Samsung Galaxy S5 could use metal after all



Trying to figure out when Samsung would be ballsy enough to make the switch to a metal chassis for their phones hasn’t been the easiest of tasks. The company has been rumored to do it for the past two renditions of the Samsung Galaxy S4, and we’ve been disappointed each time. We saw them give it a go inside the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, but that particular device wasn’t sold as widely as the original Galaxy S4.

According to new reports, Samsung could finally be ready to make the jump to metal. No, seriously this time… I think. The report comes out of Korean outlet EMSOne, who claims that a Taiwanese company named “Catcher” has been tapped as the provider of the metal for this undertaking. They will be the faucet for the first 10 to 30 million units, according to the report. BYD out of China and Ju Teng out of Taiwan are said to provide the remaining units.

It’s no secret Samsung has been a bit hesitant to move away from the plastic they know and love, because it’s been working for them for quite some time (to the tune of them being the world’s top Android smartphone manufacturer by a long shot). It’s understandable that they’ve been taking an “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” approach all these years, but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t ready for something new.

The company tried their hand at something a little different with the Galaxy Note 3, a phone that features a faux leather backplate. It makes for a nice, different look, but it still isn’t the metal piece of wonder we’ve all been dreaming of. Recent rumors say we should be seeing Samsung starting mass production as early as January, so it shouldn’t be long before we find out if they really are ready to move on from the fantastic plastic train.

[via SamMobile]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Well a metal case will dent when dropped and carry shock waves through enough of the device to cause problems.
    Could do an apple and lag it in glass lol.

  2. I’m pretty sure we knew that all versions of the Galaxy S4 would be plastic and I’m not sure we were that disappointed. I actually prefer plastic over metal.

    1. I have a thin case around my Note 3, so I really dont understand what difference metal would make vs plastic, except for being able to change batteries. Its such a stupid debate.

      1. How would having a metal body affect having a removable battery?

  3. This whole plastic vs. metal thing is getting kinda old now… yawn.

  4. battery life, screen resolution, CPU quality, timely updates. don’t care about metal as much.. I’ll take a plastic phone any day.

    1. I prefer the feel in my hand, and the galaxy note 3 feels awesome in my hands, so does the new Nexus 7

    2. When you can change the OS so easily, it’s all about the hardware. Touchwiz is the worst overlay in the business.

      1. But with Samsung changing the OS isn’t so easy. I have a Note 2 with an unlocked bootloader but I’m stuck with touchwiz. Yes we have AOSP roms, but they don’t work 100%. Now they have even started encrypting their bootloaders better so we are less likely to be able to get a working AOSP rom.

      2. The features make up for the visuals and besides, that’s why they have launchers That skin on the G2 is even suckier.

  5. I would gladly take a plastic body with a bigger battery over a metal body with a smaller battery if thy weigh the same. I don’t get this whole “we want a metal phone” thing, what’s the big deal? And from reading the rest of the comments, it seems like the author is the only one who cares, lol!

    1. Go read the first leaked S4 posts and see the hordes of folks whi complained about plastic.

      1. It’s the internet. Hordes of folk complain about everything.

        1. I am responding to Hrethgir’s comment suggesting that the author is the only one who cares. That being said..can you teach me more..about the internet?

    2. Actually he’s not. I used to be on this plastic, lighter, removable battery movement such as yourself, that was until I bought the One. And then my world changed. I tried the Note 3 but immediately took it back and kept my One as my daily driver. Metal that is done this way just feels better in the hand, but I also dont put cases on my phones. HTC did a marvelous job with this phone. And the speakers on the front was pure genius, still havent figured out why other OEMs arent doing the same thing. And one last ltid bit I would like to share is that my GPE HTC One last all day and night under moderate to heavy use, if I forget to put it on the charger at night I will still wake up to at least 20% battery left. So the removable battery issue is not a problem for me.

  6. We haven’t ALL been dreaming of a metal Galaxy phone. I could care less. I would wager most people don’t care, considering the popularity of the Galaxy line. Durability, lighter, thinner, removable battery and SD card. Those are what is important for the phone enclosure. I put a case on my phone. I would never see a premium metal or glass or whatever else kind of material would be used except for when I’m swapping a battery.

