Samsung Hopes To Design A Smartphone To “Define Our Time” – Will This Be The Galaxy S III?


When leaked images of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S III surfaced these past few days, the general consensus from Android fans across the globe was that of disbelief. But not because the design was so original, so beautiful — quite the opposite really. Design-wise, the supposed “leaked Samsung Galaxy S III” looked stale, old and uninspired. This lead many to dismiss the device as nothing more than a Galaxy S II variant.

Samsung’s design team doesn’t exactly have the best track record for introducing devices with bold, unconventional design. In fact, they tend to fall more into the “me too” category, introducing devices that look more like what Apple’s design team came up with back in ’09.

In an interview with Reuters, Lee Minhyouk, Samsung Mobile’s vice president for design, gives us some insight on where the company is headed in the future, as we fast approach the release of the year’s most sought after smartphone, the Galaxy S III.

Known as “Midas” around the office (for the successful Galaxy S line), when it comes to previous designs copying that of Apple’s iPhone, Lee takes those accusations a little more personal. He says,

“I’ve made thousands of sketches and hundreds of prototype products (for the Galaxy). Does that mean I was putting on a mock show for so long, pretending to be designing? As a designer, there’s an issue of dignity. (The Galaxy) is original from the beginning, and I’m the one who made it. It’s a totally different product with a different design language and different technology infused.”

Lee, admits he’s still no match for Apple’s design lead, Jonathan Ive, but hopes this will change in the future.

“I’m confident that one day Samsung will make a product that defines our time, and I hope it’s one of mine.”

Samsung’s Chief Executive Choi Gee-sung was quoted at this year’s CES as saying the reason the manufacturer chose not to unveil their Galaxy S III was for fear of rivals copying their design. Is this reason alone I’m hesitant to believe those leaked images of the Galaxy S III from the past few days couldn’t possibly be the Galaxy S III. Let’s be real — no OEM, in their right mind, would want to copy that thing.

Could the Samsung Galaxy S III really usher in this new design philosophy from a company that so often plays it safe? Let’s hope Lee and team can pull a magic rabbit out of their hat once the Samsung Galaxy S III is finally unveiled later this year.


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

Nokia N9 Running Android 4.0.3 Could Be The Sexiest Android Device On The Market [Video]

Previous article

Android Porn: So This Why You Love Your Smartphone So Much? [NSFW-ish]

Next article

You may also like


  1. Samsung is boss. Here’s to hoping the GS3 is realized on Verizon in the next 2 months. Go Samsung!

    1. lol I’m hoping the same thing, I really want the gs3, I’m willing to go over to at&t if they don’t get it

  2. which leak? there’s been so many…. it would be nice if you link to the blog post with that “leak”.

    1. ….or you could find it yourself

      1. There’s been about three “leaks” out there, all of which are reported here in Phandroid. I am asking which specific leak they are referring to in this article.

        1) Is is the one with the white back and over-sized mic grill (the Galaxy Player derivative)?

        2) Is it the one with the blurry screen photo showing no hardware buttons and stock ICS?

        3) Or is it the one with the model number i9300 which looks simple and mid-range-y?

        In any case, Chris has already updated and linked the article.

    2. It was just earlier today. But you’re right. I should have linked it. Updated my post with the link. 

      1. ah, the i9300 leak. Cool, thanks Chris.

        1. Not even a leak; the screen on that wasn’t even HD; TheVerge posted an article awhile ago that the i9300 was a mid range device, not the S3, but phandroid just never got the memo

  3. I hope Samsung steps up to bat, I’m tired of Apple products being so beautiful and we see sick with mainly plastic cheap phones. not saying all are that way but I would love to see a truly elegant Android phone

    1. put android on an iphone. thrn u have true elegance and the best os (thats subjective blah blah blah) anyways thats a fool proof way of absorbing all of any benefit apples design that anyone claims

    2. The whole “cheapness” thing with plastics is really just a misconception that’s never gone away. Sure plastics used to be cheap and shitty, but plastics engineering has been huge, especially recently, and plastic parts can be designed to have the same strength and stiffness as something like aluminum, at a fraction of the weight. It’s just that people have always believed that plastic is shitty and cheap, so it’s always going to feel like that now when you hold it. (Plastic is also fairly expensive to make upfront tooling for also.

      1.  Ya but Samsung unlike HTC don’t do anything special to the plastic. The HTC one X is plastic but it don’t fill cheap that is the different.

    3. apple is so beautiful? in your opinion.dont mind plastic..i get better reception.and a better phone…we all sound so gay.

  4. Am I the only one that doesn’t think Apple products are THAT great looking? I personally think that Motorola has created better looking devices. 

    1. Ill admit, while the iPhone-3GS looked bland to me, the 4/4S is a beautiful device. Damn shame like 90% of the one I see have som ugly case covering it up.

      Too bad I’m not a fan of the OS itself. I like having the choices and customizability of Android and not having the same exact thing as everyone else. I love the amount of peripherals and accessories available to the iPhone tho.

