Samsung’s committed to using premium materials in more of their products going forward


Samsung Galaxy S6 vs S5 speaker DSC08688

The talk of Samsung using premium materials in their devices has been going on for a long time. People have been begging Samsung to ditch the faux materials and go with metal and glass. With the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge they finally built a device that looks premium, and they’re not looking back.

At an annual shareholder’s meeting Co-CEO Shin Jong Kyun reiterated Samsung’s commitment to premium materials. They plan to offer more devices with metal casing, slim designs, and high-definition displays. This new focus on quality is important for Samsung to bounce back after being down the last few quarters. It already rose Samsung shares by 1.9% when the new Galaxy S6 devices were announced.

We’re happy to hear that Samsung is taking build-quality more seriously. Manufacturers like HTC and Sony have long out-classed Samsung in terms of premium devices. Samsung has been able to create huge market share with massively successful marketing campaigns and offering tons of different devices. The designs were starting to feel bland, but the new S6 devices have breathed some life into Samsung.

[via Bloomberg]

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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  1. I think they are starting to try to compete with Apple….and their $17k pricetag.

    1. Yep, I personally never cared about what a phone was made out of since there’s a case going over the body usually. The UI and UX is all that matters.

      1. completely agree. I case everything, as do most I believe. its all personal taste….I mean, I want it to FEEL solid, but could care less if its plastic. My G2 felt AWESOME to hold, very solid phone but it was just plastic at the end of the day.

    2. If they keep expandable storage and removable batteries on the Note series then this move for a more “premium” design on the S series would make more sense. If they do cripple the Note series by doing the same thing then I can’t understand why Samsung would want to align their two flagships closer to one of their most fiercest rivals in Apple’s iPhone.

      Those two features have been what set them apart from the likes of Apple for many years. To remove them on the S series, ok. But to remove them on BOTH the S and Note series? Madness.

      1. it’s not madness. It’s money.

        If market trickery worked for Apple. Then so could the grinch.

        1. Goodness, did someone pee in your cornflakes this morning? Gloom and dread all over these comments.

  2. More of their products? Why not all?

    1. Because if all Android phones were essentially the same what would be the point?

      The whole point of Android is to give people choices.

      If you want a phone with stripped down features (no user-replaceable battery, no expandable storage) with a “premium” feel you are free to choose almost any other Android manufacturer (and now the Galaxy S6). If you wanted features that actually matter you could (until now) choose Samsung.

  3. Whatever they do, I hope they don’t go out of their way to make the Note 5 so “premium” that the backing is sealed, making the battery inaccessible.

    1. Many traditional Samsung customers like myself are holding our breath waiting to see what will happen to our beloved Note series later in the year.

      1. u know, I should have picked up the Note 4 instead of my Nexus 6. I really cant wait to see what they come out with because I think the Note 5 will be my next phone.

        1. I’ve become desperately addicted to that S-Pen. It’s made my mobile experience so much better. Add to that the ability to expand and swap out storage at will and to keep a couple extra batteries during long trips. Priceless.

          1. yeah I really would enjoy that. I think NOT getting it has made me a bit mad haha. I have read and watched so many reviews on it. After playing with my friends, I just see that I’ve missed out on an awesome phone. I really hope the Note 5 is not messed with in a bad way.

    2. I’m sure that it depends on how well the S5 sells. If it sells well expect more stripped down phones in Samsung’s future.

  4. Premium materials are nice, but I can get past that easy and not care much after 3 days.

    Functionality and software, hardware options (RAM, MicroSD, battery, camera) have much longer lasting actual value to me.

    1. here here

    2. Yup, especially once you put the phone in a CASE and all the “premium materials” DISAPPEAR!

    3. Exactly. Practicality over design all day everyday. Samsung has a great opportunity to retain more of their traditional customers if they at least keep the Note series as the flagship device with expandable storage and removable batteries.

      S series for the “premium” lovers, those that prefer style over substance and the Note series for those that value substance over style.

  5. Nice try…not gonna buy one. Between Knox, taking away the microSD slot, and sealing the battery, forget it. The ability to customize was the whole reason to buy a Samsung flagship phone. Now there’s no reason to.

    You put your phone in a case and never see those “premium” materials anyway.

    1. actually it is removable….with a crowbar

  6. I want to see something unique. I really liked Apple’s take on the Sapphire glass. Movado has used sapphire watch faces for years. It’s super strong and scratch resistant.

    I’d love to still see more used of carbon fiber, titanium, aluminum, Kevlar, etc

  7. Everyone wanted Samsung to use more premium materials and now everyone wants them to go back to plastic, interesting.

    1. interesting…they charge an arm and a leg for premium materials….not sure I see HTC doing this. There is just no need for such high costs once you see the breakdown costs of the S6/S6 Edge. I think thats everyones problem now, they are charging more than Apple. And we all agree on here that they over charge.

      1. After watching your profits drop 74%, they have to do something to raise margins.

    2. This! lol!

    3. It’s been critics in the tech media, rival companies and a vocal minority within Samsung’s consumer base that’s helped influence this design change.

      1. “rival companies” should be all the influence. They only did it to sway the iPeople

      2. It had nothing to do with that at all. It was their bottom line. Stagnant sales and the need to lure iPhone customers.

        1. It’s a big gamble to align your design with your rival. If they don’t cut the Note 5 at its knees then it will make more sense.

          1. They have been aligning their design since day one. Regardless of the functionality and specs it always had the stigma as a cheap iPhone clone. The biggest gamble is that they removed the features that differentiated them from Apple and alienated the power users which are the strongest Samsung evangelists. Instead of that bullshit edge they should have also came out with a S6 “Classic” that had the same build and as the Note 4.

            Apple got rid of the 4″ form factor that people swore by and it’s sales increased dramatically. Maybe this will be a good thing for Samsung. But, you are right they better leave the Note line-up alone!

            Also, it seem that each manufacturer that goes with a glass back changes it the next generation.

          2. I don’t feel it’s fair to label the more traditional Samsung customers as “evangelist”. There’s a fair amount of Samsung’s customers who are just practical consumers who value practical features such as expandable storage and a user-replaceable battery. Those two things were major decision makers for millions of customers which is why it’s strange to see Samsung remove them from one of their flagships. Appeasement? I don’t know. A risky calculation? Yes.

            Apple getting rid of their form factor was never going to be a major concern when it came to their future sales. Apple could design a toaster and it would sell millions. It’s Apple. For many of their users it’s their name that they cherish.

            Again with the glass back and more “premium” design I can’t see how it’s fully justifiable. Most users tend to just put all manner of cases on these things almost as soon as they purchase them to protect their investment. So why the need for such materials when they’re only going to cover them up? It’s already been proven that the plastic materials that Samsung has been using has held up much better than the glass or metal used on devices from Apple, Sony or HTC.

            Let’s wait and see what happens to the Note 5, then we can form some more informed opinions on this design change from Samsung. I hope they’re listening closely to their loyal users who depended on the missing features.

          3. I was not referring to the more traditional Samsung customers. I was referring to those who value and know the difference between a pretty phone and one that has more functionality.

            Concerning the materials. The average person who walks into a phone store does not look at the phone in a case. They do a quick side by side comparison. Holding the previous generation’s models in hand there really is no comparison.

    4. The Samsung Captivate (original Galaxy S) had a metal back AND a removable battery AND a MicroSD card slot.

      Any line Samsung feeds you about their reasons for not “being able” to include these things in modern phones is utter BS. They just want you to have to upgrade sooner, which means more money for them.

    5. Far from everyone wanted them to go to “premium” materials. It was a few people who wanted them to be more like Apple and it was a few die-hard HTC fanboys who were desperate for something, anything to point to that would make their stripped down so-called “flagship” phones comparable to Samsung.

      Now Samsung has listened to this vocal minority and is stripping down their own phones, meaning there is absolutely zero reason to buy a Samsung over an LG or an HTC.

      1. There is a difference between going premium and dumping everything that set u apart from Apple.

    6. i doubt hardly anyone responding here wanted “premium materials” much less pleaded for it

  8. True everyone was sick of the cheap plastic and now that it’s all metal and glass people are complaining. Isn’t 64gb enough if not 128? Who cares about removing the battery as long as it lasts a full day. The S6 is the best phone samsung has ever made and people still complain lol who cares about a removable back. I have the note 4 and I never remove the back lol. I hope the Note 5 is metal like the S6 and I bet it’ll have a micro SD card slot.

    1. I don’t know why people called it cheap plastic, it costs in the same range as aluminum.

      1. No, that just go to show, Samsung had y’all fooled paying that much for plastic, plastic does not cost what it does for an aluminum block, nor Does glass but they go have y’all paying out the ass even for that

        1. Someone doesn’t know the difference between polycarbonate and standard plastic.

          Current polycarbonate pricing, per pound, is in the $1.00 to $1.50 range. Current aluminum pricing, per pound, is about $0.65 to $0.85.

          So, yeah, polycarbonate (which is what they use in phones and the like) does, in fact, cost just as much (and sometimes more) as aluminum.

