What's in a touch? The Samsung Galaxy S III polycarbonate debate
0. phoneArena 21 May 2012, 17:57 posted on
Earlier we told you all that the Samsung Galaxy S III has a case and battery cover that is made of polycarbonate, not just regular plastic, which means the case is much stronger, more durable, and more scratch resistant...
This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here
1. GeekMovement (Posts: 2156; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)
Thank you Michael. Good article. Enjoyed reading it and learned more of the differences between plastic and polycarbonate material.
55. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Thanks! Not only did I enjoy writing this, but I can't stress enough how happy it makes me to see the quality of the comments. Even if people don't like the design, that's actually the topic discussed, not just "Murrr, hate plastic!"
73. thelegend6657 (unregistered)
Can i suggest you a next article ?
Does Unibody really matter ?
Why HTC , Nokia and iphone uses unibody design while Samsung dont
77. Kimyuna (banned) (Posts: 8; Member since: 10 May 2012)
Samsung uses aluminium anodize unibody for the Wave series (bada smartphone).
2. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)
nice article Michael. now i can see s3 is making a lot of news. good for sammy.
14. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
It's great that Samsung improved the durability of the device (kudos to Samsung), but the overall feel of their devices were people's main complaint. Many reviewers weren't a fan of the design and feel of the SGIII. Yes, polycarbonate is different from our idea of plastic, but at the end of the day many people say it still feels the same.
17. Ubi2447 (Posts: 131; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)
As stated in the article, I think we're just going to have to change our thinking of this material the same way we changed our perspective on the durability of the glass in gorillaglass phones compared to something like the glass panel on the back of the iPhone 4 (Strong vs not so strong). We now have much more faith in larger display screen technologies with the advancements in that tech, and I feel that will have to translate to plastics.
I think the biggest issue with that leap is the fact that we have a lot more intimate connection with the body of the phone as we will be touching, grasping, and sensing the phone in our hands.
Though I do agree that metal bodied devices give us a reassurance on multiple levels, with both tactile and weightiness, I think that it's just going to be an adjustment to put faith in a 'pasticy' Polycarbonate device.
25. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
Just because Samsung decided to go with a polycarbonate casing, doesn't mean that's the future of mobile technology. Samsung took steps backwards in many aspects of the SGIII (aesthetically). While the polycarbonate casing isn't a step backward, I'm kinda hesitant to call it a step forward (yeah I know it's stronger and more durable)
30. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
asthetics are subjective. if the worst thing you can say about the SGS3 is that its not the sexiest device out there, then I think they actually did a great job with it. I'm not excited about the design as it resembles the SGS2 Hercules on Tmobile a bit too much, but its definitely not nearly as bad as people make it out to be.
Regardless of design, both the SGS1 and SGS2 were extremely well made and extremely high quality devices regardless of what anyone feels about the materials used. Knowing that they took their existing quality and turned it up a notch with top end materials like Poly which is color molded, not just painted, so unlike HTC devices you dont have to worry about paint flecks coming off a month later.
It has the pedigree, the power, and the building materials. Its a high end machine, through and through.
36. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
just thinking the same mate if the worst thing they can come up to critisize the s3 for is its look and feel which is subjective then it just shows what a great job samsung did with the s3...what i find funny is that at first people were saying why cant they use premium materials like htc and nokia and now that they are people are still complaining lol some people are just haters obviously and moan about anything and like to hate...to those people who complain a bout plastic,check what your $1000+ tv is made out of.
37. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
But if your phone looks like crap and feels like crap....I don't know guys, lol. Aesthetics aren't everything but come on, let's not pretend its not important.
39. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
umm.. to me they are not.
1) are its innards filled to the brim with the best tech available? CHECK
2) is it made in a way that will resist the wear and tear of life and i dont have to worry about it cracking if i sneeze wrong? CHECK
3) does it have a beautiful screen that i just want to keep looking at? CHECK
4) is it made at a factory that working conditions are not so horrid that it will keep me up late at night? CHECK.
Yup, thats my checkist. beauty in outter shell design is number... um... well, it didnt even make the list.
Because I'mma throw a case and screen protector on it before i even sign in to Gmail. As long as the screen is pretty and its filled with high end stuff and MADE well, i could care less about the rest.
A lot of you people worry so much about what you "perceive" the outside is, and forget that the important part is INSIDE the device. If the prettiest smartphone doesnt actually do jack, what good is it? When your trying to upgrade yours in 9 months because its so far behind the curve, and im still braggin and smiling with mine, we'll see which device "looks" better.
Samsung devices may "look" cheap to some people, but they are anything but. They are the pinnacle of premium in EVERY place that it counts (other than LTE + Exynos..lol)
57. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
Aesthetics are important too. The device needs to look nice as well. If you ant even admit that slightly, then you pretty much deep in Samsung's a**. "
Not everyone uses cases, bro. You said that yourself a couple months back in regards to the iPhone and now you're flip flopping (you said in another thread it doesn't matter f the back is ugly if you're just going to throw a case on it anyway). But hey, if you're happy SIII, then no need to flip out. In the end when buying a phone, it's your opinion that matters. If you don't care at all about how your phone looks like, then that's great. But for those who do, then thats perfectly reasonable too
62. iWallE (Posts: 48; Member since: 10 Oct 2011)
I'd add one more thing:
5) Did they pay attention to the tiniest of details in order to improve the user experience? CHECK.
