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    Default HTC One (M8): Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    There's been a lot of talk from HTC One fanboys over the past year how the One is a 'more quality' device because it's made of metal, and not the 'cheap plastic', like on Samsung devices. However, let's examine a few things:

    - The metal is apparently more scratch-prone, as the guy who reviewed the phone for Engadget said his had already gotten a couple of small scratches. He also said this year's One was 'slippery as a bar of soap' and harder to hold than last year's model, a sentiment that was echoed by Phil:

    http://forums.androidcentral.com/htc...ml#post3532484

    - Most people that get a metal phone end up putting a case on it, so I don't really see what difference it makes?

    I get that some people prefer the look and feel of metal, and that's fine, but I personally prefer plastic phones because they're generally lighter, and I really don't like heavy-*** phones. I guess my point is that I'm tired of people insisting that a phone with a metal shell is somehow of a higher quality than a phone with a plastic one. To me, it's just a personal preference, like LCD screens vs OLED, or big phones vs smaller ones. As long as it's durable and comfortable in the hand, I really don't care much about what the phone looks like.

    My personal feeling on this year's HTC One is that I'm thrilled it has a microSD card slot and a proper Do Not Disturb mode (a feature I consider to be essential on any phone), but I'd rather have a plastic phone with another gb of RAM and a battery with more juice and/or replaceable.
    Last edited by NotJustAPhone; 03-28-2014 at 10:29 AM.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    I think it's completely and utterly personal preference. I really like having at least some metal in the construction. Though I like the carbon fibre/composites of the Motorola Droids and the BlackBerrys (the Q10 even has metal AND glass fibre &#128512. I think we've reached the point in technology where we can start looking at form more than function, as the current chipsets provide plenty of power, at least for what I require from my phone. The M8 looks like a beautiful phone to me, to others it may not. So be it ☺.

    Posted via Android Central App
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    In my opinion, plastic can be just as pleasing to the touch. Whatever method HTC used for the One SV and WP8X is a prime example.

    Posted via Android Central App
    madlaw1071 likes this.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    I keep my phones in cases so it makes zero difference what it's made out of.
    TsuaSai and IAmCashmere_D like this.
  5. #5  

    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    Definitely personal preference
    Just because the phone is metal does not make it better or "more premium" than a phone made of plastic IMO
    Each has its own qualities and benefits, though I do prefer plastic for its durability
    - Using the Sony Xperia Z3! -
    Spencerdl likes this.
  6. #6  
    Haalcyon's Avatar

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    Default Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    I prefer metal to plastic. The plastic has to be really refined to be of a premium quality and unless you're talking Kevlar or aircraft-grade resins to me metal is more desirable in a handset. Yes, I keep my phones in cases but it's not like you get a discount for going with the cheaper plastics...S5 vs. M8. I don't drop my phones any more than I would drop a newborn baby and I keep them in cases, as mentioned. ...so the fact that plastic bounces better is largely lost on me. Cheaper plastics can be done nicely though, I'm not saying otherwise. One only needs to look to LG's phones to see evidence of this.


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  7. #7  

    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    It is definitely personal preference. If plastic was that bad for the product Samsung would be in trouble with their phones but they are okay .

    Sent from my T-Mobile Note 3 using AC Forums.
    Sent from my T-Mobile Note 4 using AC Forums.
    GrooveRite likes this.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Almeuit View Post
    It is definitely personal preference. If plastic was that bad for the product Samsung would be in trouble with their phones but they are okay .

    Sent from my T-Mobile Note 3 using AC Forums.
    Tell them its whats on the inside that counts!
  9. #9  

    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    I like the appearance of metal but the lightness of plastic. Also I think metal construction may be a problem for wireless charging. It's totally preference.

