Flashback: Samsung’s long history of fashion phones includes Giorgio Armani and Hugo Boss

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Scarlette Lennon2 May 2021Last Update : 1 year ago
Flashback: Samsung’s long history of fashion phones includes Giorgio Armani and Hugo Boss

The LG KE850 Prada was the first phone with a capacitive touch screen that beat the Apple iPhone by a few months. But it is not the only touch phone that collaborates with a fashion brand – while LG was with Prada, Samsung turned to Giorgio Armani and Hugo Boss.

The Samsung P520 Armani was launched at the Giorgio Armani show at Fashion Week in Milan in 2007. It had a small 2.6 ”screen (240x320px, 4: 3). Well, it was pretty big for a feature phone back then, but it was small for an all-touch phone. And it was also a resistive touch screen, far from the 3.0 ”capacitive touch screen (240x400px) from the LG KE850 Prada.

In any case, the Armani was a phone with the Croix user interface (French for “cross”), a predecessor to TouchWiz. Not quite Sony’s XrossMediaBar, but you can see where the inspiration comes from. This phone would affect the next model, but very few people had one – it sold for as much as 750 € (this was in 2007, remember).

Samsung P520 Armani phone
Samsung P520 Armani phone
Samsung P520 Armani phone
Samsung P520 Armani phone
Samsung P520 Armani phone
Samsung P520 Armani phone

Samsung’s P520 Armani Phone • Compared to iPhone • Cross interface

Samsung F480 Toco from 2008 upgraded to a capacitive touch screen, a 2.8 ”LCD with 240x320px resolution (with 4: 3 aspect ratio). Leaving Croix behind, it ran TouchWiz and (like Prada) it was not a real smartphone, although it could multitask J2ME apps.

But we wanted to focus on the fashion aspect today, so it’s really the Hugo Boss version of the phone that interests us.

Flashback: Samsung's long history of fashion phones includes Giorgio Armani and Hugo Boss

It had the Hugo Boss logo on the front, special ringtones and came with a specially designed Bluetooth headset (just that, it was good before the TWS era). There was also a beautiful flip case in leather. The special phone was sold in Hugo Boss retailers in Europe for a more reasonable € 480.

Samsung collaborated with Hugo Boss on a special edition of the F480 Toco
Samsung collaborated with Hugo Boss on a special edition of the F480 Toco
Samsung collaborated with Hugo Boss on a special edition of the F480 Toco

Samsung collaborated with Hugo Boss on a special edition of the F480 Toco

In 2008, Samsung returned to Armani to manufacture the Samsung M7500 Emporio Armani (also called “Night Effect”). A fairly ordinary phone on the surface, it had a 2.2 ”AMOLED screen (240x320px), and it brought the party with it.

Samsung M7500 Emporio Armani also became known as
Samsung M7500 Emporio Armani also became known as
Samsung M7500 Emporio Armani also became known as

The Samsung M7500 Emporio Armani was also known as the “Night Effect” phone

The phone had RGB lighting and dedicated music keys on the side plus a (not so loud) speaker embedded in the Emporio Armani logo on the back.

The RGB LED lighting on the side was always ready to light up at night
The RGB LED lighting on the side was always ready to light up at night
The RGB LED lighting on the side was always ready to light up at night
The RGB LED lighting on the side was always ready to light up at night

The RGB LED lighting on the side was always ready to light up at night

Then in 2009 came the Samsung B7620 Giorgio Armani, a Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional phone with a sliding QWERTY keyboard. Its 3.5 ”AMOLED screen had a fairly high resolution (480x800px), but still used capacitive touch. Good thing that Samsung painted over the Windows interface, which at this point was still painfully utilitarian.

Samsung B7620 Giorgio Armani asked '' Can Windows Mobile be fashionable ''?
Samsung B7620 Giorgio Armani asked '' Can Windows Mobile be fashionable ''?
Samsung B7620 Giorgio Armani asked '' Can Windows Mobile be fashionable ''?

Samsung B7620 Giorgio Armani asked ” Can Windows Mobile be fashionable ”?

A year later, the keyboard was dropped for the Samsung I9010 Galaxy S Giorgio Armani. As you can tell, this was a fashionable version of the Galaxy S, and it ran Android (2.2 Froyo). The screen was also much better, 4.0 ”Super AMOLED (same 480x800px resolution) with capacitive touch. It launched Europe, Russia, Dubai, China and Hong Kong at a great price of € 700. By the way, we made a practical video with that phone a long time ago.

A Giorgio Armani edition Galaxy S
Samsung I9010 Galaxy S Giorgio Armani
Compared to an iPhone (left) and the original Galaxy S (right)

A Giorgio Armani Edition Galaxy S • Compared to an iPhone (left) and the original Galaxy S (right)

A few years later, things got a lot less fancy with the Samsung Galaxy Ace, a beautiful basic Android phone from 2011. It also got a Hugo Boss version with a logo on the front and a custom back cover with a matte finish (thought up by Hugo Boss designers , allegedly). This model was sold in the fashion brand’s stores for € 280, – pr. Stk., Only € 20, – the retail price for the unsty, ordinary ace.

Samsung Galaxy Ace Hugo Boss edition wanted to show that there is style in simplicity
Samsung Galaxy Ace Hugo Boss edition wanted to show that there is style in simplicity
Samsung Galaxy Ace Hugo Boss edition wanted to show that there is style in simplicity

Samsung Galaxy Ace Hugo Boss edition wanted to show that there is style in simplicity

We have hardly scratched the surface of fashion-influenced phones – we have not even covered all of Samsung’s attempts at digital couture. If you want to see more, we are doing a follow-up article.

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