The Galaxy S II, Galaxy S III, Note, Note II, Galaxy S 4, and pretty much every other Samsung device ever made all have one thing in common with each other: their housing is made out of plastic. While plastic isn't necessarily a "flimsy" material when used correctly, you can bet that there is much stronger material that can make up the body of a smartphone. Samsung is often criticized for making "cheap" feeling phones (something I am guilty of) but would they really benefit from switching to aluminum as their main housing element?

According to an insider who spoke with SamMobile, Samsung very well may be ditching the signature plastic-look Samsung employs on the majority of their devices and go for a more “premium” look when it comes to the production of the Galaxy Note III - something that Samsung fans may or may not be excited to see should it come to fruition.

While the article didn't explain exactly what build material Samsung planned on using for the Galaxy Note III, I think we can safely presume the material would be some type of metal. The article did mention that a metal Galaxy S 4 design was in the works and was approved internally, but since the company couldn’t mass-produce it at the time the idea was scrapped in favor of yet another plastic design.

From time to time I end up debating myself in my articles. I'll say one thing in one article and a few days/weeks/months later I'll turn around and change my own opinion. This may or may not be the case right now, because as often as I've said that Samsung should change their build quality I’m not sure if it will really have much of an impact on customers. While plastic isn’t the type of build I prefer in a smartphone, not everyone is as picky as proven by our very own Chase Bonar who made a convincing article stating that not everybody needs that “premium” feel to their device. Readers made similar arguments that people are just going to put cases on their smartphones anyway (unless you're one of those precarious users who live life on the edge) so what does it matter what material the phone is made out of? I’m somewhat starting to agree.

At the same time, it would be nice to see a Samsung device encased in some type of metal. Not only does it add a little more heft to it, but it also seems to be more protective of a phone's components overall depending on who you ask. However, for the people that are satisfied with plastic housing, Samsung should cater to them as well and continue making plastic the main frame of the device.

Plastic is not always so bad. I mean, look at the Nokia Lumia 920. If it wasn’t already being used as a smartphone it could totally be used as a tank. It's the most "beastified" use of polycarbonate I've ever seen. I mean, the phone is chunky as ever, but I’ll take chunky and tanky over flimsy and fragile any day. Now if only Samsung could figure out how to use plastic to its advantage then things might not be a big deal.

The only other element I'm concerned about if Samsung ultimately decides to use metal in place of plastic is pricing. If Samsung already prices their devices in the same range as other “premium” devices like the HTC One and Apple's iPhone, then how will their own “premium” devices be priced? I imagine they’ll be priced around that same $199 range, but we’ve seen some crazy prices come from crazy places before and metal does cost more than plastic. It’s definitely something to keep an eye on.

I think making the switch to metal is a good move from Samsung as long as it’s there as a diversifying element. As stated before, some people just like their phones to feel lighter. But people also like choices, and having some phones being made with a more quality element like metal will surely cause some who brush off the classic plastic design to turn their heads in Samsung’s direction.

Readers, what are your opinions? Would Samsung benefit from diversifying the materials in which they make their phones? If you aren’t a Samsung fan now, would this change your mind? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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140 Reactions to this post