    1. ” I could care less.”

      You mean you *couldn’t* care less — think about it.

      1. No, I could care less. It’s still a feature of the phone. But my level of care can’t go too much lower.

        1. Lol um…. yea I have nothing.

          1. Neither did I! I did my best to make a lame save.

  7. its probably easier to have the removable battery in a plastic phone than metal?

    1. My old Droid X had a metal body and a removable battery.

  8. It’s a slap in the face for all Samsung’s supporters who said that quality does not matter.

    1. I’ve never said that. Because all of our Samsung phones have been high quality. The whole issue of metal cases is entirely from the iPhone side of things, and the Android users who are obsessed with being “equal” to the iPhone.

      METAL CASE != HIGH QUALITY. All of the relevant quality of a phone is in its screen and electronics.

      That’s not to say I wouldn’t mind one, it’s just not a big issue to me either way. I don’t need to impress iPhone users.

  9. I’m not a fan of Samsung phones, after having the GS3. HTC makes a far superior phones in every category. I don’t care if they use asteroids to make the next galaxy device.

  10. Most people that buy a metal phone put a plastic or leather case on it. So why does it matter? Makes no sense to me.

    1. In my experience, most Android users do not use cases.

      1. I live in an “Android country” (90% market share) and in my experience most people here use cases and/or screen protectors. Yes, also with plastic phones.

        1. Screen protectors are a whole different story than cases. There isn’t a case in the world that doesn’t defeat all the effort the engineers put into making the phone thin and discreet in your pocket. But screen protectors don’t increase the thickness by much.

          1. But decrease the image quality of the screen, at least those I see on people’s phones, specially after some time of use (dirt, less than perfect fit, etc.)

          2. Mine don’t. The oil free ones do, but those suck. You are right that the image degrade over time due to scratches, but that’s why I use them. I can replace a screen protector easily, I can’t replace the screen cheap or easy.

          3. Not sure why you got a down vote. I always usea screen protector, but never a case. My phone needs to fit in my pocket comfortably.

      2. Oh Really!?! Please provide a thumbs up if you are rocking a plastic case for your high-end device. And a thumbs down if you are liar.

        1. Why would someone be a liar just because theyddon’t use a case? Thumbs down if you’re an idiot. Most adults I see with Android phones don’t have cases, most kids do. Almost all iPhones I see have cases. I have a Note 2 with no case, and neither will my next phone.

          1. Well idiot…I hope your phone kisses the pavement tonight.

          2. Why do you think everyone else is clumsy just because you’re a ditz?

          3. $#!+ happens. So you never stumped your toe before? Yeah, right. Back at home your friends must call you, Mr. Chest Player, The Calculated Man, Mr. Coordinated or some aftermarket comic book name. Noone is perfect, kid. Come back to earth

          4. It’s Fumbles. It was always Fumbles.


          5. lol..too cute.

          6. I don’t see what the big deal is. The phones have performed perfectly fine, at least for me.

            If a metal case comes at the expense of an SD card slot and/or replaceable battery, I’ll not be purchasing one.

          7. Agreed.

          8. why is he an idiot because he doesnt use a case. Seriosuly? you an ASS HAT… get over yourself.

          9. @frettfreak:disqus
            “There are two kinds of enemies; those you have and those you make.”
            If you actually took the time to read what brought about this vulgar behavior, you would have noticed that I called him an idiot for calling me an idiot. Not for a case. Are you serious? Now, since you believe that I am that small minded and would like to defend the bully, i shall commence to roasting your no reading , illiterate @$$ as well. Shall we begin?

          10. The good thing about a metal phone is that it wont break. I had the S3 and dropped it on its back well that broke off all of the little piecs that holds the back plate in place. I dont use cases and Ive dropped my HTC One numerous of times and all I have are a few scratches. So Im not ashamed to say that I do not use cases. Itried it once after the first initial drop but I just could stand to hide the beauty of this phone behind a case.

