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View Full Version : [phones] Build quality. Do we really know what that mean?




bmac4
Apr 14, 2013, 11:24 AM
So it seems that this topic gets tossed around a lot in the forums, but I am not real sure we know what we are saying. A lot of people talk about how Apple has the best build quality, and Samsung has some of the worse. I think there might need to be some clarification on this. Apple makes the iPhone with metals and glass. It looks great, and may be the best looking phone. Samsung using plastics for their phone, and does not look nearly as good for the most part. But does this mean The iPhone is built better than the Samsung or any other smartphone? I am not so sure that is the case.

Ok so we have the iPhone. Great looking device that a ton of people love. A ton of people declare it the best made phone on the market. I am going to base this on phones I have owned, so I might miss some things. Ok so lets start with the iPhone 4. Man that is one good looking device. I liked the weight and it felt good in hand. Built with glass from and back and a metal band around it. First problem people had was the antenna being blocked by holding the phone. This lasted for a very long time before Apple started releasing a fixed iPhone 4. The next problem was the back being glass. It sure looked good, but for those people that liked the phone without a case it became a huge issue. Sure the phone was built to look good, but was it practical? This to me does become a build quality issue.

The iPhone 5 may be held as the best looking phone of all time. The iPhone may have more issues than the 4. First the iPhone 5 was built to be light, so Apple used thin Aluminum on the iPhone. The aluminum has been said to bend when you put it in your pocket. I am not going to call that quality. Next the aluminum was covered in a finish to make it look better. It does look good, but people are having issues with the phone scuffing. Not only from people dropping the phone, but iPhones were coming out of the box scuffed. Again I don't call this quality. The iPhones are built to look and feel good, but are they built to withstand any kind of drops? I am not sure.

Ok so on to the notorious Samsung phones. I think this is complete opposite of Apple. They are not built with just looks in mind. I have had the Samsung nexus and Samsung galaxy nexus. The only issue I had with the nexus s was having search button at the bottom would sometimes not light up. It was a known issue with the phone. Samsung phones are known to be dropped and be fine. Most of the time the only thing that happens is the back comes off. They may not look at good as iPhones, but they are much more durable.

I also own the nexus 4 and while it is the besting feeling phone that I have put in my hands. The back glass is not that strong. I would not call that great build quality either. I still liven the phone.

I am still a big fan of all these phones, but I think the words build quality get used way to loosely. The iPhones design is unrivaled, but I don't call it build quality. Samsung has a reason for the plastic and it because of dropping it.



GimmeSlack12
Apr 14, 2013, 11:28 AM
Ultimately you're right. It's a web forum and words get tossed around way too easily.

You have to learn, as a user, to steer clear of just about 95% of discussions on these sites because what you think people are talking about is most likely not what they're talking about (lookup how often people post about converting a PPC Mac into an Intel Mac :eyeroll: )

I've cut down the amount I post on MR because many threads are destined to become lame little spats about nothing.

mattopotamus
Apr 14, 2013, 11:30 AM
I think you are putting too much thought into this. Yes, we all know what we mean when we say build quality and most people would agree apple has some of the best quality phones in that aspect.

Donvald
Apr 14, 2013, 11:40 AM
With all due respect I think you are flogging a dead horse. Personally I think it's understood what is meant by built quality even if its referring to material choice . You're not going to change how people express themselves but I get the frustration.

I'd go even further than your explanations of what constitutes 'build quality'. Despite iPhone 5s bending under stress I still think the build quality is good. The build materials however are suspect and not fit for purpose. I wold describe this as poor build Materials.

again, For me if the Phone is made from paper but its constructed well, I would describe the e build quality as good. The build materials however are highly suspect.

I would then say it wasn't built properly which is general enough to cover both choice of materials and construction method.:)

Now someone point out where semantically I've made an error lol.

On a Side note I agree that plastic is the more durable material of choice for phones since are likely to drop them over a contract period. I also think the majority of people outside forums really don't care about their phones being made out of plastic.

bmac4
Apr 14, 2013, 12:01 PM
With all due respect I think you are flogging a dead horse. Personally I think it's understood what is meant by built quality even if its referring to material choice . You're not going to change how people express themselves but I get the frustration.

I'd go even further than your explanations of what constitutes 'build quality'. Despite iPhone 5s bending under stress I still think the build quality is good. The build materials however are suspect and not fit for purpose. I wold describe this as poor build Materials.

again, For me if the Phone is made from paper but its constructed well, I would describe the e build quality as good. The build materials however are highly suspect.

