dual-camera setup along with a flash module and a Huawei logo that’s located on the bottom. The reflective stripe that runs horizontally across the cameras gives the device more character. It’s a simple design element which really improves the overall look of the Mate 10 and makes it instantly recognizable.

The power and volume control buttons are all located on the right side of the device and the SIM card slot can be found on the left. There’s a USB Type-C port at the bottom alongside a speaker, while the headphone jack is located on the top of the smartphone. There are four colors to choose from, as the Mate 10 comes in Black, Champagne Gold, Pink Gold, and Mocha Brown (which is the best one, in my opinion). You can take a closer look at the Mate 10 in the images below alongside the Mate 10 Pro.

The Mate 10 is simple and elegant, but also very stylish thanks to that gorgeous stripe. It has a little bit of everything and doesn’t take things too far, so to speak. Its design is universal and could be the key factor that will allow it to outsell its predecessor globally.


LG V30

The LG V30 doesn’t have a design “X factor” that makes it stand out from the crowd but is nevertheless one of the most beautiful handsets on the market.

The LG V30 doesn't try to be too fancy or dazzle you with some crazy design features but instead just sticks to the basics.

It doesn’t try to dazzle you with crazy design features, instead sticking to the basics. It has a bezel-less design with a very clean, branding-free front. The device comes in four color options: Aurora Black, Cloud Silver, Moroccan Blue, and Lavender Violet. No matter which one you choose, the front of the device is always black. This makes it look even cleaner, as the camera, speaker, and proximity sensor aren’t as visible as they would be on a white smartphone.

The V30 has a metal frame and a simple yet stylish glass back. The dual-camera setup is more minimal than on a lot of other handsets but — just like the fingerprint scanner below it — stands out due to the rim that surrounds it. The back also has a flash module to the right of the cameras, the V30 and LG branding, and curved edges for a great feel in the hand.

Looking at the sides, you’ll find the SIM card slot on the right and two buttons for volume control on the left. The power button is on the back and doubles as a fingerprint scanner, which is something that takes getting used to. The headphone jack is on top, while the speaker and USB Type-C port are located on the bottom edge.

There’s not really anything bad I could say about the V30’s design; it’s impressive in every way. One thing worth pointing is that although the glass back looks and feel premium, it can be a fingerprint magnet. So to keep it looking clean as the first time you took it out of the box, you’ll have to wipe it down often.


Honor 9

It might not have a bezel-less design like the rest of the devices on this list, but the Honor 9 is still one hell of a sexy smartphone.

The Honor 9 may not have a bezel-less design like the rest of the devices on this list, but it’s still a sexy smartphone. Its front is simple without any over-the-top design elements, as it features a camera, speaker, and proximity sensor above the display, and a home button/fingerprint scanner along with two capacitive buttons below it. The great thing about the navigation keys is their minimal design, both marked with a small dot for a cleaner look.

Just like the Mate 10, it’s the glass back that got the Honor 9 a place on this list. Its design is minimal and eye-catching. There are two small horizontally positioned camera sensors in the upper left corner along with a flash module, and the Honor branding sits a bit further down.

The back has curved edges and is very clean, which is always a good thing in my opinion. A clean design can sometimes be a bit boring, but that’s not the case with the Honor 9 mainly due to its light-refracting composition that enables some enthralling reflective patterns. Sure, its shiny back might not be to everyone’s taste, but it definitely gives a boldness to the phone’s minimalistic look. In terms of colors, you can get it in Blue, Amber Gold, Gray, and Black.

The smartphone sports a metal frame that makes it feel sturdy in the hand and has the power as well as volume buttons on the right edge. The SIM/microSD tray is on the left. An IR blaster can be found on the top. The bottom edge features a speaker, USB Type-C port, and 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Overall, the Honor 9 offers the best of both worlds in terms of design. It keeps things simple, but also comes with a shiny glass back to prevent it from looking boring like most recent smartphones.


HTC U11 Plus

The U11 Plus is without a doubt the most beautiful smartphone HTC has ever made. I mean, just look at it.

The front of the device looks very minimalistic thanks to the thin bezels surrounding the screen and the lack of HTC’s branding. The back is also quite simple, as it only sports a camera sensor, a flash module, the company’s logo, and a fingerprint scanner that blends in nicely and doesn’t stand out too much.

However, the back does have a liquid glass surface already seen on the HTC U11 that’s quite reflective and gives the device more character. It’s very eye-catching and is the main reason that makes the U11 Plus one of the sexiest smartphones in the world.

The Translucent Black version of the U11 Plus is gorgeous and unique, as it reveals parts of the internal components.

The HTC U11 Plus comes in Ceramic Black, Amazing Silver, and the gorgeous Translucent Black that stands out from the crowd. What makes it unique is its translucent glass back that reveals various internal components. It’s a bold design feature that makes the device instantly recognizable.

The smartphone sports a metal frame for a premium look and feel and a textured power button that’s located on the right side, below the volume rocker.

The HTC U11 Plus is a real stunner, and there’s not a lot of bad things to say about it. The only thing worth mentioning is that although the back is extremely sexy, it’s also hungry for fingerprints — just like the majority of glass smartphones.


Conclusion

Each smartphone on this list is unique in terms of design, but they all have a couple of things in common. The first is that they are made from a combination of metal and glass, which is clearly the trend this year. Which doesn’t mean that smartphones with full metal bodies aren’t sexy anymore; metal handsets can look just as gorgeous and premium as those made of glass — just look at the OnePlus 5. However, a glass design is more eye-catching, especially if it has a reflective mirror finish and is paired with a vibrant color.

But a smartphone with a glass back does have a major drawback: it’s a fingerprint magnet. This means that after using it for a while, it won’t look anywhere near as gorgeous as when you took it out of the box for the first time. You’ll have it wipe it down often to keep it looking clean, which is a problem you won’t experience with a metal device. Glass phones are also much more likely to crack if dropped, but I guess that’s the price we pay for fashion.

The other thing these smartphones have in common is that what makes them sexy is a combination of simplicity and something a little bit extra. For example, the Galaxy S8 has a curved screen, the Mate 10 has a beautiful stripe that runs horizontally across the cameras, while the U11 Plus sports a reflective liquid glass surface and is available with a translucent back.

So, there you have it. These are the most beautiful smartphones we’ve seen so far this year in my opinion.

Do you agree with my list? What would you change? Let me know in the comments.