        2. I never use a case. Makes the phone too fat. It’s always in my jeans FRONT pocket. Two years with my Galaxy Nexus, it’s been knocked off the desk a couple of times, but that’s it. It doesn’t look brand new, but there are no chips or scratches.

          I treat my phone like it costs $500+ to replace.

          1. No disrepect if your comment is true. Your comment was not hostile but just know that “an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

  11. As a counterpoint to all of the “who cares about metal” posts so far, I want a metal phone. Plastic gets too slick and metal feels more premium. I never use a case and almost never drop my phone, I prefer them naked.

    1. Also, metal allows them to do cooler things with the speakers.

    2. Isn’t metal more slippery than plastic? I never used a metal phone, it’s a genuine question.
      On the other hand, I like a smartphone for what I KNOW it is capable of, not what it makes me FEEL. Will the processor be faster, the camera take better pictures or the battery last longer just because it FEELS more premium?

      1. As with anything, it depends on how it’s executed. The plastic on my GS3 is very slippery. I also like a smartphone for what it’s capable of, but it is also a fashion statement. This is why I don’t like to use cases, I like the look of the naked phone.

        1. A smartphone is a tool, not your girlfriend. :P

          1. LIES!!! ALL LIES!!!

          2. Why not… both? unf unf unf :)

          3. Tell that to my car…

    3. I’m with you. I prefer metal, but a solid built plastic phone with a matte finish is fine. Problem is Samsung’s phones are not matte finish, and they don’t feel solid like other plastic phones. I can’t stand cases because then they are to bulky for my pocket.

  12. All I want is a removable battery. I don’t like being tethered to a charger.

  13. Theres a extra 100 or more.

  14. No offense but I’d rather be the pitcher and NOT the “Catcher” …If you catch my drift

  15. What matters to me are: removable battery, MicroSD slot, unlocked bootloader, and a screen that isn’t so huge that I can’t comfortably hold it in my hand (looking at you, Galaxy S4). If it comes in plastic, I’d live with that.

  16. I truly enjoy the faux leather-like plastic build on my Note 3 over the slippery glossy plastic of my old S2 (white) and Note 2. However, may I ask a guinuine question that continues to puzzle me? Sure, i can as this is the comment section. Why are some people so adament about criticising the build quality of Samsung galaxy devices, which have been sucessful, yet present praise for the non-removable battery and plastic having devices, such as the Nexus, Moto X, and worse, the slippery glossy plastic LG G2? If the actual problem with the Galaxy line is the clunky user interface, i could understand (a respected opinion). However, when much praise has been presented for the aforementioned devices (which are plastic), one must question whether some bias agenda is at play in these articles.

    1. Probably because Samsung devices feel like cheap pieces of crap while the others don’t (I have a Note 2). I would prefer Samsung to have a metal body on new phones, but a solid built plastic phone would be okay if their skin wasn’t such a turn off.

      1. Although its just an opinion, I agree that the Note 2 did not feel that sturdy but have you held the Note 3? FYI…The LG G2 feels as premium as my Note 2 did. The devices i mentioned are not only plactic but have non removable batteries. Someone please provide a logical explanation to my main post.

        1. The Note 3 does feel a little better than the Note 2, but it still feels cheap and squeakes. Most people don’t care about a removable battery (I’d prefer it be removable, but a 3000+ mah battery will do). I don’t like the gloss finish on the G2, but it didn’t feel as bad as Samsung phones, but felt worse than the Moto X and Maxx.

          1. My Note 3 doesn’t squeak one bit, nor did my S3. What are you people doing to your phones to make ’em squeak? Putting ’em in a vice and torquing?

          2. Those who make these comments are referring to some youtube reviews in which they test the build quality of the phone in unnatrual situations. For instance, I actually saw a video where someone took their phone and began to bend it as a test of durabilty. Your Note3, my Note 3 and noone elses will ever squeak unless they intentionally try to make it squeak by bending there phone. Truly, who does that to a 600-700+ phone?

