x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA
  • Options

What's in a touch? The Samsung Galaxy S III polycarbonate debate

0. phoneArena posted on 21 May 2012, 17:57

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

posted on 22 May 2012, 00:57

60. tumchaaditya (Posts: 71; Member since: 21 May 2012)

I am not bashing S3..
I am just saying that it is not the best looking phone around despite being best performing which is quite true.
And Samsung could have made it much better looking.

And I have put "In my opinion" for all statements biased against S3.

The whole point of my comment is Samsung cleary does not make best looking phones around.
And that's not just my opinion.
Tell me a Samsung phone that has been praised/awarded everywhere for design/appearance/build.

posted on 22 May 2012, 07:13

69. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)

I'll praise it. They make some pretty solid feeling phones. Sure they're made out of plastic but they withstand every single drop i give to them. My brother dropped his inspire the other day and the aluminum cracked so i dropped my sgs2 to show him that plastic is better sure the battery cover popped off but it doesn't have a scratch on it

posted on 21 May 2012, 23:56 3

51. Chuck.Norris (unregistered)

Having worked with plastics for over 7 years, pure polycarbonate is very easy to scratch but is damn strong, to remedy this BAYER came up with polycarbonate covered with a very thin layer of glass to make it scractch resistant, my guess is that the polycarbonate that Sammy is using is mixed polycarbonate with other plastics which makes it strong but yet scratch resistant.

posted on 22 May 2012, 07:13 1

70. remixfa (Posts: 14605; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

proving it takes chuck norris to scratch the poly. :)

posted on 21 May 2012, 23:59 2

52. cttan456 (Posts: 62; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)

Another great article Michael H!
Absolutely! Plastic and polycarbonate is indeed very different in quality although they may look and feel the same. One fine example is in the case of optical lenses. Mention polycarbonate and one will associate it with unbreakability which ordinary plastic and glass lenses can only dream of.
I don't see how glass and metal can impart a high quality feel being cold and hard to the touch.
How can glass feel premium when it is used to make bottles?
How can metal feel premium when it is used make cheap furniture and door handles/knobs/etc where wood and leather is the de facto premium material?
If the feel of glass and metal is premium then the same feel can be had when we hold a drink bottle or touch the door handle of a public toilet.
Kevlar and polycarbonate is THE exotic meterial because they are not widely used in disposable applications but used only in specific instancesn where ultimate strength and durability not to mention aesthetics is required. Ever seen a drink bottle or door handle made Kevlar or Polycarbonate?
Still think glass and metal is premium?

posted on 22 May 2012, 07:43

72. kach22 (Posts: 153; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)

That's pretty lame. Glass, wood and steel/metal feels premium when they are used in appropriate context such as glasswares & display panels, (glass), furniture (wood) , and mobile phone (metal). Plastic is always used as a cheaper alternative to any of these to reduce cost and in some cases one time use only.

posted on 22 May 2012, 00:10

56. kanagadeepan (Posts: 981; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)

I am hapy that S-III atleast has polycarbonate and NOT ordinary plastic... Samsung should have announced this at their launch event itself by saying "POLY CARBONATE" and NOT that once again a cheap plastic type of words like "Hyper Glaze"...

Further Polycarbonate is much better than ceramic, imho... Have a look at the following link to know why


Also ceramic unnecessarily increases the weight of the phone and NOT as strong as polycarbonate, imho....

posted on 22 May 2012, 01:01 1

61. aoikemono27 (Posts: 177; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)

This article is stupid because it regurgitates the obvious issues while deliberately ignoring them and talking about something else. "Feel and look like plastic". "Thin and flimsy". These are all about ergnomics and the sense of touch, weight, and feel in the hand. Who the hell cares if it is 300x stronger? Why is this article so long and repetitive? If it feels like crap, it feels like crap. A lot of Samsung phones may be super durable and can probably withstand much more punishment than a dentable unibody metal HTC phone or a glass iPhone, but it still feels like crap. It's squishy and squeezable. The back panel is bendy. The chrome edges are bendy and glued on. The "polycarbonate" body and buttons are all soft to the touch. It doesn't feel as solid, heavy, or substantial. It's all about perception. Whether it is a pleasure to hold in the hand regardless of durability. Whether it feels like it requires a delicate touch or it just might snap into two just by holding it. Doesn't matter how strong it actually is. If good old regular plastic was absolutely indestructible, it would still feel cheap and thin and flexy and soft. Polycarbonate feels just the same, at least what Samsung and HTC call polycarbonate.

