Lighter than aluminium, firmer than steel: Carbon Mobile introduces the first carbon-made smartphone to the world.
Recently there haven’t been too many opportunities to get excited for new mobile technology. Of course the market is bursting with innovation and design but at face value it just more of the same, right? It was in January 2020 when Carbon Mobile hit my radar, the press meeting request for MWC slid into my email box and as an intrigued carbon fibre fan I set the date and time to meet the team. We all know what came next, MWC was cancelled and the meeting was forgotten about.
The team reached out again in May 2020 expressing the frustrations of get the project in front of media and enthusiastic fans during a global pandemic. The personal approach to maintaining interest in the Carbon Mobile project was reminiscent of the HTC Elevate days. I felt part of a secret club discussing a secret product again. And the more I heard the more i became enamoured with the project’s mission.
Today (March 1st 2021) I can finally share with you the product that has been subject of many conversations over the last year. The Carbon 1 MK II. Developed in Germany it is the world’s first
smartphone featuring a carbon fibre monocoque, the most advanced material of this century.
Carbon is considered a high value material, primarily used in the racing, aviation and automotive industries alongside other highly specialised applications due to its high-strength structure and extremely low weight. The Carbon I MKII is the result of years of research and development: The device’s incredibly thin 125 gram monocoque housing, which is just 0.6 millimeters thin, is created by weaving carbon fiber together with complementary “radio-capable”composite materials to negate any potential GSM connection problems. This new hybrid material technology is called HyRECM (Hybrid Radio Enable Composite Material) and represents a major breakthrough in materials science for the sector. With the Carbon 1 MKII, Carbon Mobile is now launching the lightest and thinnest carbon smartphone, designed in Germany, for the first time. It also has a plastic content of less than 5% and is easy to repair.
Firas Khalifeh, CEO of Carbon Mobile, says: “Today I can proudly say that we have achieved the impossible. The world’s first carbon fiber smartphone has arrived here in Germany and is ready to end up in the hands of our fantastic customers and partners. It was an immense effort by a small but dedicated team that has come together to challenge an industry that is stagnating in terms of material innovation.
The last 12 months have been an incredible challenge as Covid-19 has interrupted the final stages of testing and production. However, we have survived against all odds and have come back stronger. We used this time to perfect our HyRECM technology and drive design decisions that were intended for the next device. The result is a really nice and important device. I look forward to the reactions of our customers and the industry to this device, which we believe represents an important moment in the future of smartphones. “
Through their continuous research and development, the tightly woven team of Carbon Mobile engineers have reduced the production times of designs with HyRECM technology from three hours in 2017 to just 30 minutes in 2021. This continuous innovation accelerates the production times of Carbon Mobile devices towards the required competitive scale. Even today, craftsmanship plays an important role in the production of every Carbon 1 MK II, because the value lies not only in the material itself, but also in the attention to detail that is invested in every device. Unlike cheap plastic injection molded parts or pressed metals, all Carbon 1 MKII are unique. Only the finest carbon fiber material, which is sourced from Germany, is used for the carbon fiber body. The life of each device begins with an experienced engineer cutting the material by hand and overseeing the entire shaping process. The end result is a beautiful and individual handmade device.
Despite its advanced properties for the production of robust yet lightweight structures, carbon fiber is also an electromagnetic conductor. This means that it blocks radio signals and forms a Faraday cage in which it does not let the signals pass through, but instead distributes them around the outer casing. Connected devices with carbon fiber are therefore regarded as an unrepresentable dream in the tech industry. In four years of research and development, the Carbon Mobile team has somehow achieved that impossible dream in perfecting a groundbreaking process that no other manufacturer has achieved before.
Less than 5% plastic
Unrecyclable plastics and hard-to-recycle metals are industry standard in smartphone technology. They are jointly responsible for 50 million tonnes of electrical waste worldwide every year. Carbon Mobile is committed to bringing advanced materials to the market in consumer electronics. Materials such as carbon fiber and Kevlar have revolutionized sectors such as aerospace, motorsport and energy. But their beneficial properties have been ignored in the technology used by millions of people every day. Carbon Mobile has recognized the advantages and future prospects of carbon fibers and sees itself as a pioneer in the development of various manufacturing processes. They believe that advanced high-tech materials represent the disruption necessary for a sustainable future of consumer electronics. To help, Carbon Mobile builds devices that are lighter, thinner and more durable. Any Carbon Mobile device can be disassembled into its raw material and further used, which closes the material circuit.
Inside the beautiful and lightweight carbon chassis you will find a powerful eight-core MediaTek Helio P90 processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal memory (Expandable with MicroSD). While the cameras have a lot to be desired (improvements to come in the next software update) you will find the 16MP dual camera on the back and the 20 MP selfie camera quite sufficient. The crystal clear 6” AMOLED display resolves with 2160 x 1080 pixels. Dual SIM (nano). USB-C charging, you will see that the Carbon Mobile is delivered without a charging brick, a eco-conscious decision with the option to add at checkout.
The device is ships with Google Android 10. An upgrade to Android 11 will be delivered in a “timely manner” and further operating system upgrades and continuous security updates are also guaranteed.
The device is available now online and from mid-March in selected specialist stores and retail partners at an RRP of €799,- EUR incl. VAT.
You can order yours at: https://www.carbonmobile.com/order
Check out: First impressions and Hands on with Carbon Mobile
Check out: Camera Samples from the Carbon 1 MKII