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The Turing Phone is a Retrofuturistic Smartphone Ripped Straight From a Sci-Fi Movie

An odd smartphone with an even odder design.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

The Turing Phone certainly boasts one of the more unique smartphone designs we’ve seen in a while. As all of the major phone manufacturers increasingly favor minimalism over bold aesthetics, Turing Robotics Industries have created a device that is as much of a fashion statement as it is a smartphone, and opinions regarding the device are certainly divided.

With a retrofuturistic design that looks like it’s been ripped straight from out of an old sci-fi movie, TRI have also made the particularly confident statement that the phone is waterproof, unbreakable and unhackable. That sounds like a call-to-arms for hackers to do their worst with it, and I fail to see how Turing are going to prevent the inevitable influx of attacks on its software that are going to ensue as a result of their bold statement. Turing hopes to combat this with secure end-to-end encryption implemented in the majority of the device’s core applications, but as we’ve seen time and time again, hackers will always find a way.

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In terms of its supposedly waterproof and unbreakable design, according to Turing the durability of the hardware is a result of its 5.5-inch frame being created using a liquid metal alloy branded liquidmorphium. Smartphones such as the iPhone 6 are made out of aluminium, which contributed to that whole “bendgate” fiasco when the Apple smartphone was released last year, due to the flexibility of the material.

 

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Turing Robotics have stated that there will be no such issue with the Turing Phone, as its substantial frame will protect its innards from being spewed out all over the floor if its user mistakenly drops it. As such, we should prepare ourselves for a variety of YouTube videos of people dropping the device from great heights, as is typically the case when a new smartphone makes its way on market. 

Despite these two statements seeming a little hard to believe, at the very least the Turing Phone should be waterproof, with its components being protected by a nano-coating that should keep them safe if the device is submerged.

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But despite the claims that the device will be nigh-on indestructible, Turing Robotics are undoubtedly aiming at a very niche market here. The issue with the smartphone is that, while it will support Android Lollipop 5.1, it will be running the company’s own Turing Aemaeth UI on top of it.

While only prototype models of the device have been made available for those looking to try it out, this UI already looks a little too unique for its own good, and while it’s admirable that Turing are thinking outside of the box with their operating system, rivaling companies have been perfecting their software for years now, meaning that it’s highly unlikely that Turing are going to step through the door with a brand new OS that will prove to be more functional than its competitors.

In truth, the Turing Phone looks like it’s been built for the sake of it rather than because there is a substantial market for people who want this device. Turing Robotics’ CEO Syl Chao’s defended the phone’s design, saying: “Not everyone wants to drive a Volkswagen. There are people who like Aston Martins, Lamborghinis, and Ferraris. Right now, most phones are Volkswagens.”

While he may be right with his appraisal that smartphones are becoming homogeneous, that’s largely because manufacturers aren’t looking to fix what isn’t broken. The iPhone 6 is arguably the greatest smartphone we’ve yet seen, and Turing Robotics offering something so dissimilar to it may seem appealing at first, but then you have to contend with the fact that the iPhone 6 is so good because it’s the product of so many years’ worth of consistent improvements, eventually leading to the creation of a device that fit the smartphone market perfectly.

You can check out the look of the device’s operating system, along with a closer look at the device itself, in the video below:

In terms of specs, the Turing Phone features a 1080p display, a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 SoC equipped with 3GB RAM and memory options going up to 64GB. Weirdly, it doesn’t feature a USB port or a headphone jack, instead coming equipped with one proprietary jack. 

If you’re interested in the upcoming smartphone, then you’ll be pleased to know that pre-orders begin at the end of this month on July 31st, with prices starting at $610 for the 16GB model. Find out more on its official website.