If you want to see polycarbonate done right, go find a white glossy Lumia 900. That phone is super hard with no give anywhere. Feels like a brick without being as heavy. The glossy finish is very grippy with lots of friction and does not get slimy or oily. It may be coined the same type of polycarbonate as the Galaxy S III and probably has the same durability, but it feels worlds apart. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE FEEL!

posted on 22 May 2012, 03:33

63. groupsacc (Posts: 232; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)

Only Samsung can cop a beating like this for putting out a phone with polycarbonate material, one of the best hardware specs, 720p (300+ dpi) AMOLED display, eye-detected screen timeout, popup video multitasking, NFC, wireless charging, external microSDXC, Gorilla Glass 2, 2100 mAh Li-ion battery, barometer, GLONASS, ..........


I think we were expecting a Galaxy S5, but instead we got an S3. Our expectations were unrealistically way too high.

posted on 22 May 2012, 04:12

64. MoonlitTear (Posts: 43; Member since: 09 Jun 2008)

Bottom line. I know the SGSIII will look much better caseless in one year that my caseless HTC Radar will in a year... why get a beautiful and case it?? If you case your phone why care how it feels the case will change it anyway. I don't case my phones and take a chance. Have had my HTC Radar for 6 months now, and dropped it once. It's got a few really really small pock marks in the metal where I placed it on a cement table on the left hand side back, but otherwise it's doing quite nice. I know if I dropped this phone (and it doesn't break) five times vs five time drop of SGSIII... well I have a feeling the SIII will still look nicer. If it's cased, then like I said, who cares. Poly is nice cuz scratches are not as noticeable. Also, my Radar is FRICKEN heavy for a 3.7" screen phone. Seriously. It's one heavy small phone.. looks awesome now.. but let's see how it looks in a year. :(

posted on 22 May 2012, 05:07

65. kazlmokh (Posts: 1; Member since: 22 May 2012)

I personally don’t like the design of all galaxy s series the resons are quite simple
1.galaxy s sevices r supposed to be the samsungs flgship device still they all look the same
2.no new design scheme or pattern for last 3 flagship devices
3.the backpanel is flimsy n feels like it will break while removing(i have seen it on s and s2)
3.atlest they can give some soft feel or rubberised coating to make it more easy to hold
4. no notification LED
5. design is resembling to i phone 4 like 1 hardware button at center(retangular instead of circular in iphone)
6.square icons like iphone
7.glossy body which mimics iphones glass covered body somewhat
8.chrome like edges similar to iphones stainless steel

i feel the galaxy line is too fragmented...galaxy y, galaxy w, galaxy ace, galaxy m.....
its not like naming the phone makes it popular...

at last i believe samsung should make their design as impressive as their hardware...

posted on 22 May 2012, 05:45 2

66. Einstein333 (Posts: 75; Member since: 22 May 2012)

Still, if you have ever owned a HTC ONE S you will never want this cheap plastic stuff again, no matter what kind of plastic it is...

posted on 22 May 2012, 08:56 1

76. troutsy (Posts: 320; Member since: 17 Feb 2012)

I disagree, Polycarbonate IS a very ordinary plastic (think of Lexan--used everywhere). To me it's nothing more than a marketing gimmick to advertise it as an improved solution over "plastic". There's a huge difference to use a glass-filled impact modified Polycarbonate compared to a straight Polycarbonate with some hardcoating, I'm guessing GS3 is the latter.

In my opinion, visual requirements for the exterior of the phone are always going to drive for a cheap plastic. If we wanted phones that looked rough dark gray with swirling/fill lines, we could drop the phone and say, "OMG, I broke the floor again".

I'd be first in line for a plastic unibody molded with Torlon (PAI) or PEEK.

posted on 22 May 2012, 15:21

79. 2fasst (Posts: 6; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories