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GER_T4IGA

Why do people hate on plastic phones?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Preface: I am by no means against a metal frame. I think it greatly improves rigidity but I also don't understand why wouldn't want to 

 

Here are some reasons why why they are superior:

  • They are lighter. Your phone will have less momentum when you drop it and will be easier to hold up for extended periods of time
  • It is cheaper. This doesn't just mean it is cheaper to produce & buy but also easier and significantly cheaper to fix.
  • It is harder to break. When you drop a plastic phone it scratches instead of shattering (seeing as apparently glass is the favored alternative by the complainers™)
  • Imo scratches on plastic are a lot less visible than on glass and in some cases can even be buffed out with relatively minimal effort. That isn't possible with glass
  • Glass is a fingerprint magnet. It looks cool new and on renders but in practice it always looks dirty. Just look at your phone's screen right now! Plastic exerpts that issue a lot less
  • Plastic can do a lot more elastic deformation as opposed to glass, which will crack a lot sooner.

Some neutral points:

  • You can make plastic just as colorful as glass. You area a bit more flexible with surface finishes since glass wil mostly have some sort of remaining shine. On the other hand plastic shine isn't built to last very long.
  • Most people use a case that covers the back cover anyway, so why do they even care??

Some more negative thoughts of mine

  • Paint on plastic will inevitably chip and look like garbage. Reference old samsung phones with silver painted plastic trim. That was the definition of a horrible idea.
  • It scratches a lot more easily because it is a softer material.
  • People say it feels a lot less premium. That might be because it is lighter or because it is less heat conductive and will feel warmer to the touch. I personally think this is idiotic. Just look at where the weighty feel of powersupplies pushed the industry: Some manufacturers putting literal DEAD weight into cheap PSUs to make them 'feel' more premium.

 

Feel free to add to or oppose my points. I would love to hear if I was fundamentally wrong about any of these or if I forgot to add any major dis-/advantages.

PS: Yes, this was inspired by people whining about the plastic below the Short Circuit of the Pixel 4a.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Riderz said:

simple you drop it the whole back of the phone comes off

That's not the materials fault. If the manufacturer decides to glue in the panel that wouldn't happen. It just so happens that most plastic back phones also allow you to take the back of to replace your battery or get to components more easily. What phone were you thinking of when you typed this?


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1 minute ago, GER_T4IGA said:

That's not the materials fault. If the manufacturer decides to glue in the panel that wouldn't happen. It just so happens that most plastic back phones also allow you to take the back of to replace your battery or get to components more easily. What phone were you thinking of when you typed this?

i was thinking like a samsung one of the older versions but you do have a point

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8 minutes ago, GER_T4IGA said:
  • They are lighter. Your phone will have less momentum when you drop it and will be easier to hold up for extended periods of time
  • It is cheaper. This doesn't just mean it is cheaper to produce & buy but also easier and significantly cheaper to fix.

i was the owner of a samsung j7 nxt as well as an asus max pro m1. both had plastic bodies. since im a football(soccer) player, i played with my phone in my pocket, and often fell down, thus damaging the phone. cost me a bit to get them repaired as well. then i switched to a one plus 7. for some reason, no matter how much i fell with my phone in my pocket, the front or the back glass never broke. i really dont know how.

 

so by my experience, i cant really agree with these statements. plastic phones are often flimsier and more prone to damage according to me.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Riderz said:

i was thinking like a samsung one of the older versions but you do have a point

I agree that those were not the most well secured panels. Take the Pocophone F1 for examplel. That panel is secured by 2 Screws and strong clips all around the phone but can still be remove easily with the right tools. That's a better execution imo.
On the positive side that were decidedly grippy which was pretty useful and very scratch resistant :)


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Thats true but if you think about it those old phones with the back plates coming off so easy was a headache your battery and backplate would slide across the whole room!

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, PoopThatTookAPee said:

 

i was the owner of a samsung j7 nxt as well as an asus max pro m1. both had plastic bodies. since im a football(soccer) player, i played with my phone in my pocket, and often fell down, thus damaging the phone. cost me a bit to get them repaired as well. then i switched to a one plus 7. for some reason, no matter how much i fell with my phone in my pocket, the front or the back glass never broke. i really dont know how.