          3. @Big_EZ:disqus
            I have NEVER experienced a sqeaking backplate on my Note 3 or any of the many devices that I have owned. Where is this myth derriving from? Are you actually bending these devices until you hear a squeak? Why in Hades would you do that? Please, explain what you mean by “squeak”. How and when does this happen? Here in the Phandroid community we deserve to know so that we will be well informed before our next purchase. This phantom squeak is getting quite interesting. How does it sound? Is like a mice in your pocket, or maybe like a rusty door henge when opened? When you are driving down the street with your phone in your pocket are you like, “Damn, there goes my phone sqeaking again?” or when you are holding a conversion are you like, “Oh, don’t be alarmed that is just my phone squeaking”? When does this occur? Please, help us understand as we are all waiting for this interesting story?

        2. Ya i wouldn’t waste time boasting the G2… Cheap piece of crap is all it is :( mine slipped off the coffee table, dropped 12-13 inches and shattered… First time its ever been dropped or even bumped and boom gone. Almost 300 bucks to get it fixed after not even having it 2 months :(

    2. I’ve had the Galaxy Nexus, back squeaked constantly, the S3=same problem, Note 3 much better design but the backplate still squeaks and then theres the HTC One, and to this day there has not been a better premium quality Android phone that can beat the One. It just feels great in the hand, a little on the heavier side but thats the price Im willing to pay for such a premium feeling device. But after having the One, I am done with plastic phones unless Im paying 300-400 off contract for it. But if its more than that, then give me metal.

  17. Are you guys looking forward to the S5 or the G3 more? (A little off topic. sorry)

    1. Im more excited for the HTC M8 myself

      1. What he said!!

      2. M8 hands down.

    2. S5 but i agree with the M8 comment, cant wait for that one! I am DONE with LG. have had several LG things over the years and their customer service is horrible! Not to mention the fact that they just announced they are not focusing on smartphones much which means slower (if you can imagine) updates. They already said they wont be updating the g2 til march, which really means thats when they deliver the code to the carriers and users wont get the actual update til april or may. no thanks. lol

    3. Note 4

  18. I was under the impression that the Galaxies have had metal “chassis”, but just not metal cases.

  19. Why are Samsung phones crappy because they’re plastic, but the Motorola X, Motorola Ultra series, and Lg G2 are never piled on for being plastic? They are only praised. Let me put it another way: give me the strongest, lightest material that also has give, so that it is more durable. In other words, GIVE ME PLASTIC.

    1. One major difference between them is that Samsungs feel cheap, some of the others don’t. It’s annoying how much my Note 2 squeakes.

      1. THIS. Its not that they are plastic. Its that they feel cheap and are plastic. Plastic is a great material to use, as long as its not slippery and slimey. My wife just got a note 3 and while its an amazing phone, it feels like crap in the hand.

        1. Get a case…problem solved. Gheeesh.

    2. lg g2 is crappy you ever picked on up? crappy plastic blackberry curve like nonsense…moto feels solid like a rock…thats why their far better manufactured devices then these korean phone knock offs

      1. Yea moto’s build quality is nice but those suckers dont last long internally. Faulty keyboards, lower resolution lcd’s, and then the weird slowdown / burnout that they seem to suffer from about 6 months into owning them.

        Our company has been with Verizon for a little over a year and all but 3 Moto’s (out of 30) had to re replaced with Samsung’s due to their random slowdowns / shutdowns after a couple of months of decent use.

        So far the plastic phones that you hate on so much are outperforming the metal ones.

    3. I prefer metal phones because plastic phones are just too light. I feel like I’m about to throw them when I pick them up. LoL!!

    4. And the metal HTC One is not durable if not more durable? I broke the screen of my GS 4 by dropping it on its corner and I dropped my HTC One and the metal just dented on the sides nothing else. So that kills the more durable claim you are suggesting.

      1. Oh, yeah, glass broke on one your phones so my argument must hold no water. And it never breaks on phones made of metal, so your point is definitely proven. Oh wait, I just found endless pics of broken glass on metal phones on the Internet. Well I’ll be, apparently glass can break no matter what the phone is made of. Glass, apparently, is breakable. In other words, your observation is meaningless. Add to that I have never broken anything on any plastic phone I have owned, even though I have dropped phones countless times, and my argument comes right back to life. Or, maybe it never really got killed, as you put it.

