It’s not often that you get to hold a piece of new technology that is freshly baked and virtually untested “in the wild” but enter Carbon Mobile’s Carbon 1 MKII.
The Carbon Mobile is delivered in an ultra thin matt black cardboard box, the phone tray slides from the side by a small woven tag. I can’t help but feel that this should have been a small piece of carbon fiber, but I digress. The box feels sturdy, is fully recyclable and give a premium impression from the outset. I’m already excited to open it up.
The first thing you see is the screen with a screen protector reminding you to check for software updates. Don’t be alarmed if there aren’t any available on the day you receive yours, updates have been timely during testing and Carbon Mobile promise to keep this up, with regular security and software updates.
The Carbon 1 MKII is light at just 125g and soft to touch. The carbon fiber unibody which takes on a rounded corner rectangle shape should not to be mistaken as plastic i’s quite the opposite. In fact you can see the woven carbon material on the back of the device, which is altogether only 5% plastic. Something that Carbon Mobile should be extremely proud of.
You will find the usual USB-C port at the bottom a side mounted fingerprint scanner accompanied by volume and power buttons. My initial thoughts were that it was quite hard to differentiate between power and volume buttons, it might have been nice to have a more textured power button or even perhaps had this integrated into the fingerprint scanner. And the addition of a volume rocker rather than individual buttons would have been a nice touch, but spacing is the key here.
The rear 20MP cameras look tiny in today’s standards. I will be uploading some sample photos in my next article. However the understated size does not dominate the rear panel and I quite like that.
From the exterior at just 6.3mm thin you wouldn’t guess that there is a 3000mAh battery. Testing will determine if that is enough capacity for normal use. Worth noting is the brilliant choice to include 256GB of on board storage (expandable with MicroSD) and 8GB RAM. Powered by the Meditek P90 SoC it certainly isn’t bleeding edge but from my initial hands on it has been very responsive and quick. This might be partly due to naked Android 10 OS – Carbon Mobile have chosen not to “skin” the phone as many OEMs do, again another decision that i appreciate.
I can’t get over how light this phone feels. I’m used to an already small and light Pixel 5 but the Carbon at over 25g less makes a big difference.
The haptic feedback is good, the 6.01” AMOLED display is bright and colourful. And the back logo lights up, a simple gimmick that brings so much joy and via software updates they intend on allowing the user to change the LED colours and have various notification settings.
You will not find a charging brick included with the device only the usual USB-C to USB-C cable, but I think we are all coming to terms with that from other manufacturers, right? They have graciously included a USB-C to USB A adapter though.
All in all this is a beautifully constructed device with a great future, that future might include a better button array and slightly less triangles on the back but never the less the sustainable message is undeniably very important, and Carbon Mobile’s commitment to cut plastic usage and waste is admirable.
The product that has been delivered here could easily be mistaken as a device from a company with multi million dollar R&D budget. however it’s worth noting that Carbon Mobile is a small team who are continuously fundraising to make Carbon Mobile grow. Something that you are reminded of when you get involved with the “Carbonizer” online community. Often you will see CEO Firas Khalifeh pop in to answer questions and give updates. Which is a really nice touch.
Will the brand stand the test of time? That’s not for me to decide, but for now my Carbon 1 MKII is sitting on the desk next to my Lenovo Carbon X1 and it’s simply a match made in carbon fiber heaven and I love it.
Next up, the camera test!
You can read more about carbon mobile here: Carbon Mobile 1 MK II – An evolution in premium mobile technology.
Photo & Video Samples from Carbon 1 MKII: Here