Samsung’s Galaxy S IV Will Continue Their Quest Toward Plastic Smartphone Domination


Samsung’s efforts to dominate the world of plastic smartphones will continue with the Galaxy S IV, according to Y.H. Lee, executive Vice President of Samsung’s mobile business. “When Samsung looks at what materials to use, it isn’t just taking into consideration the aesthetic quality of the device, Lee said.”

Lee went on to say that Samsung assesses “how quickly and efficiently it can manufacturer the product, knowing that it will have to ship a high volume.” Because of this, Lee said that Samsung considers the manufacturing requirements and durability. As for Samsung’s now staple plastic back cover, Lee said it gives devices an overall lighter feeling and “is more durable than those of other smartphones because its bendable and can better absorb physical impact.”

Samsung’s decision to continue the use of Samsung comes at a time when competitors like Apple produce metal frames that offer a premium product feeling. The same can be said for HTC’s upcoming One device, with the aluminum body providing a premium feel. Ultimately, Lee says Samsung looks to hit the right balance between what’s practical and the want to offer a more premium-feeling product.

“I think the next product has a nice balance between this,” she said. “We listen to the market and try to accommodate.”


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  • SocalTeknique

    Well plastics seem to break, ding, bend, and crack less than metal/aluminum plus has no signal interference. I love a premium feel but rather have full functionality with some impact resistance

    • Aprolifix_blue

      like others said, most people use a protective case. so its not an issue

      • theking_13

        But with that same idea in mind, if its in a case, why does it matter?

        • Because you shouldn’t have to pay $600+ for something you put in a $3 case. Duh!

      • Jose Hernandez

        It is regarding signal interference. And a lot of people don’t use a case. So the comment is very much relevant.

      • 21stNow

        I feel the same way. My Samsung Galaxy Note and my HTC One X feel the exact same way-like a TPU case.

  • Wayne

    “Samsung’s decision to continue the use of Samsung…”

    Man, I just hope this doesn’t affect all of the other products we use that are made of Samsung.

    • Manny

      I literally LOL’d.

      • StarMenace

        I think it’s technically L’dOL.

    • OnlineRefugee

      Yeah, I noticed that and had to keep reading it to confirm it was not something I was failing to comprehend.

  • impasse

    really surprised this hasn’t leaked yet. nice job, samsung.

  • M42

    Plastic is fantastic. Right?

  • Aprolifix_blue

    I think there is nothing wrong with using a good plastic. keeps the phone at a light weight. unlike the LG nexus 4 which has a non removable glass back which can crack very easy

    • minioninnc

      Had mine for well over a month, and no cracked back glass. You just have to be careful and not throw the phone down like I have saw so many people do. Treat it right, and it will treat you right.

      • aprolifix_blue

        great for you. but i have heard reports that the glass cracking is not just from impact but from temp change.

        • minioninnc

          Are these people walking into a walk in cooler and then direct in the hot sun?

        • jej

          If it goes from a hot hand to a cold marble or metal counter it can crack.

    • theking_13

      I don’t mind the plastic, but would prefer it like how the One X was made.

    • dasdasdasd

      How do you know it can crack easily? It doesn’t crack more easily than the iPhone 4 for that matter. I’ve had mine since November, dropped few times and all is good. Idiot.

      • aprolifix_blue

        that’s funny. calling me an idiot when you are the one that needs to educate yourself on the matter, Google it. I wont waste anymore time on an ass like u .. go look in the mirror as only idiots always compare everything to the iPhone.

      • erigl

        Mine fell from less than 2 feet, complete shatter. Non responsive screen, now it’s a paperweight. Oh, and the glass back makes it “float” on hard surfaces, so it tries to commit suicide every time you put it down on a table.

  • Make it out of black latex and call it the Galaxy Slave.

    • vicryixiv

      “Smell the Phone” could be the ad campaign.

    • thepanttherlady

      Show em who’s boss. Lol

      • mdosu

        you guys all get a vote up for your posts. lol

    • OnlineRefugee

      No, it would correctly be called the “Samsung Galaxy S & M”

  • qpinto

    if samsung can make a plastic that mimics the feel of glass you have a winner. the whole super glossy plastic of the s3 lookd great, but made the phone extremely hard to hold. hense it feels cheap compared to the n4 and htc one X.