I would then say it wasn't built properly which is general enough to cover both choice of materials and construction method.:)

Now someone point out where semantically I've made an error lol.

On a Side note I agree that plastic is the more durable material of choice for phones since are likely to drop them over a contract period. I also think the majority of people outside forums really don't care about their phones being made out of plastic.

I think it is on purpose that Samsung using plastic.

----------

I think you are putting too much thought into this. Yes, we all know what we mean when we say build quality and most people would agree apple has some of the best quality phones in that aspect.

No you dont know what you mean because if you did you would not keep saying Apple's build quality is great. They have the best design, but quality of materials used can lack at times.

blackhand1001
Apr 14, 2013, 12:05 PM
Samsung devices also always rank as the most repairable phones and the easiest to do as well. They design these things with serviceability in mind. I don't really like the ultra glossy finish on the s3 and note II though although a case fixes that. The galaxy nexus had a much better finish. The best finish on a samsung device though is the nexus 10. It feels amazing in your hand.

onthecouchagain
Apr 14, 2013, 12:14 PM
Samsung devices also always rank as the most repairable phones and the easiest to do as well. They design these things with serviceability in mind. I don't really like the ultra glossy finish on the s3 and note II though although a case fixes that. The galaxy nexus had a much better finish. The best finish on a samsung device though is the nexus 10. It feels amazing in your hand.

I still really love the Galaxy Nexus back plate, that textured back. It was nice.

bmac4
Apr 14, 2013, 12:22 PM
I still really love the Galaxy Nexus back plate, that textured back. It was nice.

I would agree. Best back made to this point. I really like the look of my nexus 4 on the back, but no where near as much grip.

lordromanov01
Apr 14, 2013, 12:23 PM
I would say the build quality is about how it fares with day to day life. How well a phone can survive a drop test is a different matter.

If we use cars as an example, you wouldn't test the build quality by crashing it into a wall (an analogy to dropping a phone on concrete) would you? It would be driving it normally, or seeing how it can handle a few kids biting everything or whatever it is they do.

I would say iPhones do have good build quality in general. But then with the 4 and 4S, using the home button too much often made them become spongey in feel or just not work any more. That's day to day use, and that's bad build quality.

bmac4
Apr 14, 2013, 01:38 PM
I would say the build quality is about how it fares with day to day life. How well a phone can survive a drop test is a different matter.

If we use cars as an example, you wouldn't test the build quality by crashing it into a wall (an analogy to dropping a phone on concrete) would you? It would be driving it normally, or seeing how it can handle a few kids biting everything or whatever it is they do.

I would say iPhones do have good build quality in general. But then with the 4 and 4S, using the home button too much often made them become spongey in feel or just not work any more. That's day to day use, and that's bad build quality.

They do test cars in crash test. They have to pass those to be sold. With the iPhone 4 they did not work 100% on day to day use. The antenna thing effected everyone. If you had low bars and you held it over the antenna you could not get a call. I don't call that quality. Those types of things I would think would have been tested before the phone was released. Like you said over time the home buttons get spongey. Also as you use them more and more they start to fail. That just does not scream good build quality. I will say it again their design quality is unmatched for the most part, and I guess that is what people are worry about. If it breaks we will just take it to the genius bar.

mib1800
Apr 14, 2013, 11:30 PM
To me build quality also includes durability. Meaning aluminium and glass are not good quality because they break or scratch/stain easily.

mattopotamus
Apr 15, 2013, 06:56 AM
They do test cars in crash test. They have to pass those to be sold. With the iPhone 4 they did not work 100% on day to day use. The antenna thing effected everyone. If you had low bars and you held it over the antenna you could not get a call. I don't call that quality. Those types of things I would think would have been tested before the phone was released. Like you said over time the home buttons get spongey. Also as you use them more and more they start to fail. That just does not scream good build quality. I will say it again their design quality is unmatched for the most part, and I guess that is what people are worry about. If it breaks we will just take it to the genius bar.

I think what he meant was those are extreme circumstances. I know when I am buying a phone I personally am not put off from the idea, "how much damage will this take when I drop it." It may happen, but is not a make or break factor for me. When buying a car I care about safety, but less so than if I had kids. The only issue I have had when owning any iphone was the antenna issue on the 4 you mentioned. Aside from that, the build quality has always met my expectations. I personally have never seen a bent iphone outside of forums.

When you think of build quality you are mostly thinking of damage it can withstand (at least that is how your initial post sounds to me). I would say most people think of build quality as aesthetics and materials used.