    Sent from my LG-LG870 using Tapatalk 2
  10. #10  

    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    This is obviously something that matters to certain enthusiasts, otherwise HTC would not put that much time and energy into the design process to allow their radios and such to work with an all metal body. That being said, most average people do not notice a huge difference here - remember this? Galaxy S4 versus HTC One in New York's Central Park | Android Central

    Having a removable battery requires a "flimsy, cheap feeling" plastic to be able to take on and off while remaining light, thin and maintaining its shape. There are compromises inherent in making an all metal phone, so it does not wind up as an objectively superior device to all people.
  11. #11  

    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    its kind of a double edged sword in my opinon. I mean we use our smart phones every single day atleast most of us here on AC do. Your spending $500+ on a "premium" flagship device i can see why you would want it to be made of metals and high end materials. However they arent exactly the most durable i know my HTC one 2013 dented very easily. Thats something that doesnt happen to my "cheap" samsung devices. I myself love the feel of the metal phones and getting the satisfaction everytime i use it and pick it up i just wish it were more durable.
  12. #12  

    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    It's all a matter of personal preference. Both metal and plastic can be made into different shapes and finished with different textures. As for weight - aluminum doesn't really weigh that much (stainless steel would be much more noticeable) and some people actually do prefer more weight since they subconsciously associate more "weight" with better overall "quality" (which is somewhat correct since thicker material can be more durable). Both plastic and metal bodies can be made to feel "solid", though, with not much deformation or "play" when you press on various areas of the phone, like my current plastic Moto X which feels pleasantly "solid" (partially because it doesn't have a removable battery door and instead its backside is glued to the battery).
    And yes, scratches are kind of more visible on metal surfaces (especially on aluminum) but I personally do not care about some "wear and tear" as long as the scratched surface is not too rough to the point of damaging your skin. The scratched plastic can look equally unpleasant, depending on the type of plastic and its color.
  13. #13  

    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    Metal is classier. End of story.
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    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    Quote Originally Posted by B0WIE View Post
    Metal is classier. End of story.
    I agree. However, not everyone has, or desires to have...class. Those folks that choose not to possess class may also choose to not possess a classy-looking phone.


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  15. #15  

    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Haalcyon View Post
    I agree. However, not everyone has, or desires to have...class. Those folks that choose not to possess class may also choose to not possess a classy-looking phone.


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    And not everyone associates class with a smartphone.
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    Default Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    Quote Originally Posted by madlaw1071 View Post
    And not everyone associates class with a smartphone.
    Some don't associate class with the things they purchase, that is true. Some, however, do. That's why we see Balley shoes, Rolexes, Movados, Gucci, BMW, Mercedes, etc. ...but you don't need to have any of those material things to have class at all, that is too true. You can have nothing or the very cheapest and still have class since what you have does not make you more or less classy...IMO...some may disagree.


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    Last edited by Haalcyon; 03-26-2014 at 02:25 PM.
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  17. #17  

    Default

    I would like to throw a curve ball in this topic, by saying that the design (including ergonomics) of a smartphone can supercede the material of choice. Unfortunately that aspect is just as subjective as the build material.

    The main thing I do like about the metal construction (when I don't have it in a case), is how it feels to the touch, especially if it's anodized or brushed. I also like some of the extra heft it has. Again, this sentiment can also be applied to the Moto X's plastic construction, which IMO feels excellent to hold. I love the assured grip that certain plastic finishes can provide, especially HTC's butter-soft finish.

    Posted via Android Central App
  18. Thread Author  Thread Author    #18  

    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Haalcyon View Post
    Some don't associate class with the things they purchase, that is true. Some, however, do. That's why we see Balley shoes, Rolexes, Movados, Gucci, BMW, Mercedes, etc. ...but you don't need to have any of those material things to have class at all, that is too true. You can have nothing or the very cheapest and still have class since what you have does not make you more or less classy...IMO...some may disagree.
    So are you then associating an HTC One with a Mercedes because it's made of metal? And what would you consider an S5 (or any other high-end, plastic smartphone) to be... a Hyundai? I don't think that's really an apt comparison, because my parents' Mercedes has all kinds of bells & whistles that my Hyundai doesn't have. There's clearly a difference in quality - not only in its looks, but also in the features it has, and the way it drives.

