How is the design of the Honor Magic6 series different from Apple, Samsung, and Huawei flagship phones?

The Honor Magic6 series is a very special existence among the flagship series of mainstream mobile phone brands. Whether it is Huawei Mate or Pura, Xiaomi digital series, vivo X series, OPPO Find series, each generation of flagship series has almost only one design theme. At most, Xiaomi's Ultra line will be launched independently under the name of digital series. But this generation of Honor Magic6 series has 4 models, but there are 3 design themes.

The rule for large-scale industrial products is that the fewer SKUs, the lower the supply chain management and production costs. Four models and three designs are a bit anti-mainstream, but for Honor, there is a major issue. , needs to be realized through design.

Glory to independence, independence in need of design

Being among the top three in terms of smartphone shipments for a long time has influenced the design style orientation of the entire industry.

The three companies are Samsung, Apple and Huawei.

On flagships, most of the design styles we see can be classified into these three categories: Samsung style, Apple style and Huawei style.

▲Samsung S24 Ultra

The "button-style" arrangement style of the camera modules of Samsung's flagship mobile phones is now mainly used by Samsung itself and Samsung's once staunch ally: Meizu.

In recent years, Xiaomi's digital series (excluding Ultra) have clearly converged with the iPhone in terms of the processing of the back camera module, as well as the changes in bezels to straight angles and straight screens.

▲ Xiaomi 13 series

For a long time, putting a "mahjong block" on the back was a universal solution. Whether it was a "two cakes", a "three tubes" or a "bath heater", they all reached the same goal. At that time, most Android phones adopted This kind of plan.

As for the flagship phones of OPPO and vivo, they have also changed to the "round sky and square earth" design style in the past two years. The large circular camera module on the back is centered, and the main models are supplemented by plain leather materials to highlight the body texture and shooting capabilities. .

▲Huawei Mate 60 Pro

The one that carries forward this style is naturally the Huawei Mate series.

Note that the topic of imitation is not discussed here. For example, the prominent element of the "sky is round and square" design style is the centered and raised oversized circular camera module. This is not Huawei's first initiative, and can be traced back to Nokia. Lumia 1020, people called this module "Oreo" at the time.

What is discussed here is which brand has greater influence on consumers and greater influence on the industry, which can drive the industry to shift in design and aesthetics.

For example, it is commonly believed that Apple has a great pursuit of design, but in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus generation, consumers' demand for large screens far exceeds the resistance to the "injection molding strips" on the back, so Apple We have the confidence to launch this generation of iPhone with an unspeakably beautiful design.

But at that time, the one-piece metal body was quite advanced, so we saw the inheritance and improvement of Meizu PRO 6 and Smartisan T2 mobile phones. They cut off two injection molding strips and eliminated the injection molding break of the metal middle frame. point.

▲ iPhone 15 Pro

To be precise, both Apple and Samsung follow the principle of "form follows function" and do not cover up the aesthetics of the camera module, nor do they consider too much about the relationship between the camera module and the back of the fuselage, so they can You can see that the buttons are arranging more and more, and the box crosses the center line.

Brands with their main sales base in China tend to tell more design stories, incorporate more design concepts, and connect mobile phones with personal aesthetics, as well as personal life and work.

Just like the sense of stability brought by "a round sky and a square place", the light and luxurious feeling brought by the plain leather material is more in line with the needs of business people.

In this subtle trend of design convergence, in the process of everyone working together to find the optimal solution for design and public recognition, it is actually extremely difficult to introduce something new and be accepted by the public.

After Honor became independent at the end of 2020, it has experienced a very long period of trough, especially in the first half of 2021. Monthly shipments are often only a few hundred thousand units. It is already a member of Others in the market, and it is already a precarious scene. .

After solving the supply chain problem, Honor quickly increased its shipments, stabilizing its position in the top five in the country, and often ranking first or second in quarterly shipments.

Also after independence, Honor's main mission at the competitive level has changed.

When it was within the Huawei system, Honor's main task was to develop online channels, lay out the mid-to-low-end market, and compete with Xiaomi. Therefore, for a long time, there were many public opinion confrontations between Xiaomi, Redmi, and the Honor brand.

However, in the past two years, Honor has never mentioned Xiaomi and Redmi when speaking to the outside world. Instead, it has changed its targets to Apple and Samsung, and even Huawei has been listed as a direct competitor.

