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Return plastic smartphones

Google Pixel 3a and Xiaomi Pocophone F1 are two different phones, but they have one thing in common: they are made of plastic.

Somehow imperceptibly the thought took root in our heads that the glass telephone is cool and the plastic one is no longer a cake. Smartphones have become fashionable accessories, proof of financial soundness and impeccable taste. Each reviewer considers it his duty to mention “an amazing tactile sensation”, “a feeling of premiumness”, which gives the body a glass of impeccably smooth, sparkling in the sun.

But now, I think many will agree that fragile chic began to tire. Wherever you look - everywhere people with broken phones (and maybe you are one of them?). Glass has become too much. It looks amazing, but plastic is much more practical in everyday life.

The other day we reflected on this topic. A long discussion of the merits of Pixel 3a and Pocophone F1 led us to the conclusion that in our glass age there are enough arguments in favor of the return of plastic phones.


They are light and durable

When Google Pixel 3a fell into my hands, I was struck by its ease. Without any exaggeration, it seemed to be a feather compared to the large OnePlus 7 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. The importance of this issue can be challenged: some people want to feel a solid weight in their hand. With my 20 kg backpack, I sincerely respect lightweight technology.

By the way, its durability depends on the weight of the gadget. Google Pixel 3a, the share of which during testing was a few "unintentional" falls, at the end it looked the same as at the very beginning, although there was no cover on it. While he was flying to the floor, my heart was not bleeding, but the Galaxy S10 Plus, poured into glass, made me nervous.

In general, if manufacturers decided to equate smartphones to fashionable attributes, they would have to take the issue of durability more seriously. Almost everyone today is hiding mobile phones in the covers immediately after purchase. If you neglect this, then instead of a beautiful glass gadget you risk being with this:

They can offer more performance for less money.

Premium design today involves the use of two materials: metal and glass. This applies to all price categories. The problem is that manufacturers of cheap mobile phones give priority to expensive packages. And in order to compensate for the costs and not to go beyond the budget segment, they abandon part of the hardware, which is bad for the phone (it turns out to be frankly weak) and for the buyer (he is not satisfied with the performance).

But not all do so. Pocophone F1, Pixel 3a and some other devices turn this trend upside down, combining economical polycarbonate shells with top-end hardware stuffing.

At the time of release, the Pocophone F1 was a non-competitive competition to the most expensive flagships, and cost about a third cheaper. The truth is that the life of the smartphone is largely determined by performance (characteristics of SoC, battery capacity, amount of RAM), and not beautifully rounded corners or a record thin design. Most people use covers, and this moment also makes you wonder how justified the cost of expensive design.

They fit perfectly with 5G

To harden the design, almost every glass smartphone has a metal frame. Unfortunately, mmWave technology (millimeter-band data transmission in 5G networks) uses a wavelength so short that the signal is almost incapable of penetrating aluminum and other metals. Most 5G devices will be equipped with four different antennas - top, bottom and sides. But in order for the connection to work normally in a glass smartphone, tricky non-standard solutions will be needed.

In order for the Galaxy S10 5G to send a signal, Samsung engineers had to make the metal rim thinner than usual. This means that in the composition of the smartphone there is even more glass, and the chances of damaging it increase significantly.

5G - technology is new and raw. While it is available only to the top class, but sooner or later it will reach the budget one, and there it will be much easier to implement it in combination with plastic cases.

This is a high level of comfort and convenience.

Wireless charging and water resistance are usually present in expensive glass-covered smartphones. However, plastic does not interfere with the use of these technologies in cheaper products. Here are two examples - the legendary Nexus 5 and Samsung Galaxy S5. The first had the function of wireless power, which worked perfectly through the back panel with soft-touch coating. The second removable back cover did not prevent to get reliable protection against dust and water IP67. In both cases, the main body material was plastic.


In general, plastic phones have significant advantages. Plastic is lighter than glass and aluminum. Many people will give preference to lightweight devices, rather than pretentious heavy. Plastic freely passes the signal from the cell towers, which means that the 5G connection will work much better in a plastic housing. Pixel 3a proves that the plastic phone can be really cool, and we would be happy to see even more devices with polycarbonate cases on sale.

Source: www.androidauthority.com


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