Magnesium vs aluminum, or why a Samsung Galaxy S7 made of magnesium would be awesome

It is that time of the year again – a time of leaks, speculation, estimates, and plain guessing as to what the next big Samsung Galaxy model will bring to the table. And with rumors revolving around a January announcement for the Samsung Galaxy S7, the rumor mill is already running at full steam. How big is the phone going to be? Will it have radically better specs? What is it going to be made of? Will it be capable of shooting laser beams and projecting holograms in mid-air? These are the questions on the minds of many – questions that our rich collection of Samsung Galaxy S7 rumors attempts to answer.

Among the plethora of Galaxy S7 rumors that have accumulated is one suggesting that Samsung's next flagship will be slightly different in terms of design. The new model will be built of glass and metal, just like the Galaxy S6. But instead of aluminum, a magnesium alloy will be used for the handset's exterior frame. The material will likely be found inside the device as well, as part of its internal structure. This, if true, would be pretty awesome for a number of reasons, which we're about to highlight in the paragraphs below.

What is magnesium, anyway?

Magnesium (pictured to the right) is an alkaline earth metal with an atomic number 12. It is a shiny grey solid with numerous applications, primarily in cases where a light, strong material is required. On its own, however, magnesium isn't exactly ideal for use in consumer products as it is very reactive. We don't want our gadgets to corrode easily or to combust spontaneously, do we? This is why magnesium is mixed with other elements, including aluminum or zinc, to create various alloys, which are a lot more practical. For instance, the chassis of some premium laptops, digital cameras, and even some cell phones are made of magnesium alloy. So are components inside airplanes, rockets, high-performance cars, and other machines where weight reduction is of importance. 

What makes magnesium alloys better than aluminum ones?

Several are the differences that set magnesium alloys apart from aluminum ones. Firstly, there's the lighter weight of the former. The frame of the Galaxy S6, for instance, is made of 6013-grade aluminum alloy, which has a density of 2.71 g/cm³ (0.0979 lb/in³). The density of the 7000-series aluminum used in the iPhone 6s is even greater. In comparison, magnesium alloys have densities of about 1.8 g/cm³ (0.065 lb/in³). What these confusing numbers indicate is that magnesium alloys are about 33% lighter than aluminum ones, which greatly affects the total weight of the product they're used in. Most of us wouldn't mind a lighter Galaxy S7, right? 

Despite being lighter, magnesium alloys are similar to (if not better than) aluminum ones in terms of mechanical characteristics. They can be just as strong and durable. They are also good at dissipating heat. They dampen vibrations and shock really well. They have a lesser impact on the transmission of radio waves. In addition to all this, it is easier to make structural elements, such as a phone's body or chassis, out of magnesium alloys due to the material's favorable mechanical properties and lower melting point. 

If magnesium alloys are so awesome, where have they been all along?

Historically, aluminum was quicker to gain popularity – as a metal great for making anything from soda cans to car engines. It was light, durable, recyclable, and improvements in technology made it cheap to obtain. The adoption of magnesium for commercial applications began much later, but the popularity of the material is on the rise as its cost-efficiency is nearing that of aluminum. On one hand, raw magnesium is still more expensive than aluminum, but being easier to machine makes its alloys about as cost-effective as aluminum ones. 

That magnesium Samsung Galaxy S7 is going to be sweet!

Not so fast, cowboy! A rumor is just a rumor and should be treated as such, especially when we have no physical evidence to support it. Nevertheless, the odds of seeing a Galaxy S7 made of magnesium alloy aren't slim at all. The material is far from exotic, can be produced in large quantities, and its advantages over aluminum would give the next Galaxy flagship one more thing to stand out with. Besides, it's not like we haven't seen magnesium-made gadgets already – the Microsoft Surface tablets, the OnePlus 2, and the Oppo R1 all have bodies made of magnesium alloy. Samsung is no stranger to the material either, as its NX1 digital camera boasts a sturdy magnesium body. All that said, a magnesium-made Samsung Galaxy S7 will not come as a surprise, seeing that its makes sense as the next step in the Galaxy line-up's design evolution. What such a phone might look like is depicted in the unofficial renders and leaked images below.

References: - Magnesium, Aluminum - Magnesium die casting - Aluminum alloys - Magnesium die casting

Related phones

Galaxy S7
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(28h 3G talk time)



1. AnTuTu

Posts: 1620; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

While magnesium would be awesome in S7 but I don't wanna see this design. Sammy need to come up with a better design.

