Rank Best iPhone design

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by supervelous, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. supervelous macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2010
    what do you think is the best iPhone design wise of all time? What is your personal favorite. For me at the time of release, the iPhone 4/4s design was the most impressive design. However, if I look back at them now I think the 5 design holds up better today and wins out for me. The 4 looks short and fat when I see them today but man did I think it was beautiful at release. Can't decide between 3G and 6, close one, those could be flipped as well as 1 and 2 being neck and neck.

    My ranking

    1. iPhone 5/s
    2. iPhone 4/s
    3. iPhone 6/S
    4. iPhone 3G/S
    5. iPhone

    Let me know your rankings!
  2. unclemax macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2015
    If you insist. For me the first two places are a no-brainer:

    1 iPhone
    2 iPhone 4 (4S)

    Then it gets harder, about the order of the next ones I'm not sure

    3 iPhone 5c
    4 iPhone 5
    5 iPhone 3G (3GS)

    Then it gets simple again

    6 iPhone 6/6S
    7 iPhone 5S
  3. danilko1 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2010
    I think the White 4S was the best designed phone. Right now it's dated, but it SCREAMED elegance and craftsmanship.

    1. No plastic
    2. No necessary lines
    3. Glass surfaces front and back (sure they would break, but they were easy to replace.)
    4. Frame was antenna, fully exposed to the elements. (4S fixed what was was wrong on the 4)

    That about sums it up. It was very jewel like, imho.

    It would be interesting if they decided to go back to that format again.
  4. cwosigns macrumors 68000


    Jul 8, 2008
    1. iPhone 4/4s
    2. iPhone 5/5s
    3. iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus
    4. iPhone 3G/3Gs
    5. iPhone
  5. unclemax macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2015
    Why does everyone hate plastic so much? When they used plastic on 5c at least you could make it look nice with their cases - so many good combinations!
    On the other hand, take black iPhone 4. Although the phone looks better, but black+metal doesn't go with bumper of any color but white and black.
  6. bpeeps macrumors 68020


    May 6, 2011
    iPhone 4
    iPhone 5
    iPhone 6
    iPhone 3G

    I want an all glass iPhone 7 please.
  7. DoofenshmirtzEI macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Ditto on the 4 and 5 being outstanding phone designs. There's much to love about my new 6s, but the exterior design is not one of them.
  8. markthrash macrumors 6502


    Jun 21, 2010
    I may be in the minority with the design of the 6/S being my favorite. I've liked it since day 1. My list would be

    1) iPhone 6/S
    2) iPhone 5/S (that black/slate ;))
    3) iPhone
    4) iPhone 4/S
    5) iPhone 3G
  9. Supermallet macrumors 65816


    Sep 19, 2014
    iPhone 5/5s
    iPhone 4/4s
    iPhone 6/6s/Plus
    iPhone 3G/3GS
    iPhone 5c
  10. danilko1 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2010
    I think the 4/S was the right thickness. The 6/S is too thin right now.

    If we could have the 6S, with 1080P, Optical Stabilization, glass back, tapered edges on the glass, both sides, in all current colors, and the same thickness of the iPhone 4/S, I think this would be the best phone, and the best size.
  11. mobutt macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2010
    4>5(slate was savage)>original>6>3G

    Didn't list S models on purpose. It's more or less the same design. Although 5>5S because of the slate, the order pertaining to the rest remains the same.
  12. Supermallet macrumors 65816


    Sep 19, 2014
    I doubt Apple will ever do glass on both sides of the phone again. The biggest complaint of the 4/4S by far was how easily the back cracked. I always thought the antenna issue was blown out of proportion, but that back glass was an accident waiting to happen.
  13. mobutt macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2010
    I can only hope they do glass on both sides again.
  14. sk1wbw Suspended


    May 28, 2011
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    The 3gs was by far the best design. I loved LOVED the rounded back and the smoothness of the whole frame. I would find myself rubbing it and rolling it in my hand like those metal Chinese relaxation balls.
    Second would be the 6 Plus design.
  15. iZac macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2003
    iPhone 4
    Sharp, precise, classic. This phone will still look fantastic in ten years time. The idea to run the antenna around the edge of the device was inspired, but technically flawed. This was perfected with the 4S.