          Glass is absurdly cheap. Even gorilla glass is pretty cheap.

          1. Well ya know what, you could possibly be correct, but there is a few issues here when comparing prices, Samsung whole phone was not made completely of poly carbonate, Samsung didn’t use a lb of poly carbonate per phone, they use way less, htc used closer to a lb per phone, mean think about it, HTC phones weigh more, then it’s the process they go into sculpting a all metal build, more difficult than a poly carbonate set up… And those prices you gave, which country did it come from, because you know materials don’t have the same value every where you go, I’m 100 percent more actual value went into the M7 and M8 than the S4 and S5. That’s why I couldn’t buy Samsung, I just can’t because of that

          2. There really aren’t any issues when comparing prices. You said plastic was cheap, but the type in use is clearly more expensive than aluminum.

            Of course they didn’t use a whole pound of polycarbonate, this isn’t the 80’s. HTC didn’t use a whole pound of aluminum, either. The weight difference between the two is a whole 15 grams… but due to the significant differences in hardware, the weight difference is likely not from the external materials.

            Machining aluminum is pretty simple, actually, and much like polycarbonate… requires a single setup. Each device is identical, after all.

            The aluminum prices were based on the London Metal Exchange prices.

            Polycarbonate is a bit different, as it isn’t really sold in a “block” weighing one pound… and there are a lot of types of polycarbonate, so I can’t be 100% precise on the pricing since Samsung doesn’t say what kind of polycarbonate they use. But, they probably use something similar to this…


            All in all, the pricing for parts for the Galaxy phones and the M series phones are likely very, very, very close. Probably within a few dollars. Somewhere in the $225 range, I would guess.

            So, no, there really isn’t more “value” in an HTC phone than there is in an LG phone, a Samsung phone, an Apple phone, a Motorola phone… etc etc. I think you might be surprised to learn just how close in pricing all those individuals parts are.

          3. Well I would really have to look into myself, but yea I doubt Samsung devices polycarb is as good as what used on Motorola devices, I actual had close encounter with Samsung devices, personally in my hands the s4 and s5 felt cheap compared to everyone else, now I don’t mean the active varient, I’m talking pure flagships here

          4. Feeling cheap doesn’t mean it is cheap, you know. Aluminum feels “premium” but it is one of the cheapest metals in the world.

            And besides, when the vast majority put a case around said material and can’t feel it in the first place… does it really matter how it feels? Not at all.

          5. In sorry dude I just can’t except your logic, you have material prices and say just because it feel cheap it ain’t, well tell me why motarola use poly carbonate but feels more solid than Samsung or LG, I just can’t agree with you on everything, not everything

          6. It matters not whatsoever if you can’t accept my logic, it remains completely valid. A glass bottle feels more solid than an iPhone, but it costs drastically less. How it feels against your skin has little to nothing with how much the materials themselves cost. You can shape the same polycarbonate used in the S5 and the like into a step ladder capable of holding a few hundred lbs. It feels cheap but it is still very solid.

            I have a Nexus 6 (made by Motorola) and it feels almost identical to the back on the Galaxy S5 and the LG G3.

            Which is funny, of course, because the G3 actually has a small amount of aluminum in the plastic back to strengthen it.

          7. Perception is all that matters to the consumer.

          8. And that perception matters even less, since the majority put cases over that premium feeling. Usually some sort of thermoplastic (like TPU or polycarbonate) case, which makes it even funnier to me.

    2. The question of how long the battery would last during a 24 hour period is just one of several issues with a non-removable battery. Each charging and discharging cycle of a battery degrades it. Its lifespan is the bigger issue and if your battery inside a device has degraded enough where it can no longer hold a good charge then you’re forced to send it in for repairs.

      With a phone that has a user-replaceable battery, you can just swap it out with a brand new one and carry on.

      You may not remove your Note 4’s battery, but many, many other loyal Samsung customers dearly depend on having the option.

      1. Well the battery I do understand. I see that being a downfall although the battery does last all day with in thing and I do use it quite a bit. And it would be a lot easier to replace should it ever go bad. But I was wondering about the memory. How much better or worse they have made it with the usf.

      2. I don’t know how I ended up doing this again lol but responded to you and didn’t mean to. Sorry about that!

        1. No problem.

    3. Because it DOESN’T last a full day. And sometimes I go extended periods away from recharging sources.

      And it doesn’t last (lifespan-wise) as long as I like to keep my phone (see roaduardo’s comment).

    4. I swap my battery every single day, and never need to leave it plugged in like you. I don’t care how long the battery lasts if you need to plug it in for 1-3 hours once it’s dead or low, every time. Instead of that, I spend 30 seconds going back to 100%.