14. vincelongman

Posts: 5723; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

BTW why does PA keep ignoring the fact that the Note 5's frame is 7000-series aluminum? Makes more sense to bring up the Note 5 since that's Samsung's most recent flagship But PA loves bring up Apple, so of course the 6S is brought up

36. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The S6 Edge+ also uses 7000 series aluminum. Which Samsung was smart enough to use considering they decided to make the S6 Edge larger and they didnt need a bending phone to make that move either. I also said the same in my post as I didnt see yours. There was no need to mention Apple since Samsung also has not one, but two phones using 7000 series aluminum at the leats. The continuous need to pit these against each other when you don't even have too is simply lazy ass article writing. PA wonders why they get bashed and why fanbois in general get bashed? Because just like a sheep or ants (your choice), they all follow the one in front even if that first falls off a cliff, you all are so stupid as you will do exactly the same.

39. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

And... when PA gets bashed for thier practices, they send us warnings and limit/ban anyhow! I'm sick of it.

61. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Knock on wood. I haven't had that happen. Try to provide good arguments when you bash them. That way you are bashing with substance. lol

70. MarinoVladimir

Posts: 41; Member since: Aug 04, 2014

I'll sound funny, but what is PA? lol

71. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013


72. MarinoVladimir

Posts: 41; Member since: Aug 04, 2014

ohmaygad, how dumb of me! It obviously makes sense, though I thought it was something outta this site. Thanks. haha

18. willywanta

Posts: 502; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

It is their signature design, just like apple with their iPhones.

60. stilwelloklahoma

Posts: 34; Member since: Sep 05, 2015

s7 should take good care for their heating problem , other than that , everything is good

35. QWERTYphone

Posts: 654; Member since: Sep 22, 2014


37. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I'm curious. The iPhone's don't have those either, so since the iPhone has NO REMOVABLE BATTERY AND THEY HAD MODELS WITH GLASS CONSTRUCTION...were those FAILS too? Or are you the typical trolling fanboi hypocrite? Because the phones use such materials, you are going to slap a case on it anyways. Removable batteries in my opinion for a device where a charge can last 12 hours is simply stupid. If you cant get to a charger within 12 hours in a day, then you have a personal serious problem. You sound liek a complete fool repeating the same retard ass BS in every Samsung S6/S7/Note5 article.

44. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Why do you assume he's pro-iPhone? Why did you even bring the iPhone up in your comment? Why didn't you mention the OnePlus X or Sony Xperia line or Nexus line or any other device that uses/has used glass construction and sealed battery? You just criticized PA for unnecessarily bringing the iPhone into the discussion (post 36) yet you did the very same in this comment. Are YOU they typical trolling fanboi hypocrite?

62. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I am not assuming he is pro iPhone. I brought up the iPhone because it is the most popular next to the Gal;axy S. So since both dont offer these features, then are they equally both fails? Yes the difference here is Samsung did once offer those. But then again, the Samsung fanbois say they were tired or plastic devices and wanted better materials. Even though you can make a metal phone with a door for a removable battery, it hampers the deign. For one the door has to be made waterproof which costs extra money. Thus unibody is better for a design. SDCARD were removed due to incompatibility with the controller on the highspeed ontroller needed for the new Flash to provide undirectional data throughput vs uni-directional as the older eMMC controller offers. Samsung can easiy add a door in the side of a metal frame for a sd-card. It can be done similar to the SIM tray. But the constant need to beat a dead horse? Dude, he posted this crap easily more than 1000 times in the past year. Every since the S6 and Note 5 were leaked having this stuff removed, he's been chanting this crap. Lots of phones have sealed batteries. They sill make ones that dont. if you desire or need a phone that has removable batteries, every single phone OEM with exception of Apple has at least one. To constant,y post how a phone you liek doesnt have it for good reasons over and over is stupid. Either buy another phone and STFU...or just STFU. It's stupid. Even without those features, the phone still sold more than they did over last year. So it isnt a fail. What is failed is his ability to just..."let it go, let it go".

45. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

"If you cant get to a charger within 12 hours a day, then you have a personal serious problem" Techie! That phrase of yours is 100% subjective! Imagine being on tourism where there's no power supply... if I can't get to charge my phone within 12 or even 24hrs, what serious problem do I have? Removable battery helps alot, because I could prepare even 10 batteries for my phone, hence go from 1% to 100% by replacing the dead battery for a fresh one in less than 15 seconds, (unlike quick charge) and keep on shooting pics/videos. If you can live without removable battery, then that's your usage! But you do not have to bash someone who can't live without it! Your usage or convenience isn't every one else's! Sorry to say, but you're indeed the one who sounds retarded!

