The iPhone’s design is one of its most distinct attributes — and probably the one that inspires the most copycats. Apple does its own share of taking cues from other major players in the tech world. After all, there are quite a few iOS features that Apple copied from other companies. In a space as crowded and competitive as the smartphone world, it’s pretty inevitable that phone makers, both big and small, are inspired by their rivals’ work.
That exchange goes both ways for Apple. Cupertino has copied both hardware and software features from other smartphone makers, learning from them and implementing them in iOS and on the iPhone. And some of the manufacturers that Apple takes cues from have learned from Apple’s innovations and inventions as well. Many features that appeared first on the iPhone have since become ubiquitous in other smartphone lines. And that goes double for the external design choices that Apple has made with the iPhone.
Plenty of other smartphones look a lot like the iPhone — sometimes suspiciously so. You could argue that all smartphones look alike, which is sort of true, given the fact that big screens are en vogue and thin form factors are de rigueur. And many high-end phones are using metal finishes and sleek lines. It seems that any self-respecting design nerd likes the design of the iPhone. And even if you prefer Android to iOS, you might prefer the look of an iPhone to that of some other flagships on the market.
But some smartphones from Apple’s competitors look way too much like iPhones (and we’re not even talking about the shameless iPhone knockoffs and counterfeit iPhones that are routinely introduced by Chinese manufacturers). Read on to check out some of the phones that have copied the iPhone’s design a little too faithfully.
1. Google Pixel and Pixel XL
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the new Google Pixel (and its larger variant, the Pixel XL). But one of the first things that smartphone buffs noticed about the device is that it looks a whole lot like Apple’s iPhone. Everyone from small bloggers to the Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern have noted the resemblance. As Stern writes, “The Pixel looks like an iPhone 7 clone. It comes in two sizes like the iPhone. It’s the same price (starting at $650 for the 5-inch Pixel and $770 for the 5.5-inch Pixel XL). And, for the first time, Google itself controls both the phone hardware and the software. Yep, just like Apple.”
2. Samsung Galaxy C5
Google’s aren’t the only prominent Android phones that take some design cues from Apple’s recent iPhones. As Cadence Bambenek reported for Business Insider mid-2016, Samsung’s new Galaxy C5 phones “look a lot like Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6S.” The Galaxy C5, and the more expensive Galaxy C7 model, are offered in colors that are similar to Apple’s popular gold and rose gold finishes. And, “most importantly,” according to Bambenek, they feature “a metal shell with antenna bands that clearly mimics the design found on the iPhone 6 and 6S lineup.”
3. HTC One A9
The HTC One A9 is another relatively new smartphone that looks a lot like Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s series devices. David Pierce reports for Wired that the overwhelming response to the A9 was, “Good god, that thing looks a lot like the iPhone.” According to Pierce, there are some differences between the design of the A9 and the design of the iPhone, just “not many that normal people will care about.” But in his assessment, it doesn’t really matter, since “it’s like the iPhone, but running Android” is “actually quite a sales pitch.”
4. Xiaomi Mi Note
Wired’s Marcus Wohlsen reported upon the launch of the Xiaomi Mi Note that “Xiaomi’s answer to the iPhone 6 Plus feels very much like its rival.” He explains that “after a few weeks of playing with the Mi Note, I could easily ditch my iPhone for one. Not because it’s a big revelation, or anything radically different. Quite the opposite: I could switch because it doesn’t feel that different. And at half the price of a comparable iPhone, that similarity makes all the difference.”
5. OnePlus X
The OnePlus X is another Android phone that nails the iPhone aesthetic. As Mikey Murphy reported for Quartz upon the phone’s introduction, the OnePlus X “is about the same size as an iPhone 6 — it’s slightly taller and narrower — but its minimalist design makes it seem smaller.” OnePlus cofounder Carl Pei told Quartz that the X was intended as a “fashion conscious” device that focused on design. Its styling takes cues from the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4, without looking like a copycat or knockoff of a specific iPhone model.
6. Meizu MX5
The MX5 from Chinese smartphone manufacturer Meizu is pretty easy to compare to the iPhone 6. As Aloysius Low reports for CNET, the device “unabashedly clones the iPhone” thanks to its aluminum frame and gray, gold, silver, and black-silver colorways. Its curved corners resemble those of the iPhone, and its bevel edges are reminiscent of those of the iPad Air. It also features a home button that doubles as a fingerprint sensor.