Pininfarina’s latest Electric SUV has a 692-mile maximum range… and a strangely familiar name

Meet the Polestones 01. Not to be confused with the Volvo-owned EV marque Polestar, this particular brand of electric vehicles comes from China… Shanghai, specifically. The Polestones 01’s design can be credited to the iconic automotive design outfit Pininfarina’s Shanghai branch. The Polestones 01’s design takes on the visage of a Land Rover Defender-esque 7-seater SUV, but boasts a few clever features like dual-axle electric powertrains that get further supplemented by a 1.5-liter turbocharged petrol engine. Clearly designed for outdoor-enthusiasts with range-anxiety, the Polestones 01 has a ‘claimed’ maximum range of 692 miles when supplemented by the petrol engine, and boasts a complete outdoor kitchen built into its tailgate, along with a fold-out gazebo that I genuinely hope becomes a standard fixture in SUVs and Pickups moving forward…

Designer: Pininfarina Shanghai

Let’s cut to the chase: The Polestones 01 isn’t shy about its ambitions. Designed by the renowned Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina, this seven-seat behemoth marries the classic boxy aesthetics with modern technology. With two length options, accommodating either six or seven passengers, it caters to both family outings and adventure-seekers. At its heart lies a range-extender powertrain, a symphony of two electric motors harmonizing with a 1.5-liter turbocharged petrol engine. The result? A robust 350kW of power and 740Nm of torque, capable of propelling the 01 from 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in a mere 5.5 seconds. While its electric-only range stands at 234km (145 miles), invoke the petrol engine, and you’re looking at a staggering 1113km (692 miles) journey.

A comprehensive array of six cameras, five millimeter-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and not one, but three LiDAR units stand guard, ensuring a secure and informed drive. This level of detail extends to its suppliers as well; industry giants like Bosch, CATL, Continental, Valeo, and of course, Pininfarina, have all played a part in bringing this vision to life.

But here’s where it gets deliciously interesting: the Polestones 01 features a camper-van style kitchen right in its tailgate. You’ve got a deployable kitchen neatly tucked in the tailgate, complete with an induction cooktop and water dispenser, all shielded by a fold-out gazebo. Inside, the six-seat variant boasts individually reclining seats and a roof-mounted dropdown screen, transforming the cabin into a mobile lounge. Opt for the seven-seater, and you’re treated to a transformational space that converts into a king-sized bed.

The dual-infotainment system separates function from recreation, allowing the driver to focus on the details that matter, and a larger screen for the rear occupants to enjoy a nice movie while on a long roadtrip.

Yet, for all its grandeur, the Polestones 01 doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It enters a market increasingly enamored with the boxy, rugged charm of vehicles like the Land Rover Defender. It joins the ranks of other Chinese contenders like the Tank 300 and Haval Raptor, each vying for a piece of the global automotive pie. However, what sets it apart is that bold blend of classic design, cutting-edge technology, an unapologetic nod to luxury that might just turn heads and shift perceptions of Chinese automotive innovation, and that fold-out gazebo that gets extra points for creativity. As it gears up for its debut, the industry watches with bated breath, wondering whether this blend of old-school charm and new-age tech will resonate with the global consumer.

OnePlus 12R design will come with a familiar face, budget-friendly price

Although 2023 is practically over, that doesn’t mean brands have to stop teasing what’s to come. In fact, it’s the perfect time to dangle tempting treats, especially those that will be coming out early next year. OnePlus, for example, already revealed the OnePlus 12 earlier this December, but that’s only for the Chinese market. The rest of the world is still waiting for its turn, which will take place at the end of January 2024. Fans of the brand will also have something else to look forward to, it seems, with the OnePlus 12R also spotted over the horizon, bringing the same iconic design to what is expected to be a more affordable handset.

Designer: OnePlus (via Ishan Agarwal)

Smartphone names can be very confusing, especially over on the Android side where brands, model numbers, and variants create a sordid mess of hard-to-remember monikers. For example, it wasn’t too long ago that OnePlus started the tradition of having an “R” series alongside its main flagship, to offer a slightly watered-down smartphone with a price tag to match. That is the story with the OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 12R, but the gap between the two seems to be getting closer each year.

Based on the leaked announcement, the OnePlus 12R will have the exact same design as the OnePlus 12 that was announced this month. That means the exact same “monocle” design that the brand has used for the OnePlus 11, complete with the four black circles that are actually just three cameras. That, fortunately, also means that the OnePlus 12R has the same alert slider that has become a crowd favorite, even though it was “inspired” by the iPhone’s mute switch.

There are differences, of course, though not easy to spot. The color options, for example, are more limited and different, comprising only of Cool Blue and Iron Gray. The gray colorway is particularly interesting in that it might have a matte texture, maybe even a fabric-like cover. The latter is highly unlikely, though, given the target SRP of this product. It’s probably closer to a sandstone finish, a trick OnePlus is only too familiar with.

