The World’s Most Eye-Catching Phones 15/02/22

Mobile phones have become an essential part of our everyday lives, helping us to stay connected to loved ones, manage work on the go, and achieve our health and fitness goals. However, it’s unlikely you’ll keep the same phone throughout your life, with many people switching to a new model every year or two.

When the time to switch phones comes around – whether through the end of a contract, a phone breaking, or just because we feel like a change – it’s inevitable that looks are one of the things we consider when assessing which make and model to buy next.

But which phones can be considered the most attractive? To find out, we ran a study using eye-tracking software to reveal which phone models really are the best looking. Looking at 80 phones from the past 40 years, we tracked users’ gazes to crown the best-looking phones, and the results are in.

Which phones are the most eye-catching?

The study revealed that the Motorola Aura was the best-looking phone of those presented, with participants fixating on the model for an average of 10.31 seconds. With its unique design, it definitely catches the eye and is quite unlike any other phone to have hit the market over the past 40 years.

However, with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, Motorola Pebl U6 and Motorola Razr V3 also featuring in the top six, more than two thirds of the models in the top flight go beyond just a single flat screen. Perhaps this is a sign that we naturally find these more appealing than the frequently seen standard flat-faced models?

With just three of the models in the top ten having been released post-2010, there’s a clear sign that we’re appreciating phones from the 2003-08 era the most, echoing the noughties revival that’s currently being seen in the fashion world. Maybe it’s worth digging out those older models from your drawers after all…

The Top 10 Most Eye-Catching Phones

Rank Phone Average Fixation Length (seconds) 
1. Motorola Aura 10.31
2. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 9.62
3. Apple iPhone 3G 8.33
4. Blackberry 7230 8.08
5. Motorola Pebl U6 7.93
6. Motorola Razr V3 7.81
7. Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 7.43
8. Samsung Star 7.20
9. LG Chocolate 6.93
10. Apple iPhone 6 6.48

Motorola Aura, 2008

Launched in 2008, this unique phone featured a high-resolution circular display and a swivel-like opening mechanism. The mechanism was created using Swiss-made gears using Rockwell 50-55 hardened steel and 130 precision ball bearings – in total the custom rotating mechanism is composed of more than 200 individual parts! With a launch price of over $2000, the Aura definitely came with a luxury price tag – although the following Diamonique and Gold Editions offered something even more premium to the market.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, 2021

The flip phone is definitely making a mainstream comeback, with Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip leading at the front of the pack. The model 3 is an upgrade on the original Z Flip launched in 2020, but comes in with a new price of around £350 cheaper. The folding 6.7in OLED screen and 120Hz refresh rate put the phone in line with other top smartphones, despite the unique folding screen.

Apple iPhone 3G, 2008

The successor to the original iPhone, the 3G model was introduced to the market in 2008. The App Store – Apple’s distribution platform for third-party applications – which is now used on a daily basis by Apple users around the world, was also released with this model as part of the new operating system. Despite the many iPhone models that have been released since 2008, the 3G has been crowned the best-looking iPhone of them all, with users fixating on the phone for around 8.33s during the eye-tracking study.

Blackberry 7230, 2003

The Blackberry 7230 was one of the first consumer models which enabled owners to keep in touch not just for personal reasons, but also business via email, while on the move. A venture launched with T-Mobile, the monthly fee model opened up this type of handheld device, using ‘push’ technology to retrieve emails rather than dial in, for small business owners and average consumers too. However, with the announcement that legacy services for BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier were to cease at the start of this year, the model is no longer in a reliably functioning state.

Motorola Pebl U6, 2005

Named after it’s small, sleek appearance and pebble-like shape, the Motorola Pebl U6 is almost a smoother, rounder sister of the ever-popular Razr. Constructed from metal, with flush buttons and connectors, the phone maintains a seamless, matte appearance, with a spring-loaded flip mechanism. As well as the original black model, the Pebl was also released in blue, green, red, orange and pink.

Credit: Flickr Community – Andrea Fistetto


Motorola Razr V3, 2004

Arguably one of the most iconic phones of the noughties, the Razr V3 sol over 50 million units between its launch in 2004 and July 2006. Marketed as an exclusive fashion phone initially, the price of the model was lowered, causing it to surge in popularity, ultimately saving Motorola’s cell phone division. In total, the V3 model sold more than 130 million units, making it the world’s best-selling clamshell phone.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8, 2019

Launched by Xiaomi’s sub-brand Redmi, the Note 8 is an Android-based smartphone and the first to be released with a 64-megapixel camera. The phone includes four cameras located on the rear of the device – one 48mp, one 8mp ultra-wide-angle lens, one 2mp macro camera, and a 2mp depth sensor. The Note 8 is a more affordable version of the mid-range Note Pro series, and lands between the previous Note 7S and the accompanying Note 8 Pro.

