World’s first carbon-fiber smartphone is ‘lighter than a bag of Doritos’

The term ‘Carbon Fiber Monocoque’ was, up until now, reserved mainly for automobiles and aeronautics. With the Carbon 1 Mk Ⅱ, that term now sees itself being used in the world of smartphones too. The material isn’t entirely new to smartphones. Makers and manufacturers have often used small amounts and trims of carbon-fiber in smartphones (mainly as a marketing feature), not just because it’s much more expensive than aluminum, but also because of its ability to block radio waves. Germany-based startup Carbon Mobile, however, has figured out a way to make a phone with the entire body crafted out of a single piece of carbon fiber.

The Carbon 1 Mk Ⅱ uses a monocoque design – which means the phone’s external body also comes with integrated supports on the inside, increasing its overall strength while reducing the number of parts needed to make the phone robust. This helps bring the Carbon 1 Mk Ⅱ’s weight down to a ridiculous 125 grams (a bag of Doritos weighs 150 grams), proving that most of a smartphone’s weight lies in its use of dense materials like metal and glass. While the carbon-fiber does drastically bring the weight of the phone down, it does raise the question regarding carbon fiber’s ability to block radio waves. To avoid this problem, the startup spent 4 years developing a new kind of carbon composite called HyRECM (Hybrid Radio Enabled Composite Material). Woven right into the carbon fibers is a special composite material that allows radio waves to pass through, giving the Carbon 1 Mk Ⅱ 4G LTE capabilities, along with WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC capabilities.

Its lightweight construction is reinforced by the fact that the Carbon 1 Mk Ⅱ is just 6.3mm in thickness. On the front, the phone comes with a sprawling 6-inch display (it does have bezels, however) and a 20MP camera, and on the back, a dual-camera setup gives your images clarity and depth, although don’t expect it to match up to a flagship phone like the iPhone 12 Pro. The phone runs Android 11 (as of Q2), and comes powered by a MEDIATEK P90​​ Octa-Core chip, with 8GB of RAM, 256GB internal storage, and a neat 3000mAh battery. Given how slim the phone is, it obviously doesn’t come with a headphone jack, although there is a fingerprint scanner built right into the edge of the phone, right below the volume button. The Carbon 1 Mk Ⅱ is up for pre-order with a relatively steep price of €799 ($952), although at that price, you’re pretty much paying for the world’s first carbon-fiber smartphone that’ll never ever succumb to #bendgate !!

Designer: Carbon Mobile