  • interrobang

    $500 for a plastic phone pffft?!

    • cdru

      You pay far more for a plastic car…

      • ha! Good point, I didn’t even think about it that way. ; )

      • Jarrod

        Most people don’t drive a corvette or “stupid car”.

        • Spanky

          What’s a “stupid car”?

  • TheReder

    “Premium” is in the hand of the beholder. Metal/glass phones feel heavy and bulky. Give me lightweight drop resistant plastic any day.

    • Jarrod

      The iPhone 5 is lighter then the GS3.

      • TheReder

        It’s also tiny. And garbage.

        • AndroidProfit

          Did the iPhone hurt you?

        • Nick Gonzalez


      • theking_13

        But has a way smaller screen. You’re comparing oranges to strawberries.

        • Thank you Captain Obvious!

        • theking_13

          You’re welcome Sergeant Idiot.

      • Jose Hernandez

        So is a piece of paper.

  • Sammie Bell


    • Agreed

    • fixxmyhead

      Good keep buying POS htc phone’s that never get updated. HTC one – 4.1.2 what a fail on there “flagship”. I know another oem that can actually deliver the latest version on there flagship

      • Spanky

        “HTC one – 4.1.2 what a fail on there “flagship”. ”
        Ditto. This is an epic, facepalm-inducing failure on HTC’s part. By the time that phone receives a 4.2 update, Key Lime Pie will have been out for several months. Unless HTC releases another Nexus device, I am officially done with them.

    • Mr_Vault

      Pretty dumb statement actually. Let’s see now… my Corvette is made of non-metal material, almost plastic-y. Would I rather have my Corvette or a Honda (which is made of metal). Duh… STFU

    • OnlineRefugee

      Really, you would NOT buy a phone because of its composition?

      Wow… do you avoid flying on planes that use carbon fiber instead of a metal skin?

      And I assume you drive an old car because new ones have “plastic” bumpers and dashboards. And some car bodies are plastic.

  • Sprite

    They have not hit anywhere near a balance on their devices. They feel CHEAP as hell. This is why I’m buying the HTC One instead of the S4.

    • Jose Hernandez

      They feel cheap to you. Won’t feel cheap to the millions buying the gs4.

    • I agree they do feel very cheap.

  • TMoFan

    I wasn’t a fan of the plastic on the s3 but it has grown on me. I’d rather have that if it means removable battery and microsd.

    • fixxmyhead

      its not even plastic its poly carbonate the same material used in the one x. people just like to rag on samsung. personally i dont care what phones are made of im not a little b*tch that cares about looks. i look for what the phone can do and deliver. u want looks buy HTC, u want performance buy samsung simple as that

      • TBN27

        Polycarbonate is a fancy word for plastic. A plastic that is more durable. And no one is ragging on Samsung over that. However the Galaxy SIII has a fragil screen that can crack easily if dropped

        • fixxmyhead

          People do rag on Samsung for that. I remember when the s3 came out everyone was complaining about the “cheap plastic” the same material as the one X yet people praised the one X with the same “cheap plastic” -__-

          Also what makes the s3 screen more fragile than other phones?

        • TBN27

          Oh yeah I forgot. That’s why I never listen to people’s selective criticism. At least a lot of people don’t rag on it because it is still selling like hot cakes. The only thing I say is fragile is the screen based on some unfortunate experience by a couple of co-workers that dropped them at low altitude and the screen cracked. The poly carbonate withstood damage.

      • Phone master

        In the article they are referring to the upcoming HTC One, which does indeed have a unibody aluminum design (which in early reviews was well liked).

        • fixxmyhead

          I know i was comparing the s3 to the one X when they came out

  • The plastic sucks! But I’ve learnt to deal with it since I get the removable battery and memory expansion. HTC DNA/One X, Motorla DROID, and iPhone users – I’m very jealous of your hardware!! -_-

  • ACNJR28

    If I’m paying $600,$700,$800 for a phone I PERSONALLY would like something better than cheap plastic. I wasn’t impressed by the GS3 and expected much more from it….so I do not expect much from the GS4 either. Give me glass,aluminum and etc….anything but plastic. I’m looking forward to the HTC One.

