As we wait to see what Tim Cook has in store for the Apple September event, I'm more excited about this artist-made iPhone Vision concept, which has far-fetched specs but a design that actually excites me.
iPhone Vision: Back screen on board
Made by ADR Studio and Antonio De Rosa and spotted by BGR, the iPhone Vision concept features a very intriguing back screen that makes it easy to access notifications and widgets without having to flip over your phone. I'm also presuming that you would be able to use this small display for framing up selfies using the more powerful back cameras.
Based on the use cases illustrated in this concept, the iPhone Vision's rear display would be able to show you music playback status, memoji, your activity status and more.
M2 and R1 chips
Another interesting thing about this concept is that has a dual chip system, just like the upcoming Apple Vision Pro headset, featuring both M2 and R1 silicon. The R1 chip is supposed to be used for real-time processing tasks, so having a similar setup on a new iPhone could save battery life.
Liquid Lens and periscope cameras
Cameras are where things get even more interesting. The iPhone Vision concept features both a Liquid Lens for high-res photography and a Periscopic Lens "offering exceptional zoom capabilities."
As I said in my hands-on with the Vision Pro, being able to capture and play back 3D photos and videos using the same device is very impressive. But I wouldn't want to be the person doing that at a family party. So why not bestow those capabilities on a new iPhone so you can be much more discreet?
One iPhone Vision feature that sounds cooler in principle than practice is the so-called waterfall display. I'm all for an "immersive edge-to-edge viewing experience" but not if the display curve makes it harder to operate the phone and results in accidental touches.
Theoretical specs such as 1,800 nits of HDR brightness and 2,200 nits of peak brightness outdoors sound great, though. By comparison, the iPhone 14 Pro Max reached up to 1,565 nits of brightness when playing HDR content in our testing.
I've never had any complaints about the sound on my iPhone, but the Space Audio feature on this iPhone Vision concept piques my interest. This prominent raised area on the back of the iPhone is designed to produce "crisp and clear surround sound."
Bottom line: It's time for Apple to take some risks
But that doesn't mean there isn't still room to innovate with the iPhone's current slab design. Even if all the specs and features here are not realistic for the short term, I'd really like to see a new iPhone take some real risks when it comes to phone design — just like the iPhone X did half-a-decade ago.