    So, how EXACTLY does the metal make the HTC One a more quality device, esp when it scratches so easily? I'm not even sure if it's water resistant, which is actually one strike against it if so. I understand that a lot of people prefer the look and feel of metal, but I think this thread aptly demonstrates that this is merely a personal preference.

    And if it is true that metal is classier, who exactly made that decision? Did we sit down and decide this as a society? Because if we did, I didn't get the invite to that meeting :P
    mrsmumbles likes this.
  19. #19  

    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    it's generally personal preference, There is something to be said of the energy absorption of plastic and polycarbonate compared to metals. however, metal phones flex less and feel more sturdy in hand compared to the plastic construction of most samsung phones.

    unibody polycarb design however is an alternative to metal that i am 100% okay with. they are solid and robust, more scratch resistant than metal as well. nokia knows how to do this really well, and now apple with the 5c.

    so imo, metal and polycarbonate designs are great, plastic ones are inferior imo.
    Russ Smith likes this.
  20. #20  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by aandrew610 View Post
    its kind of a double edged sword in my opinon. I mean we use our smart phones every single day atleast most of us here on AC do. Your spending $500+ on a "premium" flagship device i can see why you would want it to be made of metals and high end materials. However they arent exactly the most durable i know my HTC one 2013 dented very easily. Thats something that doesnt happen to my "cheap" samsung devices. I myself love the feel of the metal phones and getting the satisfaction everytime i use it and pick it up i just wish it were more durable.
    Let me ask you this, despite the dent in the metal, did your screen crack or did your phone stop working properly in any way?

    Posted via Android Central App
  21. #21  

    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    Quote Originally Posted by CHILLYWILL_95831 View Post
    Let me ask you this, despite the dent in the metal, did your screen crack or did your phone stop working properly in any way?

    Posted via Android Central App
    Actually the screen cracked and a few months later the motherboard stopped working

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  22. #22  
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    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    Quote Originally Posted by worknman View Post
    So are you then associating an HTC One with a Mercedes because it's made of metal? And what would you consider an S5 (or any other high-end, plastic smartphone) to be... a Hyundai? I don't think that's really an apt comparison, because my parents' Mercedes has all kinds of bells & whistles that my Hyundai doesn't have. There's clearly a difference in quality - not only in its looks, but also in the features it has, and the way it drives.

    So, how EXACTLY does the metal make the HTC One a more quality device, esp when it scratches so easily? I'm not even sure if it's water resistant, which is actually one strike against it if so. I understand that a lot of people prefer the look and feel of metal, but I think this thread aptly demonstrates that this is merely a personal preference.

    And if it is true that metal is classier, who exactly made that decision? Did we sit down and decide this as a society? Because if we did, I didn't get the invite to that meeting :P
    It's subjective. If metal is classier to you than plastic than that's subjective. I know that I would be willing to pay more for jewelry made from metal than I would if it were made of plastic.


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  23. #23  
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    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    It would be interesting to see if they made the M8 out of plastic too, in the same colors, for the same price, which would sell better. I still think the metal would, I could be wrong.


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  24. #24  

    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    I would prefer the metal, but I would be ok with plastic if there was a difference in cost. I always put a case on my phones, so I really don't enjoy the craftsmanship of the devices I buy. I still think that the iPhone 5S is the best looking device that I have ever owned, but I always kept it covered so it was almost pointless for it to be so pretty. It would be the same for me if I had the HTC One. It would be covered up, so it wouldn't matter what the rest of it looked like.
  25. #25  
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    Default Re: Metal vs plastic - difference in quality, or personal preference?

    I think metal looks fantastic and would like to own a device made from that material someday. But I will never be turned away from a well performing "plastic" device.
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