The sandwich glass phones may not be the most durable, but the nexus 4 and iphone 4/4s have the best built quality IMO of all the phones I have owned.

bmac4
Apr 15, 2013, 08:02 AM
I think what he meant was those are extreme circumstances. I know when I am buying a phone I personally am not put off from the idea, "how much damage will this take when I drop it." It may happen, but is not a make or break factor for me. When buying a car I care about safety, but less so than if I had kids. The only issue I have had when owning any iphone was the antenna issue on the 4 you mentioned. Aside from that, the build quality has always met my expectations. I personally have never seen a bent iphone outside of forums.

When you think of build quality you are mostly thinking of damage it can withstand (at least that is how your initial post sounds to me). I would say most people think of build quality as aesthetics and materials used.

The sandwich glass phones may not be the most durable, but the nexus 4 and iphone 4/4s have the best built quality IMO of all the phones I have owned.

Yea I guess seems more reasonable. I would say though that a factor in buying a phone would be how careful you new to be with a phone. Apple makes good looking devices and for most that is what they want. But I would lump the durability of the phone into daily use. Sure most people don't buy a phone based on whether it will hold up or not, but do you know how many of those average smartphone users drop their phones? I would say more so than what us tech people do. I baby my phones, but average phone user does not. They expect the product to hold up if they drop it. The iPhone 4 looked really good, but from what I can tell the build quality was not as good. I understand that the materials used were some of the best, but that still does not make it quality or smart. That's all I am saying. You can use premium products, but if the products used are can withstand what people do on a daily bases then I would say it is not built in the best way.

daneoni
Apr 15, 2013, 08:08 AM
Another bmac post. Build quality to me equals structural integrity and resistance to wear and tear, not extreme accidents or torture. If you drop any phone it's 50/50 shot. No contemporary smartphone stands above the other. Galaxy phones have cracked screens and scuffed too upon dropping them (plastic isn't a super material). Same with iPhones and others.

It's all about whether the phone falls apart with everyday use. No contemporary smartphone has done that during my ownership. Samsung isn't using plastic for build quality they're using it because of price and quick malleability.

mattopotamus
Apr 15, 2013, 08:20 AM
Yea I guess seems more reasonable. I would say though that a factor in buying a phone would be how careful you new to be with a phone. Apple makes good looking devices and for most that is what they want. But I would lump the durability of the phone into daily use. Sure most people don't buy a phone based on whether it will hold up or not, but do you know how many of those average smartphone users drop their phones? I would say more so than what us tech people do. I baby my phones, but average phone user does not. They expect the product to hold up if they drop it. The iPhone 4 looked really good, but from what I can tell the build quality was not as good. I understand that the materials used were some of the best, but that still does not make it quality or smart. That's all I am saying. You can use premium products, but if the products used are can withstand what people do on a daily bases then I would say it is not built in the best way.

I will say that my biggest complaint with the iphone 5 is the chamfer edges. The first 5 I had, had no nick issues. The second one nicked sitting in a cup holder, cleaning the sides, or basically just touching it.

Jessica Lares
Apr 15, 2013, 08:28 AM
Build quality has to do with the quality of the material itself. There is good plastic, and then there is cheap plastic. Some of it is very thin, some of it is very thick. Look at containers you can buy at the supermarket for example, some of it is very durable, others last you just a week. Same thing with food, vegetables are all cleaned and grown differently. Especially noticeable with bagged kits.

In the history of owning iOS products, I have never had issues with my home button. And until I dropped them, which is an error in my part, there has been nothing that has gone wrong with them, except the time my headphone jack fried on me.

0dev
Apr 15, 2013, 09:07 AM
I think you are putting too much thought into this. Yes, we all know what we mean when we say build quality and most people would agree apple has some of the best quality phones in that aspect.

Not really, the iPhone 5 is made of cheap low quality aluminium that scratches and in some cases even bends very easily. The metal on my iPhone 4 got scratched just from putting Apple's own Bumper case on it. iPhones look very good and are usually reliable but the materials used aren't always so great.

Samsung's plastic phones are actually a lot more durable than iPhones. The plastic Samsung use doesn't noticeably scratch as easily as metal or shatter as easily as glass. I'd much rather have a phone made of good plastic than a phone made of cheap aluminium like the iPhone 5.

Also, metal makes it hard for actual phone signal to get through the casing. If your phone doesn't get signal it's badly built. My iPhone 4 is case in point.

That's why I'm glad Samsung isn't giving into this pressure of "make everything metal!" No, metal is a **** material for making phones.

bmac4
Apr 15, 2013, 09:33 AM
Another bmac post. Build quality to me equals structural integrity and resistance to wear and tear, not extreme accidents or torture. If you drop any phone it's 50/50 shot. No contemporary smartphone stands above the other. Galaxy phones have cracked screens and scuffed too upon dropping them (plastic isn't a super material). Same with iPhones and others.

