Samsung Explains Why Galaxy IV Will Retain Plastic Design

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Tenhawk

I haven't messed around with the newer phones, waiting on the next round of improvements before moving up from my GS2...

That said, my GS2 V an iPhone... I'll take the GS2 any day of the week. It feels more comfortable in my hand, like it fits. The iPhone always kinda made me feel like it would leave creases in my skin if I used it for too long.

I've also dropped my GS2 a few times, once it split open and flung the battery one way, the cover another, and the phone skittering across a cement floor. Walk over, retrieve the parts and pop the back together, there's not a scratch on it. Except for the fingerprints it's like the day I bought it, almost three years ago.

That said, have a friend with the iPhone, and while his IS dinged a little, it still works and looks basically new. He uses a case, though, and I never do. So take that for what you will.

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AlecSmith

It is because they're a cheap, mid-class company who cares more about profit than providing their customers with good materials.

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limitbreaker

I'm seeing more and more of Samsung users being like iPhone owners... They blindly buy Samsung stuff regardless of how they're treated. A lot of people talk about iPhone's and Samsung phones as if they're the only option. I just replaced my unreliable galaxy Note for a xperia T and so far I'm very impressed, it even came with high quality headphones and a 1.5amp charger as opposed to the terrible stuff I got from Samsung. The galaxy notes charger couldn't charge faster than the power being used while plugged in (it was only 1amp).

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limitbreaker

I'm kind of surprised at how everyone is okay with this. For a 650$ product you would expect them to give you the Best quality they can.. To each their own though... I'm never buying another Samsung product again.

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Insurgence

I just prefer to have something that feels sturdy, and is hopefully sturdy. If I pick it up and parts of it bow or flex under standard usage then I do not want it. I do not care if it is metal, glass, wood, or even plastic.

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Opm2

There wouldn't be millions of phone protectors produced if people were happy with the enclosures.

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DeltaFIVEengineer

I don't think that statement is true at all. I think most people don't want their phone looking like they found it in a gutter after 6 months of continual abuse. Regardless of the material used, there's a limit to how much repeated scratching and dropping can take place before something gives way. Once phones become completely indestructible, the share of phone protectors will drop. But there are some people that will continuously accessorize their gadgets for aesthetic purposes because individualization will never go out of style.

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bigsarge72

Aluminum body like the new HTC One.

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AFDozerman

Ur all idgets. Blackburr z10. 'Nuff said.

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AFDozerman

Ur all idgets. Blackburr z10. 'Nuff said.

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petrol42

The iPhone 5 is like a Porsche 911. Excellent performance, great fit and finish and the wow factor.

The GS3 is like a Corvette. Bigger and Faster than a 911 and cheaper to maintain than a 911 but feels cheap compared to a 911 due to the lower cost of materials and that flimsy fiberglass body.

Porsche sells a lot of 911s and Chevy sells a lot of Corvettes.

There's a market for both.

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majorsuave

I prefer solid, bendable plastic with a removable back than a solid, mono block design. That is even why I picked the Galaxy S3 over the Nexus One X.

My S3 is in a shell from Amazon (that has a tilt leg) and has a screen protection as well.

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dentaku

Plastic is great when it's done right. The Nokia Lumia 920 is one solid piece of polycarbonate, it's nearly indestructible and it looks great. The whole Lumia line, not just the premium ones milled out of one piece all look better than most phones and they're all plastic.
I really don't like the idea of putting a big puffy case on a nice phone.

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Exarkun1138

I have an iPhone 4, and I have it in an Otterbox Hybrid with Belt Clip. The Otterbox cost me a whole $18.99 from Amazon, and does a great job at protecting the phone. I doubled up the protection by getting a Screen Protector, the kind that sticks to the screen, and removed the front plastic screen cover on the Otterbox. This feels better, and dust doesn't get trapped between the screen cover and the screen itself.

Now, as to which "Smart Phone" is best is really irrelevant to me, since it all depends on the person using the device. Before I got the 4, I had a simple "dumb phone" that didn't do apps.....just made calls and texting....and I never texted anyways. I got the iPhone 4 because I got a deal which basically made the phone free, and a very low monthly plan.