        1. Lol if you read my comments I talked about the phones being dropped on their corners and breaking. On my metal phoee it didn’t break. Of course if you drop the phone directly on the glass it will break. I’m not talking about that. Smh. Please read thoroughly in order to fully comprehend next time.

          1. Why do you assume I can’t read? Have you ever heard of micro fractures or microscopic imperfections in glass? Are you aware that you can drop the same phone over and over the exact same way, and it may break once after not breaking a hundred times? Oh look, I just dropped my GS3 on it’s corner and it didn’t break. Did I just disprove what you said? No I didn’t, but you never proved anything in the first place, so we’re even.

          2. I’m sorry I didn’t scientifically inspect the cause of the breakage. Both phones fell identically and one broke and the other didnt. Oh and by the way I had a Droid DNA and the screen cracked as well as the galaxy nexus. Yes I have been pretty clumsy. So let’s see all of my phones made out of plastic either cracked the screen oror have broken the plastic back covercover or the phones squeaks horribly. The only pure metal phone I’ve ever owned all I have is a few dents in the metal chassischassis that’s it. So I’m just give you my experiences. I actually own a metal phone so my experience would be a tad bit more credible than your claim whatever that is.

          3. I would genuinely like to know how is your back plate squeaking? @ my job everyone in management received the S4. No one has ever mentioned anything about their backplate “squeaking”. I have not experieced any backplates “squeaking” on any device I ever owned and I cant seem to find a furum or known issue of squeaking backplates anywhere. How is this natually happening?

          4. Are you serious. All you have to do is do a quick google search about Samsung’s previous phones and how those little plastic hinges that keeps the back plate in line breaks off. Maybe just a few of them but that’s all it takes for the squeaking nightmare to begin. If you do a Google search you will find numerous of complaints about that issue.

          5. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2523413

            This link shows the same problem with a Nexus 5. surely this does not account for all of them. For instance,my Xbox One works perfectly fine but I hear about a few duds going around. These appear to be isolated incidents and not every device. the following link provides issues with the beloved HTC One: http://forums.androidcentral.com/htc-one/278674-htc-one-quality-issues.html. This surely doesn’t account for all. I along with many have not had the creaking issue. Any device, metal or plastic can be a lemon.

  20. I read a article on CNET saying that Samsung will pull an “Apple” and may release a classic/plastic GS5 to steal the away the iPhone 5c users. they said that they may release a metal body GS5 for the people that want it. I want the best of both worlds. I would love a metal, more premium feel, expandable memory, removable battery GS5. will that?… eh won’t hold my breath

    1. There’s iPhone 5c users? : O

      1. I think like 8. yea lol

  21. Meh, I had rather them keep the plastic. Just make it soft touch.

  22. i thought samsung makes tvs?

  23. how can people defend samsung plastic crap phones…if your paying 600+ or 200 + a 2 year contract…dont you want something that feels premium?…if someone placed a kea in front of you with the same engine as a bmw and for the same price…what would you take? its a matter of principal they get off the user by cheaping the build quality and making millions for themselves n shareholders and people are like sheep n do what the tv says to do…so sad

    1. Only problem with that analogy is that you take a bmw and a kia and put ford body kits on them. Cause guess what..when most people spend 600 on a phone..most people end up putting a case on them anyway. So unless you want to risk damage to your new phone to be a pretentious show off “ooh look at my phone”, MOST people will be putting it in a case like an otterbox or something ANYWAY.

      1. Dont assume what most people do…i only use bumper cases bc i want the minimum bulk… So i feel my entire phone minus the edges…and i don’t want it to feel like i bought it in toys r us

    2. The shareholders are like sheep? LOL. You obviously aren’t an investor. Shareholders own the stock because it is an amazing company making piles of money while at the same time making quality products with innovative ideas. Samsung Rocks!