It's all about whether the phone falls apart with everyday use. No contemporary smartphone has done that during my ownership. Samsung isn't using plastic for build quality they're using it because of price and quick malleability.

I think they iPhone does not do a good job of holding up over time. How many reports do we hear about peoples home button not working after some use. I had the iPhone 4 and my home button starting to act up. We will see, but I think the iPhone 5 is going to start showing a lot of wear too with the aluminum paint coming off and being scratched. Again they do look good, but that is not always what counts.

sentinelsx
Apr 15, 2013, 10:12 AM
It is clear that build quality is extremely important (emphasis on EXTREMELY) when it comes to smartphones only.

I mean look at those folks owning metal and glass iPhones and HTCs and driving cars with cheap plastic interiors.

0dev
Apr 15, 2013, 10:19 AM
I think they iPhone does not do a good job of holding up over time. How many reports do we hear about peoples home button not working after some use. I had the iPhone 4 and my home button starting to act up. We will see, but I think the iPhone 5 is going to start showing a lot of wear too with the aluminum paint coming off and being scratched. Again they do look good, but that is not always what counts.

I can verify that the home button on my iPhone 4 is pretty much useless.

bmac4
Apr 15, 2013, 10:27 AM
It is clear that build quality is extremely important (emphasis on EXTREMELY) when it comes to smartphones only.

I mean look at those folks owning metal and glass iPhones and HTCs and driving cars with cheap plastic interiors.

I really don't find it as important as most people on this forum. It was just getting old hearing people talk about how Android phones are all cheap plastic, and iPhones have the best build quality. I just thought I would show that they are not as great as people make them out to be. Some people on here have to have a certain kind of build before they will buy a phone. I could careless as long as it works for me.

I am with you on the phone only part. Sure cars are more expensive then phones, but if everyone is so worry about on their phones look then why not car about your car too?

daneoni
Apr 15, 2013, 10:33 AM
I think they iPhone does not do a good job of holding up over time. How many reports do we hear about peoples home button not working after some use. I had the iPhone 4 and my home button starting to act up. We will see, but I think the iPhone 5 is going to start showing a lot of wear too with the aluminum paint coming off and being scratched. Again they do look good, but that is not always what counts.

...and how many do we hear about who don't have those issues? None of mine and those I know (7 others) have had home button issues if you want to go in personal anecdotes.

0dev
Apr 15, 2013, 10:34 AM
It is clear that build quality is extremely important (emphasis on EXTREMELY) when it comes to smartphones only.

I mean look at those folks owning metal and glass iPhones and HTCs and driving cars with cheap plastic interiors.

I'm guessing you're being sarcastic here.

Thing is, I don't think plastic is bad, but it's about the quality of the plastic and how durable it is. This is true of both car interiors and phones. You get a luxury car and it'll have a luxury interior. A Mercedes will have a superior interior to a Ford. Both are made of plastic at the end of the day, but one is of higher quality.

Same goes for phones - you buy a high end smartphone and it may be made of plastic, but it'll be quality plastic, whereas the cheap low end devices will be of shoddier build.

Like the OP said, the materials are not the same as quality. One does not automatically equal the other.

bmac4
Apr 15, 2013, 10:39 AM
...and how many do we hear about who don't have those issues? None of mine and those I know (7 others) have had home button issues if you want to go in personal anecdotes.

Well based on my own experiences the home button did crap out me. My iPhone 5 is scuffed. That may just be me, but Apple's materials are not far better than any other smartphone like people want to believe.

cynics
Apr 15, 2013, 10:49 AM
I'm more direct on the definition. The quality in which something was built is what I consider build quality. It has nothing to do with materials or how those materials feel in the hand. Nor how durable or reliable it is to a certain extent, if it fails due to poor build quality that's the exception.

For example. A houses build quality has little to do with whether its vinyl siding or wood siding. They both can be installed very good or very poorly. Wood is more of a premium material though.

I'm not debating that material quality can't exist. I find my 4S to have very high build and material quality. I also know its fairly fragile which I do not associate with build or material quality.

I think the iPhone 5 is lacking in certain areas because of the quality of the coating on the aluminum. That kind of falls under material, build and durability. There are plenty of coatings for aluminum that are MUCH more durable.

Dontazemebro
Apr 15, 2013, 10:51 AM
I for one am somebody who prefers the build quality, this is what initially attracted me to the iPhone as I was an android user first then later acquired the iPhone 4s.

