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.:: Design Matters ::.

Discussion in 'Samsung Galaxy Nexus' started by BenLand150, May 6, 2012.

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Does Design Matter?

  1. Yes

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  2. No, I care more about the specs

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  1. BenLand150
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    BenLand150 Premium Member Premium Member

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    [​IMG]






    Hey,what's up DF's people? Time for another article for the Nexus section!

    As you all already probably know, the Galaxy SIII was announced just two days ago. However, with all the anticipation that came with the device before it was even announced, a lot of people seem to have been really let down by the device. Probably because the rumored specs were not all factual after we figured they were pretty much set in stone due to all the "leaks" that came out. The specs themselves are actually really good. It's a top-tier phone without a doubt, but I think we were all expecting a little more. But the thing a lot of people really do not like is the design of the phone itself.

    There were rumors of ceramic backing/coating on the device and I believe a lot of people thought it would look just about as nice as the HTC One X if not better. However, we are "stuck" with a glossy, plastic backing. Not only is that not what we were expecting but the phone itself is just different than most handsets all together. Minor changes, but enough that definitely makes it stand out - and not in a good way evidently.

    The reason? Well, my favorite reviewer on YouTube (marquesbrownlee) has put up a video on why he believes these changes were made, and that reason is Apple.

    Take a look:






    For those not watching the video, you may already know that Apple sued Samsung for the Samsung Galaxy S for these following reasons that the Galaxy held too similar to the iPhone:



    • A rectangular product shape with all four corners uniformly rounded;
    • the front surface of the product dominated by a screen surface with black borders;
    • as to the iPhone and iPod touch products, substantial black borders above and below the screen having roughly equal width and narrower black borders on either side of the screen having roughly equal width;
    • a display of a grid of colorful square icons with uniformly rounded corners; and
    • a bottom row of square icons (the "Springboard") set off from the other icons and that do not change as the other pages of the user interface are viewed.




    This is assumed to be the reason why there was quite a few ergonomically changes to the SGIII hardware design and even UI. The video goes a bit more in-depth in terms of specific changes, so check it out.

    My Take:
    Now this isn't surprising. Samsung really needs to differentiate themselves to avoid another further lawsuits with Apple so I really do love the fact that their taking steps to stay away from all things like that. However, I do definitely think they could have done better. The One X looks absolutely nothing like the iPhone 4S and managed to be very unique and very beautiful design wise. The same can be said for the Nokia N9, 800, and 900. I even almost like UI Design of HTC Sense over this new, "cartoon-ish", looking TouchWiz "Inspired by Nature" redesign.

    [​IMG]


    Guidots Take:
    Generally speaking I’m all for anything non-Apple. However, sometimes I get a terrible feeling when a large company is fighting with Apple for cell phone supremacy.

    It seems to be somewhat general consensus that builds quality has gone down since the days of early Android. The G1 was no prize in terms of speed and the like, but my brother still has his and it does, in fact work. The DROID was no exception; it was built like a brick stinkhouse. The recent phone, which includes the recent iterations of the GALAXY line, has been mostly plastic. Now, don’t get me wrong, plastic is fine, as I’m sure my DROID 3 has plastic all over it. But, it doesn’t feel like plastic. The phone has a good weight to it. Now before you get all crazy on me, I’ve held the Nexus. I know it has a good feel, but there is something about it that says “wow, I think if I held each edge of this in my hand, I could snap it in half.”

    I put my phone in my cargo pants front pocket. When I am working, I generally am on the floor of somewhere or kneeling at a baseboard. There is nary a time, I say, “geez I hope I don’t break my phone” because, my DROID used to be in that same pocket, and I know with all that stress, it didn’t break either. I don’t get the same feeling about the Samsung line of phones.

    Sure, I’m an exception. I’m a blue collar worker, and maybe Motorola is the last bastion of phone providers that understand that. But I just feel like the newer phone are toys, not devices of utility.

    Conclusion:
    Samsung is going in the right step and I think we can all agree on that. However, they need to put more into it. This looks so much like the original Galaxy S. The Nokia Lumia 900 and the One X both show we do have the necessary materials to go further with phone design. It’s sad that most phones these days still do not come close to making a popular design similar to the iPhone 4/S.

    Thanks for reading/watching and be sure to comment with your opinion on whether or not you think design matters or not.
    1 person likes this.
  2. Liderc
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    Liderc New Member

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    It's an interesting theory, but I doubt it's even close to being true. Companies get sued constantly in this business, if you aren't being sued, you aren't making a relevant product.

    They really didn't change much if you look at the GSII. They kept the physical home button, and despite the color change, the overall look is very similar. They simply used their "nature" theme for their color choices. If it was black, it wouldn't even look much different.

    Their OS still looks the same, except now they have icons like stock android instead of squares.

