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Leaked image of the Galaxy S IV  (Source: evleaks)
Plastic likely to be used extensively in the Galaxy S IV

The Samsung Galaxy S III is been incredibly popular smartphone for Samsung. One of the more common complaints that users have had about the device is that it feels rather flimsy thanks to the plastic case. Other high-end smartphones, such as the iPhone 5 and HTC One, use aluminum, giving the devices a more solid feel.

We’re sure there a lot of people out there were hoping that the Galaxy S IV might move to a more rigid metal frame, but CNET reports that the S IV won’t stray far from the design philosophy implemented on the Galaxy S III. According to Samsung executive vice president of mobile business Y.H. Lee, when Samsung looks at the materials it wants to use it doesn't only think about the aesthetics and quality, it also looks at how quickly and efficiently can you make the device.

Thin plastic frames and bodies would certainly be easier and cheaper to develop and manufacture. Samsung is also said to have had conversations about maintaining a removable back allowing the battery to be removed. Samsung maintains that using a thin and flexible plastic back cover for their devices makes it more durable than other smartphones. This claim comes from the fact that the thinner and flexible plastic can bend to better absorb a physical impact.
 
The Samsung executive stopped short of saying whether or not the Galaxy S IV would use plastic or move to more premium materials such as metal or even polycarbonate. 

Source: CNET



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S3 uses Polycarbonate
By UpSpin on 3/6/2013 10:13:15 AM , Rating: -1
The S3 does not use plastic, but polycarbonate, and so will the S4.

Unlike aluminum, polycarbonate does not scratch that easily and wear off the anodized layer, does not stay deformed (http://www.phonearena.com/news/Apple-iPhone-5-user... and polycarbonate absobs shocks.

Some people might think aluminum is a premium material, yet it's inferior to polycarbonate.




RE: S3 uses Polycarbonate
By othercents on 3/6/2013 11:01:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
the thinner and flexible plastic can bend to better absorb a physical impact

The drawback of using polycarbonate is that phone parts under and near the polycarbonate are less likely to absorb the shock that is transferred when the polycarbonate flexes. This was really showing during the AndroidAuthority drop test.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M5q5TRuAsY

I don't think we can get a perfect solution and it will be dependent on personal preference.


RE: S3 uses Polycarbonate
By Mint on 3/6/2013 11:19:31 AM , Rating: 3
n=1 uncontrolled drop tests are not evidence of durability.

I really hate how people use these pathetic drop tests as proof that one phone is built better than the other.


RE: S3 uses Polycarbonate
By othercents on 3/6/2013 12:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
In my experience the iPhone 5 has had less instances of cracked screens than the S3. This might be due to iPhone 5 users always getting cases, or Apple users are more genital with their phones, or when having the same newtons of force applied to the corner of the iPhone 5 vs the S3 the iPhone will not crack the screen while the S3 (because of the flexibility of the plastic) does.

My point is that there is a drawbacks for both aluminum and polycarbonate. Polycarbonate tends to crack under pressure while aluminum bends.

The moral of the story is: Don't drop or sit on your phone.


RE: S3 uses Polycarbonate
By Over9K on 3/6/2013 12:20:40 PM , Rating: 4
Apple users do tend to be more genital with their phones.


RE: S3 uses Polycarbonate
By Solandri on 3/6/2013 4:37:28 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
or when having the same newtons of force applied to the corner of the iPhone 5 vs the S3 the iPhone will not crack the screen while the S3 (because of the flexibility of the plastic) does.

Folks, having a strong exterior does not protect the interior from falling damage. It protects interior contents from punctures, but makes damage from deceleration forces worse. We learned that lesson 60 years ago with cars. People were dying in automobile crashes, so car makers did the "obvious" thing and kept making the bodies strong and stronger. By the 1950s when researches first started looking at the problem in depth, they came to the realization that a strong exterior just means the exterior survives the crash intact. The people inside get turned into jelly paste.