Android was meant to be customized so I can always load up the software to my personal preference. Can't do the same with hardware.

quasinormal
Apr 15, 2013, 11:00 AM
The iPhones are built to look and feel good, but are they built to withstand any kind of drops? I am not sure.


Android Authority doesn't agree.

. Well, as much as we hate to admit it, the iPhone 5 did amazingly well in our drop test, while the Samsung Galaxy S3 came out in pretty bad shape. Itís the cold hard truth that we canít hide and we canít ignore.
....
The hard aluminum shell of the iPhone 5 withstood the impact pretty well, and the glass protecting the display remained intact. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S3 predictably lost its back cover and suffered damage to the casing and the front glass. Sad, sad, sad.

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/09/21/iphone-5-vs-samsung-galaxy-s3-drop-tests-show-very-durable-device-and-screen/

Peterg2
Apr 15, 2013, 11:05 AM
I see all this dribble with no taste. There is good taste and bad taste. Not "my taste".

I have a Timex ironman, I have a Seiko gold watch. Through none of my efforts, I inherited a Patek Philippe Calatrava from my father. That is gorgeous. Beautiiful. Clearly some of you are into McDonalds. That is fine.

sentinelsx
Apr 15, 2013, 11:17 AM
I'm guessing you're being sarcastic here.

Thing is, I don't think plastic is bad, but it's about the quality of the plastic and how durable it is. This is true of both car interiors and phones. You get a luxury car and it'll have a luxury interior. A Mercedes will have a superior interior to a Ford. Both are made of plastic at the end of the day, but one is of higher quality.

Same goes for phones - you buy a high end smartphone and it may be made of plastic, but it'll be quality plastic, whereas the cheap low end devices will be of shoddier build.

Like the OP said, the materials are not the same as quality. One does not automatically equal the other.

Haha, I was merely pointing out the fact that I have seen people who say "plastic junk" in real life and then go and sit in their cheaper import cars with plastic and visibly cheap interiors. It's when you don't know what is wrong in their heads.

You either like "premium feel" or not, what's with the selective choice between smartphones and non-smartphones?

cynics
Apr 15, 2013, 11:30 AM
I see all this dribble with no taste. There is good taste and bad taste. Not "my taste".

I have a Timex ironman, I have a Seiko gold watch. Through none of my efforts, I inherited a Patek Philippe Calatrava from my father. That is gorgeous. Beautiiful. Clearly some of you are into McDonalds. That is fine.

What does comparing a functional watch for working out and such to a piece of jewelry have anything to do with McDonalds? Or what we are talking about? Are people in the Patek Philippe Calatrava market comparing them to a Timex? Does the Patek tell heart rate and such? Does the Timex look good with a suit. Apples and oranges.

bmac4
Apr 15, 2013, 11:32 AM
I'm more direct on the definition. The quality in which something was built is what I consider build quality. It has nothing to do with materials or how those materials feel in the hand. Nor how durable or reliable it is to a certain extent, if it fails due to poor build quality that's the exception.

For example. A houses build quality has little to do with whether its vinyl siding or wood siding. They both can be installed very good or very poorly. Wood is more of a premium material though.

I'm not debating that material quality can't exist. I find my 4S to have very high build and material quality. I also know its fairly fragile which I do not associate with build or material quality.

I think the iPhone 5 is lacking in certain areas because of the quality of the coating on the aluminum. That kind of falls under material, build and durability. There are plenty of coatings for aluminum that are MUCH more durable.

What about what I stated before about the home button of the iPhone 4? I consider that build quality and it really is hit or miss whether you get a good one or not. I guess you are more concerned about what your phone is made out of not how it is made? You like the iPhone build because it is glass and metal not plastic right? Again like I said before the iPhone is a great looking phone maybe the best, but using products that can be considered high quality does not make them high quality. Or should I say putting them on a phone does not necessarily make the phone have a good build quality. For the most part the iPhone 4 was put together nicely. I never heard anyone say it came apart or anything like that. The glass was nice just not the most practical thing to put on a phone, but have antenna issues and home button malfunction does give it good build quality. The materials may be nice, but they have to be used properly.

Now the iPhone 5 on the other hand I would not call good quality material. The aluminum is thin and can be bent or dented very easily. The paint on the aluminum chips very easy. None of these materials can make it a quality built phone. And Apple is still having issues with the home button malfunctioning.

sentinelsx
Apr 15, 2013, 11:33 AM
I see all this dribble with no taste. There is good taste and bad taste. Not "my taste".