So I won't argue as to whether an iPhone is better or worse than an Android based phone....I don't care. I like what I have. It works. I have a TON of apps, and all for free. I do email as well, and of course, make phone calls. This solution works for me. I am by NO means an Apple fan. I own 3 PC's, 1 running Windows 7, two running Windows 8, and have never owned an Apple product until the iPhone. I WILL say, it is a very nice phone. I get what I need out of it, and that's enough for me.

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Engelsstaub

Kudos for not being a hater. It's nice to just enjoy what we like, have max choice, and tune out the simpletons. There's advantages and disadvantages for Android phones and iPhones. If someone really doesn't like Android or Apple the answer is so easy: get what you like and leave other people TF alone.

The camera-quality on the 4S and 5 is really good for a phone. Same with the S3 (I never looked into an S2 so IDK...I'm guessing it would be comparable to a 4S.)

I didn't even think to look at Amazon-pricing for an Otterbox Defender. They are WAY cheaper than my local stores.

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Exarkun1138

At some point, the haters just need to step back and stop. I am guilty of "hating" by getting on to the Windows 8 haters and trying to "convince" them they don't know what they are talking about. Then I realized I am simply being a dick and not allowing people to like/dislike whatever THEY want....who gives a flying phuck if they dislike something I like? If that solution works for me, then that's all I need to be concerned with.

I really do like my iPhone 4. The screen is amazing, the camera kicks ass, and the App Selection is fantastic! Now that I have gotten a ton of free apps, I will purchase the ones I use most to eliminate the ad/limitations that come with free apps. The rest I will just leave as is, or dump.

I got the iPhone in late November last year, and ordered the Otterbox from Amazon a few days before the phone arrived in the mail (brand new, by the way), and the Otterbox showed up on the same day! I took the phone out of the Apple box, and slapped it into the Otterbox! LOL!!!

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Benjo

I prefer the durable plastic on my Samsung Captivate Glide vs the rubberized coating of my previous smartphone, an HTC Inspire 4G. On the HTC I felt compelled to put a case on it. The Samsung felt durable enough to go caseless.

Ever since I rooted and flashed my phone, I really appreciate how easy it is to remove the back cover of the Samsung and not having to remove a case first.

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graydiggy

I don't buy phones with a metal or glass housing. It is stupid and very costly if the phone is dropped. Metal can be dented into buttons jamming them into a closed circuit state rendering them useless and possible damaging the internal electronics. It can also put permanent pressure on the screen forcing it to crack. Glass cracks/shatters leaving the device looking horrible. I love how Samsung uses a good durable plastic on their devices. As stated in the article, it is more durable, lightweight,and less costly to replace if need be. Also, plastic is very useful because it cuts down on the use of screws needed for the device to be held together. Take for instance the iPhone 4. It has 52 total screws. 52!! It is also made entirely of glass and various metals. 6 of the screws are used on securing the screen and digitizer to the metal housing ring that you see on the outer part of the device around all edges. This is a huge design flaw that puts pressure on, and weakens the glass causing it to break upon impact. Now lets use the Epic 4g touch, (A phone that I personally own) The Sprint variant of the Samsung Galaxy SII. It only has 10 screws, is made mostly of plastic, minus the screen and digitizer assembly that has glass and one layer of aluminum that is secure to the screen/digitizer with a very strong yet flexible epoxy. The aluminum is also the only thing internally that has screws in it to secure the motherboard, with 2 screws for that and another 2 screws to secure the headphone jack/earpiece assembly. The screen/digitizer is secured to the outer housing with plastic clips that are strong enough on their own to not even need the 6 screws on the outside back cover of the housing. I also love that I can change the battery at any time. So in all reality, the iPhone is a much weaker product in terms of how it is manufactured, while Samsung devices may feel less durable, but are much more resistant to every day wear and tear. Sources: I repair phones/tablets and modify Android phone hardware.

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Danthrax66

HTC One metal and has a removable battery.

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Pomacat

I would not ever buy a phone without a removable battery that is a must until they can make something that will stay charged for a day or two with medium to heavy use.I carry a extra battery when out on my Harley I could just imagine a flat tire out in the desert with no charge on my phone.I have a Galaxy Nexus with a Seidio case on it and dropped it on the concert once with no damage.Plastic work for me.

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DeltaFIVEengineer

I thought my G2 felt like a premium phone with its heft and metal design. I like having a heavy phone because I easily lose things, even when they're still in my pocket. However, I would drop the thing constantly and it never failed that it would always fall on the screen. The screen finally shattered after the umpteenth time I dropped it.