    Honestly, I feel like they thought "hey, the GSII sold so well, it had a physical button, lets not stray from what people apparently liked."

    My biggest complaints are, why use a physical button when you helped design the non-physical buttons with the Nexus and why use a glossy look? We all know it looks cheap, even if it ends up feeling quite good. It scratches easier and shows smudges more than a matte finish. Hell, I think the blue color would have looked even better as a matte blue, it would have stayed more in line with their "nature" theme.

    As for this comment:
    I just don't agree with this. If you've held the Nexus you know the sides are very sturdy, they even feel like metal. The only plastic part is really the battery cover, which while off is a flimsy piece of junk, but when it's on the phone it's solid as a rock. Also, who in their right mind thinks "If I bend this phone, I'll break it"? I could break any phone in half if I wanted to, yes including my original Droid. And none of this matters when the phone actually drops. The plastic used is much less likely to break than any other material because it has give (metal dents) and all phones will result in a cracked screen if they land wrong, so unless something feels cheap, it doesn't matter what it's made of in terms of drop durability. What's more important is the paint used on the devices, that is much more likely to be scuffed or rubbed off over time if it's of poor quality. Look at the Iphone and Razr, they're supposed to be using the most durable materials available and yet you constantly hear about cracked screens from both of them. The Razr was getting cracked screens left and right by just being in owner's pockets because they were twisting the frame when sitting down because the frame was so thin and the Iphone is basically known for shattering on even short tumbles.
  3. jntdroid
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    jntdroid DF Super Moderator Premium Member

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    I actually agree with this... I've held a few units that the back didn't fit quite as snug, but generally speaking, the back fits so tight (in some cases difficult to get on), it feels very solid. It's a very "unified" device, with a very tight vibration (unlock the Razr/Maxx/Bionic), and I've always thought it felt solid, even if plastic. Just my .02 on that part... :)
  4. BenLand150
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    BenLand150 Premium Member Premium Member

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    Thanks for the reply, Liderc.

    His theory may or may not be true, but it's an interesting one nonetheless. I like how he was able to get all the facts for support of his theory as well even if false.

    I don't like the nature theme(I do like the color schemes). I like the direction they went with it.. but it's just stupid to me, and a lot of the little clips they used just didn't make sense. And if they did make sense, a lot of people are not going to understand them. Joshua Topolsky of TheVerge as well as many other people thought they were pretty dumb as well. It didn't really support the device much, though they did look pretty cool.

    I also agree that if this thing was matte, people probably wouldn't complain so much. I like having my phone naked if possible.. and I don't want it to visibly scratch every time I want to set the thing down. Also, I want on screen buttons as well. Maybe we'll get lucky and since they took the physical one off for the US versions of the GSII, we'll also get on-screen buttons to replace that. It'd be a nice marketing scheme to differentiate the US version from the UK version as well. With this said, I still think they should have made the GSIII look quite a bit different. I guess maybe we won't see a complete revamp until the GS4.

    TouchWiz is very similar, but the blue makes it look cartoonish to me. Luckily, there's Apex Launcher and/or custom ROMs that will be out.

    I also agree to disagree with Guidot. Having the Nexus and the DROID 3, and previously having the DROID, the Nexus really doesn't feel that much cheaper to me and is sturdy in the hand. However.. when taking a fall, the back starts to unclip sometimes(it's happened twice for me) if not fall off completely, and seems to get scuffed easier.
  5. guidot
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    guidot Developer Relations Staff Member Premium Member

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    Liderc, I know we all have opinions and this is mine.

    Think about this. The phone gets put in a pocket on the front of my pants, near the knee. I kneel constantly, day in and day out. There a lot of forces at work, that you wouldn't put a phone through when its in that position. The forces are much different than if it were in my jeans pocket, or a belt clip. So aside from a 4.8" screen and the phone not even fitting in the same pocket, I feel that it would not withstand these forces, if put in the same situation.
  6. Liderc
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    Liderc New Member

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    You're working in a harsh environment, use a case that will protect your device.

    What phone do you think would stand up to such forces?

    The phone itself is not what you need to worry about breaking, it's the glass used in the screen. We've seen gorilla glass shatter dozens of times in the "built Droid tough" Razr, so I don't seem to understand your point? The original droid was just as likely to break as anything released now, it just had a smaller screen surface so it could withstand more force on the screen than some of the larger screens now.

