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Flagship Smartphones Are Switching to Metal Bodies, But I Still Prefer Plastic

When Samsung launched the Samsung Galaxy S51, people complained that it looked cheap because it was made from the same polycarbonate plastic material as seen in other smartphones – not to mention the same, monotonous design spanning across all its devices. Today, many of the new flagship smartphones in the market – iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, HTC One M92, Samsung Galaxy S63 and Galaxy S6 Edge4 – flaunt a metal body. Chinese companies soon followed suit, with phones like the Gionee Elife S5.55, Huawei Ascend P86, and Xiaomi Mi 47 also using metal.

On the other hand, brands that aren’t using metal, go with glass or leather as seen in Sony Xperia Z4 or the upcoming LG G48.

I’m using an old Google Nexus 59 that’s made from plastic, and I hate this shift towards metal. Plastic phones hide scratches, are tough and don’t shatter. They’re often cheaper, usually feel great in the hand, and look good too.

As of today, large segments of handset users favour metal smartphones for their looks or premium feel.

Couple of my colleagues use iPhone, and after a few months, their handsets are covered in scratches, most of which are distinctly visible on the shiny Apple logo at the back. Now they stay hidden courtesy ‘plastic’ phone covers, which they say is a part of “customisation”.

apple_iphone_5_back_logo_scratch_silver_ndtv.jpg

I thought smartphones with premium metal finish are supposed to be flaunted for their looks and design, not stay under a phone cover? Plastic phones tend to hide most of the blemishes on them while on metal bodies, even the smallest of marks appear terribly clear and deep.

And to top it off, the plastic on my phone might not look as good to some, but it’s probably going to last longer than your metal phone.

Here’s a video clip showing a drop test of last year’s (metal) flagship HTC One (M8)10. In this video11, the handset is dropped thrice on the ground (back, side and front faced) to test its durability and the resistance level. Well, the very first drop test will speak for itself.

My LG-made Google Nexus 5 sports a plastic build, and I sometimes use a cover, but only because I like the customisation, not because I need protection for my phone.

google_nexus_5_camera_plastic_cover_ndtv.jpg

Moving on, aluminium or magnesium (metals commonly used in smartphones) are malleable.

After all, most metals bend when sufficient force is applied. Remember last year’s popular bendgate video featuring iPhone 612 and iPhone 6 Plus13? And also Samsung’s recent video showing how much pressure the new Galaxy devices can take before they break or bend?

It was the glass bodied Xperia Z3 which didn’t break14, thanks to its rounded aluminium frame and tempered glass panels.

Smartphones with plastic build, on the other hand, stay safe from such issues. Polycarbonate material, which is used in most good quality plastic-built handsets, is known for its high impact resistance, good temperature resistance and flexibility. For instance, take a look at the LG G315 and Samsung Galaxy S5 bend test in this video16.

These phones can stand up to much more abuse.

The only advantage metal has is that it is good in dissipating heat as compared to plastic. However, at the end of the day, the heating-up of a handset mostly depends on the usage and how much load is being put on the SoC – high performance tasks will cause heating, but the daily usage of your phone shouldn’t be a problem.

For me, the most important thing is that a phone doesn’t need to be aluminium or magnesium-bodied to look good. I could talk about the design of Nexus 5, which feels great in hand and has a very unsophisticated, simple design, or even the LG G3.

Take the recently introduced Lumia 64017 or any of the first generation Motorola smartphones (Moto X18, Moto G19 or Moto E20). All of them are sturdy, offer a good grip in hands, and in my opinion, look more stylish than metal-bodied phones.

google_nexus_5_camera_plastic_cover_ndtv.jpg

So far, metal smartphones are still limited in numbers to flagships. But as is always the case, the ‘premium’ material might trickle down to mid-range handsets soon, and to some budget offerings as well.

But I hope plastic or polycarbonate handsets will never die because, for this user at least, they’re the better choice.

References

  1. ^ Samsung Galaxy S5 (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  2. ^ HTC One M9 (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  3. ^ Samsung Galaxy S6 (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  4. ^ Galaxy S6 Edge (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  5. ^ Gionee Elife S5.5 (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  6. ^ Huawei Ascend P8 (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  7. ^ Xiaomi Mi 4 (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  8. ^ upcoming LG G4 (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  9. ^ Google Nexus 5 (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  10. ^ HTC One (M8) (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  11. ^ this video (www.youtube.com)
  12. ^ iPhone 6 (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  13. ^ iPhone 6 Plus (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  14. ^ which didn’t break (www.youtube.com)
  15. ^ LG G3 (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  16. ^ this video (www.youtube.com)
  17. ^ Lumia 640 (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  18. ^ Moto X (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  19. ^ Moto G (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  20. ^ Moto E (gadgets.ndtv.com)

Twitter’s Highlights feature helps you catch up quicker than before

If you’re not sat updating your Twitter1 feed every couple of minutes it’s likely you’re going to miss quite a bit of what goes on there.