      I’m tired of all the cheap feeling plastic Samsung phones tho. I always feel like Im going to break my battery cover when removing it………….

      1. Are you kidding me?! I love the feel of Galaxy S devices, I love how light and unbelievably durable they are! Also the back covers on the SGS II are fairly indestructible. Albeit that the design could definitely use some work in the originality department. I never understand why alot of companies never go with the bad ass concept designs that they come up with instead they’ll just slightly rehash an older design…

        1. They don’t go with the wildest concept designs because most people are quite conservative. Same with cars.

          1. Not really, while a Civic is rather bland, I think most people would gladly trade it in for a Porsche or Ferrari or Lamborghini if they could.  Conservative designs sell, but everyone secretly wants something amazing

        2. I always laugh at the plastic part…for one it feels great if its a good build..and better reception..which is a fact.compared to mainly glass or even metal..if you break the plastic you would have to be a moron….see fahad…some of them dont understand how things work.

      2. The iPhone 4/4S are beautiful, but quite frankly, they need a case. Have you held a bare one before? The edges of that sharp bugger have easily dug into my hand the few times I held someone’s iPhone. It’s just not a comfortable phone to hold without a case. Aside from that it does look nice, though, it would look better with a rounding of the edges and aluminum back for both heat dissipation and durability.

      3. to bad when i had an iphone for a 12 day trial..i always felt i could break it?my samsung never and better reception with that so called lousy plastic huh?

    2. The closeness of the OS is the biggest issue with the iPhone, the device itself, aesthetics and quality of it is beautiful, it does have a premium feel and look to it.

    3. The Ipad ad macbook computers are some of the ugliest products I have seen.  Way too much nasty aluminum look to them.  The iphone wouldn’t look so cheap if the back wasn’t clear plastic.

      1. No one else besides you thinks that iphones look cheap.  Apple devices look really lovely, they are just often frustrating to use.

        1. I didn’t realize you speak for everyone.  Apple devices look like they are out of the 80’s.

          1. I do happen to speak for everyone :-). Nah but what i meant is you don’t share the common perception of apple products as most of the electronic industry. Even samsung admitted to trying to be as stylistic as apple.

        2. And overpriced…

    4. really!! which one?

    5. I’ve never liked Apples design that much. The iMacs looked gross, the iPods looked fugly, the iPhones 1-3GS were meh, not so bad, but not good looking either.
      The iP4 looks quite good, but I like the look of my LG Optimus 2X (With that Steel “With Google” branding) much better. The Moto Atrix and some of the HTC Phones are pretty phones too.

      When it comes to Laptops, ASUS is the company that makes the best design in my opinion.
      The Bamboo Notebooks are so beautiful, the Leather clad ones were really great too. I’m so eager to get that Padfone in my hands…
      I’d love a smartphone with the ASUS bamboo-series look. That would be just epic.

      1. Either you have very unique tastes in design or are an anti-Apple fan fanboy, Hate or love Apple, their designs or beautiful. Macbook Pros, iPhone 4/4s, iPod touch (kinda iPod touch) all look beautiful. I only have an iPod touch btw.

        1. so your a fanboy?? how dare you call someone a flaming fanboy when you the very same thing and even worst for stating it..stop being such a damn jerk and  and idiot.evryone has an opinion and fan or not..ive owned an iphone 4 ,well ok just for 2 weeks..but i must say only thing i like is the screen..other wise it is ugly…call me a fanboy?go ahead dumbass your the worse horse of the race.

    6. +1

    7. really?  I personally cant stand the way motorola devices look.  I find them big and blocky with wierd corners.  I think the 4/4s are wonderful designs.  A bigger screen would be nice though.  The older ones just look like hefty ipods. 


    8. i agrre…dont like a phone made by so much glass.and the one button…and a design they took froom the lg prada.

      1. minus the glass

    9. my roomate’s mom makes $79 hourly on the laptop. She has been laid off for 8 months but last month her paycheck was $8385 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site : LazyCash5.Com

    10. Yes, Motorola has now good looking handsets, but hope that the Samsung Galaxy S3 will be unbelieveable!


    11. I agree, Apple’s design is so tired and the OS has flatlined.  My SGS2 gets oohs and ahhs even from Apple fan-boys.


  5. Errr apple copied samsung

  6. enough gs3 posts ok ? i have a gn and i seriously doubt the gs3 is going to be enough of a leap forward for me to evejn look twice, thats if i look a first time

    1. Good thing this website’s posts don’t revolve around getting you to upgrade your phone.

    2. Well it’s not like GNex users ever came on phandroid and ever up anythi— . . . oh wait . . .

  7. They need to go with a near bezel-less design if they want something truly new to the market. Its hard to make a rectangle look revolutionary more than once. Thats why I think the og Evo is still the best looking phone made. Its not trying to hard to be amazing or flashy. Its just a phone. A well designed looking one, but with no unnecessary additions.

    1. “Unnecessary additions” might just be what the Android OEMs needed. Seems like Apple has patented the most common denominator in design, that is, the rectangle…

      By adding unnecessary stuff, like the bezel in the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, Samsung was able to get around the injunction.