49. apakalo1

Posts: 67; Member since: Nov 19, 2015

@Hexa core,,, you people have problems I think. There are phone choices with THAT REMOVABLE BATTERY. Why bashing bashing bashing ? ? Why won't you bash iPhone also which even has tiny battery compare to Samsung .Infact there's a serious problem with lot of people in this world

63. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Well alot of theings said by everyone here is subjective. The average person works 8 hours or they work in a place where charging a phone is less likely, like for example if you work in retail. But if you work in places where you aren't going to be using your phone anyways, then battery-life for such isnt a problem. Not very many people work 12 hours. For those who do, then you'd be stupid to either buy a phone with a removable battery so you can insert a battery, or buy a phone that offers fast charging. Sorry, I dont give excuses for information that people can easily look up online and compare what they need vs just blowing money on a device simply because it may be popular. Just because it is popular, doesn't mean that device suits your needs. I can't think of a situation where charging a phone within 12 hours is 100% impossible. Again, if your case is that unique, then you need to buy a device that works for yoru unique situation. I am speaking of the vast majority, not the very few exceptions to the rule.

64. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Tourism? Doing what? Planes have chargers, many buses have chargers.If You work in any environment where you can't charge your phone, that also must mean you wont be using it. RIGHT? My statement isn't subjective. It is simply a case by case conclusion. The average person works no more than 12 hours per day. Even if at work you are not permitted to charge your phone, you have options. If you drive to work, you can have chargers in yoru car. There are battery packs you can buy or cases that are designed to fit your phone that have a battery-pack. There are phones that offer quick chargign capabilities where you can get as much as 4 hours of usage from a 10-15 minutes hookup to the charging cable and adapter. Then there are devices with wireless chargers where the charging station is just a pad, you can easily just have on your desk charging your phone without anyone even noticing Vast majority of people dont have charging issues. If you can charge a phone in 12 hours, then you have a serious personal problem. The problem is simple. Either you didnt comparison shop to buy a phone that better fits your needs, you didnt' look into alternatives ways to insure you have a phone that works all day or whatever. All are YOUR problem. This all goes for me too. I dont buy what is popular. I buy what works and offers what I need. I drive to work. On the way home, I have a quick charger in my car so I can hook up if I need to. I also do have a battery pack I was given at home which I have never used, in the event I think I will be out. Unless you are at the beach all day or a Disney themes parks all day, I can't see where you can charge a phone. Even on trans-continental flights, there are chargers on the plane.

50. Kary1

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

There are many reasons to want a removable battery besides wanting to do a battery swap. 1. Removing a battery is the fastest way to reboot if you have a troublesome app. 2. Batteries have limited life, and batteries can be damaged by heat. Replacing the battery can restore the original battery life of the phone. 3. If your phone's charging system goes bad, a removable battery will allow you to diagnose that it is the phone's charging system and allow you to limp by until you get a replacement phone. Without that you just have a small brick. 4. Samsung produced some S4s that came with defective batteries that they were replacing under warranty. To check your battery you had to remove it from the phone. 5. Removable batteries mean there are usually non-OEM options for larger batteries. Motorola has even had some OEM options for larger optional batteries.

52. cheetah2k

Posts: 2271; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

1. You can use various button combo's to 'hard' reboot the phone without removing the battery 2. Batteries have a limited life of around 1000 cycles before they start to lose capacity. This does not mean the battery will stop charging at 1000 cycles... 1000 cycles for a Samsung user is around 1000 days - thats approx 3 years. Most people in the world have their phones for 2 years max (contract periods) before ditching them. 3. If you are that worried about your batteries, then get a external powerpack. Most iphone users have them anyways :) 4. If any samsung phone with a fixed battery gets a recall, you get a brand new phone. Sounds good to me! 5. Non-OEM batteries are the causes of a lot of fires. I'd rather stick to OEM batteries!

55. Kary1

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

From Cheetah2k: ---1. You can use various button combo's to 'hard' reboot the phone without removing the battery I said the fastest way. Not the only way. Answer fail. ----2. Batteries have a limited life of around 1000 cycles before they start to lose capacity. This does not mean the battery will stop charging at 1000 cycles... 1000 cycles for a Samsung user is around 1000 days - thats approx 3 years. Most people in the world have their phones for 2 years max (contract periods) before ditching them. I didn't say the batteries would quit working--I said you could restore the life of the battery. I also mentioned batteries being damaged by heat. But in any case, not everyone wants to change their phone every two years, and with the end of subsidies, that's going to be more common. Answer fail. ---3. If you are that worried about your batteries, then get a external powerpack. Most iphone users have them anyways :) That goes more to the swapping issue which I specifically wasn't addressing. But the fact that iPhone owners have to do something doesn't mean others should want to do it. Answer fail. --4. If any samsung phone with a fixed battery gets a recall, you get a brand new phone. Sounds good to me! I really don't think you would have seen Samsung recall all the S4s that had been sold at that point in time. They would have just waited for each phone to fail. And speaking of failing--answer fail. ---5. Non-OEM batteries are the causes of a lot of fires. I'd rather stick to OEM batteries! That's your preference, not everyones'. But my entire point of posting was to note that there were reasons other than swapping batteries during the day to want a removable battery. You've failed to refute a single reason. Post fail.

65. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Yes there are lots of reasons. I have never pulled a battery for a troublesome app. I just hold the buttons for however long. Sure pulling a battery is quicker than waiting maybe 10 secs for using buttons. But since this is a very rare happening, doesnt jusify the need. Unless you rooting and install ROM or other junk, app issues are very rare on that level. At least in my experience. I usually just reboot my phone with no issue. I've not had a phone just lock up on me. Replacing a dead battery? While under contract or on a payment plan, your carrier must replace a phone is it stops working. Now if you plan to keep a phone [past its warranty period, then you should buy said phone from a retailer and purchase an extended warranty or service plan of some type. Also many credit card companies allow replacement of non-functioning items if you bought with your card, even past the warranty period. Lots of people don't know this. If any brand makes a phone with a defective battery even if you can't pull it out, you can still see if you have a defect unit, because the OEM will just provide a phone model number based on its manufactured date. What you gave was a list of ways people have gotten use to doing things, all have alternative methods that provide the same solution end the end.

66. JakCannon

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

The key words you used there were "alternative methods" I had to pull the battery from my phone multiple times for an issue I was having, until I figured out what was causing it. Happened days apart, inconsistently, so took me awhile to find it. None of the button tricks worked.... and believe me, I tried, as I did NOT want to take my phone out of its rather involved Otterbox case. A computer of ANY type without a physical power breaking switch can only be REQUESTED to power off. And what if it's so scrambled that it's not paying attention to such coded signals or requests? You get the idea. Here's another one for ya.... drop the thing into water, it's a damned good thing to get that battery disconnected as quickly as possible, so the wrong bits aren't fried by any shorts before it has a chance to dry. Pull that battery, and there is ZERO power on destructive tap inside that phone. Peace of mind until it can be dried out. Yes there are water-resistant phones... before you counter with the magically perfect form of the new phones... but they're not water-proof. Especially when you consider the wear and tear on them and the affects this has on any seals. Even minor, almost innegligible damage to the bezel can result in openings to allow water in. And this is all just for the removeable battery issue. Just because YOU can do without a feature, such as removeable batteries, removeable flash memory, etc... doesn't mean that others should have to. Use your own logic on yourself, mate!! And in answer to your "something is seriously wrong with you", I work on the road as a contractor. It's not uncommon for me to be on a jobsite, running wiring in a newly built multi-story building from sun-up till sun-down (because the building has no power yet) and being hours away from home, I try to maximize my accomplishment for each day I hit it. As such, I keep four batteries on me, as I can't just conveniently leave the phone in the truck. It has to be on me, and I'm going to be on it much of the day, hands free, work-related. Removeable memory is a HUGE thing for me, which is why I won't be progressing beyond the S5 until Samsung figures out how to handle their bottleneck with removeable cards... I want to be able to remove my data files if the phone gets destroyed by a massive fall, being run over, or any other situation... It runs auto-backups after midnight, and It's common for me to have valuable paperwork scans ofr pictures or technical detail videos pertaining to my job sites that haven't been backed up by their subsequent midnight transfers yet. So it's nice to know they're on a card which is very well protected inside that destroyed phone. I've heard no word on the SD situation on the S7 yet, but hopefully they will have learned and made that a priority to get them BACK into the S line. Being that I've seen suggestions of it being a magnesium/glass build, I'm guessing they'll still have the retarded fixed battery.

56. HK-USP

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 25, 2015

I for one agree, it is one of the primary reasons I own a S5! Removable batteries are the ticket. I use my S5 for checking wireless signal strength while installing surveillance systems, and it beats the hell out of packing around a laptop. So yes carry an extra battery and away you go. It silly to HAVE to plug you phone in because you actually use it! This was one reason I did not like my iPhone 4S. Not too bad just break out the micro screw driver set and change you battery wherever you happen to be. Yeah right!

57. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

I'll take removable battery over "premium build" any day!

51. Sealblaighter

Posts: 429; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

I agree with you. For example, they should change the shape of the camera to circle, because the current one is boring.

53. engineer-1701d unregistered

i love magnesium my bikes engines have mag valve covers and other areas very light weight. i agree antutu i did not like gs6 design that much i have gs6 but i dont like the glass back would like to see sammy copy lg v10 back tpu rubber removable back plate, grippy and nice looking. hahaha a copy i approve of

67. JakCannon

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

When I saw articles touting the magnesium allow hoopla, I was reminded of the custom rims of the 60's and 70's.... remember when "Mags" was the go-to wheel upgrade? ;-) I still have an old Fiat Spyder with mags. And she still looks sexy. ;-)

2. Manyci

Posts: 116; Member since: Aug 03, 2015

You forgot mentioning, that Meizu has a magnesium-unibody phone as well (Meizu Metal)...

4. carlemillward unregistered

Of course they won't, but according to reviews, it doesn't feel like metal, yet better than plastic. Which is weird.

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