Sunday Debate: The Best Smartphone Materials & Textures

Sunday Debate: The Best Smartphone Materials & Textures

Join us in a fun Sunday Debate on Phone Materials. Come with your opinions and feel free to read some of our thoughts, then pick your side or play devil’s advocate to get your voice heard and engage in friendly discussion. You can read our food-for-thought or jump straight into the fray below!

Now that Android software is polished and efficient on almost every high-profile phone, manufacturers have taken to improve their smartphone designs and make this a big priority for each and every release. In the past 2 years, “leak culture” has accelerated, and it has become an integral part of our blogosphere and enthusiast discussion, in great part due to the constant feed of new, alleged images of our most awaited devices. We discuss their looks at length, but why do we disagree on them?

We are framing this as an open debate in which you can defend your favorite smartphone material, or tell us why you think the industry should move away from your least favorite ones. Do consider every aspect and outcome of the materials discussed – their look, feel, durability, grip, texture, and whether they allow for removable backs or not. Without further ado, let’s get the debate rolling:

  • What smartphone materials are your favorite?
  • Why are those materials better than others?
  • Where would you place each material to get the perfect phone?
  • Why are your preferred materials good for the User Experience?
  • What phones are shining examples of good fit and finish?

Plastic

Good old plastic, from glossy to matte, has been present in some of our most beloved devices. Plastic remains a preferred solution to the pragmatic smartphone users who love removable back covers and the durability these add to their phones. Plastics bend and don’t break, and while they do get scratched, they do not suffer as much from drops and the like.

Metal

Being one of the materials that the “premium feel” lovers pushed into the mainstream, metal is now more common than ever. Metal phones feel more solid than those with other materials, and usually compliment the more industrial designs for very high-quality looks, especially with precisely-crafted unibody designs. Metal also helps with heat distribution, but boy can it get cold too!

Leather

The Note 3 brought the material into consideration with its faux leather back, but newer devices had a proper realization. The Moto X 2014, for example, featured a rugged leather back that marinated and matured with age, giving you a more personal experience as every micro scuff would give the phone character, not ugliness. Leather makes wearing out your phone a bliss, not a worry.

Glass

Glass backs might be fragile, but they are also very stylish. From black slabs to shiny mirrors passing through holographic patterns, glass backs allow for various shiny designs while still keeping a premium feel. Smudges and scratches might be a threat, but those who can baby their devices get quite the lookers with their glass smartphones.

Wood

Wood grants smartphones a contrast that other materials can’t match, as it merges the organic with bleeding edge technology in a seamless package. Wood is not only pleasant to look at and hold, but it also is quite durable, especially certain kinds like bamboo. The unique designs on genuine wood backs mean that you get an irreplicable look as well. With the appropriate metal edges and accents, these can look even more rustic too.

Carbon Fiber

Carbon Fiber is a niche favorite that many users seem to love, going as far as buying cases and skins that sport a similar look and feel. The traditionally-stripped carbon fiber backs offer great grip, durability and a uniqueness factor that most mainstream devices lack. Whether its from a skin or a built-in back, carbon fiber is a stylish material that is only becoming more popular as a modular option.

Other options

There are many other materials used in smartphones, from football textures to sandpaper, and the OnePlus One’s “baby skin” (not actual baby skin). If you feel like your particular choice is more specific or niche than the ones listed above, feel free to defend it as vigorously as you can.

Debating

There are multitudes of textures and materials out there that can enrich our smartphone’s tactile experience, and we all have our respective preferences. Keeping in mind the virtues of each material, which one would you say is the best one for you, and why is it superior to others? Let us know below!

  • What smartphone materials are your favorite?
  • Why are those materials better than others?
  • Where would you place each material to get the perfect phone?
  • Why are your preferred materials good for the User Experience?
  • What phones are shining examples of good fit and finish?

 

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