All hail the plastic Pixel! (poll results)

All hail the plastic Pixel! (poll results)
There are barely any metal or plastic phones left in today's see of glass sandwich designs, so Google's new Pixel 3a midranger is a refreshing change of pace for some, with their durable bodies that you can just dust off when they hit the pavement. This, however, may take away from their look and feel for some, given that plastic is usually associated with cheaper electronics, even the polycarbonate housing of the Pixel 3a/XL. This is why we asked you last week if, a couple of years after plastic phones went into a coma, you are now bothered by the housing of Google's new midrangers.

Does the plastic housing of the Pixel 3a bother you?

Yes
18.81%
No
81.19%

It turns out that you are really into polycarbonate. Out of 1281 respondents, 81% said that the plastic housing of the Pixel 3a is not a disadvantage. In the comments, many argue that it makes the phones more durable and something you don't have to baby all the time like phones with a glass back. Moreover, the new Pixels are some of the easiest to repair in recent memory, and the polycarb housing has something to do with that. All in all, there is a good market niche for affordable phones with good specs that transfer the premium design savings directly to the end user, it seems.

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL were Google's first phones to sport wireless charging, a feature sorely missed on their predecessors, but now we are back to square one with the midrange Pixel 3a and 3a XL that are unapologetically plastic and need plugging in to charge.

There were times in smartphone history when metal was becoming the new plastic, but its material kingdom reigned quite briefly, taken over by glass sandwich designs. It's not just premium design that phone companies are after with their glass-y casings, though. Wireless charging would heat metal bodies to ungodly heights, so Apple had to also bite the bullet and move to glass iPhones, just when it introduced wireless charging to the lineup.

Glass looks premium and lets you top up your phone sans cables but it has just as many negatives - it is prone to cracking very easily when dropped, and is a fingerprint magnet. Thus, replacing a shattered rear now costs a pretty penny and is, in the case of iPhones, more expensive to repair than the screen itself.

Related phones

Pixel 3a
  • Display 5.6" 1080 x 2220 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh
Pixel 3a XL
  • Display 6.0" 1080 x 2160 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3700 mAh

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9 Comments

1. redmd

Posts: 1935; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Plastic is life!

2. japkoslav

Posts: 1507; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Sealife begs to differ.

4. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Look when the vast majority of the population protect their smartphones with cases, then who really cares what materials these devices end up using. Just as long as these devices are durable and last a long time. That and the fact that customers are getting a good bang for their buck.

6. japkoslav

Posts: 1507; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

That was a joke you know :)

7. TheOracle1

Posts: 2263; Member since: May 04, 2015

".........wireless charging, a feature sorely missed on their predecessors" . I must have missed the memo on that one because wireless charging has never been a priority in my phone choices. But big batteries are definitely top of my list.

8. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

People can go on Amazon and buy a USB-C wireless charging tag. Then hide it under a case. Problem solved if you really need wireless charging.

3. TadTrickle

Posts: 57; Member since: Apr 08, 2019

I just want durable material. So obviously not GLASS. SO STUPID. Manufacturers must've been listening to Paris hilton and kimK when the got their design ideas

5. middlehead

Posts: 456; Member since: May 12, 2014

Why is this article acting like glass is the only material that allows wireless charging? Plastic was already working fine before idiots bought into the glass marketing, stop pushing that myth. And stop saying glass is "premium" material. If you have to immediately list all the cons to using it, it's not "premium" in any way.

9. RGreen

Posts: 83; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

Blah blah blah

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