Today mobile phone company Carbon Mobile announced their Carbon 1 MK II smartphone. As GSM Arena reports it is the first phone in the world with a carbon fiber monocoque. As you may know, carbon fiber is a very strong material so making a phone with it seems like a no-brainer.
Firstly, if you are wondering what a monocoque is it is an external shell that provides structural integrity. Now there are many benefits to using carbon fiber as a building material.
However, one downfall is that carbon fiber blocks radio waves. Unfortunately, since smartphones rely on using radio waves use of carbon fiber must be used sparingly.
Well, Carbon Mobile seems to have spent many years figuring how to get over this hurdle. Their years of research have paid off in the form of the Carbon 1 MK II. Due to being made of carbon fiber the MK II is very light at 125g, and it is thin at only 6.3mm thick.
The Carbon 1 MK II carbon fiber monocoque is unique
Carbon Mobile used a proprietary technology called HyRECM to tackle the radio wave issue. HyRECM stands for Hybrid Radio Enabled Composite Material, and it took them over four years to develop. The tech combines high-quality carbon fibers from Germany with a composite material that allows radio waves to pass through.
When the company first started to create the HyRECM carbon fiber shell in 2017 it took 3 hours to create one shell. Now though, the company is able to make a shell in only 30 minutes. Despite the increase in speed, it still takes the steady hand of an experienced engineer to hand cut the material and oversee the process.
Thanks to the carbon fiber monocoque there isn’t an internal frame. As a result, all of the components are attached to the carbon fiber shell. The phone itself also only contains less than 5% of plastic in its construction which makes this phone easier to recycle. The MK II can be disassembled and converted to raw materials easily.
As for specs, the MK II has a 6-inch AMOLED display with an 18:9 1080×2060 resolution. The protect that display there is Gorilla Glass Victus which is the same thin sturdy glass first used in the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
The high-tech monocoque houses some older technology
Inside the MK II, there is the Helio P90 chipset which is built on a 12nm process with 2 Cortex-A75 at 2.2 GHz + 6 Cortex-A55 running at 2.0 GHz. It also has a PowerVR GM 9446 GPU to handle graphics. Coupled with the Helio P90 is 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage.
If you need more memory there is a hybrid dual sim card slot that can also hold a microSD. Powering all of this is a 3000mAh battery which can be charged up to 50% in 30 minutes.
Android 10 will be what customers will be greeted with when they boot up the MK II, but Android 11 will be available in the second quarter. Carbon Mobile is also promising 2 years of software updates with monthly security patches.
For those concerned with the camera, there is a rear camera setup featuring two 16MP sensors. Both of the back sensors appear to have an f/2.0 focal length. On the front, there is a 20MP selfie camera which is built into the bezel. So no hole-punch selfie camera will be present.
5G is absent, but it is dual-sim
Unfortunately, the MK II does not have 5G. But, it is a dual sim 4G smartphone which is good. You will also get Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX HD, NFC, GPS/GLONASS/Galileo, and USB-C 3.1 as well.
There will be a capacitive fingerprint reader mounted on the side handling biometrics. Unfortunately, the 3.5mm headphone jack is absent which is not a surprise.
You can pre-order your Carbon 1 MK II today from Carbon Mobile’s website. Shipping will start later this month. If you live in Germany, you can see the phone in person in a couple of weeks in physical stores. That way you can make up your mind if you want it or not.
The device will cost €800 or around $966 USD which is pretty pricey. Especially from a company that is pretty new in the smartphone game. However, the MK II is uniquely one of a kind thanks to its carbon fiber monocoque. Due to that fact, the price may well be justified.