However, in the two generations of products after the independence of the Honor brand, we still see convergence in design with Huawei’s design.

▲ Honor Magic3 Pro

For example, the Honor 50 series is very similar to the Huawei P50 series in terms of camera module processing, both adopting a "double ring" design, while the Magic3 series and Magic4 series are quite similar in style to the Huawei Mate40 series.

This approach is not difficult to understand. "Independence" is a state and a process. Honor, which has just emerged from the Huawei system, has actually not forgotten each other immediately in public perception. Under this cognitive inertia, the similarity between the two is actually beneficial to Honor's performance on the consumer side.

In addition, there are two widely circulated sayings within Honor: "Never forget that you were once a Huawei person" and "Always remember that you are no longer a Huawei person."

But cognitive inertia will eventually disappear. Honor’s independence includes not only brand independence, operational independence, and supply chain independence, but also design independence.

▲ Honor Magic6 Pro

We can look at this independence from another aspect.

Xiaomi is a competitor that all domestic consumer brands cannot ignore. Whether it is mobile phones, TVs or cars, benchmarking against Xiaomi and binding to Xiaomi is a shortcut to gain public opinion and attention. In short, Xiaomi has its own traffic, which is Sign up for Xiaomi and you’ll get traffic.

Before OnePlus and Krypton, the brand that competed head-to-head with Xiaomi was Honor.

But after Honor became independent, it almost stopped mentioning Xiaomi, assuming that its competitors were Apple, Samsung and Huawei.

As mentioned before, these three brands happen to be the three brands that have the greatest influence on mobile phone design. Therefore, if Honor is to compete with these three brands as stated, then the design must also break away from the stereotypes of these three brands.

Points, lines, and surfaces

To sum up the current mobile phone design style, there is nothing to say about the front. It is nothing more than the choice between curved screen and straight screen, how narrow the frame can be, whether the four sides can be equal in width, whether the front glass uses 2.5D or 3D glass, etc.

The contradiction between the front design of mobile phones was once the contradiction between the pursuit of a high screen-to-body ratio and the need to occupy front space for biometric hardware, such as fingerprint recognition modules, 3D structured light facial recognition modules, and front-facing cameras. Since then, we have seen solutions such as under-screen fingerprint scanners, smart islands, under-screen cameras and micro-hole cameras.

The back of the phone leaves more space for design, which revolves around the three elements of CMF, so we see an endless stream of new colors, metal, glass, plain leather, bamboo, wood, plastic and other materials, as well as AG glass , anodized aluminum, flash sand, microcrystalline ceramics, etc. are specific processing techniques for specific materials.

But as time goes on, the main contradiction in back design becomes the contradiction between how to handle more and more cameras and how to make the back look beautiful.

The methodology for resolving conflicts can be summarized simply as the distinction between "point" and "face".

▲ Meizu 21 Pro

Samsung treats the cameras as "dots" and arrange them adjacently. Meizu goes a step further and uses the ring-shaped flash module as a "dot", strung together into a "candied haws".

The style of Apple and Xiaomi flagship phones is to incorporate the camera into a square. The backs of the flagship phones of Huawei Mate, OPPO Find and vivo X are round, while Huawei Pura innovated itself and turned the module into a triangle.

Here comes the elementary school knowledge. Triangle, quadrilateral and circle are the three most basic "faces".

As mentioned earlier, there are more and more "buttons" on the back of Samsung flagships, and the squares on the back of iPhones are getting bigger and bigger. In fact, it can also be summarized as more and more "dots" and "bigger and bigger surfaces".

We talked about the self-breakthrough in the design of Huawei Pura70 before. It chose triangles other than squares and circles, and handled the triangles very well.

The design breakthrough of the Honor Magic6 series has a different concept. Instead of "points" and "surfaces", "lines" are chosen as the breaking point.

The reason why mobile phone manufacturers put all their efforts into the camera module is because this module is almost the first visual focus of the user. Therefore, many designers have also thought about creating a second visual focus to increase the recognition and interest of the back. For example, the large letters on the earlier OPPO Reno 4, the "one stroke of painting" on Huawei Mate50 Pro+, the "ribbon cloud steps" on the vivo X90 series, the contrasting design of the Desert Silver Moon color scheme of the OPPO Find X5 and X6 series, etc.

