Monday, April 02, 2012

Phones: Silly, Apple-Inspired Fetish about "Build Material"


I really don't get the fixation so many reviewers and smartphone enthusiasts have on "build materials". It's just a phone, not jewelry, and will likely be replaced in 2 years, max. Subtle aspects of physical appearance are just not that important.
To me, the most important considerations are: 1) reliability--primarily resilience when you drop it; 2) weight; 3) cost. Intangibles about look and feel come a distant fourth, especially since they are largely canceled out when you put your phone in a case of some kind--which is usually still a good idea. A ceramic backplate may help ensure there is no *visible", cosmetic damage when you drop the phone, but I don't think it protects the innards from from the impact, which is the bigger consideration. Nothing protects better than a rubbery coating, and of course that covers up most of the cosmetics related to build materials anyway.
My wife has a Tmo Galaxy S2, the huge one. Yes it is noticeably lighter and thinner than my 4.3" HTC Sensation. Not a deal-breaker difference, but those qualities are more valuable to me than the intangible cosmetics related to build materials.
I "blame" Apple for the obsession with build materials and look and feel.

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