"Would you like to see Samsung replace their standard plastic with metal housing?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
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Steven Rodriguez to all those people who want bendable flexible displays dont u think ur phone would slip out of ur hand like paper? or fly away in the wind?
Melissa Doucet yes. the plastic housing makes the phone feel cheap & too flexible.
Anonymous Yes, most definitely.
Awais Azmat NOPE...I think what design Samsung are giving in the galaxy series is awesome even with plastic...we want features and removable back..etc....And it is a lot lighter..thats why...
Bryan May Metal. Just pick up an HTC One. Great build quality.
Chris Chen yes definitely
Davon Loftin yes... metal please..
Josh Nthecity Please do, my got scratched in my pocket and it looks awful:(
Anthony Bailey Your statement is a grammatical nightmare. :P
Anonymous depends on if the metal is lighter or the same as the plastic. I like that my phone is very light and thin. and also depends if the price would go up or not.
Agung Soeharto it'sfor Tizen
Umair Arshad obviously
Gamith Silva Even though metal has a premium look and feel it scratches and dents easily... Plastic might be cheap but it's more durable and doesn't scratch or dent quite as easily as metal... Theres a a tradeoff with both materials.. People just have to choose what's best for them
Ashok Kumar Samsung Galaxy S at&t metal finish is just awesome .. I need Samsung do it best metal finish to beat HTC
Gii Kooner metal! want robust hardware!
Joe Czo Yup especially since metal gets scratched pretty easy.
Jdcrz Psn I've never had a problem with the plastic; always put a case on my phone. What I want the makers to do is, like my old SE s710i, I would like the makers to build into the phones a lens cover for the camera (there really is no need to make the phones as thin as notebook paper). If they did this, then all I'd need to do is put a screen protector and go.
David Higham but if it was nice and meatal would you wanna use a case?
Mihail Bebrovski what happened to graphene being used in phones? Is anyone going to take advantage of it?
Jason Disbrow I'd rather have a flexible/bendable display.
Lynell Sumerian Sandifer I love my plastic S3 feels great. If they use metal one day that will be great to.
Huey Liggins A lot of people says htc one has a premium look. That's because that's what it is. A look. Someone needs to do a drop test seriously. Yes metal would look and feel better but it isn't entirely proven to protect better. Then you also have to consider weight. As big as the note has gotten and not to mention the galaxy mega line, why use metal. Might as well carry a shiny brick around instead. I'd rather the plastic. 9/10 says they'll use a case anyway. Software is more important
Webster Slater no! my favorite thing about my note is that it glows in the dark when the LED lights up :-) and I hated when my older phones were hot. the plastic is fine!
Mihail Bebrovski Galaxy note 3 6.5 inches made of reinforced steel and depleted uranium, plus a 8000mAh battery, 32 gb 2800mhz ram, a dual gpu in one design nvidia GTX 890SM 36MP camera and full frame sensor with BSI and 4K raw recording, as well as a built in 2TB micro ssd memory. oh and the display is 4k resolution also. The vibrating motor can break glass tables too.
Curtis Owens not necessarily. It depends on the shape of the device, and the type of metal they use. Either way you are not going to notice a significant difference. Usually the weight is from the inside components and the battery. But if you want more up time you need to have a bigger battery. Its compromise.
Louis Agresti They need to do something with that oversaturated Dim display,HTC has that covered,S3 and note 2 have the worst looking displays of any Smartphones made.
Curtis Owens LOL at all the people thinking metal vs plastics. Sure if you like the feel of one go with it. It doesn't make that much difference as far as how strong it is. Metal will deform and get scratched up like crazy when dropped, plastic will get scuffed up and after enough drops will crack. They will make the case as thin as they can in both cases. Metal can be slightly thinner because it can carry higher forces. Plastic will typically keep its original shape after an impact, but will be slightly thicker. For screens: The harder the material the more likely it is to shatter when it impacts something at the right angle. The softer the material the more likely it is to be scratched. The reason people put screen protectors on is to prevent scratches from being permanent. (you can replace a screen protector) Same goes with cases. Cases are designed to prevent the body or screen from breaking. I agree with all those who say It matters more of what is on the inside, because you can't have everything you want on the outside without compromising something.