That's what led to modern safety design practices in automobiles. The exteriors are deliberately designed to crumple, thus absorbing and spreading out the deceleration forces. That's what improves the survivability of the occupants. Not a stronger exterior, but a weaker one which sacrifices itself to protect the stiff passenger compartment. It's the same principle behind a bungee cord. If the cord were strong, stiff wire, the fall would kill you (or sever your feet, then the impact with the ground would kill you). But because the cord yields and stretches, it spreads the deceleration out over a lot of time, meaning the peak forces on your body are easily survivable.

That's essentially what a plastic phone body does. It yields, bends (spreading out the impact forces thus lowering peak decelerations), and sacrifices itself (dissipating falling energy), thus helping to preserve the interior. The only way a stiff metal exterior helps improve interior survivability is by permanently deforming. And people generally don't want their phones to deform from a fall. Which is why they put cases on all these metal phones.


RE: S3 uses Polycarbonate
By retrospooty on 3/6/2013 12:23:13 PM , Rating: 2
It may not show what is built better than the other, but its a good real world test. People do drop phones and they do break.


RE: S3 uses Polycarbonate
By ShaolinSoccer on 3/6/2013 1:21:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't think we can get a perfect solution and it will be dependent on personal preference.


Rubber phones! And while they are at it, rubber glass!


RE: S3 uses Polycarbonate
By Mint on 3/6/2013 11:15:32 AM , Rating: 2
Umm, polycarbonate is a plastic.

Other than that I agree with you. Plastic is really the only durable (and cheaply replaceable) option if you want an easily removable battery. I think that Samsung's leadership position puts less pressure on them to try standing out from the crowd with material look and feel, so they haven't sacrificed function for form and will probably continue resisting it. I applaud them for this philosophy.


RE: S3 uses Polycarbonate
By theapparition on 3/6/2013 11:16:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The S3 does not use plastic, but polycarbonate, and so will the S4.

Quite possibly one of the most incorrect statements I've ever seen.

Let me rephrase this for you to see how bad it was.
quote:
The iPhone 5 doesn't use metal, but aluminum, and so will the iPhone 5S.

LOL.

Polycarbonate is a type plastic. So is ABS, and Delrin, and Polyethylene, and so on. They are all different types of plastic, just like aluminum, steel, copper and magnesium are all different types of metals. Now let me blow your mind. You can also blend plastics. PC/ABS blends with metal or ceramic fillers is also quite popular.

So what do you think "plastic" actually means?

FWIW, I do agree with the spirit of your post, that just because something is plastic doesn't mean it's poor quality. Plastic is a superior choice of material in many instances.


RE: S3 uses Polycarbonate
By UpSpin on 3/6/2013 11:35:52 AM , Rating: 2
you're totally right, Polycarbonate is a type of plastic.
Sadly for the author, plastic, aluminum, polycarbonate are three different materials:
quote:
would use plastic or move to more premium materials such as metal or even polycarbonate


Because the majority of people think that way: (example: this article)
quote:
plastic: cheap material used for kids toys
aluminum: wooooow, super light silver metal
polycarbonate: woooow, difficult name, must be some special high tech NASA stuff

I said something wrong, but something which fits in peoples mind, so they might understand that the plastic used for the smartphone is not comparable to the plastic used in baby toys.


RE: S3 uses Polycarbonate
By theapparition on 3/6/2013 1:45:14 PM , Rating: 2
Fair enough.

But also keep in mind that the plastic used in most baby toys is usually an even higher grade.

Very few people take their cell phone and slam it into the floor and expect it to keep working. Have you seen the way babies and toddlers handle their toys? It's actually some of the better engineering on many of those toys.


RE: S3 uses Polycarbonate
By retrospooty on 3/6/2013 11:59:00 AM , Rating: 2
"Some people might think aluminum is a premium material, yet it's inferior to polycarbonate."

Yup... Its a give and take. Aluminum looks and feels nicer of course, but poly is far more scratch resistant. With a good poly you really dont even need a case. It will look brand new unless its fairly heavily abused.


RE: S3 uses Polycarbonate
By zephyrprime on 3/6/2013 12:26:18 PM , Rating: 2
Polycarbonate is a plastic just as much as polyester or vinyl is.


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