Samsung Star, 2009

The Samsung Star, also known as the GT-S5230, Tocco Lite, Avila and Player One, was an entry-level touchscreen phone launched in May 2009. The phone is a budget version of the previous Samsung Tocco, featuring a 3-inch LCD display and 3.2-megapixel camera, but went on to sell more than 10 million units worldwide in six months.

Credit: Flickr Community – Cheon Fong Liew

LG Chocolate, 2006

A popular combination of cell phone and MP3 player with a camera, the LG Chocolate was launched with a unique chocolate fragrance in its packaging, to correspond with its name. For many, the sleek slide phone marked a mid-point for phones, transforming from their original basic purpose, to a more well-rounded, all-singing, all-dancing device. In terms of appearance, one PC World review even described it as “a piece of dark chocolate that someone might eat with a knife and fork”.


Apple iPhone 6, 2014

The first iPhone with the updated design and larger screen, the iPhone 6 saw the start of a new era for Apple phones. It was one of the thinnest and sleekest phones in the market when it launched, and continued to be one of the best value iPhones for years after. Featuring a beautiful mix of glass and aluminium, with bezel details on the rear, it’s no wonder this phone made it into our top 10 list.

Which phones are the worst-looking?

Although we may always be after the best-looking model, sometimes they just don’t age well. The Nokia N70 tops our list of the worst-looking phones, with users fixating on it for just 0.89 seconds before taking a look at the other models on offer. Launched in 2005, the 3G smartphone also featured a 2-megapixel camera, a front camera for video calling, as well as music player functionality. However, the boxy appearance and 22.8mm thickness clearly doesn’t win over phone users.

The equally boxy Samsung GT-E1100 (1.30s), Motorola Flare L (1.42s) and Nokia 2010 (1.57s) complete the top five worst-looking phones – although this tech would have been cutting edge at their time of launch, the appearance clearly hasn’t aged well as we’ve moved into an era of bigger screens and sleeker designs.

The Top 10 Worst Looking Phones

Rank Phone Average Fixation Length (seconds) 
1. Nokia N70 0.89
2. Google Nexus One 1.03
3. Samsung GT-E1100 1.30
4. Motorola Flare L 1.42
5. Nokia 2010 1.57
6. Motorola 4500X 1.60
7. Samsung Galaxy S3 1.61
8. O2 XDA II Mini 1.63
9. Artfone CS181 1.69
10. Samsung Galaxy S7 1.75


What about the rest? Where does your favourite model rank?

When it comes to the rest of the shortlist, the results are somewhat mixed. Although it’s the newest addition to the ranks of Apple products, the iPhone 13 only reaches 23rd position with 4.68s of fixation time. However, with the iPhone 12 ranking in 11th, perhaps this model could be a good purchase for those looking for a more affordable, and better-looking iPhone.

Although it may now be one of the ten most valuable brands in the world, Huawei has only made it into 13th place with their P20 model despite its sleek rounded edges and glass back. With many Nokia phones slipping to the lower end of the list, this is perhaps also a sign that the once-loved brand has fallen behind the times since the dawn of the iPhone and Android era.



Average Fixation Length (seconds)


Apple iPhone 12



Blackberry 6230



Huawei P20



Nokia 6300



Sony Xperia 10 II



HTC Hero



Oppo Find X






Apple iPhone 8



Google Pixel 6



Nokia 3310



Sony Xperia X23



Apple iPhone 13



Samsung Galaxy Note 20



Motorola MotoG7



Apple iPhone 4



Motorola C200



Samsung Galaxy S21



Apple iPhone 5



Huawei Honor View 20



T-Mobile Sidekick 2



Xiaomi Mi Mix 3



Sony Ericsson K800i



Blackberry Bold 9000



Nokia 6310



Nokia 3210



Palm Pre



Nokia 9300



Sony Ericsson V800



Nokia 9 Pure View



LG KP100



Phillips Savvy



Samsung Galaxy SII



Nokia N95



Nokia 8110



Motorola ROKR 31



LG Cookie



Motorola C139



Nokia 1011



Nokia 1600


Founder at Mozillion, Len Leeson comments:

“When purchasing a new phone – whether that be a brand-new model or a refurbished phone – we’re always focused on the functionality and whether it can perform the tasks we require in order to make our day-to-day lives as easy as possible. However, our phones have also become an important part of our identity and image, and for many, the appearance of their tech is just as key to their decision-making as the functionality. It’s definitely interesting to see some of the more unique mid-2000s flip and swivel models hitting the top of the rankings, so maybe we will be seeing the resurgence of the flip phones and more striking designs in years to come!”



80 mobile phones from the past 40 years were compiled using desk research, and a range of ‘popular’ and ‘best-selling’ phone seed lists.

To conduct the research, a sample of 40 people were shown a series of images of different mobile phones. By using eye-tracking software, the total number of times people looked at different phones was recorded. The average amount of time people looked at a phone was recorded and viewing durations were used to rank the different mobile phones to reveal which were the most eye-catching.

Data collected from the study was used to rank the mobile phones, in order of the most eye-catching.

All data was correct as of February 9th 2022.