Samsung holds “Design 3.0” meeting to discuss the look of future smartphones and tablets



Make no mistake, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is one pretty smartphone. Be that as it may, I don’t think anyone would make the argue against the fact that the inspiration behind the design of the device was clearly the already successful Samsung Galaxy S3. Naysayers will be quick to point out that, to the untrained eye, it really is hard to tell the difference between the two.

It’s been said Samsung stuck with what they knew, and because of their new found popularity, didn’t want to risk losing brand recognition by adopting an entirely new design for the S4. Fine. We get it. Apple’s been doing that for years and it worked out fine for them. But Android moves fast (maybe even too fast) and I think most of us will admit — it’s getting old.

Seems Samsung might be feeling the same way. Yesterday, Samsung called in some of their top executives to talk about their design strategy for future devices. They’re calling it Design 3.0, and if you were worried that Samsung’s next Galaxy lineup would look near-identical to its current offerings, fear not. According to The Korea Herald, Samsung bounced ideas around, talking about the current “design trend” in electronic devices today. Their takeaway? Samsung products should be immediately and easily identifiable by consumers. Samsung executive Yoon Boo-keun was further quoted as saying,

“‘Design 3.0,’ Samsung Electronics’ new design strategy, focuses not only on external beauty and technical practicality of new products, but also about creating positive values and connecting with consumers.”

What’s interesting is this comes after news that LG is planning to do the same for 2014. Meetings were also held by LG where they discussed a design language for their future electronics devices that would allow consumers to immediately recognize that it’s an LG product, no matter if it’s a smartphone, TV, or refrigerator. This, and the praise manufacturers like HTC (or even smaller companies like Oppo) have been receiving after going to great lengths in, not using more premium feeling build materials, but also in coming up with unique designs. Seems Samsung might be feeling the heat.

Of course, no matter which side of the fence you stand on (or which manufacturer you claim allegiance to), it’s like I’ve always said: competition is a good thing. Underdogs like HTC pushing smartphone design forward, will encourage other OEMs to do the same. Who knows, maybe we’ll see a Samsung Galaxy S5 with front facing speakers, and a Liquidmetal design this time next 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.

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  1. I’m no psychic, but I see plastic in Samsung’s design future…

    1. And I see more profit coming to Samsung.

      1. No doubt

      2. becauase they copied everything apple did on the past even the marketting lol

        1. And the funny thing about that is Samsung supplied them the parts.

    2. Hopefully.

    3. lol lol lol

  2. Plastic or not, I look forward to the new designs!

  3. I much prefer the plastic g4 design with the accessible battery than the htc one and the iPhone metal but sealed designs.

    1. Yeah. The HTC one is pretty ugly too.

    2. you do not know anything about technology period

      1. It’s a tool, not a girlfriend.

      2. Talk about a bold statement

    3. if only it wasn’t a glossy plastic….

  4. “Meetings were also held by LG where they discussed a design language for
    their future electronics devices that would allow consumers to
    immediately recognize that it’s an LG product, no matter if it’s a
    smartphone, TV, or refrigerator.”


    I had a phone that was about the size of a refrigerator but that was long ago.

    I just hope they bring us something from the rectangle family! ^.^

  5. “Differentiator” is an over-used term these days and brings value to neither the OEM nor the customer. This philosophy is what has given us all the OEM Android skins. That being said, it is good to see Samsung focus on overhauling their design approach — hopefully this will show up in the Note III.

    1. The Note 3 is set in stone. They wouldn’t dramatically change it from the S4. This is for next year.

  6. Good to hear. I hope they come up with something I like as much as the GS3/GS4 design…loved the GS3 but was slightly disappointed the GS4 looks identical (pretty much).

  7. Apple can keep doing the same design year after year because they’re the only entity offering iOS. Because you have so many manufacturers offering an Android experience, design may be a deciding factor when purchasing an Android phone. I’m writing this on my S4 which is a beautiful phone but HTC’s offering just blows it away.

    1. Could not say it any better

    2. Exactly. Which is why with so many options and configurations, and OS levels, no serious apps can be developed for it and be expected to work for the majority.

