Would you use a square phone with a curved coral back and organic apps? Gaby Sahhar considers the route to mobile perfection...


A couple of months ago we introduced you to 19yr old art student, Gaby Sahhar from Streatham. He’d just won a competition run by Vodafone and the Tate to design the back cover for the Vodafone Smart II phone – and we were blown away by his Picasso-inspired design, artistic talent, and passion for mobile phones.

“I want a screen that leaves a trace of me”

Not only was he excited about designing his first cover, he was brimming with ideas about how to make phones a more stimulating part of our lives. So we asked him to take-up the challenge, and outline how his perfect phone would look, feel and perform. These are some of his ideas:

It’s square: Forget rectangles, a square is the closest thing to a circle and, according to Sahhar, “It seems more natural”. Sahhar loved some of the square mobiles of old: remember the Nokia X5 or the Motorola FlipOut? Another reason why Sahhar loves the idea of a square phone is to show-off his current passion for Polaroid photography.

Infinity screen: “What’s with all that wasted space around the edge?” Sahhar asks. His perfect phone would have a screen that stretches right to the edge of the handset to showcase great images. Think infinity pool, and beyond.

Curved Coral Back: “Why do some phones still have a flat back when the palm of your hand is never flat?” Sahhar’s square phone would have a curved back made from a natural material, to give it a quality finish and fantastic depth of texture. “I like the depth and appearance of coral,” Sahhar says, “but obviously that’s a scarce natural resource.”

Moving background: “We get submerged in our phones, so we need phones that express that,” says Sahhar, who went to an aquarium for inspiration about how a moving background might work. “I also see a moving background as something that could reflect your changing moods,” Sahhar says, “Like an advanced version of those apps that use your temperature to tell whether you are angry, or in love.”

A trace of you: We don’t just look at our phones, we touch them and live with them – but they seem to retain no trace of us. “I want a screen that leaves a trace of me when I touch it – maybe it’s a circle left by my fingerprint. We interact with our phones in a physical way and my perfect phone would show that.”


Organic apps: – “I hate tapping into one app, then going out of it and then tapping into another,” Sahhar says, “My perfect phone would allow me to draw a line between my favourite apps and connect them so that they could grow organically – to represent my life.”  Sort of like the way that your brain makes neural connections as you grow up and develop

One touch: – Sahhar is excited about the trials that have been taking place to use your phone as a one tap payment method for buying things, or a travel card: “Who wants to carry lots of different cards, when you can touch in and out with your phone?”

A lasting image:  – There’s nothing less inspiring than a blank screen: “Why can’t mobiles have an image, like the one you’d see on a Kindle, even when the phone is not in use?” Sahhar asks, “Let’s look at something, not nothing.”

Part of the planet: Above all, you can’t have a beautiful, inspiring, phone that’s draining the Earth’s resources. Of course, some manufacturers have been thinking along those lines for quite a while, making not just handsets but their whole business an environmentally friendly as possible. “My perfect phone would be natural and organic,” Sahhar says, “Organic in that it’s part of you, but also part of the world in the best possible way.”

Do you agree with Gaby Sahhar’s perfect smartphone? Would you like to use a square phone with a curved coral back? Let us know in the comments below.