I have a Timex ironman, I have a Seiko gold watch. Through none of my efforts, I inherited a Patek Philippe Calatrava from my father. That is gorgeous. Beautiiful. Clearly some of you are into McDonalds. That is fine.

So where is the objective manual of good and bad tastes?

It is all "my taste". Sorry to burst your high bubble.

bmac4
Apr 15, 2013, 11:35 AM
Android Authority doesn't agree.



http://www.macrumors.com/2012/09/21/iphone-5-vs-samsung-galaxy-s3-drop-tests-show-very-durable-device-and-screen/

Oh really no scuffs nothing wrong with the iPhone after dropping it? In all the videos I have seen the S3's screen does crack, but nothing really ever happens to the back. The iPhone usually gets dented to heck, and that "beautiful" aluminum coating is chipped like crazy. It took more to break the screen of the iPhone, but the rest of the phone looked pretty crappy.

0dev
Apr 15, 2013, 11:51 AM
Haha, I was merely pointing out the fact that I have seen people who say "plastic junk" in real life and then go and sit in their cheaper import cars with plastic and visibly cheap interiors. It's when you don't know what is wrong in their heads.

You either like "premium feel" or not, what's with the selective choice between smartphones and non-smartphones?

Very true, we are in agreement :)

Irishman
Apr 15, 2013, 08:59 PM
So it seems that this topic gets tossed around a lot in the forums, but I am not real sure we know what we are saying. A lot of people talk about how Apple has the best build quality, and Samsung has some of the worse. I think there might need to be some clarification on this. Apple makes the iPhone with metals and glass. It looks great, and may be the best looking phone. Samsung using plastics for their phone, and does not look nearly as good for the most part. But does this mean The iPhone is built better than the Samsung or any other smartphone? I am not so sure that is the case.

Ok so we have the iPhone. Great looking device that a ton of people love. A ton of people declare it the best made phone on the market. I am going to base this on phones I have owned, so I might miss some things. Ok so lets start with the iPhone 4. Man that is one good looking device. I liked the weight and it felt good in hand. Built with glass from and back and a metal band around it. First problem people had was the antenna being blocked by holding the phone. This lasted for a very long time before Apple started releasing a fixed iPhone 4. The next problem was the back being glass. It sure looked good, but for those people that liked the phone without a case it became a huge issue. Sure the phone was built to look good, but was it practical? This to me does become a build quality issue.

The iPhone 5 may be held as the best looking phone of all time. The iPhone may have more issues than the 4. First the iPhone 5 was built to be light, so Apple used thin Aluminum on the iPhone. The aluminum has been said to bend when you put it in your pocket. I am not going to call that quality. Next the aluminum was covered in a finish to make it look better. It does look good, but people are having issues with the phone scuffing. Not only from people dropping the phone, but iPhones were coming out of the box scuffed. Again I don't call this quality. The iPhones are built to look and feel good, but are they built to withstand any kind of drops? I am not sure.

Ok so on to the notorious Samsung phones. I think this is complete opposite of Apple. They are not built with just looks in mind. I have had the Samsung nexus and Samsung galaxy nexus. The only issue I had with the nexus s was having search button at the bottom would sometimes not light up. It was a known issue with the phone. Samsung phones are known to be dropped and be fine. Most of the time the only thing that happens is the back comes off. They may not look at good as iPhones, but they are much more durable.

I also own the nexus 4 and while it is the besting feeling phone that I have put in my hands. The back glass is not that strong. I would not call that great build quality either. I still liven the phone.

I am still a big fan of all these phones, but I think the words build quality get used way to loosely. The iPhones design is unrivaled, but I don't call it build quality. Samsung has a reason for the plastic and it because of dropping it.

Yes, we do know what that means.

bmac4
Apr 15, 2013, 09:29 PM
Yes, we do know what that means.

No I am pretty YOU have no idea what you are saying.

tjl3
Apr 15, 2013, 09:30 PM
Oh really no scuffs nothing wrong with the iPhone after dropping it? In all the videos I have seen the S3's screen does crack, but nothing really ever happens to the back. The iPhone usually gets dented to heck, and that "beautiful" aluminum coating is chipped like crazy. It took more to break the screen of the iPhone, but the rest of the phone looked pretty crappy.

The thing that is missed w/ the iPhone design tho is that the structure is still well intact in most cases and most of those drop tests. Ya you get dings, nicks, and scratches, but the 'dents' are more or less cosmetic damage to the body. Where as in many cases a plastic phone can deform b/c it is not as rigid and will bend/flex more. What comes to mind is that HTC One drop test where the speaker grill came off and the bottom of the phone actually dented.

