Samsung's Galaxy S4 will continue to use a plastic body

By on March 6, 2013, 9:30 AM

Details about Samsung’s next generation Galaxy smartphone continue to trickle in as we’re just over a week away from the big reveal. The latest news on the Galaxy S4 comes courtesy of Samsung executive vice president of mobile Y.H. Lee and has to do with the materials used to build the phone.

During an interview with CNET, Lee said the company’s next flagship smartphone will carry over the use of plastic building materials like we have seen with other recent Samsung mobile products. He told the publication that when Samsung considers what materials to use for a product, they don’t just take into consideration the aesthetic quality of the device. They try to strike a balance between practical demands and the desire for a premium-feeling product.

Because Samsung knows they will be required to ship a large quantity of a particular product, they also assess how quickly and efficiently it can be manufactured. Furthermore, the company believes that a plastic back cover is more durable than ones found on other smartphones because it is bendable and can absorb physical shock better than the competition.

The admission comes at a time when other manufacturers like Apple and HTC are using premium materials like glass and aluminum to stand out among the sea of plastic phones already on the market. Even Nokia is stepping up their game with a polycarbonate shell for the Lumia available in a number of different colors.




User Comments: 12

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Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

My SIII is always carted around in a pouch anyway so apart from the screen you can't see anything anyway. As long as they pass the cost savings onto the consumer they can make it from anything they want. I don't care.

fraggleki said:

This is the ONLY reason I haven't switched from my iPhone 5! All the Galaxy's fill cheap and not solid! Please Samsung use Metal or Glass something!

ArthurZ ArthurZ said:

I'd say Polycarbonate makes a lot of sense indeed!

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

This is the ONLY reason I haven't switched from my iPhone 5! All the Galaxy's fill cheap and not solid! Please Samsung use Metal or Glass something!

Being an iphone would be reason enough for me to switch.

TrueBooleanFals TrueBooleanFals said:

@fraggleki :

Why? I love my S3 more than I liked my Droid 1 (which was metal, heavy) and Incredible 1 (plastic, light) combined. I bought it a month after it came out and have NEVER put anything on it other than a screen protector. No case, no shells, no belt clips. I have dropped my S3 on asphalt, in humvees (HMMWVs), had it sling out of my pockets, stepped on, buried in sand, rained on, a lot of stuff has happened to this phone over the past eight months. No major scratches that you would expect from this kind of abuse.

I love how the weight of the S3 is SO much lighter than that of the iPhones. Then again, I suppose that is preference.

Guest said:

How about use magnesium alloy on its side, so it would be a bit lighter than aluminum. Then use polycarbonate not just plastic as back cover. With these combination, will add some premium-feels but still easy to manufacture

ETF Soldier ETF Soldier said:

The main reason I'd choose an iPhone over a Galaxy S(X) is because they all feel cheap. I'd settle for brush metal because not only is that b-e-a-utiful, but it's a really strong atomic structure that ends up being really scratch and dent resistant.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Galaxy phones tend to be lighter than HTC phones or iPhones. For that reason alone, I am happy with plastic.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

The Galaxy S3 is made of polycarbonate... if the S4 is made of the same stuff, then it is also polycarbonate.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

The Galaxy S3 is made of polycarbonate... if the S4 is made of the same stuff, then it is also polycarbonate.

Polycarbonate is simply just a thermoplastic polymer. In other words it's just fancy plastic but plastic nonetheless.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

Polycarbonate is simply just a thermoplastic polymer. In other words it's just fancy plastic but plastic nonetheless.

Yeah, that's why a lot of people get it mixed up with a simple plastic. It is, however, much stronger. Researchers still aren't sure whether aluminum or polycarbonate is better at protecting electronics (as far as my Google searches can tell). They both have their pros and cons. For example, Polycarbonate is extremely difficult for someone to dent or damage, whereas Aluminum (as you might know) dents and damages pretty easily. On the other hand, Aluminum is very resistant to scratches, whereas Polycarbonate is better than other plastics but still not nearly as good as Aluminum.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Yeah, that's why a lot of people get it mixed up with a simple plastic. It is, however, much stronger. Researchers still aren't sure whether aluminum or polycarbonate is better at protecting electronics (as far as my Google searches can tell). They both have their pros and cons. For example, Polycarbonate is extremely difficult for someone to dent or damage, whereas Aluminum (as you might know) dents and damages pretty easily. On the other hand, Aluminum is very resistant to scratches, whereas Polycarbonate is better than other plastics but still not nearly as good as Aluminum.

You just have to look at some cars clear polycarbonate headlamps and the beating they've taken to know how strong it really is. It tends to scratch quite easily though.

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