I like the design of my 4S because it's heavy. I added an Otterbox to it because I know I'm clumsy, not because it's a slippery phone. The Otterbox has paid for itself ten times by now. I'll definitely put one on my next phone, regardless of what I upgrade to.

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Engelsstaub

Those Otterboxes are nice but they sure cost a f___ of a lot of money. I guess if you want the durability you have to cough up the cash. I saw a salesmen whip a 4S around in an Otterbox and it really did its job.

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DeltaFIVEengineer

I was very fortunate and got mine through Amazon on Cyber Monday for 10 bucks. I certainly wouldn't pay $50 bucks for one but I can't say they're not worth that amount since they do work substantially well.

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TheFrawg

My Galaxy Nexus is 15 months old and still looks new. Some friend's iPhone's have chipped glass due to drops. I'll take plastic with a replaceable/upgrade-able battery any day. I do prefer the slightly rubberized rear so it's easier to hold and stays where you lay it.

My hardest tech decision this year will be GS4 or LG's Nexus 5.

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MaximumMike

I'm still using my Galaxy S II. I wanted a Note II, but ultimately decided to hold out for the next generation. However, I've certainly spent time playing with both the Galaxy S III and the Note II. I just don't get the cheap thing. All the Note and Galaxy phones I have handled have felt like great phones to me. I had a case for my GS2E4GT for a while, but eventually removed it because it was irritating. I have been carrying it in my pocket for about a year now. I have also dropped it several times. And there is a minimal scuff on the back bumper. That's it. No other scratching or scuffing. It's much thinner than an iPhone, looks great, and feels great in my hand. I don't know how that isn't premium. I guess there is some aesthetic quality the iPhone has which entirely escapes me, but which everyone else is completely enthralled with. But I suppose that I will forever remain impervious to whatever that is. So, keep it up Samsung.

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Engelsstaub

The S2 and the S3 do have a "cheap" feel about them...especially the S3. They are great phones and there are other considerations as well but it is what it is.

I saw some Samsung smartphones (don't remember the models but they weren't "flagship") that had a rubberized backing. THAT was a fantastic idea and really set them aside from Apple's approach to aesthetics. Apple's "industrial design" could be easily trumped by a "durable utilitarian" one IMO.

Having a rubberized backing on a phone would nearly eliminate my perceived need for anything other than a screen-protector. As it is I would have a protective case on an S3, 4S, and (especially) a iPhone 5.

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C--

I never got what the fuss was about metal in electronics. Sure, it looks cool... it's also heavier, more expensive, blocks wireless reception, and dents like nobody's business. I'll take textured (or better, rubberized) plastic any day.

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DerfMcWoowoo

Paul,

I take issue with how you represent your OPINION in this article. Specifically, you clearly identify a phone as "premium" if it is heavy and made out of metal and glass. This is not true/fact, it is your OPINION.

Think about it Paul. What you are implying is that the Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, and S4 are not "premium" phones. Really? Is that what you are trying to say?

A phone's weight and build material don't make it premium. The fact that you are implying that it is is frustrating to me. You are simply perpetuating an opinion that is shared by "some" people.

Keep your opinion separate from fact, or clearly label it as your opinion.

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Engelsstaub

Well I too must take umbrage. The writers here really need to tiptoe around eggshells lest I become offended over their ideas of "premium" as related to build-quality and feel. It is personally insulting to me and I demand satisfaction.

I actually started sobbing profusely once because a stranger didn't have the same feelings about my smartphone. It's truly that important to me.

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eastbayrae

This is typical Paul.

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Peanut Fox

Better to get out ahead of it and temper expectations. Maybe they can clean it up some and make it look good.

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Opm2

Metal cases kill antennas, GPS, and other wireless functionality.

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supakeepa

I prefer the Samsung design mostly for the ability to change batteries on the fly. I admit that I am a light phone user compared to most, so my Galaxy sIII battery lasts me a day and a half usually. However, I occasionally have to do remote desktop support from my phone, and need the backup battery when I need it.

I like the lightness of the phone as well. It is big enough as it is, the last thing I'd want is big and heavy.

It also cracks me up to hear people brag about the whyPhone's sleekness and construction when they have it nestled in a big, bulky case 99% of the time.