Dennis Heggenstaller Wifi/Cellular signals travel better through plastic than metal...so no, stick with what works :p
Danish Kharuddin Why not they use the materials found in the lumia 920 for their high end phones?
Tyler Kirchman They should go unibody even though people like there removable battery. Would be sweet.
Adrian Salazar Aluminum can be light, I just bought a aluminum number for my iPhone 4 my wife is using and it doesn't weight a thing!
Gabriel Say Might as well. The products are too expensive to look like shiet
Cesario Brito Jr. Samsung is doing fine with what they're making. Stop complaining.
Eric Quach Metal is heavy? lol its a phone, how heavy can a phone get... >.>
Arturo Cifuentes Hell yeah I don't care about the thinnest phone or the lightest I just want a Samsung galaxy note 3 with the HTC one 2013 housing
Luis Arturo Batista Aquino yes it really matters for me since im paying a lot of money for a cheap plastic cell phone??? no way i rather stay on nexus 4
CeeGii Borels PLASTIC and METAL versions should be available, you know for choice, i myself use Cases from Ballistic, Otterbox and Casemate so i dont really mind the lighter plastic phones
Scott Weiner Polycarbonate is used for a reason - it will protect more from drops. If you take the back off the phone you can bend it. Since most people use cases I don't think there is any reason to add weight and price to a phone. And it's not "cheap" plastic - it's one of the most expensive ones
Brandon Moran Plastic is fine, keeps it light.. Ya need to put a case on anyways.. So who cares about the exterior.. Its the horsepower in the engine that matters.. Now, if they make an unbreakable screen, so you wouldn't need a case, nicer exterior would be fine as well.
Kenneth W. Odem II I've been getting the Galaxies since the first model was released. I do like the look of the HTC One, and instead of getting the S4, I plan to try out the HTC One due to its more premium look.
Alistair Lowe Whatever is most functional and ergonomic, though it does feel a little cheap with this pointless patterning on the S4, Samsung should just stick to its guns and promote plastic as a true alternative
Mohaimn Fikry Draz Samsung and Metal don't mix.
Sam Ledger For me there is only one thing they need to change before I'd get one in a hart beat that's the screen its just way to dim even on the brightest setting with all power saving mode off its still way to dim
Jose Calderon Samsung should keep using plastic, it represents their style perfectly: cheap, unreliable, and lame.
Marlon Milligan I believe the Samsung fans are contempt with the build as is. Alot put up this big debate about how plastics are superior . So I say leave it as is
Jacob Grumbles @ mathur panangipalli I agree that Samsung Mobile USA does make the plastic to glossy but I will take that glossy plastic over metal any day .
Vince Garcia Why you're going to put a case on it!
Usama Nasim Combination of both metal and plastic is a good package
Humza Ahmed The HTC Desire HD was mostly metal, the metal used on that phone was just so heavy and sturdy, that phone was built like a tank, the antenna cover was plastic so signal wouldn't drop either
Jude Fils-Aime no they should go how they want. i don't want a tablet or phone MADE OUT OF GLASS. and it's not MADE OF PLASTIC i
Anthony Tat no samsung doesnt need to make shallow phones like htc and apple. unless they made a durable metal phone with a replaceable battery and sd card. but then that's just overkill
Alexander Dewitt Just some aluminum. Maybe create two version of the phone. The basic and the "A" for like $20 more
Mark Belkowski they won't change from plastic. their line sells just fine as is.
Ilija Jovanovic only if its removable :) if not,then no
Mathur @Luis A Velez Vergara 1st of all!! your name is long :P 2nd of all i dont.. i am not that rich.. My phone suffered 3 major drops i would say since i got it.. nothing happened. My point from the above comment was to say that phones dont have to be plastic to stay light and tough!! and especially the kinda plastic Samsung puts on a phone is too glossy and evidently cheap. atleast rubberised plastic feels better
Luis A Velez Vergara So you buy cell phones to drop them?? .......
Matt Gillard I love my S3, I don't think it feels cheap, but I would love a sexy metal housing! Heck yes!
Roger Schubert DeOliveira I'd buy a Samsung if it were metal... I despise the plastic
