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[ZTE Smartphone Concept] - (4X Optional Intelligent Magnetic Covers: E-Ink Front Flip Cover, Gamepad Slide-Out Cover, Stylus Cover & Android PC Dock Cover) + (Secondary Reserve Battery System) + More!

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Design of Smartphone (Six-View):







Premium Variant (6GB RAM + 128GB Storage): Scratch-Resistant Aluminium Metal Body

Base Variant (4GB RAM + 64GB Storage): Durable Matte Polycarbonate Back + Stainless Steel Sides


(All other specifications of both variants will be the same. Both will also have Expandable Storage via Micro SD Card. Please look below for complete specifications.)


Intelligent Covers:

Intelligent Covers are optional accessories built specially for this phone, and will actively connect via the Magnetic Connector Ports.


They all have their own unique functionalities, and will each facilitate for different target markets.


There will be 4 types of Intelligent Covers offered (with potentially more in the future):

  1. Front Facing E-Ink Flip Cover
  2. Slide-Out Gamepad Cover
  3. Stylus Cover
  4. Android PC Dock Cover


1. Front Facing E-Ink Flip Cover



  • This is a Flip Cover with an E-Ink Panel located on the front, rather than the rear.
  • There are also speaker grills located on the front of the case, which will allow sound from the front facing speakers to pass through.
  • The connection to the phone is made via the Magnetic Connector Port for stable performance, rather than bluetooth.
  • The E-Ink Panel on the has touch capabilities so the user can still actively interact with the device.
  • Built-In Rear Trackpad of the phone can also be used to navigate .e.g. scrolling or swiping to the next page.
  • The Built-In Toggle Switch can be used to switch between modes of the case (discussed below).



There will be 2 modes for the cover:

  • Notification Mode - the cover displays basic information such as: time, date, any notifications, widgets such as music player. All of the appearance in this mode is customisable such as background, widgets, custom text, etc.
  • Active Mode - E-Ink Display mirrors the display on the main phone screen. Useful for reading e-books, better outdoor readability, decreased eye strain.


The user is able to interchange from these modes via the Toggle Switch built-in with the phone.


Please note: this idea is similar to a previous submission by aurora; however, the concept varies massively as my idea is not for a Rear E-Ink Case and this does not connect via Bluetooth but by the Magnetic Connector Ports.


2. Slide-Out Gamepad Cover

This Gamepad Cover also utilises the Magnetic Connector Port.



Front: Directional Pad; Left & Right Analog Sticks; (X,Y,A,B, Start, Select)

Back: (L, L2, R, R2)



  • Direct Connection via Magnetic Connector Port means lower input lag.
  • Cover is minimalistic due to the Slide-Out Mechanism to hide the controls, when not being used.
  • The Front Buttons such as the Analog Sticks are recessed inwards from the surface of the cover to allow for the Slide-Out mechanism.
  • All the necessary cut-outs for the buttons and ports of the phone itself are also present.
  • The cover will ideally also feature a built-in battery to extend gameplay duration e.g. 1000mAh


3. Stylus Cover


Features of Case:

  • Built-In Battery .e.g. 1000mAh to extend Battery Life
  • Hardware to allow Active Function and Pressure Sensitivity of Stylus
  • Magnetic Connectors to connect with the phone
  • Potentially adds Wireless Charging Capability


Features of Stylus:

  • Active and Pressure Sensitive
  • Button on the top of the stylus which can be used for gesture features e.g. Single-Press opens Stylus Menu, Double-Press opens Notepad, Holding the Button captures screenshot (all customisable based on preference)


4. Android PC Dock Cover


Specifications/ Features:

  • Ports available from the cover: 1X HDMI; 1X Display Port; 2X USB 2.0; 1X USB 3.0; 1X SD Card Slot; 1X Ethernet Port via USB to Ethernet Network Adapter
  • Ports available from the phone: 1X USB Type-C & 1X 3.5mm Headphone Jack
  • Other: Built-In Kickstand, Fan (If Necessary)

Please note: Mini-HDMI & Mini Display Ports can be used instead of the Full Sized HDMI & Display Port as seen in the sketch above



  • This Dock Cover will allow you to connect your phone to an external display via either HDMI or Display Port.
  • With the addition of a Keyboard+Mouse via the USB Ports, and an External Storage via the USB 3.0 or SD Card Slot, the Dock Cover will be able to provide a full PC-like experience.
  • 1X USB Type-C & 1X 3.5mm Headphone Jack from the phone itself, is also available for utilisation.
  • To save battery, there will also be a button on the Settings Menu or Notification Pull Down Bar to turn off the display of the phone only, whilst the external display remains powered on.
  • The Built-In Kickstand allows the user to stably place their device on a flat surface such as a desk.

