Two Futuristic ZTE Phones

2013-10-29     Yu Yue

Concept phones embody the designer’s creative spirit and expectations for the future. They point out the direction of a product’s evolution and shape the future.


ZTE designers are always thinking about what kind of mobile phones will be needed in the future and have devised two concept phones: ECO-MOBIUS and C-World.  ECO-MOBIUS won the 2013 Red Dot “Best of the Best” design award.

ECO-MOBIUS: Easy Upgrade with Low Cost

Mobile phones are evolving fast. To keep up with the trend, people have to keep upgrading their devices, which are outdated very quickly. Buying a new device just for a better part or parts is costly and wasteful.

ZTE designed a freely assembled and upgraded modular phone called ECO-MOBIUS. The phone is divided into four independent modules: LCD, core, camera, and battery. The LCD module includes the screen and lens; the core module consists of a removable CPU, GPU, ROM and RAM and other electronic parts. The four modules can be easily disassembled and assembled through a sliding track design. In the ECO-MOBIUS series, main components are designed to be easily accessed and removed to make upgrading smooth, inexpensive and less wasteful. The CPU, GPU, RAM, ROM, camera, battery and display all fit within a modular framework that has a standard design across the whole ECO-MOBIUS series.


ZTE designers have also established a highly efficient trading platform for the phone parts. Through the platform, users can control their phone’s status. When the CPU needs to be upgraded, a user can quickly find replacement parts.

A game fanatic wants a fast CPU to smoothly run a new game. You can go to the trading platform by tapping an app and choosing to change a CPU. The system promptly finds a list of users who are selling a faster CPU. You only need to select one and buy it. At the same time, you can sell your old CPU to another user. In this way, a CPU is used again and again until it doesn’t work. Other components can be recycled in this way.

A photography enthusiast can carry multiple camera modules with them. These modules cater for different shooting conditions and include landscape, macro, or movement shooting.


People who are fond of watching films on a mobile phone can change to a larger screen instead of buying a new tablet. To upgrade, simply purchase a larger screen module and fit the other existing performance components into this new module. The larger module has expanded space so that extra batteries can be added to power the larger screen.

A traveler can overlap one or more batteries directly on the original battery module to ensure sufficient power during a trip.

ECO-MOBIUS allows people to customize or upgrade their mobile phones more cheaply. More importantly, it is a highly efficient component exchange mechanism, making the most of materials and reducing waste. 

C-world—Customize Your World

ZTE has also imagined a C-world smart system for customizing public data and facilities.


Public facilities will store a large amount of data for different services on the C-world database. This data is open to the public. A C-world-enabled phone can analyze a user’s preferences or requirements based on personal data and save the analysis on itself. Swipe the C-world-enabled smartphone over an authentication terminal to establish a connection via NFC. Then, the phone will filter and choose from public data based on built-in conditions.

In a restaurant, a C-world phone could provide healthy recommendations that match a user’s requirement based on an analysis of user’s health and the cloud services. After ordering the dish, hold the phone close to the tabletop to display information about the dishes.

If you are going to take the subway, you can pay with the phone through NFC and get the travel route. The phone will sound an alarm to remind you when you arrive at the station.

The phone can connect to an office system. If you are going to attend a meeting, the phone will guide you to the right meeting room. When you are authenticated by the office system, information about the meeting will be displayed on your device.

When you travel in a strange city, choose your preferred category (e.g. shopping) on a guide board. The C-world system will push map information to your phone after the phone obtains customized shopping information through NFC.


Designers are dreamers. They imagine a better future and turn their visions into reality step by step. Designs are not empty imaginations; they should be centered on user experience and follow the design philosophy of “friendly, innovative, pure, and thoughtful.”



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