However, no arguments against the iPhone being fragile. I hate babying mine =(

bmac4
Apr 15, 2013, 09:34 PM
The thing that is missed w/ the iPhone design tho is that the structure is still well intact in most cases and most of those drop tests. Ya you get dings, nicks, and scratches, but the 'dents' are more or less cosmetic damage to the body. Where as in many cases a plastic phone can deform b/c it is not as rigid and will bend/flex more. What comes to mind is that HTC One drop test where the speaker grill came off and the bottom of the phone actually dented.

However, no arguments against the iPhone being fragile. I hate babying mine =(

So the screens never cracked on those drop tests?

roxxette
Apr 15, 2013, 09:44 PM
I just accept the fact most things build this days are just not meant to last.

tjl3
Apr 15, 2013, 09:48 PM
So the screens never cracked on those drop tests?

I didn't think we were talking about the screens. I would venture to guess that most screens have an equal chance at cracking, just depending on how they land. I mentioned in an example in one post, I dropped my Nexus 4 from 3-4 feet onto the street, no cracks/scratches, minor scuffs on the side. A friend dropped his GS3 from ~2 feet and shattered the screen.

But as far as dropping an aluminum iPhone, the design concept is such that the structure should not deform and damage essential components. That engineering concept is taking the smartphone structure a step further. That combined w/ the engineering purpose of 'unibody' design is something unique in the iP5 design.

That was all that I was pointing out, and that 'dents' are really cosmetic blemishes to the surface, not that the phone is actually dented in. But I don't think you can argue one way or another that iP5's screen will shatter more or less than say a GS3.

bmac4
Apr 15, 2013, 09:57 PM
I didn't think we were talking about the screens. I would venture to guess that most screens have an equal chance at cracking, just depending on how they land. I mentioned in an example in one post, I dropped my Nexus 4 from 3-4 feet onto the street, no cracks/scratches, minor scuffs on the side. A friend dropped his GS3 from ~2 feet and shattered the screen.

But as far as dropping an aluminum iPhone, the design concept is such that the structure should not deform and damage essential components. That engineering concept is taking the smartphone structure a step further. That combined w/ the engineering purpose of 'unibody' design is something unique in the iP5 design.

That was all that I was pointing out, and that 'dents' are really cosmetic blemishes to the surface, not that the phone is actually dented in. But I don't think you can argue one way or another that iP5's screen will shatter more or less than say a GS3.

OK sorry. I guess you are right about the screens. My original post was not suppose to be just centered around dropping the phone. Every phone is going to have damage from dropping. Maybe the iPhone 5 holds up better than the S3. I was more concerned with things like the home button not working over time, or the coating on the iPhone 5 chipping. Sure the coating thing is just visual damage, but I still think that is poor materials on the phone. I also pointed out the antenna problems with the iPhone. None of that has anything to do with dropping it.

Samsung has its issues to, but being plastic alone is not one of them. It seems that is all people care about talking about on this forum. I just wanted to point out Apple has its issues too.

Irishman
Apr 16, 2013, 06:45 AM
No I am pretty YOU have no idea what you are saying.

I'm pretty sure you are trying to goad me into an argument.

Sorry. Not rising to your bait. :)

skippymac
Apr 16, 2013, 06:57 AM
I personally don't think people over-exaggerate the build quality of the iphone that much.

What people do is spout about how crap samsung phones are (not everyone of course). The thing is samsung make a lot of cheapo phones which are obviously not as well built as their top of the range phones, so tarnish the reputation somewhat.

Like with most things it all comes down to personal preference and opinion. There is no doubt in my mind that both samsung and apple phones are better than each other in different respects; however the opinion of myself and many here (it is called MacRumors) is that overall the iphone is designed and built better.

bmac4
Apr 16, 2013, 07:52 AM
I personally don't think people over-exaggerate the build quality of the iphone that much.

What people do is spout about how crap samsung phones are (not everyone of course). The thing is samsung make a lot of cheapo phones which are obviously not as well built as their top of the range phones, so tarnish the reputation somewhat.

Like with most things it all comes down to personal preference and opinion. There is no doubt in my mind that both samsung and apple phones are better than each other in different respects; however the opinion of myself and many here (it is called MacRumors) is that overall the iphone is designed and built better.