    • TBN27

      You are paying for the technology. If it weren’t full of powerful hardware and software features then it wouldn’t be worth the price it is now.

    • abc

      Just dont buy and dont comment here. Simple.
      why try to influence others with your negative comments?
      There is Choice and thats the beauty of android.

  • Yep cheap plastic for higher margins and more profit, not for drop protection or durability. This is one of the main reasons I stay away from Samsung phones. For a $700 device, I like having the premium high quality feel of HTC and Apple devices.

    • Spanky

      I also like to have a removable battery and an SD card slot, both of which I’ll take over “premium high quality feel” any day of the week.

    • Shawndh

      It’s just a win win for them. They can produce a phone that’s really only worth about $200 and sell it for $700 because of the name. I’m with you. I’m not into paying top dollar for a full plastic phone. Lower the price already.

  • Chris

    I still don’t know where people get the idea that plastic = cheap feel…

    My GS3 doesn’t feel cheap.

    If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Plain and simple.

  • TechHog

    90% of the people complaining here will put a plastic or rubber case on their next phone.

    Also, people who want glass backs are idiots.

  • NYCTheBronx

    Plastic or poly carbonate I don’t care as long as I can change my battery on a phone I wish to keep using for 4-5 years without the internal battery have to deteriorate on me and making my phone useless. You’re not paying for what the phone is made of are you people? You pay for the specs and whatever you need in a phone to do your work etc. Anyone still own an IPhone and still have good battery until now? How do you think I feel for buying a HTC One X and LG Google Nexus 4? In a year or two their batteries wouldn’t last as long as they used to because of daily use. Non removable battery is a big must.

  • Richard Yarrell

    I personally applaud Samsung for sticking to with what works. 213 million smartphones sold in 2012 with 40% market share proves that changes just too change is not needed. Surely the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 will share the same design elements just like the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 did in 2012. The Galaxy Note 2 is the BEST ultimate all purpose productivity device ever made since the inception of android. Clearly Samsung is well on their way to another year of excellent sales probably even 250 million smartphones in 2013. Nothing beats Samsung period.

    • squiddy20

      Congratulations. You’ve demonstrated the remarkable ability to copy/paste the same exact thing all over the Internet, just like spam mail.
      Also, according to the WSJ article you are getting your “facts” from, Samsung did not *sell* 213 million phones. It *shipped* that many of them. There’s a huge difference.

  • galaxydude

    I think LG builds the best devices on the market today
    Samsung is a close second
    LG uses a higher grade polycarbonate i have dropped my brand new LG l9 a few times sense i purchased it without sustaining any damage at all this is why i always buy LG products when it’s time
    For a device replacement. :-) :-) :-)

  • Jeff Martinez

    The majority of consumers don’t care about plastic vs aluminum vs Kevlar vs whatever…it’ll sell. As long as its built right.

  • The Architect

    I could less what the phone’s exterior made of, it’s all about the specs that matters the most to me! My last three phones always have been encased in an Otterbox Defender, so it really doesn’t matter what the case looks like or made of!

  • OnlineRefugee

    I remember in 2010 when the Samsung Galaxy S debuted there were so many people and professional reviewers criticizing that it had “cheap feeling plastic.” (Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant, Epic).

    I responded to those people that even HTC made quality phones that were all plastic (e.g., the 2009 Touch Pro2; the HTC HD2 – where the part of the back was metal, the battery cover). Regardless, I liked that Samsung was shooting for making the lightest, most thin, and durable phones, rather than emphasizing metal construction, feel and appearance.

    After all these years and many phones later Samsung continues to stick with a plastic form factor. Obviously they wisely subscribe to the maxim: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    Let Apple fan boys in 2013 over pay for 2010 devices (aka iPhone 5). I can understand that logic. The iPhone looks pretty and has metal in its composition. And it feels so good in the hand when making a call. Must be a bargain at twice the price to those folks.

  • Edwin

    I’m tired of having to buy phone covers, you’d think that by now technology would advance with us and get us something resistible to drops and maybe even waterproof