The longevity of a device is mostly determined by the durability of the device. This has a lot to do with its build, the materials used, its design, and other factors.
Smartphones have come to stay whether we like it or not because of their usefulness, which has greatly increased in the past few years. Phones have indeed come a long way, and at each step of the way there have been improvements, not only in software and hardware but also in build quality and design.
Presently, the design of a smartphone matters a lot to buyers because it is one of the crucial thing that determines the uniqueness of the device. Looks can be deceiving of course, but nonetheless, it is one of the factor that most smartphone buyers consider when buying their dream items.
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In a world filled with different varieties of smartphones, it may be convincing to know the one that is right for you as a buyer. You will also want to know the ones that tend to have the best external protection against the hustle of everyday.
Most of the smartphones available in the market today either have plastic body or glass body, with few having ceramic body or metal body. The days are long gone when metal was the standard, but today we have more glass body design, followed by plastic (or polycarbonate) body design.
high-end premium smartphones released nowadays have glass front and glass back, with majority opting for metal frame – although there are few mid-end’s with glass back that use plastic frame. The low-end (cheap) ones mostly use plastic in and out.
The price and the specs of a device determines the type of build it will have. Now, the question is, which is more durable, a smartphone made of glass or a smartphone made of plastic? Which of the two tend to last more?
Well, if there is one thing that differentiate plastic from glass, it is its flexibility and malleability. Plastic can be bend into different shapes easily and it is elastic by nature, unlike glass that is rigid by nature.
Although modern day technology have greatly helped manufacturers in shaping glass into various designs using computing and machineries, the elasticity and malleability that made polycarbonate stand out cannot be underemphasized.
Plastic phones can be slightly bend without any damage, and if dropped they do not break or shatter (except the screen part that is made of glass). The shift from using metal and plastic to using glass for smartphones is not entirely for the best interest of users to be honest, but glass does have its own advantages too, howbeit few.
Most type of glass are resistive to scratch because they are glossy in nature, or because they are made that way (there are different types of glass but I’m not going into that), which makes them less prone to scratch than plastic.
This beautify phones that have glass body a lot more because they retain most of their beauty for a long period of time, as long as the phone does not drop and shatter. Their shiny crisp surface also illuminate light, which makes them fancy to the eye, hence their premium price.
Their smooth shining glossy body however does have a disadvantage, it makes them slippery. Smartphones with glass body are usually slippery when held in hand compared to smartphones that are made of plastic. Their ability to break and shatter, and their slipperiness are by far their disadvantages when it comes to durability.
Phone manufacturers sometime use special type of glass that have been engineered to mitigate scratches and shattering to some extent, but in reality these glasses are still prone to scratches and cracks if the phone is not maintained well by the user.
Examples of such glass are “Gorilla Glass” and “Dragontrail Glass”. In addition, phones that have glass build when cracked or shattered are costlier to repair than phones that have plastic build.
Smartphones with plastic body have their disadvantages also, but they are not as much as that of glass. Most plastic phones are coated by design, but the coating start peeling off as time goes by making them less appealing to the eye and ugly.
Also, they feel less premium when held in hand and can be flimsy because they are not as rigid as glass. Naturally, plastic also degrade faster than glass.
Also read: Why today’s smartphones are so big?
In summary, when it comes to durability, smartphones with plastic build are more better than smartphones with glass build (although there are few exception such as phones that use sapphire glass).
If beauty is not one of your major concern, and you priced durability more than anything else, you won’t go wrong with phones that are made of plastic, but you will sacrifice some tech such as wireless charging.
Finding high-end premium smartphones that have plastic build is getting more difficult, we can only hope they won’t go extinct anytime soon.