      1. Lol im assuming english is your second language bc i dont even know how to respond to you…sammy makes some great products tvs ssds n such…samaung mobility is a joke when it comes to quality…please know what a person wrote before u respond nonsense

    3. I don’t really care about the feel, I care about the functional hardware. Paying that much for a metal device with no microSD or replaceable battery makes a lot less sense to me than paying for a plastic device with those functions. For the same reason I will never buy a Mac; appearance does not compensate for a locked-down system with inferior hardware.

      You have also equated buuld material and build quality unjustifiably.

  24. I’d take soft touch carbon fiber of plastic or metal any day. Like the light weight.

  25. I hope they DONT.

    A. Like most people…metal or not..the sucker is going into a CASE anyway..so except for the brief “OOOHHH” “AAAAHHHH”” moment when you first get it, its gonna be hidden away in a case anyway.
    B. One of the reason ive stayed a samsung loyal fan is that they are among the last of the brands that still do Microsd slots and most importantly, a removable battery! A metal chasis would make that much less likely.

    Id rather have a plastic shell that looks the same in a case as a metal one anyway and keep my removable battery and sd slot.

    1. I like the feel of metal, don’t get me wrong I *REALLY* love my Galaxy…but it feels insanely cheap. If they could keep the SD slot and removable battery though, I really don’t care when it comes down to it, although I’d be really excited about it if they did go with metal.

    2. Why couldn’t they have a metal body AND a microSD slot AND a removable battery? I don’t understand why people keep saying this.

      1. Thank you!! Like oh my gosh!!

      2. I never said it couldn’t. I said it’s unlikely. Cause it is. It’s easier to manufacture one piece in one go then to have multiple assembly lines making 2 or 3 pieces. I hope they will… But I doubt it if they go with metal.

    3. I’m tired of hearing that as a reason. Putting your phone in a case or not doesn’t mean your phone can’t look nice in metal. It’s like saying since you’re going to wear clothes, then you shouldn’t get a tattoo on your back.

      Also, the Chinese version of the HTC One has a micro SD card. The Nexus One and HTC G2 both had micro SD card slots and a removable battery. I don’t think you have anything to worry about in that department. It’s possible to do.

      1. You named 2 phones out of how many Android phones ever made? Yes.. That’s a trend to rely on. – sarcasm -. Also the one and g2 didn’t have metal bodies. The point wasn’t other phones don’t have removable batteries or SD slots. They do (though they are in the vast minority). But know of no metal phone that does have a removable battery. And thus if they go metal.. Much less likely it will either.

        1. Those are the only phones I knew that had metal bodies, well at least I thought it was metal. They had aluminium bodies which is a metal. And the back plate of the G2 was metal.

          If they’re not metal, then my point was useless. This makes me sad. =.[

          I still don’t think you should worry about Samsung removing the support you request. I don’t think they’d do that. Hmm…

    4. Personally, I don’t really care what it’s made of, as long as it’s not glass like the Nexus 4. That f**king thing cracks way too easily.

      The thing I care about most, aside from durability, is weight. I like light phones. A lot of people seem to think that a phone is somehow more durable because it’s heavier, but I’ll give you or anyone else $1,000 if you can point out to me ANY compelling evidence that the ‘cheap plastic’ S3/S4 phones have had significant durability issues. If not, then I’d say the plastic is fine, and we should strive to have lighter phones.

    5. I agree to an extent. 80%+ of people are going to put it in a case, myself included. However, even in a case, i can tell that my HTC one is just solid and well built. THere is NO DOUBT that they CAN do a metal frame, SD card and removable battery, but who knows if they will. With the improvements we have been seeing in batteries though, i doubt we will need the removable battery much longer. I havent in a year really. Just make sure i have a charger wherever i go and if i need to then plug in.

      I REALLY hope they dont get rid of the SD slot though.

  26. Only reviewers want metal.

  27. The whole is idea about novelty, newness and something that really attract users. http://bit.ly/Galaxxys5

  28. It better have a removable battery and micro SD card slot like my s4

  29. My gs4 is the greatest phone can’t wait for gs5

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