Twitter knows this and has rolled out a new feature for those using the Android2 app that supplies users a push notification of what’s been happening it comes through twice a day meaning you’re unlikely to miss anything big.

It’ll work out the tweets to include based on conversations among the accounts your follow and other trending topics it doesn’t want to send you just any old tweets.

Tailored tweets

To opt in to the service you’ll need to head into the Settings, press your Twitter handle, look at the mobile notifications section and then check the Highlights box.

Twitter has said it’s thinking of bringing the feature to iOS and other platforms soon but it seems the company is just testing out the feature on Android3 for now.

References

  1. ^ Twitter (blog.twitter.com)
  2. ^ Android (www.techradar.com)
  3. ^ Android (www.techradar.com)

LG G4 to Be More Expensive Than Galaxy S6; Dual-SIM Variant Leaked

As we approach LG’s April 28 event which will see the company unveil its latest G4 flagship, more details about the smartphone are surfacing on the Internet. The latest word comes about the pricing of the LG G4 flagship smartphone and it might not be very exciting for LG fans.

A Korean publication citing an LG Electronics official reports that the LG G41 will be priced somewhere in between the Samsung Galaxy S62 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge3. Additionally, a dual-SIM variant of the G4 flagship has been spotted in Iran while the company has teased the G4’s genuine leather rear panel in a new video.

ET News speculates that LG might be priced at $825 (approximately Rs.

52,250), considering that the Galaxy S6 comes at $795 (approximately Rs.

50,300) while the Galaxy S6 Edge $910 (approximately Rs.

57,600). An LG Electronics official told ET News4, “Prices are yet to be confirmed, but will stay within that range. The comparison target is Edge because the best camera, natural leather, etc.

are used.”

The company is clearly stressing that the LG G4 is a more premium proposition than Samsung’s Galaxy S6 flagship and is looking to undercut the Galaxy S6 Edge’s pricing instead. The report also added that the G4 has gone up for pre-orders in Korea via three mobile carriers – SK Telecom, KT, and LG U+.

We will have to still wait for LG to announce the pricing details of its upcoming G4 flagship next week.

In other news, a dual-SIM variant of the LG G4 has been spotted in Iran. A Persian site5 (via PhoneArena6) posted live images of the LG G4 with dual-SIM support.

In the leaked images, the G4 is seen housing a SIM switch button at the bottom panel of the screen. Another leaked image shows the G4 will feature a 3000mAh battery and will support wireless charging like other current flagship handsets. The website also claimed that the G4 will also come with plastic back panel alongside a leather back model.

Another Korean report7 has claimed that the LG G4 screen will be slightly curved with a 3000mm radius.

The curve will not be drastic compared to the likes of the LG G Flex28 (which has a 750mm-radius curvature9 on the display); though will be helpful for handset’s grip ergonomics for usage.

The slight curve is in fact identical to that on the LG Magna10 and LG Spirit11, smartphones which were launched12 ahead of MWC 2015.

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Finally, continuing its tradition of teasing the handset’s features via a series of videos, LG has shared a new video showing how the leather back panel of the G4 was produced.

LG has till date confirmed a few other specifications for its upcoming G4 flagship.

The handset will feature a 5.5-inch QHD13 (1440×2560 pixels) resolution IPS display with a pixel density of 535ppi; LG UX 4.014 with new features; 16-megapixel rear camera with an f/1.8 aperture; LED flash and laser autofocus, and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera15.

The LG G4 launch event16 will take place in New York, London, and Paris on April 28 followed by an April 29 launch in Seoul, Singapore, and Istanbul.

References

  1. ^ LG G4 (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  2. ^ Samsung Galaxy S6 (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  3. ^ Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  4. ^ ET News (english.etnews.com)
  5. ^ site (www.zoomit.ir)
  6. ^ PhoneArena (www.phonearena.com)
  7. ^ report (www.businesskorea.co.kr)
  8. ^ LG G Flex2 (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  9. ^ 750mm-radius curvature (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  10. ^ LG Magna (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  11. ^ LG Spirit (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  12. ^ launched (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  13. ^ feature a 5.5-inch QHD (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  14. ^ LG UX 4.0 (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  15. ^ 8-megapixel front-facing camera (gadgets.ndtv.com)
  16. ^ LG G4 launch event (gadgets.ndtv.com)
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