    5. first, the plastic was never cheap, aluminium is cheap
      second, i personally know of no one who was sick of it or complained other than whining online tech writers

  9. Someone over on samobile commented on the SD thing that kind of made sense to me. I may not know a lot about this but does it actually make sense to have 2 totally different memory speeds with USF memory unless someone can design a SD card with equal speed?

    1. I don’t care about the speed. Yes the SD is slower but I got a fast card and it’s still plenty fast. What it’s REALLY about is not only having extra storage, but REMOVABLE storage that can survive a device failure. This has saved me MULTIPLE times on EACH smartphone I’ve had (all Samsung, although my S5 might be my last). My phone backs up nightly to my external SD. When the phone died, I’d just move the card to replacement, restore my data, and I was right where I left off.

      An added benefit is instead of buying a 64GB phone at Samsung prices, you can buy the 32GB model then add +32GB at market prices. Or buy what you need now, then later when you need more space you don’t have to buy a whole new phone.

      It makes sense for everything except Samsung being able to force you to buy more of their phones more often. So Samsung does away with the SD card slot and then invents BS why it “isn’t possible”. Which unfortunately a lot of brainwashed consumers lap right up.

      1. True. My note 4 has 32 plus my expandable 32 from my note 2 which did make things easier when upgrading. I totally see your point here.

      2. A rather sound and reasoned argument. The value of expandable storage and a user-replaceable battery is almost intangible.

        1. I just hope they leave the note 5 alone. The 4 has more than adequate premium feel.

          1. Agreed. With the Note 4 I feel they’ve found the right balance between style and substance.

          2. But the Note 4 has a removable battery, which means you can hold onto it longer. Which doesn’t give Samsung an excuse to force Apple-like forced obsolescence.I guarantee the Note 5 will spit in its fans faces as much as this phone does. The underdog company that fought against the mighty Apple 2 years ago is dead, and they have become them.

          3. Well let’s hope that doesn’t come to pass shall we?

          4. OMG…Love your handle :)

  10. “HTC and Sony have long out-classed Samsung in terms of premium devices”

    Not when it came to practical features which many consumers depended on like expandable storage and a user-replaceable battery.

    I refuse to believe that a company like Samsung is not able to design a mobile device that isn’t able to retain those two extremely valuable capabilities and still house everything within a “premium” shell.

    Sony and HTC have proven that you can at least keep expandable storage. Samsung has the resources to figure out the engineering to keep removable batteries.

    1. well put. Made me think and I agree.

    2. They absolutely have the means to design the phone but it is no longer a sound business decision for them apparently. The hardcore user makes up such a small percentage that they really can care less that we are gone. They have decided to go mainstream and go with what the masses what…… iPhone with android.

      It’s not really surprising. The galaxy S5 is an amazing phone and it will probably be the last of its kind. Sure the specs on the S6 are superior but they’ve lost all the things that made them stand out. I’m sure that they’re hoping that the causal user will be confused between the iPhone and the S6 and side with the S6 because it looks “premium”.

      It’s like Nintendo all over again but will they suffer the same fate? Only time will tell…..

      1. I really don’t think it’s just the “hardcore” users who value expandable storage and user-replaceable batteries. It seems that those two features helped a great amount of customers to go with Samsung’s flagships, not just the real enthusiast but the casual consumer as well.

        Let’s see what happens with the Note 5. If they retain those two important features then the radical design changes on the S6 will definitely pan out as a great business decision. If they don’t and they neuter the Note 5, then it will look a more riskier move. They’ll still beat last year’s S5 sales but they’ll be losing a great deal of their loyal fan base.

        1. I agree with that. It’s not fair to say that it only affects the “hardcore” users. They really did alienate a considerable amount of customers with this move.

          I don’t really see them leaving the features in the N5 but I wouldn’t be sad if they did. It would be terrible to lose the feature completely because success will certainly mean that these features are done for.

      2. OMG…Love your handle and avatar….GO G-MEN!!!! :)

        My current and probably last Sammy device I am using is the Galaxy Note Edge with a 128GB SD card…YASSSSS…I am a big audio streamer and use Spotify alot and I have over 70GBs worth of music/mp3’s on my phone right now….Also I have videos and pictures all on my SD card and it is EXTREMELY fast….I am one of those users who require/desire removable storage and battery….My only gripe with the Galaxy Note Edge is that the Development Community hasn’t made any good progress in ROMs I am using a custom ROM but it is the only one available on XDA…

      3. The Nintendo comparison is weird… because the WiiU has basically lost all of it’s 3rd party developer support and relies on Nintendo 1st party games… which is not really appealing to the masses… but rather the “hardcore” Nintendo fans.

