The company is giving us a glimpse into the future of smartphone design

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the year’s premiere showcase for all things smart. While there were certainly some eye-catching headlines, some of the most interesting announcements from the big event weren’t the phones and other devices, but the more subtle reveals. That’s exactly what happened with this concept material from Tecno Mobile.

Tecno Mobile is one of the largest mobile phone manufacturers in emerging markets like India, Africa, and the Middle East, and although Westerners may have never heard of the company or encountered its devices, with revenues of $1 billion in 2020, it’s always worth keeping an eye on what that Tecno is planning for the future.

Tecno came to MWC 2024 with a number of different announcements (including an AI-powered robot dog), but some of the more interesting things may have escaped your attention, even though they may ultimately determine the future. While the announced materials are still concepts at this time, and we don’t yet know a launch date, they provide an interesting glimpse into the future of smartphones.

Game-changing color displays and 3D effects

Tecno Mobile 3D rear glass concept.
Concept image of 3D effect on the rear window. Tecno Mobile

Until recently, 3D effects weren’t something we often saw on smartphones (outside of mobile phones). Hydrogen One RED). Tecno is taking steps to change that, by working to create a new way to visualize 3D experiences on smartphones. But give up on those hologram dreams, because this isn’t a 3D projection emerging from a screen — it’s a 3D effect for the rear window. If you’ve ever used one of those motion pictures with tilted surfaces, you’ll know what to expect, with depth of field, colors and hanging elements changing as you move the phone.

Also mentioned is a display technology called “chameleon coloring technology”. The name doesn’t tell you much, but this could be a bigger change than anything mentioned in this announcement. An industry first, this is a display technology that offers a full spectrum of colors, with extremely fast response speeds of milliseconds. Tecno also claims it has a long lifespan, and very low power consumption to boot.

Next generation power and style

Tecno Mobile textured glass back plate.
Tecno’s new textured glass. Tecno Mobile

Tecno also announced that it is working on several next-generation designs for phone and casing materials.

First on the list is coated fiberglass. It is lighter than glass of the same thickness, but stronger and more resistant to bending, offering a serious strength advantage over regular glass. The shine won’t be the same as glass, of course, but Tecno is working on adding an optical coating to add a metallic shine, which has the added benefit of also being fingerprint-resistant.

However, glass is not completely frowned upon, as Tecno has developed a new colored and textured glass for the phone’s body. Made by mixing various molten glasses, the result is a glass backplate with a jewel-like shine or solid effect that mimics ceramic, but without the weight and thickness of real ceramic.

A number of new skin types were also launched. Scented leather is exactly what it sounds like. Fragrance microcapsules are added to PU leather during manufacturing, adding the scent of your choice to the final product. It will fade in about a year, as long as it is not exposed to too much sunlight, high temperatures, or “harsh friction.”

Tecno's new renewable fiber on the back of the phone.
Tecno cases are made from renewable materials. Tecno Mobile

Other advances are aimed at turning vegan leather into something more environmentally friendly. Existing PU leather, although animal-friendly, is a disaster for the environment because it is made from plastic. Organosilicate fabric leather aims to completely replace PU leather, using a synthetic organosilicate coating instead of polyurethane (PU) but still offering durability combined with an easy-to-clean surface. There are also fiber phone covers in the same vein that are not made from leather, but from recycled plastic bottles, which can then be recycled again once they are finished protecting your phone.

Ebony Tecno Mobile.
Tecno colored leather case. Tecno Mobile

The final product to be showcased involves a new process of blending color into standard leather. Currently, leather cases are made with simple and limited designs, because the technology is not capable of adding too much to the surface of the leather. Tecno hopes its new process will add the ability to add much more complex artwork to leather cases, and based on these concept images, it could result in some stunning cases if successful.

Tecno has impressed us with its designs on existing phones — namely, Tecno Phantom

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