The biggest difference between the OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 12R will be the parts that you can’t see, like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 which will be one generation older by early 2024. The camera array is also less impressive, with only a 50MP camera accompanied by an 8MP ultra-wide shooter and a measly 2MP macro camera. That could mean reduced prices for the OnePlus 12R, though that might not make much of a difference if it won’t be available as widely as the OnePlus 12.

Galaxy S24 designs unofficial look reveals familiar faces, subtle changes

We’re nearing the end of the year, which means almost all the new flagship phones for 2023 have already flown the coop. That also means that the Internet is seeing a constant stream of leaks and rumors about next year’s roster, especially the ones that will be ushering in the new year. As per tradition, Samsung will be opening the year with its own definition of a “bang,” with none other than the Galaxy S24 family to pave the way for 2024. But just like any flagship smartphone from any brand any year, this trio has already been leaked to death. The latest addition to that list is a bunch of official-looking unofficial images that uncover what the Galaxy S24 will look like, and it looks like it’s going to be a very flat affair.

Designer: Samsung (via Windows Report)

Galaxy S23 Family

In contrast to its practice a few years ago, Samsung seems to have mellowed down on making big changes to its flagship phones’ designs. The 2021 Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S22 the year after were almost identical, while this year’s Galaxy S23 still looked slightly similar but ditched the “Contour Camera” bump for a more minimalistic design. It seems that the upcoming Galaxy S24 will continue that trend, preferring refinement over sensational changes in order to establish a stronger brand identity.

This new set of images of the Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24+, and Galaxy S24 Ultra match those rumors. They retain the basic design identity of the current Galaxy S line but have some subtle yet important changes as well. If there’s one word that could describe the Galaxy S24’s design, it would be that it has embraced the flat trend even further.

This is especially true with the Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24+, which now have nearly flat edges with chamfered corners where the front and glass back cover meet the frame. You can be sure that there will be a lot of criticism about Samsung copying Apple yet again, but it’s actually surprising it took this long to do that. In the meantime, a lot of other smartphone brands have already adopted this flat look, so it’s not like Samsung needs to be singled out.

The more important flat change, however, is with the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s screen which ditched the curved edge or “Infinity Edge” design of yesteryears. As mentioned before, this isn’t just a visual change, because it lets owners exploit all the screen space available, down to the last pixel at the edges. It’s a more usable design, especially for a smartphone that uses a stylus. Of course, all of these are still unofficial, but given all the “confirmation” we’re seeing on the Internet, it’s almost as good as gold. The Galaxy S24 lineup is expected to be announced on January 17th, 2024, though even that date isn’t official.

Galaxy S23 Family

OnePlus 12 design revealed with a very familiar face, no wood grains in sight

Without much fanfare, OnePlus revealed the design that would mark its newest flagship, the OnePlus 12. While that two-digit number proves it’s no longer a young upstart, the brand is famed for outside-the-box thinking when it comes to design and materials. That’s not to say it always comes out with guns blazing, and zeal sometimes has to be tempered with practicality. Take for example the upcoming OnePlus 12 which is now officially confirmed to be using pretty much the exact same design as its predecessor. While that might not make for a sensational launch, it does give a sense of familiarity and stability. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any sign of an earlier wooden grain shell, which could probably dampen a few excited expectations.

Designer: OnePlus

At this point, it might be difficult to pinpoint which company really started this camera design trend, but OnePlus has been doing some rather interesting experiments in the past years. In order to make the usual camera bump a little more interesting visually, the OnePlus 10 last year adopted a rather unique style where the camera’s raised bump actually continued and curved off to the side. This year’s OnePlus 11 mixed that up with the circular camera island design that made the phone look like it was wearing a monocle or an eyepatch.

The OnePlus 12 uses this exact same design with one small but important change. There are four sensors now, though one is most likely an RGB or 3D Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor, so the flash had to move out of the enclosure, giving the camera a more symmetric appearance. Other than that, there are no big visible changes, which means that OnePlus is able to preserve its brand identity for one more generation. Admittedly, the design doesn’t appeal to everyone, but it’s hard to deny that it’s a distinctive one.

What OnePlus has officially revealed so far, however, doesn’t yet include the earlier leaked “wood grain shell,” which could either be a new variant or an official protective case. Instead, the OnePlus 12 will come in three colors with subtly different textures despite all being made from glass. White is compared to silk, black is likened to ceramic, while the green variant seems to be trying to pull off another marble-like aesthetic.

OnePlus hasn’t yet completely spilled all the beans regarding its upcoming flagship, so it’s a little too early to say if that’s all there is to it. Of course, in terms of hardware, it will have the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor to lead the way, and its photography roster is expected to include a 50MP main camera and a 64MP telephoto shooter with 3x optical zoom. The OnePlus 12 is scheduled to be officially announced in China next week, but a global date is expected on December 15.