    iPhone 5
    An unfortunate devolution of the iPhone 4. Perhaps responding to the glass cracking epidemic. Took many of the design cues of the 4, but introduced incongruous top and bottom panels, to compensate for the lack of glass.

    iPhone 3G
    An evolution of the 2G design, and although many decry the plastic shell, it was Apple's first attempt to deal with the antenna issue. It was warm to hold and hands down the most ergonomically comfortable phone they've ever made. Nightmare to use on a table though. Tacky chrome bezel.

    iPhone 2G
    Oversize and under performing, it did at least change the world. The aluminium fit with Apple's material palette and the profile for better or worse followed the then recent white Macbook design. Had a slightly odd plastic panel at the bottom. Tacky chrome bezel.

    iPhone 6
    Basically a slimmed down iPhone 2G. I get the feeling this design had the same origins and has been refreshed to make it relevant. * But Apple designed themselves into a corner with the antenna bands. Coupled with the clear compromise between design team and engineers regarding the depth of the camera module and it's obvious to see that this phone was designed by committee. It's not a terrible phone by any means, just not very focused.

    * To rant a bit, I imagine the design of the iPhone 6 was established soon after the passing of Jobs but I definitely don't mean to repeat that tired phrase "Steve would never have allowed this". Many of the products over the last 4 years have been evolutions of designs that were established with Jobs - Macbooks, iMacs, iPads etc. Obviously products have a huge lead-in time to develop and without Jobs in late 2011 I'm sure there was a massive hole in deciding who had the authority to direct the design future of the company. It probably took a good year to establish a really solid approach going forward, how to deal with a design team that was now working in a vacuum, no restrictions or guidance from someone with major conviction or authority.

    The three headline new designs we've seen Post Jobs have been the Mac Pro, iPhone 6 and Apple Watch. The Mac Pro was clearly an early 2000s design and has obvious design cues from the G4 iMac - round base, with near identical ventilation holes at the bottom and designed with the principle that the components could be seen. slip a translucent tube on it and *boom* that's your 'G4 cube' sized product.

    Similarly for the iPhone 6 I feel they cribbed an old iPhone 2G era design that may have previously got a warm reception from Jobs and retooled it for modern sizes and tech. The profile and cut at the aluminium edge to to the screen are very similar. From that concept though, clearly someone steadfastly refused to find a new antenna approach and instead relied on an identical technique to the iPhone 5. The issue being that the 5 used its edges to mitigate the change in material, but the 6 design has a completely ungainly approach that actually fights against the rounded design. That and the camera blemish suggest this design really lacked direction.

    The Apple Watch could be seen as response to the 'failure' of the iPhone 6 design. Like I said, no one can design in a vacuum. You need people to push you to do better, and importantly tell you when you're going wrong, because most designers have a hard time looking truly objectively at their own work. Whether you like him or not, I think this is where Marc Newson fits in. Physically detached from the design team in Cupertino, they can establish proper design reviews with other people who really, really get design. Not just a board room full of people with big salaries. This probably works both ways too. Imagine the creativity and competition that can be fostered by two design teams on each side of the Atlantic working to make the worlds most exquisite products.

    After this lull, going forward I think we will see some really exciting and crucially unexpected designs from Apple.

    Massive post, sorry!
  16. Peter K. macrumors 6502a

    Peter K.

    Nov 6, 2012
    SoCal / Philly
    I love the 6-series:
    1. iPhone 6, 6+/6S, 6S+
    2. iPhone 5/5s
    3. iPhone 4/4S
    4. iPhone (original)
    5. iPhone 3G/3GS
  17. garirry macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2013
    Canada is my city
    #1 the best #5 the worst.