(Potentially, will be Google Andromeda Compatible, if the rumours are true for a Hybrid Android & Chrome OS. It will be beneficial for this idea by offering an even greater PC-like experience using the Phone and Dock together.)



When the Dock Cover is applied the user will also be able to switch between 'Dock Mode' and 'Normal Screen Mirroring', via the Physical Toggle Switch of the phone:

  • Normal Screen Mirroring Mode: simply mirrors the display of the phone itself.
  • Dock Mode: Modified skin of the Android UI, for a more streamlined experienced when connected to a bigger external display via Display Port or HDMI. (Simple changes such as bigger icons, easier to reach navigation keys, etc)


Other Unique Features:

Hybrid Removable Primary Battery & Non-Removable Secondary Reserve Battery


  • '1X 3000mAh Removable Battery' acts as the main and primary power source for the phone.
  • When the removable battery is being swapped by the user, the phone switches to the 'Non-Removable 250mAh Reserve Battery' to keep the phone still powered on.



  • This feature is useful for switching the primary removable battery without having to restart your whole device.
  • The reserve battery will also be used when the main battery has run out. This gives you extended time before you charge your phone again. without it powering off.
  • Removable Battery means once the battery degrades, the user can self replace it.

If Secondary Reserve Battery System is not feasible due to Metal Body of the Smartphone, it should be offered on the 4GB Variant which will have a Polycarbonate Back (+Stainless Steel Sides) as a trade off to permit this feature.


Toggle Switch Button (Complementary to Intelligent Cover or Acts as Mute Slider)

The Toggle Switch is a button on the side of the phone, which can be toggled up or down. The function of this switch adapts based on whether an Intelligent Cover is connected to the phone or not.


Without Intelligent Cover:

  • The Side Toggle Switch acts as Mute Switch as found on iPhones and One Plus phones. This will enable/disable any alert sounds.


With Intelligent Cover on:

  • E-Ink Case - Side Toggle Switch can be programmed to switch between Notification mode or Active mode.
  • PC Dock Cover - Side Toggle Switch is able to flick between Dock Mode and Normal Screen Mirroring Mode.


Trackpad+Fingerprint Sensor

Rear Fingerprint Sensor has a built in trackpad.

  • The trackpad allows you to navigate without touching the screen, to perform tasks such as scrolling.
  • It's also useful for E-Ink Flip Cover, so you can continue to read and navigate without fingers blocking any text.


Dual Notification LED (Front & Back - Lights up based on orientation of phone)

  • Sensors on the phone will be used to determine the orientation of the phone.
  • Depending on whether the phone is facing upwards or downwards, the Front or Rear Notification LED will be activated so user will always see the notification LED.


User-Programmable Rear Volume Key Buttons

Double Press Volume Up Or Double Press Volume Down to launch a unique action preset by the user during the lockscreen. The user will then be asked to enter their pin, or use the fingerprint sensor to finally unlock the screen and confirm the launch of the action.

  • Benefit of this is it can be programmed to give you quick access to your most frequent apps.
  • To prevent accidental triggers e.g. when music is playing, the function will be temporarily disabled so that the volume can still be normally adjusted without worry of activating a double press preset action.


Other Essential Features:

Some Software Features

  • 2 Years Minimum Software Updates - Important for Security Patches and OS Updates
  • Stock Android offered as an alternative to Mi Favor UI
  • Option to Switch from capacitive keys to on-screen keys - User will be presented with a warning before activating this setting to warn of potential screen burn-in to AMOLED Panel due to static icons
  • Blue-Light Filter - Filters out blue-light emitted from the screen for night-time use
  • Dark Theme Option - All backgrounds for the UI have a dark background and theme (saves battery on AMOLED)
  • Always on Display - Presents notifications when the phone has been turned off(useful if user decides not to purchase E-Ink Cover). Will be fully customisable.


