Sunday, June 23, 2024

One of Tesla’s biggest competitors is making a phone, and it looks great


Display view of the Polestar Phone.Polestar

Polestar, an electric car brand born out of the nexus between Volvo and Chinese auto giant Geely, is now offering phones, too. Through its official page on the microblogging platform Weibo, the carmaker has given us the first look at its upcoming phone bearing the Polestar insignia.

Why is an EV brand making a phone? Go ask Nio. Or maybe even Huawei and Xiaomi. But what matters here is that the Polestar Phone looks quite stunning. Now, that isn’t really surprising since Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath is a veteran designer himself, and it is reflected in the brand’s cars.

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Just take a look at the Polestar Synergy concept, and you’ll know that this brand has a taste for aesthetics. What’s a debate for another day ia that Polestar has slowly diversified its portfolio of cars, offering everything from a sedan to a compact SUV, as it tries to eat Tesla’s EV lunch.


But another reason why the Polestar Phone looks easy on the eyes is because parent company Geely has a stake in Meizu, a Chinese smartphone brand that has consistently remained at the vanguard of beautiful smartphones. Remember the Meizu Zero, the world’s first port-less, hole-less, and button-less phone that arrived all the way back in 2019? Yeah, it’s the same Meizu.


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The smartphone brand has now restricted itself to the Chinese market despite making some amazing phones over the years. I have fond memories of Flyme OS, and especially its gesture-driven, one-button software interface. Yes, there was some Apple inspiration to be seen, but Meizu’s phones in the MX-series and M-series offered terrific value for money. It was also the first brand that experimented with MediaTek’s Helio X series processors and one of the only few companies that put one of Samsung’s Exynos processors inside its phones.

Now, the real reason the Polestar Phone looks familiar is that it seems to be a rehash of the Meizu 21 Pro, a flagship still on sale in China. Th Polestar Phone features a tall 6.79-inch 120Hz OLED screen with symmetrically thin bezels and a 21:9 aspect ratio, following in the footsteps of Sony’s Xperia phones.

Under the glass shell is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, paired with a healthy 16GB of RAM and 1TB of peak storage. There’s an optically stabilized 50-megapixel camera at the back, sitting alongside a 13MP wide-angle camera and a 10MP telephoto snapper with 3x optical zoom output.

The IP68-certified phone offers a 5,050mAh battery that also supports 50-watt wireless charging. An ultrasonic fingerprint scanner handles authentication. The only noticeable difference here seems to be the fresh Polestar branding on the glass shell and the metallic sides.


Polestar’s Weibo post also mentions that the phone has been developed in collaboration with the carmaker’s team in Sweden and the Meizu group in China. Of course, there’s deep integration with the car’s hardware and software baked at the heart of the Flyme OS running on the phone. More details about the phone and its asking price will be detailed at an event later this month, but don’t let your hopes of buying one get too high, even though Polestar cars are sold in the U.S. market.

Now, it’s time to keep waiting for the fabled Tesla Phone.

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