Samsung exec explains why the Galaxy S IV will be made out of plastic

The Samsung Galaxy S IV almost certainly won’t see a drastic change in materials used for the construction of its casing compared to its predecessors. All of the devices in the Galaxy S line so far have been made out of plastic, and that’s not set to change for the next one.

With the Galaxy S IV announcement less than ten days away at this point, a Samsung exec has given some explanations to CNET as to why her company loves plastic so much when it comes to choosing a material to make smartphones out of.


Y.H. Lee, an executive vice president for Samsung’s mobile business, says that the Korean giant is concerned with more than just how a particular material looks and feels when making such choices. Samsung has to worry about other things aside from the ‘aesthetic quality’ of the device, things such as how quickly and efficiently it can manufacture the product in the huge volumes that it needs (seeing as how it’s shipping the most Android smartphones by far, and the Galaxy S devices have been its best-sellers so far).

So ‘manufacturability’ is a factor that Samsung takes into account a lot, alongside durability. Samsung’s removable back covers for its smartphones are light but more durable than the backs of other handsets because they’re bendable and can absorb physical impact a lot better. That’s been a noted quality of Samsung’s plastic designs compared to, say, what you can see in the LG Optimus G or LG Nexus 4 which both feature backs made out of glass.

An LG executive in fact admitted that his company received complaints from customers because of the Optimus G’s sealed design. So Samsung’s clearly on to something with its removable battery covers, and replaceable batteries too. And hopefully, the company won’t change its ways in this regard, as it has slowly remained about the only one (at least of the big Android device makers) to still care about user-replaceable batteries. Even if that means more plastic-y phones.

Y.H. Lee also spoke about Samsung trying to balance practical demands with consumers’ desire for a more premium-looking and premium-feeling device, noting that she thinks her company’s nailed that for its “next product” (read: the Galaxy S IV). So expect a more premium plastic experience, in other words.

Not that the currently selling Galaxy S III uses bad, cheap plastic, by the way. In fact, it feels just about the best compared to all other plastic phones that aren’t made out of polycarbonate (what Nokia uses for its Lumia line). But the fact that it’s plastic-y has been the most widely quoted ‘fault’ for the Galaxy S III. People who were expecting something completely different for the next Galaxy S may be disappointed once again.

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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  • TGMzero

    Hopefully this means a design that isn’t ‘inspired by nature’.

    Heck. I’d settle for another textured design like the S2.

  • peter123

    “In fact, it feels just about the best compared to all other plastic phones that aren’t made out of polycarbonate”. lol what?? Are you serious?? SGS3’s glossy, flimsy, fingerprint magnet, thin, scrachable, crackable plastic is just about the best compared to all other non plastic high end phones???

  • bumblebee

    “it feels just about the best compared to all other plastic phones that aren’t made out of polycarbonate”

    Well, polycarbonate is a plastic. And it’s an old material. Polycarbonate+aluminum+lacquer=CD disc