      I remember reading somewhere an article talking about how Apple’s design patents are so primitive in a sense that they patent the most logical form of a device. This same article ponders the ramifications if BIC decided to patent the ballpoint pen.. or if Ford patented “circular wheels”.

      It was a great read. I cannot remember where I found it though.

  8. Samsung Need to come to the UK, as we have some of the best Design studios & teams in the world, lets hope the Galaxy III does not have the usual cheap black plastic design that almost every Samsung phone has had for the past 4 years.

    Black Plastic is fine but it has to be stylish & so far samsung has proven it knows nothing about style.

  9. That looks better than the last leaked photo!

  10. I dont get the comparison to Apple all the time… most of Samsungs android devices is no way near in design to Apple products.
    But Samsung is a bit plain in design.And imho the iPhone 4 is the ugliest thing ive seen and from a practical view its among the worst made.

  11. Not to be negative, but isnt that concept phone just a black square? How exactly does that define our time?

    It doesnt look bad though, doesnt look that great either

  12. It’s funny that people say the sgsl sucks because of slow ota update. Now I can’t stop seeing leak sgslll pictures and specs. Am I the only one sick of this?

  13. So he made hundreds of sketches of the iPhone?

  14. I’m a die hard android lover, but this guy’s reasoning doesn’t prove anything. It’s like saying you wrote a book identical to Lord of the Rings, but it’s not copycatting because you wrote thousands of different stories before the final product.
    I’d take an S2 or higher one SKANKZILLION times over an iPhone, but some of those galaxies look almost exactly like the enemy.

    1. The samsung galaxy s2 is crap and I’m still waiting for updates. So mad almost bought an iPhone… not. I’ll just dump the phone and never buy a Samsung made phone again!!!

  15. Who would want this ugly square phone? I want some curves on the edges

  16. Samsung does not design phone for individuals. They design phones for the masses. They will make what sells and if it doesnt sell, they will change it. That simple.

  17. Nothing really interesting out lately, except for maybe the nokia pure view, which needs to be released with windows os and a better processor, and the Vita, which needs to be in larger tab form on Android.

  18. Damn that thing looks slick

  19. I don’t give a damn about this aspect of “design”.  All I care about is that Samsung gets all the technical aspects of the design right – big screen, small bezel, at least 1280×720 if not x768 or x800, no pentile, top quality GPS, audio, call quality, camera, etc.  The plainest of plain slabs of plastic with rounded corners is just fine.  If anyone one wants their phone to look special, put a case on it.

  20. Samsung’s phones are like plastic kids toys.  I know that may break the hearts of some people here.  I have an HTC Inspire (Desire HD) which finally had a build quality that I felt was equal to or surpassed the iPhone.  There is one thing you can’t take away from Apple.  And that’s their hardware quality.  It’s top notch and uses top notch materials.  If you don’t like the design, that’s one thing.  But the quality of the materials matters to me A LOT.  I don’t like Apple.  But I also don’t like Samsung.  I think their phones are light plastic pieces of junk.  I want to hold a phone and have it feel like it has some substance.  I want high quality materials used and not shiny ugly plastic.  So please give me aluminum unibody construction or something that uses glass or anything else that is nice.  Just don’t give me a phone with black shiny plastic.  

  21. Coome on sammy do it..you can….get us new n8

  22. Billy_B I beg to disagree, based on my personal experience of course. I owned the Desire HD last year and my experience with it was terrible. On the first one I got from Telus the loudspeaker broke after 2 weeks. Telus replaced it for free since a defect was found in the first month. The second one’s microphone stopped working after about a week of use for no reason (never dropped and no water damage). I sent it to get repaired and get it back with the screen caving in on the bezel when I pressed on it. I was not impressed. I bought an international gs2 and it’s the best phone I’ve ever had (including GNex). W/ gs2 you get a better screen (not better than GNex) better battery smoother OS and it resists drops like a champ.

  23. If he wants to make something like Ive would make, just rip off Braun like Apple has been doing for decades.  Personally I’d rather see something new and refreshing instead of another generation’s version of old fashion.

  24. my best friend’s ex-wife made $19574 last month. she is getting paid on the computer and got a $395200 house. All she did was get blessed and use the instructions made clear on this link >>>> LazyCash1.com 

  25. Samsung do you really want a break through design? just use your last tech and don´t be conservative.
    Ceramic body? perfect, a nice work to put in the mouth of fans and geek gadgets, but you have a more interesting tech that you can use.
    Use your blend AMOLED screens, put a screen to blends on the lateral edges, a real bezel-less device, make those edge functional, touch responsive and useful. Make them with virtual software buttons for volume and camera shutter.
    Make space just for the main speaker, front camera and proximity sensor on the top and nothing just the Samsung Logo on the bottom.
    Use nice colors, just like Nokia Lumia, smooth texture and lines, forget the curves.
    Put a 12MPx with 2X optical zoom and a Xenon flash and Led light with optional manual control. 

  26. I can’t see owning a white phone. Too Apple-ish.  I don’t swing that way.



Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Featured