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cigar3tte

This is why Samsung is beating HTC to a pulp. Samsung's research shows customers prefer removable battery. HTC's research shows customers prefer thinner phone and care less about battery life.

I never thought of plastic being the more durable option, but it definitely is lighter, which is a good thing for a device usually kept in your pocket.

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jgottberg

I don't have a preference as long as it doesn't feel light and flimsy. Like everyone else has said, a phone spends most of its life in a protective cocoon so asthetics aren't really a priority.

I will say that for some reason, it irritates me when people that buy an iPhone for it's "awesome" design (which I think is just boring) then slap one of those enormous Otter Boxe cases on them. The Otter Box is about the size of a 13 inch notebook.

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pc987

I actually prefer some intelligence be employed when choosing the materials to build these things. Different materials have different properties, and should *all* be employed where those specific properties are best suited. Aluminum is light, strong and can withstand impacts without much damage, perfect for a frame around a glass screen. Glass is perfect for screens for obvious reasons. And plastic is a perfectly fine material to use for casings and covers due to it's ease of forming, light weight and durability.

I fail to understand the mindset where by an entire devise has to be made from a single, or largely single, material. The iPhone 4 and now the Nexus 4 and others being covered front and back with glass is just stupid. At some point, a phone is likely to be dropped onto a hard surface, so why use glass where it's not absolutely necessary? While strong, single piece aluminum phones like the HTC One are overly complex to machine and the use of so much metal can impact signal strength. Making phones entirely out of plastic, as Samsung does, makes them feel cheap. I'd cringe every time I'd remove the battery cover from my original Galaxy S and the entire phone would bend.

The obviously planned obsolescence apparent in so many products today is pretty sad.

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nsvander

I have a Galaxy S3 and it is not made entirely of plastic. There is actually an aluminum bezel around the glass, with the plastic back cover popping onto that.

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stradric

I approve of the plastic case. Being able to swap out the battery, SIM or drop in an SD card is of huge importance to me. Most people, including iPhone users, enclose their phones in a protective case anyway. So all of that beautiful construction and aesthetic on an iPhone is mostly wasted.

I own a GS3. Previously I had a Droid Incredible. The GS3 is so glossy and smooth that I dropped it more in the first few days than I dropped the (caseless) Incredible in 2+ years. The GS3 is a nice looking phone, but a case is pretty much a requirement just to add some grip. I don't own an iPhone, but I imagine the same type of slippery surface would also be problematic.

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AETAaAS

I tend to agree. The Xperia Z and HTC One are beautiful phones but I couldn't commit simply because I want the ability to swap out batteries when I want and not to worry about the back when it gets scuffed since I don't use a case. Why spend a shedload buying a sleek phone just to double or triple its size with something like an Otterbox? :p

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jimofnyc

I realize that we live in a 'throw-away' age but one should look how Western Electric used to make telephones for the Bell System back in the 50's, 60's and 70's. Those telephones never failed. They were made out of some kind of plastic that was so resilient that you could use the receiver for a hammer and it kept working. Any consumer device that is as utilitarian as a telephone should be made as bullet-proof as possible.

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anc51699

"Samsung recognizes that customers prefer being able to remove the back cover to swap out the battery"

BINGO! There's your #1 reason for the plastic case. They're right about the shock absorption, too. I'd much rather take a plastic phone that has a user-replaceable battery than a glass and metal one that doesn't. What it feels like in my hands doesn't matter that much anyways, since most completely wrap their phones in huge rubber cases anyways.

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strangelove9

I agree 100% !

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Eoraptor

It would be nice to have just a little bit more heft to a phone... my OneXL feels like a slip of paper without its heavy Defender case, and just as easily slips around and off the table. something with a little more substance like a glass or metal plate would be nice.

and yes, Give us back replacable batteries! I don't like the idea that when the battery goes weak in my phone, I basically have to replace the phone even though the hardware works fine, just becuse the phone is held together with glue and tape and replacing the battry runs the risk of destroying it.

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jason2393

They could make it out of wood and I wouldn't care, my phone is completely enclosed in a third-party case, so the material used to make the phone makes little difference to me.

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nealtse

I would...actually really like a wooden case phone :) If someone could figure out the thin planing, and thermals. Maybe bamboo?

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USraging

+1

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