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Poll results: What's your favorite material for a phone/tablet?

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Poll results: What's your favorite material for a phone/tablet?
At the beginning of the week we asked you whether the material a smartphone or a tablet is made of actually makes a difference for you. You've cast your votes and now, the verdict is in. Today’s smartphones generally come in one of three materials: plastic, metal, and glass. Some exotic offerings like wood are also available in limited quantities for just a handful of phones. All in all, though, that’s the choice you get.

Plastic (in its polycarbonate form in higher end devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and recent Nokias) has the advantage of not interfering with signal, but the downside of often looking cheap. Metal conveys a feeling of solidity, but it blocks signal, so it’s hard to come up with an all-metal design for a phone. Finally, glass, is the middle ground, but it has one important downside - it tends to shatter easily.

So which one do you prefer? Your votes show that there is an overwhelming preference for devices made out of metal (mostly aluminum in the case of smartphones), as it grabbed more than 52% of the votes. After all, devices that are considered the gold standard for design are made of aluminum: we’re speaking about the Apple iPhone 5s, and the HTC One M8 here. This beauty often comes with the downside of harder repairs, batteries that are not user-replaceable, and often, no expandable storage option.

The most prolific material, plastic, is just fine for nearly 21% of you. After all, it's all about the finish on the plastic - this material has proven that it can feel good if treated right (think about the Galaxy S5 or the soft touch finish on the Nexus 5). Then glass gets 14% of the preferences, which earns it a third place. Lastly, only around 12% of you said they’d rather have other material, or don’t care at all about what’s a phone made of.

Finally, we want to wrap this post up by thanking everyone who contributed to the great discussion in the original poll, if you've missed it - take a look at it here.

Phonearena polls
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What's your favorite material for a phone/tablet?
23.02%
981 votes
(981 votes) Plastic
51.55%
2197 votes
(2197 votes) Metal
13.4%
571 votes
(571 votes) Glass
12.04%
513 votes
(513 votes) I don't care / I want something even more exotic like wood

4262 votes

48 Comments
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posted on 08 May 2014, 09:48 1

1. ashouhdy (Posts: 44; Member since: 31 Oct 2013)


Glass. Its premium and has a solid grip. And strong enough to resist shutters. Metal is a beauty but slippery as hell and scratch super easy. Plastic polycarbonate is ok my second favourite option after glass

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:20 4

12. Synack (Posts: 668; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)


Carbon Fiber

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:31

18. IliyaBeshkov (Posts: 243; Member since: 09 Jul 2012)


Carbon Fiber is like metal.. it doesn't transmit frequencies!

posted on 08 May 2014, 19:28

38. fireblade (Posts: 709; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)


carbon fiber is as hard as metal but still transmit electromagnetic wave

posted on 12 May 2014, 17:24

45. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Something that I didn't know

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:40 1

20. akki20892 (Posts: 3563; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Nothing is better than graphene

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:54 5

23. IliyaBeshkov (Posts: 243; Member since: 09 Jul 2012)


Carbon nanotubes??

posted on 08 May 2014, 12:13

27. brrunopt (Posts: 529; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


It depends a lot on who the plastic is used , Nokia's have an amazing build quality while using plastic

posted on 12 May 2014, 02:09

44. Fellwalker (Posts: 53; Member since: 04 Apr 2014)


Glass for the front screen only. My nexus 4 is the first phone I've ever had that broke it's back, which was glass. I'm very happy with plastic on my nexus 5 as without a good signal, a smartphone is useless, but I really liked my HTC HD2.

posted on 08 May 2014, 09:49

2. grahaman27 (Posts: 347; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


Didn't I see this exact poll a few days ago?

posted on 08 May 2014, 09:56 2

6. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2988; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Yes. And these are the results of that exact poll.

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:22 5

13. grahaman27 (Posts: 347; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


Well I guess it confused me since I can still vote.

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:29

17. buccob (Posts: 1487; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


this is the results....

posted on 08 May 2014, 09:51

3. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 1030; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


I want a phone made of ivory

posted on 08 May 2014, 09:57

7. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2988; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Ivory Lagiacrus is so freaking awesome.

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:01 1

9. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5482; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


And here is what elephant thinks about your wish :D

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Watch-as-an-Apple-iPhone-makes-it-through-an-elephants-digestive-system_id38172

posted on 08 May 2014, 12:24

29. AnukulVcool (Posts: 126; Member since: 02 Jun 2012)


go hunt an elephant yourself , be a murderer

posted on 08 May 2014, 13:04 2

33. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 1030; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


You do know I was kidding, right?....

Lol@PAU

posted on 12 May 2014, 17:25

46. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Or coral

posted on 08 May 2014, 09:55 10

4. _Bone_ (Posts: 2135; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


For smartphone usage (99.5%): thick matte plastic for good grip and damage resistance, possibility of high IP rating, replaceable back cover for battery access and easy repairability, no winter cold / summer sun heat discomfort and wireless charging.