    #1 iPhone 5/S: it looks like a big improvement over the 4S. The back glass is replaced by aluminium, and the rest of the design of the phone is finally anodized aluminum instead of this steel thing.
    #2 iPhone 4/S: it looks great to be honest, even though it's not my favourite, the 5S is obviously better IMO.
    #3 iPhone 3G/S: I like the plastic design, it makes it look like a cheap phone, which while isn't that great today, is still pleasant to look at.
    #4 iPhone 2G: it's a meh to be honest, it's alright, but the aluminum just doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the phone. I don't really like it.
    #5 iPhone 6/S: no, just, no. Waaay too thin for its size, protruding camera, ugly antenna wires around the phone, it looks like it's about to crack in half, just no. It's probably the worst design of the iPhone, it's lazy, poor, and I do not like it at all. I hope they fix the design with the iPhone 7.
  18. hamiltonDSi macrumors 68000


    Jul 29, 2012
    1. 6, 6s
    2. 5 (Slate!!)
    3. 4, 4s
    4. 5s
    5. Original
    6. 3G, 3GS
  19. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    To be honest I have a difficult time ranking it. I'm tempting to place 6 at the top but that's probably because it's the latest and greatest.

    Very preliminary lol.

    iPhone 5/s -- a nice, refined evolution over the 4 IMO
    iPhone 3GS (call it tacky but I quite liked the plastic design, particularly on the 3GS)

    Edit: eh, screw it. Can't do it without mint phones in front of me.

    If I had to rank best by functionality of design the 6s is a great evolution. I think the iPhone 5 was great as well. The design of the 4 isn't quite as timeless -- I've grown tired of it. The chamfered edges on the 5 make a big difference.
  20. nordique macrumors 65816

    Oct 12, 2014
    For me, I like all the iPhone designs but if I'm ranking my preferences?

    1) iPhone 4/4S
    2) iPhone 5/5S
    3) iPhone 6/6S (though I prefer the round edges of the 6 to the 5...but the antenna lines! and a space grey shade I am not a huge fan of)
    4) iPhone 3G/3GS
    5) iPhone (original)
    6) iPhone 5c
  21. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    Ok, let's try this again, very tentatively:

    1. iPhone 2g
    2. iPhone 6/s
    3. iPhone 5/S
    4. iPhone 3G/3GS
    5. iPhone 5c
    6. iPhone 4/S
  22. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2007
    MD & ATL,GA
    1. 5/s - by far the best looking iPhone. the champagne gold with the chamfered edges looks stunning, almost jewelry like. I have it on display standing upright on my granite coffee table.
    2. 6/s - nothing compared to 5/s but the best color is Space grey, by far. The white models look like plastic to me with the curved edges. Curved edges look sleek with black but the lack of much shininess makes it less attractive than the 5.
    3. 4/s
    4. 3g/s
    5. Original
  23. powerocool macrumors 6502


    Jun 5, 2007
    1. iPhone 4 (first retina display, glass front and back, stainless steel, clean)
    2. iPhone 4s (first white phone, clean)
    3. iPhone 5s (gold)
    4. iPhone 5 (black aluminum, chamfered edges, while it's new)
    5. iPhone 6/6s (slim, screen)
    6. iPhone (the OG, built like a tank, black antenna cover is weird)
    7. iPhone 3g/3gs (plastic feels cheap)
  24. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    I think I'd put the 3G as number one followed by the 4. It was tough to chose between those two so I pulled my old ones out of a drawer, and I have to say I like the feel of the 3G in my hand the best.
    Third place is the 5
    Fourth place is the original iPhone
    And I'm putting the 6 in last place. I like the design a lot, but it's too thin to be practical so it is the first one I had to put a case on and cover up the design so that makes me mark it down a lot.
  25. Floris macrumors 68020


    Sep 7, 2007
    The original iPhone, even though I didn't buy it. My first was the first retina one. The iPhone 4, but the iPhone 4s stands out for me. And I kind of consider it the best of the 32bit world. If that makes any sense.
    Since I do not like the back-design of the iPhone6 and am not really into the whole size war thing, and am very impressed with how the iPhone 5s (64bit!) is holding up after two years (compared to the 4 I had after a few upgrades), I can only say it seems like a winner to me. I ordered the 6s+, maybe it will impress me. But have no experience with it yet, so here's my list:

    1- iPhone (1)
    2- iPhone 5s
    3- iPhone 4s
    4- iPhone 6s+?

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