The only things that I didn't like about Samsung's high end phones so far were the look of TouchWiz and the lack of some small but useful tweaks like those present in HTC Sense. Well, at least to this beholder's eyes the problem has been solved with the S III. Things like Smart Stay and the 50GB Dropbox space show how much attention Sammy has paid to improving the experience, offered by the S III. And really, this was the only thing they urgently needed to address since they are at the top of the spec game anyway.
71. evoMike (Posts: 10; Member since: 29 Jul 2011)
hey....what do you mean by "you people"?!?!
42. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
not saying they are not important but you can judge a phone just by seeing pic,until you actually seen it in person than you cant know how it feels and again look and feel is subjective so it may not be to your taste (that doesnt make you right or wrong) but to some one else it may feel great and look nice to them...for me looks obviously is a part of the decision and not saying its the greatest looking phone in the world but for me its still a good lookinf device, i means really its just a curvier s2.i would rather have a phone that looks bad and performs awesome than have a phone that looks good but performs average.
58. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
The point of this article isn't to find all the points to criticize the SIII on. It's about aesthetics/build quality/materials. The article is about build quality and that's what I'm talking about. Criticizing the phone in other aspects would be trolling, no? Just staying in topic over here...
67. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
actually, its about build materials. :)
no matter what you think about the materials they use, the build quality on galaxy S devices has been phenomenal since the start. Its no accident they stand up to "life" so well.
Aesthetics are more important to some than to others. To me they really play a very minor backseat roll. It has to be butt -ass - ugly for me to say no to it for aesthetics.
We have a different mindset. I am all about the tech and what I think are the important parts, like the screen. I dont spend much time at all looking at the bezels and im not trying to impress anyone. Im trying to find a device that makes me giddy with the possibilities of what I can do with it.
And no, just because i dont find aesthetics that important, doesnt mean im in anybody's pocket. I actually liked the design of the SGS1 and SGS2. I would be happier with the design of the SGS3 if it didnt resemble the american SGS2 so much (which was a rehash of my Vibrant SGS1, thus the design has become kind of boring to me). And I've had plenty of devices i found physically less than attractive that I wanted for what it did.
74. thelegend6657 (unregistered)
i am surprised that when my father dropped his s2 from ear height and its still running fine .
Because in the s2 review phonearena complains its all plastic
damm my ipod touch could not even survive a fall from a arm chair when it slipped out of my pocket and cracked the screen immediatly and i have to use it for 3 months before my father fixed it for me at singapore (there cheaper )
80. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
Yes, build materials and quality, just like I said :/. If you don't see how aesthetics ties in, you can read my very first comment, #14.
"If you ant even admit that slightly, then you pretty much deep in Samsung's a**"
- you've admitted it slightly
In almost every single review of any phone, the design is the first thin that is talked about. It's definitely not the most important thing when looking for a phone, but nonetheless it's important, no matter how "subjective" it is.
Other than that, I think we're both on the same page. The SIII is great device. It looks like crap and probably feels like crap. You're okay with it, I'm not.
78. jsjakesaid (Posts: 12; Member since: 04 Apr 2012)
Idiot talking out of your @$$... The awkward moment when HTC used poly before samsung -.-. And yes i love all the htc's i'v had as their build quality is amazing, even if you drop it from one storey high
50. jiasdft (Posts: 2; Member since: 21 May 2012)
ZOPO ZP200 Smart Phone Android 2.3! It to do better! The price is more cheap! http://clck.ru/15fsl
75. thelegend6657 (unregistered)
Dont buy china android phone .
No updates and stop working after a few months .
although can get one cheap.
When i was dinning someone trying to sell me a fake galaxy tab (just act like he is invisible , damm i hate sales man )
3. androidornothing (Posts: 143; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)
I totally agree. Polycarbonate is way stronger than plastic and besides its way better for the phone because it makes the phone lighter and plus the phones reception is always more better, unlike glass or metal. people have to stop I3itch1ing about the GSIII design. Its beautifull and if someone doesnt like it then dont get the phone!! Its that simple!!
8. JC557 (Posts: 1540; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)
Exactly. Many things can be lumped into plastics but there are many differnt types thanks to different molecular build.
Motorcycle helmets are made with polycarbonate and can take a lot of abuse (of course I can be a bit careless with mine). Meanwhile my white MacBook also has a polycarbonate shell but feels rather weak and formed cracks within months of light usage.
4. Saamic (Posts: 119; Member since: 20 Feb 2012)
It's fine if pepole are uninformed and are skeptical about polycarbonate simply because of its appearance correlating to plastic, but it's another thing when ignorant close-minded people just bash it because it looks like plastic when they have no experience with it or any idea what it is. It's a more modern substance that gives phones the ability to be lightweight, like plastic, but it's much more durable than plastic. In my opinion one of its very few set-backs is that it leaves fingerprints very easily from what I've heard. Other than that though it's a great substance.
5. som (Posts: 768; Member since: 10 Nov 2009)
Poly carbonate is 300x stronger and scratch resistant than plastic, I am willing to pay the price for my beloved Galaxy S3.
6. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 549; Member since: 20 May 2012)
Wonder if my Galaxy Note is special poly carb or just regular plastic. Be cool to know...
7. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)
Great, we now have a "plastic" that is difficult to recycle.
Michael H., how did you miss the environmental angle?
19. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)
There is already increased ability to recycle polycarbonate because of its use in things like baby bottles, so that should continue to get better and better the more polycarbonate is used.