        1. I was really talking about what they did with the Wii. The problems they’re are having with the WiiU are a result of what they did with the wii.

  11. It’s funny how when Samsung choose to go with premium materials, they cut features, no expandable memory and smaller battery and yet they still find a way to convince people to buy even with an increased price

    1. …so like Apple?

      1. You dam right, apple wasn’t even using a gig of ram at one point, just raping the game

  12. Premium is fine but keep some that will have removable battery and SD slot… Please.. If those gone for good so are plenty of their customers

    1. Remember the G2? It was very premium feeling for a phone of its time. They covered the battery, micro SD card and SIM card with a removable metal back. Surely this type of approach can be used again !

  13. The only premium thing about glass and aluminum are the looks and how it feels. While you can better use plastic for a phone cause it absorbs chocks a lot better when you drop it.

    1. Simple… don’t drop it. I have never dropped a phone….. EVER… since the late 90’s. EVER!

    2. Plus everyone knows Plastic has better cell reception than metal ever will. I’d rather be able to make a phone call better than than have my phone look pretty

  14. welp, there goes any hope for the Note 5. Goodbye and Good Luck, Samsung. And I shall stay committed to the S5 being my last Samsung product. Forced obsolescence is something I will not tolerate with Android.

    Like your archenemy, you truly have become rotten to the core.

    1. In all fairness, the note 4 has an aluminum shell around it, so just because Samsung is going the “premium materials” route doesn’t explicitly mean unibody and without user-replaceable battery and SD card slot. Perhaps they’ll look at the Note line as the “enthusiast” line, and keep things more customizable, and have the S line as the “mainstream” line, where they try to keep up with Apple and whatever other manufacturers are positioning their phones as “luxury” items.

  15. The best AMOLED out there is their reason for success.

    1. Samsung is known to make low end phones as well so dont sleep just on glass.

  16. ” People have been begging Samsung to ditch the faux materials and go with metal and glass.”

    ever since my first smart phone, the Samsung Galaxy S1, I’ve had nothing but Samsung phones. My kids and the woman i share with have had mainly Samsung phones. Most of my family have had mainly Samsung phones. Most of my friends have had mainly Samsung phones. I have never heard a single person complain about Samsungs plastics. The only people I’ve ever seen whine about Samsungs plastic bodies have been online opinion piece writers, and iPhone fans trolling android articles. And perhaps the occasional HTC or Nexus owner …..
    i’d like to see what figures you drew upon to make the above claim?

    1. I’d like to see your figures (outside of your family & friends) that you drew upon to make the above challenge to the above claim?!

      1. @Albert Orange
        aah Mr Orange, which one of those groups are you a member of? Are you an opinion piece writer, an iphone troll, or an HTC / Nexus owner? Do you complain long and hard about Samsungs plastic while not owning a Samsung phone? So please tell me, how many Samsung owners in real life have you heard whine about Samsungs plastic bodies of Samsung phones?
        aah, thought so …

        1. I currently own an iPhone 6, Note 4, HTC One M8, LG G3.

          I have owned the Galaxy S4, S3, Note 2, HTC One M7, Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus One, Moto Droid, T-Mobile G1 & every iPhone released since 2007.

          I will be getting Galaxy S6, HTC One M9 and maybe the G4 if it impresses me enough. I might also get the One Plus Two if they go without the convoluted invite system.

          But to answer your question, I am a fanboy of none who admittedly uses his Apple devices more than his other devices. On the computer side of things, my computer is a self built monster that is hackintosh capable booting into OSX 90% of the time and Windows just for gaming. I own 0 tablets because they do not fit into my lifestyle at all. I own a Pebble smartwatch because it works on both platforms and does what I need to do.

          What was your point again? I just asked to see your figures…

          1. so, just to clarify, since 2007 you’ve owned what? 10 iphones? 13 assorted Android phones? With another 4 you intend to own? Making a total of 27 phones you have or will have owned in 8 years? 2fucking7 of them? And you’ve never EVER dropped a single one of them? Not once? You know, I’m almost tempted to be impressed and believe you out of kindness. But i simply don’t have it in me. Sorry.

          2. I’ll try to sleep tonight but it will be difficult knowing that some moe on the internet doesn’t believe what I have said.

    2. I’ve used the Samsung S2, S3, Note 2 and Galaxy Nexus. The build never bothered me. But you are 100% correct about the only people complaining about it were mostly trolls and sites with writers who own Apple stock.

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