Galaxy Note Edge 03

AH PrimeTime: Samsung Finally Gives Users The Metal They Have Been Asking For

September 9, 2014 - Written By Ray Greer


Metal seems to be the material people want their devices to be made of, even if it’s just the accents. The material gives any device a premium feel, like the device you purchased at high prices was worth every last penny. Samsung users have been longing for the company to start using metal, and now it seems they’ve finally been heard. The new devices like the Samsung Alpha, or the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge are sporting some authentic metal. Does this mean that Samsung has adopted the ways of metal? Samsung has been relying on the features of their devices to make the sales. In doing so, they’ve left the idea of premium materials out of the picture. However, with devices like the HTC One M8 or even the HTC One M7-both made of premium feeling metal, and praised for their design- have made it difficult for Samsung to rely only on features. This was most relevant during the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S5.

When the S5 was first announced, we saw a plastic device with a faux leather backplate. While the device has done pretty well, the design itself was mocked everywhere. The design pattern on the backplate, the color options, and most importantly the lack of metal. Some users found that the missing metal made the Galaxy S5 feel less like a flagship high end device and more like a mid-range device. While that may not be a problem for some, it proved very unhelpful in marketing. Which is why the announcements made during IFA 2014 by Samsung prove even more than anything heard from the company in the last few years.

While some of the excitement comes from a device from Samsung with a curved edge display, the most important change is in the materials. This could mark a turning point for the company where we see the materials being used properly. In the past, we’ve seen “metal” on Galaxy devices, however it turned out to be plastic painted to look like metal. This trend began with the Galaxy S, and has only just begun to end. Samsung has the Galaxy Alpha and now the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge with real metal edges. While it is such a small change and may seem to only have a slight impact on the overall experience of the device, reports suggest that the overall feel of the devices in your hands has definitely improved-almost drastically. The metal surrounding the physical buttons on the sides and top, make them feel more stable and less fragile. The metal edges also give a better appearance to the faux leather on the back. Part of the reason why design materials is so important, is due to the amount of time and money we spend on them.

More and more our smartphones become a crucial part of our lives. We connect with others, work, and entertainment all through our smartphones. With everything we use our smartphones for, they should be made with materials that reflect the amount of time we spend with them. Not to mention the amount of money we spend on them. Most flagship devices are thought to be high-end devices. That high-end name usually comes with a high-end price, around $600 all the way up to $800. For prices like that users expect to hold a device that doesn’t feel like it could break in their hands. Using metal prevents that feeling, even if it’s just the edges. Samsung has given the idea that their devices are made premium from the ground up, and now that’s more true.

The popularity behind Samsung devices has been huge, and much of that can be contributed to their ability to market their products. Using premium materials like metal only put some foundation to these marketing schemes. The premium material may even prove to keep from hurting Samsung’s bottom line. The metal sides, and the curved displays could prove to breathe new life into Samsung as they fight to remain on top in some markets. Still, the best part of the new material in Samsung devices is that it could be a new trend they follow. Design is a major aspect to all smartphones, and design trends come and go, however the premium materials will always be here. Which is why Samsung may be switching gears to better keep their footing in markets where competition is growing. China for example has more smartphone makers than anywhere in the world. Samsung needs to makes sure they do what other smaller companies may not be able to do so well. That includes acquiring metal and premium materials other than plastic to make their devices. What are your thoughts. Is Samsung on the right track using metal on their devices? Do you think the siding is enough or should they ditch the faux leather as well? Let us know in the comments section below or on our G+ page.