6 companies that use unique materials when building smartphones

6 companies that use unique materials when building smartphones
With smartphone performance now less of an issue than ever before, it feels as if we're all starting to have less practical concerns when it comes to the devices we buy. Obviously, claiming that design used to be any less of a concern would be wrong, but it's definitely the case that the community, especially power users, are now demanding that more and more attention be paid to the type of materials that go into a slab of electronics that usually costs north of $700.

Indeed, polycarbonate -- the Holy Grail of smartphone build materials -- is going out of fashion, and there's a perceptible pressure on manufacturers to use premium materials when building premium phones. Nothing makes this notion as plausible as the fact that, after denying that it's developing a metal Galaxy S5-like device, Samsung seems to be close to releasing one anyway.

But while likening the current smartphone scene to a sea of plastic would be apt, there are a few manufacturers that already provide you with some quite unique materials when it comes to the build. These are all, without exception, premium-feeling, and feel right at home with a flagship device. Check out who built them, and who they are.

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37 Comments

1. DEATHSTROKE9

Posts: 399; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

Htc one M8 is the best in design.

2. DEATHSTROKE9

Posts: 399; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

Why is LG not on the list. They use unique material called "wannabe metal".

5. luis.d

Posts: 354; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

Guess again, it's made of fingerprint-resistant awesomeium. :p

6. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Hey but what about the "self healing" material from LG?

14. DEATHSTROKE9

Posts: 399; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

Luis try dropping it. I hate phones that split into 2 when dropped.

21. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

Two things come to mind with your comment: 1) If you have experienced this problem enough to make you hate the device splitting in two, this means you are apparently accident prone and maybe an expensive piece of hardware shouldn't be in your possession. 2) If you refuse to understand my first reason, then maybe a protective case should be impemented due to clumsiness. Because dropping a unibody device without protection doesn't guaranty durability. It also lacks proper responsibility in operating an expensive piece of hardware. It would be pure negligence. I can explain to you the importance of using a case regardless of build, but I can't understand it for you. John B.

30. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Using aluminum or metal makes a phone unique? There's a lot of OEM who uses aluminum.

3. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

"I paid $80,000 dollars for this car and got a cheap fiberglass body." Said no one ever. John B.

4. Xperia_droid

Posts: 42; Member since: Nov 07, 2013

Sony Glass material ??

7. hmd74

Posts: 539; Member since: Jan 31, 2013

they said Unique... Many companies use glass

8. gaara6775

Posts: 738; Member since: May 20, 2014

People don't understand what unique means.

27. dil2abu

Posts: 315; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

Sony Xperia P had aluminium body before HTC One.. Sony is Unique.. Can't forget those transparent strip on their NXT series..

9. ManusImperceptus

Posts: 724; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

They said unique, and went on to mention iPhone and all the other aluminium-bodied phones - hardly unique then, are they...?

11. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

So is using metal any more unique!? There are probably more metal phones out there than glass phones...

31. the_matchless

Posts: 64; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

As I read the title of this one, I knew this article was going to be a fail. Motorola & Sony to the best of my knowledge have been the most experimenting companies with various materials. Sony adopted aluminium and glass long before Apple and HTC. Hell they even made a see through Xperia pure.

32. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Wow I didn't know of that Xperia Pure. Looks kinda cool lol. Though I don't think It would be very good for a smatphone.

15. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Tempered glass is what they actually. And I wouldn't call the iphone design unique. G3 Should be on that list.

10. Qba99

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

Motorola use Kevlar in Droid series.

22. Settings

Posts: 2942; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Samsung uses child tears and sweat for their devices back in China.

12. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I want a phone made from adamantium :)

13. nlbates66

Posts: 328; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

Rubbish article kinda belongs in the bin, showering apple crapamilium with praise and not mentioning Motorola's use of Kevlar...

16. karamelakimo

Posts: 109; Member since: May 26, 2014

Sony???

17. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

useless article to praise apple and htc

18. smallworld

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

As if metal was that special.

19. DarkStar286

Posts: 229; Member since: Mar 18, 2014

So aluminium became a "unique" material when Apple started using it? Nokia have been making all aluminium phones for many years now, I got an N8 4 years ago and it still looks great today. Then 3 of your 6 are aluminium, how "unique"! Just seems like a lame excuse for a list to me, so you can put the iPhone at number 1.... The list was obviously made with the upcoming iPhone in mind, which makes it even more ridiculous as you could have legitimately put the latest iPhone top of the list, seeing as it has sapphire on the home button and the camera's outer element. Oh and polycarbonate may be going out of fashion, but I genuinely think it's the best choice of material. I'm currently rocking a 1020 that's a year old and there's barely a scratch on the body (never use a case) and the couple there are I can only find with my nail, I can't see them on the matte yellow finish.

20. maherk

Posts: 6684; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

What's so premium about the thin scuff/scratch/dent magnet aluminum used in the iPhone 5 and 5s? The one on the M8 looks and FEELS premium to me, not the case with the one found on the iPhones. But yeah, tech sites (not the so professional ones) want to feed us this crab that Apple's aluminum is the number one and that whatever other material used are crab compared to it, AND that no other screen on this planet (no mater what displaymate might argue) is as color accurate as the iphone.

23. hemedans

Posts: 746; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

Unique material do you mean like recycled cd for Lumia 1520, Lumia series they are 100% free from Congo blood and 100% they can be recycled.

24. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Plutonium material phone, please.

25. gazmatic

Posts: 807; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

now i remember why i stopped coming to phonearena... crap articles... sapphire, rubies, diamonds, etc are unique metal and glass are not

26. justsayit

Posts: 256; Member since: May 09, 2013

how about vertu

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