Poll results: Relative to a year ago, are you more or less interested in Android smartphones with a premium build?


Are you tired of the never-ending stream of plastic Android smartphones? It seems that for every smartphone with a premium build (read: metal, glass, ceramic) we get about a hundred made of plastic. Of course, manufacturers such as HTC, Sony, and Apple, all have products that should satisfy that niche, but the split is still far from even remotely balanced.

This is why we asked you earlier this week, whether you like the trend of premium chassis materials that we are witnessing with flagships like the new HTC One (M8), or the Sony Xperia Z2? Given that those manufacturers are able to pull off spec'd-out handset with glass and metal housings, all eyes seem to be on Samsung, whose Galaxy S5 "perforated" look is still a fancy plastic casing.

Samsung seems a day late and a dollar short when it comes to a premium flagship build, as 63% of our respondents demonstrate a renewed interest in more upscale wrappers for their expensive phones. Granted, most of them end up snugged in a case anyway, but people apparently feel duped when they are paying $600 for a handset without subsidies, and get moulded polycarbonate in return, instead of glass or aluminum. Less than 20% of the respondents say that they haven't changed their opinion over the course of a year, and plastic is fine by them. Samsung is murmured to launch a "luxury" F series of handsets, using metal exterior for the design, so hopefully we'll see some more tangible confirmation on this soon enough for the perceptions to change.

Relative to a year ago, are you more or less interested in Android smartphones with a premium build?

I'm definitely more interested in Android smartphones with a premium build than before
63.06%
I still stand where I did a year ago. We have an okay balance as it is.
17.67%
What's the problem with plastic? Enough with the premium build mumbo-jumbo
19.27%

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32 Comments

1. dmakun

Posts: 382; Member since: Jun 06, 2011

Yeah, I'm ok with plastic thank you.

18. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

But plastic has to be premium look, just like my nexus 5.

21. hafini_27

Posts: 951; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

I love nexus and lumia's materials, soft feel is much more comfortable.

22. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

I agree.

26. preetmalhotra

Posts: 114; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

and my PureView!

2. Jason2k13

Posts: 1466; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

fanboys and tech nerds prefer premium build, but in reality people just want a phone that works.

6. timukh

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Just the opposite. Most of the customers care about how the phone looks rather than what kind of specs they hold. Only geeks care about specs like if it is a snapdragon or a mediatek. That is why the iphone sells so much (not an apple fanboy). And tech nerds will prefer a phone with 4GB RAM and 3Ghz octacore processor and 128GB memory, but a normal customer will want a phone that they can say is value for money including looks.

10. Jason2k13

Posts: 1466; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

care about looks? so apparently at a phone store theres a HTC, Sony, Nokia and Samsung to chose from. If most customers care about looks, then why most of them chose samsung if it's the least good looking? Some people say its about advertising, okay go market the hell out of a pig as the best pet to have, and see how far you will go.

14. wildfiregt

Posts: 179; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

Because many people who didn't read articles on phonearena still finds the S4 beautiful. That's reality

16. timukh

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

You think the normal Joe, who has never heard of phonearena or gsmarena knows about the diff between snapdragon 400 or 600 or 801? What about the women? You think they know about all these or how many ppi there phone will have if they buy 5inch or 4.5inch? Not everyone is a geek and so when buying a device one of the most important thing is the looks of it! Agree it or deny it, but that is how it is.

19. Jason2k13

Posts: 1466; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

what about quality of the camera? what about amoled screen? removable battery? screen size ratio? how thin the phone is? how light the phone? available accessories? extra software features? why dont you involve that to?

29. timukh

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

amoled screen? screen size ratio??? What? lol. Do u think majority of people buying a phone checks if the phone has an amoled display or an lcd? And screen size ratio? :D Dude no offence to u at all but think like an ordinary person, not like someone visiting phonearena daily! They have no idea what an amoled or lcd or TFT screen is. But I agree with the camera part. They check how many megapixels. Thats it.

32. wildfiregt

Posts: 179; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

I would say he's somewhat right. Super Amoled became popular name, people are like wow when they hear it without knowing what's the differnce between OLED and LCD. Just like retina ,when this is still a LCD

11. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

I'm paying upwards of 600 bucks only to get a piece of plastic?

12. Jason2k13

Posts: 1466; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

you buy a phone just to hug it and feel it all day?

30. true1984

Posts: 869; Member since: May 23, 2012

i do....

20. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

By your definition, if you're going to purchase a $75!,000 corvette rather than a $12,000 Aveo, the Corvette should come with premium metal like the Aveo; not cheap fiberglass. Think before you post marketing propoganda. John B.

3. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

I just played with the new htc one and it even beats iPhone 5 in the quality department. But I'm more likely to have a heavy duty case because metal looks ugly when dented and stratched. A phone like the LG Flex is much more forgiving to scratches.

4. TheNeighbor

Posts: 370; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Even "premium" aluminum builds debt and scratch, and weigh more. I'd rather it be lightweight and with useful features like the S Pen.

5. Xenaz

Posts: 144; Member since: Apr 28, 2013

It’s not about the material that makes phone looks cheap, especially the acuse on Samsung and plastic thing. Just that Samsung has overused the pebble design too many times + too many unknown brand followed that design, that’s why Samsung phone feel so "common" and not "premium". Again plastic doesn't makes phone looks cheap, look at the older iPhone, Nokia Lumia, LG phones and some Xperias, they are all made by plastic but they doesn't feel "common" nor even "cheap" at all, plastic is innocent

7. Marwanbalu

Posts: 14; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

I love Xperia devices especially Z series because you feel got a device not a plastic toy

24. vipervoid123

Posts: 163; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

True ~

8. Amir1 unregistered

no premium design = no buy. i buy only flagships every couple of years. talking about design, i love sony designs the most. they just know design in heart.

9. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Every couple of years. No wonder Sony is in trouble. I stick to a 12 month upgrade cycle for both phone and tablet. My current top dog brand is Samsung.

13. shy2papa

Posts: 336; Member since: Jan 23, 2010

Having a premium phone makes u feel you are getting your money's worth not like getting a plastic phone a year later trying to sell it, it has lost half it's value

27. maherk

Posts: 6928; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Go on to Craigslist and check which phones lose their values the most, and no I don't mean Apple or Samsung.

15. crazymonkey05

Posts: 189; Member since: Nov 20, 2012

I have a s3 and I think this feels premium compared to my moto droid 1

17. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Metal ages better then plastic. Plastic when scratched up is like a Bit lighter, still there an works but lost its sheen an looks like crap. Metal, through scrapes an scuffs might be worn looking but leaves you with a better ownership feeling then the plastic imo. Worn metal, looks charismatic. Plastic, looks like a has been.

23. cR203

Posts: 209; Member since: Jan 27, 2013

I think this whole build quality discussion is somewhat stale. The average person has a case on their phone so they don't even really come in contact with phones actual build materials. To be honest I don't see anything wrong with plastic build quality. I have a note 3 and the build quality is fantastic to me but then again it's been in a case since I pulled it out the box. I understand people may just prefer metal on their phones instead of plastic but the point I'm trying to make is that when a case is on your phone the build quality doesn't really matter.

25. R-vjn

Posts: 301; Member since: Jan 07, 2013

I just don't understand this, I mean, using metal can only make a phone premium?? Not really. If an OEM use plastic in the right way and with the best quality materials, it will feel premium and sturdy, and not to forget the advantages with a plastic phone.

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