Kenneth Li what a BUNCH OF LOSERS! calling plastic cheap. is plastic samsung phones cost less than other phones? it' cost the same as other metel phones, dumbass! it' what inside that counts. the body of Mercedes C and S class use the same material, but S class is like twice as expensive. it' what inside that counts! dumbass!
Jordan Gregory and too heavy
Damian Bedasee All phones drop signals! Whats new?
William Smith Why most yet people put cases on there phones! And sell and trade them so why worry about paper or plastic it's what's in the bag!
Jordan Gregory metal phones can drop signals
Mathur @Kenneth Li i think u intended to say your good name was fool!! fine fool.. let me tell u my story!! I have a Nokia N8 which is a FULL METAL UNIBODY. After using it for 1 year, i have no scratches on it.. or dents.. and i dropped the phone many times..! Too Bad the battery pops outta phone of yours.. you must be pissed when that happens..!!
Jordan Gregory hell no metal doesn't feel as comfortable as plastic to me
Edwin Milfort It's a good feel to have metal finish but who goes around with their phone's without a case
John Manns Jr. Who cares? Most of us use cases now. I have always covered my phones so i could care less what the outside casing is made of. Let them focus on the software. I can handle the protection.
Kenneth Li @Mathur Panangipalli FOOL! yes, when i dropped my noteII, the back battery pop out, that how the SHOCK escape from the phone! fool! when you drop a metal phone, the SHOCK has no place to go, so it makes a dense on your metel phone! dumbass!
MinnieMouse Lovingu Waddell Yes most definitely
Malcom Buckhannon Yes METAL is good!
Eric Mitchell Why bother asking something that's never going to happen? And if it was a problem, then why does it sell more than any other Android device?
Kenneth Li NO! unless metel is lighter than plastic! who want to carry a HEAVY THICK CRAP brick!
Dale Junior Metal no. Would make it heavy. Carbon fiber sounds better. Light and not impact sensative.
Karl Wuscher I would prefer the metal Sexy look. Htc one. The Nexus one was an awesome pgone in both looks and function
Randy Walker Sr. No I believe yheir build qualitt is good. When dropped they stay like new compaired to other phones that jave to be repaired or replaced. And if the Galaxy Note or Note 2 were built like the iPhone the phone would be too heavy.
Jose Angel Santiago People complain too much on the build quality but yet they wind up adding a case to protect the phone lol.
Cal-Gene Johnson Change the radios like Motorola :)
Jason Vargas Where do ppl get "cheap" from. I've had Galaxy 1,2, and 3. None of them ever broke on me.
Sminto Antony I disagree with Anthony Memphis Bailey but agree with u Mathur Panangipalli :P
Guillermo De León What's with all the questions?
Gabriel Silvestre I like the plastic
Claire Winstone I hated the flimsy uglyness of the SIII back, so I got a plastic/stainless hybrid back on ebay that looks stunning, and a clear/turquoise TPU case and the phone looks gorgeous. I've dropped it several times on tile floors and the case protects everything while looking good and allowing the brushed stainless back to show through. Best of both worlds for around $12 total.
Sheila Ellis I love my Samsung GN2 just the way it is. It's sleek, lightweight and I can get into the back panel easily when needed. Metal or no metal is no factor. The apple has metal and it is an embarrassment in the current field of phones - Metal didn't increase it's flop quotient. The new HTC is trying so hard to look like an iPhone that it fails on originality. I'm not impressed with it.
Marc Osborne Jr adding weight can add the likelihood of breaking a screen when its dropped. at least in my experience that has been the case.
Carlos Zarate I drop my Galaxy S3 many times and it didnt take that much damage. Im fine with plastic.
Mathur Go home man.. u are drunk.. :P
Sminto Antony If you're reading this u hav to know that u read what u jus read so u have to realize than u can read :P
Bradley Edwards i sure u use a plastic case to protect ur phone
JL Perez I'm just trying tired of Samsung making high-end devices full of plastic. Their assuming that their software options will make people forget how cheap these phones are made. I've played with the Samsung S4 already and I could tell you from a build quality perspective it's a disappointment. Plus most of those 2013 gestures and features on the S4 are a novelty more than anything else, folks will play with them for a while and then will never use them again.
Matthew Swanson If the battery door is still removable yes
Tibor Magos yes yes metal!!!
