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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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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
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.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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