 

so by my experience, i cant really agree with these statements. plastic phones are often flimsier and more prone to damage according to me.

Since you also quoted that second point. How much did the fix cost? How much is a new back glass in your oneplus 7 (hypothetically ofc).


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1 minute ago, GER_T4IGA said:

Since you also quoted that second point. How much did the fix cost? How much is a new back glass in your oneplus 7 (hypothetically ofc).

in case of the samsung, the camera shattered, the screen cracked and the rear speaker module stopped working. cost me about 7000 INR (95USD) to fix. for the asus, the screen shattered thrice totally, as well as a faulty. the front camera managed to detatch itself as well. cost me somewhere near 8000INR(100-105 USD) to fix(three screen repairs).

 

im not exactly sure how much a back glass replacement on the oneplus 7 would cost, im certain it wouldnt be north of 5-7 thousand rupees. plus in india, there are service centres that arent recognized by any brands that can repair phones, especially chinese ones like oneplus, xiaomi, vivo, oppo, etc for dirt cheap


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Glass phones, metal phones or whatever... I use a case, I'll never see the phone as it was sold to me, because more often than not, the phone is slippery without a case when you have sweaty hands.

 

A plastic phone matter not to me. I'd rather have a plastic phone than a "premium feeling" phone that will be hidden under a plastic/rubber case anyway just because I don't want to shatter it if it drops. (Though I've only dropped a phone twice, neither times broke anything... Both times because it slipped out of my hand without a case)


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52 minutes ago, GER_T4IGA said:

Most people use a case that covers the back cover anyway, so why do they even care??

This exactly. Why on earth do people spend so much money on a thing to "feel and look premium" to then cover it up with a cheap bit of rubber. 

 

I would actually extend this even further; why are phones these days so damn weak? I mean, it's a thing that gets bashed around all day, yet it's such a fragile thing. Why is it considered normal that you have to have some sort of case protecting it? The smartphone case is a patch for a problem that doesn't even have to exist in the first place.

 

 

 

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This might be a bit controversial, but here it goes.

 

I don't think people actually "hate" plastic back phones, but all your major phone manufacturers have tricked your average consumers into believing glass backed phones are more premium, and of course, that isn't true. People have their own perception of what "premium" is.

 

If you shatter the back glass, guess who you have to pay to repair it, while retaining the phone's warranty? That's right, the manufacturer or their certified repair partners.

 

Since the average consumer is now tricked into believing glass is the more premium material, the manufacturer will slowly phase out plastic phones, provided they have the budget to do so and aren't focused on building a budget device (e.g. Pixel 4A, OnePlus Nord, Pocophone F1) and market glass as this majestic material that allows for wireless charging capability, better wireless connectivity, and in some cases "durable" material, which is hard to objectively assess. Aluminum backed phones are sadly a no-go because it can possibly interfere with wireless signals and it makes it hard to implement wireless charging.

 

Even with the glass backs, people will still use a case, but do you know what phone is in that case? A nice, $1,500 CAD iPhone 11 Pro Max, sure it has a case on it and it makes the "premium glass back feeling" redundant, but oh look, there's an Apple logo or Apple cutout on the case!

 

As far as I know, there's no iPhone 11 Pro Max that is made with a plastic back.

 

TL;DR the modern smartphone is a status symbol. Manufacturers want to use glass on their flagship devices because of wireless charging and they can also charge whatever they want to repair that glass back. People want flagship devices, manufacturers are happy to oblige, as long as they get to put a glass back on it.

 

 

36 minutes ago, akio123008 said:

I would actually extend this even further; why are phones these days so damn weak? I mean, it's a thing that gets bashed around all day, yet it's such a fragile thing. Why is it considered normal that you have to have some sort of case protecting it? The smartphone case is a patch for a problem that doesn't even have to exist in the first place.

 

I have a simple answer for you.

Money.

 

 

1 hour ago, GER_T4IGA said:

How much is a new back glass in your oneplus 7 (hypothetically ofc).

