Samsung’s position in the Android world has put Samsung devices in the hands of a lot of people, and the choice of design and building materials has been a topic for quite some time. Aaron brought up the subject a few weeks ago in relation to rumors that Samsung might change its policies with future devices, and all I can say is I hope they do.
Personally, I stick my devices in cases, so the building materials isn’t really a big issue for me when I go to buy a new devices. Actually buying a new device is also something I do so rarely that a couple of generations of devices go by in the mean time. Still, when I see Samsung devices out in the wild, especially compared to devices from Apple and Sony, I can’t help but wonder how Samsung is doing so well, considering the Fisher Price toys it calls Android devices.
A lot of people buy devices based on how it feels, and Samsung isn’t exactly a brand that should push for authentic display models. Both its Android tablets and phones are made of plastic, and when you put something like the Galaxy S4 next to a Sony Xperia Z, it does become very hard to understand how both devices are high end models. I kept comparing various demo units in a store yesterday, and the more I looked at the Xperia Z compared to the lineup of Samsung devices there, the more ridiculous the differences became.
I also have to say that I’m not a big fan of the post-lawsuit war Samsung base design. To avoid more legal fights with Apple, Samsung devices are now more rounded off, with a wide home button to avoid it looking too much like an iPhone. Samsung tried to sell the design off as being natural back with the Galaxy S III, but I honestly don’t think anyone bought it. Design is of course subjective, but I personally don’t think something that is based around a rectangular screen should be that rounded off. The tablets are the worst, and I just hate the design of the Galaxy Note 8.0 compared to the iPad mini.
It will likely be a while until I buy a new device, but when I do, I might just end up ignoring Samsung altogether. Between the bloat it puts on its devices, its (in my opinion) mediocre and off-the-shelf hardware, and the presentation of the final product, I honestly think Samsung needs to pull itself together. Now that Sony has stopped being stupid and actually started making some interesting devices, and with HTC still at least trying to get back in the game, Samsung shouldn’t count on being on top for long.