Dual 16MP Camera Lens (Wide+Close-up) with Shutter Button OIS & LED Flash, f1.8, Manual Controls & RAW Support

Dual Camera Lens system are beginning to become the new norm for smartphones. I believe this will now be an essential feature for a 2017 smartphone.

  • 1X Wide Angle and 1X Close-Up Lens for a similar Optical Zoom system as offered by LG and iPhones.
  • Other: OIS & LED Flash, 2 Step Shutter Button, Laser-Auto Focus, Manual & RAW Support


Front 8MP Wide Camera with OIS & LED Flash, f1.8 with Simplified Manual Controls

  • Wide Angle -  to capture more of the scene and bring more people into the photo without requiring a selfie stick.
  • Front LED Flash & OIS - Stable & well-lit photos, especially important during very low light situations
  • Simplified Manual Controls - Option to manually adjust White-Balance to control warmth of the photo


Water Resistance

For use when raining, or to save phone if accidentally dropped underwater for a few seconds.


Shatter-Proof Screen

Provides protection to the screen from cracking from a fall. Durability features such as these will attract consumers.


IR Blaster

Use your phone as a remote controller to control a wide variety of electronics


Dual Front Facing Speakers with Similar Audio Capabilities to ZTE Axon 7

Excellent audio experience as offered by the ZTE Axon 7


Rear Volume Keys

Fingers rest naturally on these keys so much easier to locate with fingers compared to it being on the side.

Leaves room for having the Toggle Switch Button and Camera Shutter Button on the sides.


2 Step Camera Shutter Button

Allows you to quickly and conveniently launch the camera. Makes possible to take photos with a better hold without shaking the phone to touch the capture button on the screen, as before.

Shortcuts include:

  • Quick double press to launch camera app.
  • Half Press to focus and full press to take a photo (within camera app).
  • Fully hold the shutter button for 2 or more seconds, to starting recording video (within camera app).


Backlit Capacitive Keys

Makes it still possible to view navigation keys during the dark.


Complete Specs:

  • OS: Android 7.0
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (or latest Snapdragon near release)
  • Display: 5.5" AMOLED ShatterProof Screen Display with 1440p resolution
  • Rear Camera: 16MP Dual Rear Camera Lens (Wide-Angle+Close-Up) with f1.8, OIS, Laser Auto Focus, LED Flash, Manual Controls, RAW Capture Option)
  • Front Camera: 8MP Wide-Angle Front Camera with OIS & LED Flash, Simple Manual Control
  • Storage + RAM: 128GB Internal Storage + 6GB RAM (Storage Expandable via Removable Micro SD Card) / 64GB Internal Storage + 4GB RAM (Storage Expandable via Removable Micro SD Card)
  • Audio: Similar audio specifics as ZTE Axon 7 with Dual Front Firing Speakers                                                                                                                      
  • Sensors: Hybrid Fingerprint+Trackpad Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Gyroscope, Compass, Accelerometer
  • Buttons: Rear Volume Buttons, Capacitive Buttons with Backlight, 2 Step Physical Shutter Button, Toggle Switch Button
  • Battery: Hybrid 1X Primary 3000mAh Battery + 1X Secondary Non-Removable 250 mAh Battery
  • Other: NFC, IR Blaster, Dual-Notification LED, Water Resistant, Storage Expandable via Removable Micro SD Card
  • Connectors: USB Type C, 3.5mm Jack, Magnetic Connector Port
  • Optional Accessories: Front Flip E-Ink Cover, Slide-Out Gamepad Cover, Stylus Cover, Android PC Dock Cover


Thank you for viewing my idea. Please do offer any feedback or suggestion for improvements you may have.


Special Thanks To: for inspiring the Stylus Cover.

drakenfx  for recommending the use of 6GB RAM, and suggesting a Battery Pack to be built-in with the Stylus Cover.



1. What product should be built?

An Android Smartphone for 2017 which has optional intelligent covers which each add unique functionalities to the already feature-packed device.