      But hey, you get “choice”…

  8. I have no allegiance to any manufacturer, I get the phone that suits my needs aesthetically and functionally. Had devices from LG, HTC, Samsung and Motorola. The HTC One was the I chose this time because of size, build quality, appearance and specs.

    1. Great choice ! that would have been my choice if Woodside would not announced the life of the Moto X :)

  9. While I like the design of my Galaxy Nexus, I do NOT like the looks of the GS3 / GS4 / Notes. Of course, I’m now rockin’ a free DNA, the design of which would be pretty, but a Seidio Active case (amethyst) has turned it into a pretty – if well-protected – brick.

  10. Whatever they do, I hope they keep the removable battery and SD and make the phones thinner and lighter and equip them with larger, much more powerful batteries

    1. Thinner, lighter w/ a larger more powerful battery? Wishful thinking.

      1. No. They just did it with the S4 !

        1. S3 equal as S4 same plastic, weak radios etc

          1. You don’t know anything about technology… Period.

  11. I think the s4 borrowed more design features from the note 2 than it did the s3.

  12. I’m surprised that it’s even a question for Samsung. They already showed the video of where their train of thought should be going: . People are clamoring for a phone that can be the size of a phone and convert to a tablet, eliminating any need for multiple devices. With the YOUM screens, I hope they’re shooting for 2014 production!

  13. I hope Sammy sticks with the plastic while discussing the new design for the Galaxies. Looking forward to LG’s upcoming design changes too. Competition is definitely a good thing.

  14. Get rid of the hideous physical home button.

    1. Are you sure it’s a good idea? I have a friend who is a super Android geek (ROM developer). He says that what he likes in the S3, S4 is the physical home button. May be you also have a good reason not to like the home button. I’d appreciate you share your opinion.

      1. It should really be a capacitive button.

      2. For me, it’s more of a design issue. I think the S4 would have looked fantastic without a physical home button and a reduced button-area, leaving for a bigger screen and even smaller dimensions.

        1. Exactly

      3. Having to actually “press” the home button, when all other interactions with the face of the phone can be accomplished via contact only, is jarring and does not lead to a consistent or enjoyable experience. Yes, it is something you can “get used to”, but any UX / UI expert will agree that anything you have to “get used to” represents a design flaw when a clear alternative exists that is effortless for an end user to grasp (not to mention, the way stock Android is designed).

        Also consider the Galaxy Note series: it is difficult to press the home button with a stylus. Yes, there are pen gestures for the “main button” interactions, but again this is a workaround when the far better option would have been to just use on-screen softkeys in the first place.

    2. I hate those buttons. HTC and Samsung need to wake up already and follow google’s trend with the on screen buttons, which are very sweet

    3. People make way, way too big of a deal out of the physical home button, big woop!!!

  15. Pretty funny. LG will just copy Samsung like usual.

  16. I am Waiting for the HTC T6…. And I`ll upgrade my phone..

  17. They should be discussing the design of their UI(fugly), not their devices.

  18. none of these device will compete with the new Motorola line up. Motorola forever. Moto X i am waiting for you patiently

  19. After the HTC One, I hope front facing speakers is a new standard. It’s so obvious, yet so few do it.

  20. It’s hard to believe that this meeting lasted any longer than five minutes. Two minutes to get everyone seated, one minute to come to the conclusion that they will stick to glossy oily plastic, and another two minutes to leave the room.

  21. “Design 3.0 for future devices”?? I didn’t realize Samsung was able to get tickets to Apple’s WWDC!

  22. I hope they keep in mind that function is more important than form. It’s what keeps selling these Galaxies in large volumes while other manufacturers emphasize on making purdy designs or hoo-ha-ing their oddball camera’s (when the S4 beats them at that anyway).

    Replaceable battery is a must. These things degrade too fast to be fixed inside the device. Also it needs to be nice to hold with curved sides. The HTC One felt awkard to hold with it’s sharp edges.

    When we’re talking design, I really hope they ditch their own Touchwiz deisgn. Just go with the standard Android looks already. App developers develop their apps to go with that and then the TW design sticks out like a sore thumb. Add your bloat if you must, but at least stay consistent on the design with the rest of the ecosystem.

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