Anthony Bailey So someone speaking from NO experience with a Samsung product... has come to the conclusion their "build quality is crap"??? Hmmm. You sound just about as uninformed and gullible as the iSheep. You may wanna see what Apple has to offer lol. Samsung isn't the #1 mobile phone maker in the world, by selling crappy phones. No one's going to continually sink hundreds of dollars into devices that are made from crap.
Zach Chapman Metal dents and shows nicks/scratches, plastic keeps the weight down and absorbs shocks without showing damage. Samsung Mobile USA, if it isn't broke, don't fix it!
Mathur Ohh.. like a plastic back wont gather scratches.. and a fall dont pop open the back?? What kinda super glued plastic phone u use??
Paul Battle Nope,I prefer the plastic. Keeps the phone relatively light.
Brandon Mims Build quality is surviving an accident along with everyday use and that automatically makes most apple products overpriced physical manifestation of regret.
Anthony Bailey And dents and scratches as soon as you lay it down on a surface. Enough said!
Kenneth Maneeley No. Why chage something that is not broken.
Anthony Bailey People keep talking about "cheap plastic," but when I dropped my original Note 1... it hit hard sidewalk concrete, cartwheeled four times, and landed SCREEN DOWN on the pavement... and all I had was superficial scratches on the corners of the phone. The screen was flawless and the rest of the phone was generally flawless. For an $800 phone, I'll take so-called 'cheap plastic' if that's going to be the outcome. Conversely, I remember dropping my old HTC EVO (can't remember if it was the 4G or 3D model — I had both!) but I only dropped it from around 3ft onto some concrete steps, and the phone was ALL jacked up! Scrapes and scratches abound. The phone looked horrible. If that's the result of a 'premium' phone that people keep raving about, give me the cheap Samsung plastic! I now own the Galaxy Note II... have dropped it time and time, again, and it still looks virtually brand new (there's a small scratch on the home button). I can't do that with a fancy metal phone, which will show every single nick, superficial scratch, abrasion, and everything in-between.
Jesse Huertas I don't have a problem with the build of my phones. I've dropped htc and iPhones and seen them shattered. My note 2 and galaxy s3 have each fell, and work and look like new. I do complain about the volume keys
Jaime Espinoza No if the battery cover breaks I can replace it. if the metal dents can anyone say insurance claim?
Judi Bryan Running my 3rd Samsung device....light, powerful, FAST....could care less about metal! Kinda like people...IT'S WHAT'S INSIDE THAT MATTERS!
Joe Czo Most of us use cases so it doesn't really matter. As long as I have a great software I don't really care if it's plastic or metal.
Shawn Gergler Interesting that most Samsung owners are fine with plastic. I prefer the money put into the phone, not jewelry onto the phone.
Martin Láwliet Amuesi Of course. If they are marketing these phones as premium I expect premium materials too and less gimmick features no one will use. Love my HTC One though.
Jacob Grumbles Nope metal dents plastic absorbs
Randy B Hoopes That's the only reason I will never buy a Samsung product is because their build quality is crap. If they ever made a phone like the iPhone, as far as quality, good bye Apple!
Robert Barker yes. I have a Note 2 and love it, but metal wod be sick.
Chris Roberts You are some comedian I tell you
Shawn Knoll Don't care what they make it out of just keep the s-pen. I love it with the Note 2
Yves Alain Roulin Peier Of course it would be nice...
Jody M Clegg I would love to see a Kevlar back or something similar on Samsung's devices!
Shawn Gergler My note 2 has been dropped multiple times and not even a scratch. If it ain't broke. ........
Lewis Hachmeister Time to put Apple to rest. The takeover begins!!
Nick Petrizzio As long as you can change the battery, fine with me
Damian Bedasee Hell yeah! thats why Im getting an HTC One insteaad of the GS4. Samsung need to step it up!
Justin White ummmm duhhhh
Eric Hook No Not at all
Paul Hooker people bitched at nokia for the metal clad devices but they were/are invincible compared to the plastic 58xx range which fell apart too easily. Metal devices FTW
Jarrett Lennon Kaufman Definitely not. Plastic isn't "cheap," it's durable. Much more durable. And much easier to design with replaceable batteries.
Sam Du yes please.
Joe Keener not all of us want a Motorola phone so no!
Niall Barr Yessssss
Rey Gonzalez wouldnt it make it heavy if more metal is added ?
Tabib Rehman Obviously

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