For flashing off (0,5%) precious metal finish with unibody contruction, thin profile and shiny finish - plus a plastic cover in the pocket to put the phone back in when nobody's watching.

posted on 08 May 2014, 09:58

8. MrKoles (Posts: 325; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)


Very well said

posted on 08 May 2014, 12:35

30. RuiBacelar (Posts: 138; Member since: 25 Feb 2014)


The grip on metal is not so good but scr ew you, the M8 looks so freaking awsome next to cheaplastic S5. I had both in my hands a while ago. The S5 in black it's ok, grippy and confortable, but the M8 looks like a freaking Lamborghini!
A true Pussimagnet as my friend Borat would say.

posted on 08 May 2014, 13:07 3

34. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 1030; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


If you consider a phone a pussimagnet, you might consider highering your standards in women...

posted on 09 May 2014, 06:30

41. RuiBacelar (Posts: 138; Member since: 25 Feb 2014)


I'm just kidding ;)

But really, pick up the M8 and then a white S5. Then tell me what you think.

posted on 09 May 2014, 08:39

42. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 1030; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


That's easy, M8 is a beauty to see and hold. My sister has a black S5 and I must say in real life it looks less worse than on pictures. But still not a beauty.

posted on 08 May 2014, 09:55 4

5. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Titanium

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:18 6

11. akki20892 (Posts: 3563; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


U do have Nokia 8800...I got u, I know who r u....hint: ©®™

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:25 1

15. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3421; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


I figured it last month at gsmarena blog comments. Same power user pretending.

posted on 08 May 2014, 18:00

36. Kamehameha (Posts: 44; Member since: 21 Apr 2014)


Why not platinum, or (since you are crazy) Adamantium or Vibranium??

posted on 12 May 2014, 17:25

47. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Hahaha

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:02

10. mokhtar (Posts: 253; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)


glass

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:24

14. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3421; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


If its plastic it must be of nice design like moto x, g, nexus 5 or the lumias and sony nxt. Last week i had a two hour face to face with the humongous z ultra, oh boy the glass felt so cold and premium ahh the feel was just awesome. Btw i'm getting a m8 to play for a week this saturday, cant wait.

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:25

16. tmcr7 (Posts: 159; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)


This poll just goes to show that majority of people are superficial fools who would prefer form over function. These people would choose "premium feel" over better signal reception on a phone. The irony is that aluminum is a cheap metal used for manufacturing billions of Coke and beer cans.

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:46

21. true1984 (Posts: 593; Member since: 23 May 2012)


that's probably why it uses aluminum alloy instead. maybe you should acutally research something and look into the (few)benefits before claiming anyone is a fool, before you look like one yourself.

posted on 08 May 2014, 11:23 1

25. IliyaBeshkov (Posts: 243; Member since: 09 Jul 2012)


Aluminium/Aluminum has several forms.. And for small manufacturing like smartphone or like you said "for Coke" is cheap for making, but for something like car frames or body is very expensive(not like carbon fiber, magnesium or titanium, but more expensive than steel)!!

posted on 08 May 2014, 12:37 1

31. RuiBacelar (Posts: 138; Member since: 25 Feb 2014)


I'm sorry but if I pay 700€ or more I dont want a freaking piece of plastic!

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:34

19. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3421; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


You mean like this one
http://www.expressscrapmetal.com.au/images/Scrapmetal1.jpg

posted on 08 May 2014, 10:53

22. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6584; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Metal is great but i don't think manufacturers are going to listen to us consumers to make a METAL TYPE phone

posted on 08 May 2014, 11:14 1

24. androiphone20 (Posts: 1472; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


My signal is perfect, never had any problems. Metal.

posted on 12 May 2014, 17:26

48. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Which phone you using

posted on 08 May 2014, 11:45 1

26. flipjzn (Posts: 174; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)


Design and materials go together. A well designed phone should go with high-end materials.
If both fails then it won't sell.

posted on 08 May 2014, 12:38

32. RuiBacelar (Posts: 138; Member since: 25 Feb 2014)


Unless it's the S5...then it sells even better.

posted on 08 May 2014, 12:19 1

28. punet (Posts: 5; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)


My dream phone has hi-tech ceramics unibody and sapphire
Otherwise from the options provided:
What I like – metal unibody (titanium, magnesium, aluminum with DLC coating).
What I know is more practical - polycarbonate unibody.
What I own currently – glass (plus a little tiny bumper that follows the original design – Nexus 4).
What I hate and will never do – buying a great looking phone and putting it in a case that has totally different design and feel.

posted on 08 May 2014, 16:39

35. PermanentHiatus (Posts: 267; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)


As an iPad owner, metal is the worst material you can use.

You cannot get a firm grip on this thing.

posted on 08 May 2014, 18:38

37. phatdaddio21 (Posts: 15; Member since: 17 Aug 2013)


Aluminum and glass or full aluminum like HTC1 ,,,,,and Apple -5S I own both ,,have no problem with interference and the feel of em are a lot better than the cheap feel of plastic

posted on 08 May 2014, 21:02

39. The-Sailor-Man (Posts: 1027; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


The iboys won this "poll" too.

HAPPY???????

posted on 08 May 2014, 23:06

40. a_tumiwa (Posts: 280; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


Rubber , like some blackberry devices

posted on 09 May 2014, 12:34

43. xperian (Posts: 55; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


1. Glass. It has good grip and feels solid. (Xperia Z,Z1,Optimus G)
2. Metal. Durable and looks good. (iPhone 5,5s)
3. High quality polycarbonate (iPhone 5c, Nokia Lumia)
.
.
.
999. Sh***y plastic (Samsung)

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