Materials

by Volker Weber

To me, design isn't only how things look and work, it's also how they feel. With most Samsung devices, I feel an immediate rejection. Too shiny, too thin, too light. I believe that when you compare two things of the same size, the heavier once feels more expensive. An iPhone or a Lumia 800 get it right, so does the Nexus One, the Nexus S feels cheap in comparison.

"A single piece of polycarbonate" sounds more solid than "a block of plastic". That's the narrative, but you feel it right away, when you pick up a Lumia 800. Everything is just right.

While the black, cyan and pink Lumias have a matte finish, the white ones are glossy. It makes them more slippery and prone to finger prints. But they still feel expensive, because they are solid. When you squeeze them, they don't give. I have a Lumia 900 in a white glossy finish, and it feels less refined than the cyan matte 800 or the black matte N9.

What I prefer even more is the white 808 PureView. Its surface is even more textured than the matte Lumia 800. The black screen is shiny and the body is a pure white and has a phantastic form. You just want to hold it. Even though it has a back cover, which lets you replace the battery, it is still solid to the touch.

The only device that feels (and is) more expensive is the iPhone 4(S). But since that is fragile, people tend to wrap it into a cheap plastic case.

Comments

Very well said (the last sentence).

Have you ever held a black Lumia 900? When directly comparing with my black Lumia 800 I thought it was a little more textured / rougher on the surface. Very nice to hold and less slippery than the Lumia 800.

Nevertheless, this is probably the first time in many years I am skipping a Nokia Flagship (hey, I even had the E7). We will talk again in October, I guess :)

Hubert Stettner, 2012-06-27

So what is your opinion about the new Samsung? I think it actually feels pretty solid, despite being made in plastic. And I don't think that thin is a problem, as long as it fit in my hand comfortably.
After reading the reviews where people were talking about how the case was plastic and not some new ceramic polymer, I was afraid I would not like the phone, but I am actually very happy with it.

Karl-Henry Martinsson, 2012-06-27

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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