Originally Posted by OneBuckFilms
Abrams didn't design it. He has a team of designers and conceptual artists that do that :P
The Stun/Kill idea was based on the question: What is the best way to portray visually the switch between Stun and Kill, the basic modes in which the Phaser normally operates?
From a VISUAL perspective it works, even though we know that phasers have things such as "Wide Beam" or "Narrow Beam" settings for knocking out crowds or cutting rocks.
Beyond strength and beam width, Stun and Kill are really the only settings a phaser has ever been portrayed to have.
Oh, and of course it can be set to overload and explode.
What is MISSING from the hand phasers, really, is the Phaser I/Phaser II separate units.
Yet the original phasers look better than the new ones, image that. You forgot maximum stun and kill(vaporize).