 

1 hour ago, PoopThatTookAPee said:

im not exactly sure how much a back glass replacement on the oneplus 7 would cost, im certain it wouldnt be north of 5-7 thousand rupees. plus in india, there are service centres that arent recognized by any brands that can repair phones, especially chinese ones like oneplus, xiaomi, vivo, oppo, etc for dirt cheap

 

OnePlus has a support page that lists out-of-warranty repair prices.

 

It looks like the glass back costs somewhere around ₹1,850 (not including labour), which is where the real money is to be made. If I had to guess, labour would be another ₹2,000.


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Ok. Go watch jerryrigeverything. Find a video of a plastic body phone, and watch the bend.


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Just now, TheTechWizardThatNeedsHelp said:

Ok. Go watch jerryrigeverything. Find a video of a plastic body phone, and watch the bend.

Plastic body phones aren't necessarily the issue, but sometimes manufacturers cheap out a bit too much and don't secure the motherboard properly to the body or they don't put some sort of metal brace inside the phone to make the phone more rigid, which in turn causes a higher probability of the phone's structural integrity being compromised.


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Just now, KenTees said:

Plastic body phones aren't necessarily the issue, but sometimes manufacturers cheap out a bit too much and don't secure the motherboard properly to the body or they don't put some sort of metal brace inside the phone to make the phone more rigid, which in turn causes a higher probability of the phone's structural integrity being compromised.

If we are putting a metal brace inside the phone, why not just have a all metal body without glass?


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I don't think people are hating on plastic phones, but rather when manufacturers charge premium prices for plastic phones. Plastic is fine, but if I'm spending $1000 on a phone, I'm expecting premium materials. (Looking at you Note20) I have no problem if a manufacturer uses plastic instead of glass, as long as these cost savings are passed along to the consumer.


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1 minute ago, TheTechWizardThatNeedsHelp said:

If we are putting a metal brace inside the phone, why not just have a all metal body without glass?

Wireless charging is impossible if the phone has a metal body.


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4 minutes ago, TheTechWizardThatNeedsHelp said:

If we are putting a metal brace inside the phone, why not just have a all metal body without glass?

It's cheaper, a slim piece of aluminum costs way less than a block of aluminum that has to be milled into the shape of a phone shell.

 

I mean like, look at this beauty, all milled from a solid block of aluminum.

 

spacer.png


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1 hour ago, GER_T4IGA said:

Preface: I am by no means against a metal frame. I think it greatly improves rigidity but I also don't understand why wouldn't want to 

 

Here are some reasons why why they are superior:

  • They are lighter. Your phone will have less momentum when you drop it and will be easier to hold up for extended periods of time
  • It is cheaper. This doesn't just mean it is cheaper to produce & buy but also easier and significantly cheaper to fix.
  • It is harder to break. When you drop a plastic phone it scratches instead of shattering (seeing as apparently glass is the favored alternative by the complainers™)
  • Imo scratches on plastic are a lot less visible than on glass and in some cases can even be buffed out with relatively minimal effort. That isn't possible with glass
  • Glass is a fingerprint magnet. It looks cool new and on renders but in practice it always looks dirty. Just look at your phone's screen right now! Plastic exerpts that issue a lot less
  • Plastic can do a lot more elastic deformation as opposed to glass, which will crack a lot sooner.

Some neutral points:

  • You can make plastic just as colorful as glass. You area a bit more flexible with surface finishes since glass wil mostly have some sort of remaining shine. On the other hand plastic shine isn't built to last very long.
  • Most people use a case that covers the back cover anyway, so why do they even care??

Some more negative thoughts of mine

  • Paint on plastic will inevitably chip and look like garbage. Reference old samsung phones with silver painted plastic trim. That was the definition of a horrible idea.
  • It scratches a lot more easily because it is a softer material.
  • People say it feels a lot less premium. That might be because it is lighter or because it is less heat conductive and will feel warmer to the touch. I personally think this is idiotic. Just look at where the weighty feel of powersupplies pushed the industry: Some manufacturers putting literal DEAD weight into cheap PSUs to make them 'feel' more premium.

 

Feel free to add to or oppose my points. I would love to hear if I was fundamentally wrong about any of these or if I forgot to add any major dis-/advantages.