The four Honor Magic 6 series models actually make design breakthroughs, including the Magic 6 Ultimate Edition and Magic RSR Edition (Porsche Design Edition). The Magic 6 and Magic Pro actually continue the style of the previous Magic 5 series.

▲ Honor Magic6 Ultimate Edition

On the Magic6 Ultimate Edition, two "metal ribbons" are placed vertically in the plain leather material. After the linear ribbons extend, they intersect with the frame of the camera module, forming a "surface is the intersection of lines." ", the line is the extension of the surface".

Although Honor says that its design is inspired by the "Qilian Tianchi", and that the lines show the beauty of the mountains and lakes, this is an image that is difficult for users to imagine unless you mention it. But for me, the visual focus it gives me at first glance is two lines and a surface. As for the three cameras located in the middle of the surface, they are completely ignored.

▲ Porsche Design’s logo is a combination of the letters P and D.

When I saw the Honor Magic6 Ultimate Edition for the first time, I directly regarded it as a Porsche Design Edition. The reason is that the outline of the back line is very similar to the shape of the Porsche Design Logo, which made me think it was a Porsche Design version. In this way, it is integrated into the mobile phone.

▲ Honor Magic6 RSR

A true Porsche Design version is the Magic6 RSR.

Compared with the Ultimate Edition, the design of Magic6 RSR is simpler, and there is only one "line" that appears as the essence of the design.

In design, making things simple is actually a complicated matter.

In fact, Honor's design emphasizes "line", not starting from the Magic6 series, but has been attempted with the Honor 100 Pro.

▲ Honor 100 Pro

On the blue and purple versions of Honor 100 Pro, Honor designers used a curve to divide the back cover into two parts, which are covered with glass and plain leather. The purple version is still embossed plain leather.

I think this design is a bit complicated, and the way the glass and plain leather are handled is also open to question. However, the Honor 100 Pro focuses on fashion and thinness, and it is a reasonable choice to move closer to a light luxury style in design.

It is true that in the manufacturing process, the difficulty of manufacturing curves is always greater than that of straight lines, so much so that "straight lines belong to humans, curves belong to God" has almost been quoted.

However, it is better to be straight.

Magic6 RSR uses the classic "flying line" design on Porsche sports cars. The so-called "flying line" is used to present a fastback-style line on the side of the car body that descends toward the rear of the car. The ridge in the middle of the back of the phone starts from below the camera module and extends downward. Because the ridge is slightly convex, it divides the two sides of the back into two bevels, so even though the back glass has an extremely fine frosted texture, But it can also use light to show an implicit but clear line and two sides.

As the middle ridge continues downward, the end bulge disappears, and the line disappears. At this point, on the Magic6 RSR, the designer used a line to pry the surface, and the camera module is presented in black and made of matte titanium alloy. Although the frame is a unique hexagon, it still deliberately reduces the sense of presence. Therefore, the visual focus is still this simple "flowing cloud flying line".

▲ Honor foldable screen mobile phone Magic V2s RSR

The earlier Honor folding screen phone Magic V2s RSR Porsche Design also has similar "flying wire" elements, and the camera module of this phone also uses an irregular trapezoid instead of a square circle.

At this point, we can see that Honor has begun to integrate the "line" element into high-end series on a large scale, and has raised the visual and conceptual priority of this element to a higher position.

The joint cooperation with Porsche Design has also made the "line" famous and lofty concept.

The reason why I have spent a lot of space to describe the overview of today's mobile phone design, the general genre, and the independent background of Honor is to make the design of Honor's mobile phones appear more reasonable.

Honor has tried to use "line" as the core in high-end series, especially the Porsche Design co-branded mobile phones, to achieve a design that is completely different from Apple, Samsung and Huawei, and also made Honor's design independent.

This is the current design situation of Honor mobile phones. On the one hand, the main shipping models are still designed with the word "stable" in mind. They do not seek to be original, but seek to be liked by the public. The most expensive ones represent the brand tone and product design. In terms of capable products, Honor has tried its best to make new attempts and embark on a path of design independence.

This is why there are 3 designs among the 4 models in the Magic6 series.

In the plastic greenhouse of fate, every cabbage that has been sprayed with too many pesticides once had a dream of becoming a pollution-free organic vegetable.

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