The intelligent covers are:

  • E-Ink Cover
  • Slide-Out Gamepad Cover
  • Stylus Cover
  • Android PC Dock Cover


It also features a unique removable battery system allowing the user to change the battery without the phone powering off.


Please view the specs and diagrams which I have listed above for complete detail of the Smartphone.


2. What purpose does the product serve?

The phone is packed with a lot of features which include:

  • E-Ink Cover allows users to continue interacting with the phone, with benefit that it uses less power, causes less eye-strain and has greater outdoor visibility.
  • Slide-Out Gamepad Cover allows consumers to extend the gaming capabilities of their device.
  • Stylus Cover - The stylus increases the accuracy of touch input, and has a button which allows quick access to essential applications for greater productivity. Built-in Battery also increases overall battery life.
  • Android PC Dock Cover - Uses the capabilities of the phone to present an Android PC-like experience on a bigger external display such as a TV.
  • Removable Battery with Secondary Reserve Battery System - The user can easily replace their battery without the phone shutting down due to the built in secondary battery.
  • Dual Camera System - Optical Zoom feature to capture images close-up or further away without losing detail as would happen with digital zoom.
  • Dual OIS and Dual LED - Both front and back cameras able to give stable pictures, and provide light to capture photos in the dark via the LED Flash.
  • Dual Notification LED - user can see notification light regardless of orientation of phone.
  • Front facing speakers- Superior audio and entertainment experience to the user
  • Trackpad - allows users to continue to navigate the screen without having to touch the screen.
  • Toggle Switch - Serves 2 possible functions. Either to alternate between mirror mode/ notification mode when E-Ink Cover is being used. Or, simply act as a mute switch for notifications.
  • Front Facing LED & OIS - Gives a superior front facing camera experience
  • IR Blaster - Use phone as a remote controller to control electronics


3. Why will a consumer buy it?

It fulfills the desires of what a consumer would look for in a smartphone for 2017, whilst also offering extra features. The standout features why a consumer will purchase the phone include:

  • Front Facing Flip E-Ink Cover - Very appealing feature to converge E-Ink Technology with a Smartphone. A lot of consumers are interested in this proposition as seen with the hype around recent E-Ink Phones. The problem is that current offerings have the E-Ink panel directly integrated into the back of the phone and is not optional. The advantage of my proposition is that the consumer can buy the phone on its own, and finally they can make a decision of whether or not to have E-Ink.
  • Slide-Out Gamepad Cover -Touchscreen gaming with current smartphones has its limitations such as inaccurate input and fingers covering the screen. The cover offers advantages such as physical buttons and minimal input lag due to direct connection with the phone. It will interest a lot of consumers who use their phone for gaming.
  • Stylus Cover- Appeals to be Business Users/ Productivity Oriented Consumers who appreciate the convenience a stylus can provide such as increased accuracy of touch input, and quick access to essential applications such as the notepad.
  • Android PC Dock Cover- It is possible to use the capabilities of the phone itself for tasks via this cover, rather than having to buy a much more expensive computer. It can also be used to consume media on a larger display such as a TV by simply mirroring the screen.
  • Removable Battery Concept - Long term durability as older battery can be easily replaced with a new one once it begins to wear down.  Also primary removable battery can be easily swapped out to get max charge, without the phone having to restart - negates the need for a power bank.


4. How is it different?

  • Removable Battery Concept - Primary Battery is removable and main power source. Secondary battery comes into effect, either when primary battery is being replaced. This means the user does not have to restart the device, providing convenience.
  • Hybrid Trackpad - Allows users to scroll and navigate a screen without covering the display. Supplements the E-Ink Case.
  • Stylus Cover is a unique Case which adds an active stylus to use with the phone.
  • E-Ink Front Flip Cover Cover - ZTE can also be the company to popularise and push the concept of utilising E-Ink panels with a phone more than it is currently.
  • There is no phone on the market which has a Slide-Out Gamepad Cover connecting via Magnetic Connector Port.
  • Android PC Dock Cover - The Dock in a Cover form-factor means it is much more convenient as it connects to the phone via magnetic connector port so reduces need for an extra cable, and portable allowing you to easily carry it around applied to the phone or separately inside your bag.