    I guess I just don't understand what you're asking. You want a device that can withstand being in your pocket under stresses, but a phone's body isn't going to break, even if it's horrendously cheap, it's the glass that will break. The larger the screen, the more likely the screen will crack under stress due to larger surface area. So maybe you should stick to smaller screens if you want to prevent a phone from breaking under the stresses of your job.
  7. jntdroid
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    jntdroid DF Super Moderator Premium Member

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    Honestly I don't trust that any of the current phones would withstand some of that - simply due to the fact that they're all long and flat.
  8. guidot
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    guidot Developer Relations Staff Member Premium Member

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    I have a phone that will. It's called the Droid 3.
  9. jntdroid
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    jntdroid DF Super Moderator Premium Member

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    That's why I said "current" phones :tongue: - but seriously I was referring to the phones that have been released in the last 6 months or so... where the screens are so big, and they're all focused on having a device thinner than paper... Honestly I feel a phone like the Bionic might fall more into the D3 camp when it comes to standing up in those kinds of conditions - definitely better than either Razr, or the Gnex - simply b/c they're thicker, and therefore harder to bend (let alone the materials they're built with).
  10. Liderc
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    Liderc New Member

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    The Droid 3 has a smaller screen, hence it can stand up to the stresses you're talking about. As long as the surface area is small, the stresses shouldn't cause a crack.

    The actual materials of the phone casing itself shouldn't matter. Even a flimsy cheap plastic phone isn't going to break unless you kneel on it directly.

    While you may feel like the DROID 3 is "heavy duty", it really isn't going to make a huge difference unless you just crack the screen.

    I guess what I'm trying to point out is, the screen and it's glass is whats going to determine whether the stresses of where you put your phone and the forces you exert on it will cause damage.
  11. BenLand150
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    BenLand150 Premium Member Premium Member

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    But, if the materials of the phone are cheaper and more flimsy, that makes for less support to the screen, therefore adding to the possibility of the screen breaking easier due to lack of extra support?
  12. jntdroid
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    jntdroid DF Super Moderator Premium Member

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    Now maybe this is simply because of how the phone advertises itself, and this is by no means scientific, but I've read a lot more threads here and elsewhere talking about screens shattering on the Maxx or Razr than on the Gnex - and for some pretty petty stuff.

    sent from my phone
  13. Liderc
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    Liderc New Member

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    It's definitely possible, having a sturdier frame will definitely prevent flexing, which would result in cracking the screen, but unless it's some piece of junk phone, I just don't see it making a huge difference at the smaller screen size.

    As the screens get larger, a more rigid frame will probably become more and more important when abusing the phone or putting it through stress. Then again, I don't imagine the majority are putting their $300(600) phones through the kind of stress that we're talking about. I mean the Razr has a metal frame and a kevlar back and I've seen more people complain on their forums of shattered screens than any other device thus far in the past year. So it may not be the frame strength as much as it being so thin that the frame is being warped due to it's thinness, not the material being used.
  14. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member

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    I dont know me personally if I am going to spend 199+ for a phone I am going to atleast either get the insurance and/or get at minimum a gel case. But liderc you make a good point about knowing your environment. I know the environment I work in and at time i put tools in the same pocket as my phone. Knowing that I make sure I put a case and screen protector on it. Though the tool may not scratch the glass, the oils and grime that may be on the tool may cause issues. Benland150 yes design matters both cosmetically and helping it last. I too heard the arguments about the galaxy nexus being plastic but you would be surprised how strong you can make plastics. The nexus though big just feels light yet you know its durable, which is similar to composite where it is lighter than metal yet just as strong. Look at the 787 which has went majority composite. The point is that protection is just as much about how the device is built as it is the material. Just because the phone is metal does not make it more durable. When you drop a phone it is about the impact of the force and if the glass can withstand it. That is why even having a cheap $5 gel case can prevent a screen from shattering because the material absorbs some of the force.
    The sgs 3 design wise I could live with and I like the software integration. I just think it would have benefited more from the stock ics icons. Touchwiz just look like it took steps back to 1.6 days. Samsung too me just put more thought in it than they should. Had they added the software integration to vanilla ics look with maybe some of the touchwiz widgets from the sgs2 and the software buttons that phone would have got a better score in my opinion.
  15. BenLand150
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    BenLand150 Premium Member Premium Member

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    I agree on the Nexus. It's very durable for the most part. And I also agree on TouchWiz, they should have done.. "less", with it almost.

    And I know that a phone made of metal doesn't necessarily mean it will be indestructable, my point is getting to that the screen is not everything. If it has poor support it won't last either. But some support is better than no support.
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  16. geoff5093
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    geoff5093 New Member

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    I know exactly what the OP is talking about. My friend has the Nexus and I have the Thunderbolt, whenever I see and hold the Nexus it really feels like holding it the wrong way will snap the phone it half, it just looks and feels like it's an incredibly fragile device. Now my Thunderbolt with the extended battery feels like a tank, I roughly place them on my desk from several inches away, throw it in my cup holder in my car, and I've dropped it several times without any side effects other then some scratched plastic. I keep my phone in my cargo pockets and when kneeling down I can feel the strain on it, but I never worry about it getting damaged, it's a heck of a tough phone.