PS: Yes, this was inspired by people whining about the plastic below the Short Circuit of the Pixel 4a.

Plastic is structurally weaker and as you have said scratches to fuck. Doesn’t last as long and wears faster.


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3 minutes ago, PCGuy_5960 said:

Wireless charging is impossible if the phone has a metal body.

Which is such a loss *rolls eyes*


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Just now, Lord Vile said:

Which is such a loss *rolls eyes*

Yeah, personally I couldn't care less but wireless charging has basically become a must-have in every high end phone for some reason.


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Just now, PCGuy_5960 said:

Yeah, personally I couldn't care less but wireless charging has basically become a must-have in every high end phone for some reason.

It’s android with the throw shit and see what sticks I think then it’s just become a “omg it doesn’t have wireless charging” even though 90% of people don’t use it because you can get a fast charger instead. Similar to a phone that has a 1080p screen means the panel is worse than a 1440p screen because bigger number = better and colour reproduction isn’t a thing. 
 

 


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14 minutes ago, Lord Vile said:

It’s android with the throw shit and see what sticks I think then it’s just become a “omg it doesn’t have wireless charging” even though 90% of people don’t use it because you can get a fast charger instead. Similar to a phone that has a 1080p screen means the panel is worse than a 1440p screen because bigger number = better and colour reproduction isn’t a thing. 
 

 

I wouldn't say it's Android manufacturers trying to sell it as a gimmick, but more so the fact that when people are selecting a phone, customers want options.

 

Sure, wireless charging isn't as fast as a wall charger, and it produces a lot of heat that could shorten the battery's lifespan, but the feeling of having options just makes the phone more appealing and manufacturers by nature, want their phone to appeal to as many people possible.

 

Example, the headphone jack. Most people have a pair of wireless earphones or wireless headphones nowadays, but just having the headphone jack for a rainy day, makes the decision of buying a phone easier.

 

My OnePlus 7 Pro doesn't have wireless charging, but I don't lose any sleep over it. I believe it is important to always look at the opposing perspective.


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Phone: OnePlus 7 Pro Almond (OnePlus GM1917)

Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8" (SM-T330NU)

 

Previous Phones: Apple iPhone 4, Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (SM-N910W8), OnePlus 5T (OnePlus A5010), OnePlus 6 (OnePlus A6003)

 

PCPartsPicker:

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PCPartsPicker Link: http://tiny.cc/KenTees

Last updated: April 23, 2019 at 2:00 PM

 

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9 minutes ago, KenTees said:

I wouldn't say it's Android manufacturers trying to sell it as a gimmick, but more so the fact that when people are selecting a phone, customers want options.

 

Sure, wireless charging isn't as fast as a wall charger, and it produces a lot of heat that could shorten the battery's lifespan, but the feeling of having options just makes the phone more appealing and manufacturers by nature, want their phone to appeal to as many people possible.

 

Example, the headphone jack. Most people have a pair of wireless earphones or wireless headphones nowadays, but just having the headphone jack for a rainy day, makes the decision of buying a phone easier.

 

My OnePlus 7 Pro doesn't have wireless charging, but I don't lose any sleep over it. I believe it is important to always look at the opposing perspective.

I don’t blame them they have to differentiate their devices somehow as they’re all running the same OS on the same hardware with the same basic design but it’s people effectively writing a drive off because of features that they won’t use or don’t understand properly (like phones shipping with 4K displays WHY?!)


Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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26 minutes ago, PCGuy_5960 said:

Yeah, personally I couldn't care less but wireless charging has basically become a must-have in every high end phone for some reason.

If you are using PLASTIC, it probably isn't a high end phone. 


I am still TechWizardThatNeedsHelp, just less of a mouthfull.

 

My beautiful, but not that powerful, main PC:

My new PC I'm saving for:

  • NZXT H1 Matte Black
    • Comes with a 650W NZXT PSU
    • NZXT AIO
  • Ryzen 5 3600
  • MSI B450i GAMING PLUS AC
  • XPG ADATA 2800Mhz
  • RX480 untill I have more for a 2060 or 2070
  • 2tb Sabrent Rocket Q PCIE gen 3 NVME SSD
  • Samsung 470 128GB SATA SSD
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