I will give you the design part for sure. I am just tired of people trashing Samsung for using plastic when Apple has issues with the iPhone. I will not argue the iPhone looking better. What I do have a problem with is talking trash about everything that is not Apple. I understand this is MacRumors and I own a lot of Apple stuff, but I also understand they have issues to just like everyone else. I do prefer Android over ios, but I am not going to go trash Apple and what it is trying to accomplish. I respect Apple and know that they are doing something right.

skippymac
Apr 16, 2013, 08:27 AM
I will give you the design part for sure. I am just tired of people trashing Samsung for using plastic when Apple has issues with the iPhone. I will not argue the iPhone looking better. What I do have a problem with is talking trash about everything that is not Apple. I understand this is MacRumors and I own a lot of Apple stuff, but I also understand they have issues to just like everyone else. I do prefer Android over ios, but I am not going to go trash Apple and what it is trying to accomplish. I respect Apple and know that they are doing something right.

I agree, the many forms of plastic are great materials for many applications, including building phones. But I also think that overall apple products are superior. You only have to take the back off a samsung product to realise that.

Large blocks of plastic take up space around standardised parts like removable batteries etc.. In an apple product this space would be utilised to make the phone smaller.

Of course this has it's downsides. It is much more expensive to replace an iphone's battery! But it is all a trade-off really; where I say the iphone is well designed because it utilises more space to make for a smaller product, another might say the samsung phone is well designed because it has easily replaceable parts.

bmac4
Apr 16, 2013, 08:54 AM
I agree, the many forms of plastic are great materials for many applications, including building phones. But I also think that overall apple products are superior. You only have to take the back off a samsung product to realise that.

Large blocks of plastic take up space around standardised parts like removable batteries etc.. In an apple product this space would be utilised to make the phone smaller.

Of course this has it's downsides. It is much more expensive to replace an iphone's battery! But it is all a trade-off really; where I say the iphone is well designed because it utilises more space to make for a smaller product, another might say the samsung phone is well designed because it has easily replaceable parts.

Yea and I know we will always disagree on which one is better, but I just wanted to point out the fact that while Apple uses metals and glass it does have issues. People just pass by Samsung and say they are junk cause of the plastic. I don't think people can make such bold statements.

LIVEFRMNYC
Apr 16, 2013, 02:32 PM
Don't you guys think that people who only carry around their phones naked should really care about build quality?


I have a soft back case for my S3 just like the pic shown below. The front(including bezel) is covered in all glass. I'm never touching plastic, so why should I care if the material is plastic. If I had the iP5, I would have a similar case on it and really wouldn't care much what it's made from.

http://images.mobilefun.co.uk/graphics/productmisc/35126/1.jpg


For me ...... build quality means how solid the device holds, no creaking noise, and moving parts like buttons also feel solid. This is how I judge. Most people would say suede feels better to the touch than cotton, but that doesn't make the build quality better on whatever garment. I'm sure the iP5 and HTC one feels better to the touch, but people like me who throw on any type of case will only be touching glass for the most part.

bmac4
Apr 16, 2013, 03:06 PM
Don't you guys think that people who only carry around their phones naked should really care about build quality?


I have a soft back case for my S3 just like the pic shown below. The front(including bezel) is covered in all glass. I'm never touching plastic, so why should I care if the material is plastic. If I had the iP5, I would have a similar case on it and really wouldn't care much what it's made from.

Image (http://images.mobilefun.co.uk/graphics/productmisc/35126/1.jpg)


For me ...... build quality means how solid the device holds, no creaking noise, and moving parts like buttons also feel solid. This is how I judge. Most people would say suede feels better to the touch than cotton, but that doesn't make the build quality better on whatever garment. I'm sure the iP5 and HTC one feels better to the touch, but people like me who throw on any type of case will only be touching glass for the most part.

Yea I get that. I almost always cover my smartphone in a case. I don't really drop my phones very much, so I really never test how much they can take.

Now I will say since I have add my nexus 4 I only keep it in a case when I am not at my house. When I am at home I take it off because the phone just feels so good in hand. I call that good craftsmanship. We will see over time how well it holds up, but for now it sure seems good to me.

daneoni
Apr 16, 2013, 07:21 PM
Never use a case. Even refused the free bumpers for the iPhone 4. Crystal Screen Protector is all I do because I don't trust Gorilla Glass for anything.

I rarely drop my phones and the 3 times I've done so have been on carpeted surfaces when wrestling with my significant other and naturally they come out unscathed. General wear and tear holds up well too. My unprotected chamfered edges on my mini and iP5 are still as intact as the were when they left the box.

The only phones that have shown marked wear and tear for me are the Nokia N9, iPhone 3G and Samsung Focus Flash. All of which either scuffed or scratched. The most reliable smartphone I've had is the iPhone 2G, that thing is a tank that keeps going. Needs a new battery though.