Tag Archives: plastic

HTC president: Samsung devices are for those that want cheap plastic, HTC aims to deliver more

htc-one-m8-launch-aa-14-of-27 resized

HTC is no stranger when it comes to poking fun at its fiercest competitor. When the Galaxy S5 was first announced, HTC said that “buyers remorse” would be coming soon to GS5 customers and later HTC’s North American president Jason Mackenzie retweeted an image likening the Galaxy S5 to a band-aid.

With the HTC One (M8) now official and already available in select markets, HTC’s confidence (at least publicly) is at an all-time high. This is particularly true when it comes to Mackenzie, who has been talking up the M8 quite a bit recently while doing his best to throw in some jabs at the latest Galaxy S handset.

Speaking in an interview with Business Insider earlier this week, Mackenzie said that HTC was a “company that invests in our customers and delivers a beautifully designed product that you can feel proud of.” Turning to Samsung, he said the firm is simply “focused on investing in advertising”. Mackenzie further went on to say that Samsung uses it’s marketing and advertising to “paint the world blue” and that this is “evident when you look at the product”.

This falls in line with Mackenzie’s previous comments during the HTC press conference earlier this week, where he said that the HTC One M8 experience is “so much better than… throwing a few dimples on the back”. Mackenzie summed up Samsung’s position in the market by pointing out one of the company’s arguably biggest weaknesses: it’s use of plastic.

If you want to buy a product built out of cheap plastic, there’s a solution for you. But we’re going after a different customer, someone who wants the best.
Jason Mackenzie
HTC President of North America

Samsung Galaxy S5 Color Comparison -1160820

Bold words, but can HTC deliver?

With HTC struggling to stay relevant in the Android world as of late, it’s important that they retain a calm, strong front. The big question, however, is whether the HTC One (M8) and other upcoming devices have enough weight to finally give HTC the edge it needs over the competition.

According to Greenbot, in yet another recent interview HTC’s Jason Mackenzie spoke about what HTC is doing differently this year, and how this could finally be their year to shine brightly once again. In the interview, Mackenzie said that if “you look at our 17-year history, we’ve had only one negative quarter. Not many people can communicate that.” He also mentions that HTC is “one of only three smartphone companies that’s been consistently profitable”.

The big question is if the HTC One (M8) has enough weight to finally give HTC the edge it needs over the competition

Of course, HTC has been struggling fiscally for a long while now, even if it’s managed to mostly break even or scrape together a small profit. Regardless of their continued fiscal problems and drop in market/mindshare, Mackenzie seems optimistic that the M8 can turn things around.

The biggest change in strategy, according to Mackenzie, is that they are releasing the handset from day one, while the buzz is fresh. This is in contrast to the original HTC One, which was announced 7 weeks before it arrived to the public. Another major folly with the HTC One (M7) was that it wasn’t launched simultaneously on all major carriers and arrived to Verizon — the U.S. Market’s largest carrier — five months after its initial launch to the public.

It’s true that HTC has handled the M8’s launch much better than it did the original HTC One.The handset also arrives at a time when many Android fans seem to be growing weary of Samsung’s refusal to make major changes in terms of aesthetics and software, which is something that HTC could certainly use to its advantage.

What do you think, does HTC have what it takes to finally become a key player in the Android world once again? Do you prefer HTC’s premium styling and their overall approach, or you do favor Samsung’s products — regardless of the company’s continued use of plastic on its flagship offerings?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.


Android Authority

Future (Moto?) smartphones: unbreakable plastic, speaking to the phone, and wearables

In an interview with The Associated Press, Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside shared some of his thoughts on the future mobile devices, the mobile business and the relationship with Google.

Once again, Woodside reiterated something execs from both companies said before, that Google and Motorola are separate entities that operate differently even though the former owns the later. He said that Motorola doesn’t get access to Android code earlier than everyone else – but we’ll say that the Moto X received the KitKat update even before the Nexus 4 got its over the air build.

Woodside also sort-of acknowledged that for Motorola it doesn’t matter if it’s losing money anymore, in Google’s grand scheme of things, which is having as many people connected to the Internet. To date, Google paid .5 billion for the company and lost another billions since the acquisition became official in mid 2012.

Most interestingly, when asked about what people will want from future devices, the CEO said that he expects to see unbreakable plastic in handsets, more advanced voice-based assistant features as well as some sort of wearables integration, as long as the “killer-use” feature for them is discovered:

Q: What early signs (are you) seeing in what people are going to be wanting from their smartphones?

A: Phones break. They’re glass. That’s likely to change in the next 24 months, as plastic becomes more present and producible.

You’ll be speaking to (the) phone, asking it to do things, and it will be responding and actually doing what you intend, as opposed to you reading a command line.

Wearables are obviously an area that’s of interest. No one has really come up with the killer-use case that defines what that means and how that works.

Is Woodside hinting at future features for next-gen Moto X and Moto G devices? It may be too early to say, but we’re definitely going to see what Motorola will come up with, with Google’s support, of course.

Presently, the Motorola’s main rivals are Apple and Samsung according to the CEO, who did not forget to promote its newly released and highly praised Moto G handset. Woodside said that the Moto G can offer the same iPhone features at a quarter of a price, and that Motorola’s handsets do “something a little bit differently” (including the Moto G) when it comes to having to compete with the marketing power of a giant such as Samsung.

Android Authority

HTC announces Desire 700, a plastic One lookalike with mid-range specs

HTC-Desire-700-91 MobileGeeks

Today in Taiwan, HTC announced the Desire 700, a mid-range device that borrows design elements from the popular HTC One.

The Desire 700 features a 5-inch LCD display of 960 x 540 pixels resolution, which translates into a mediocre 220 ppi density. On the front, the 149 grams device resembles the high-end One, featuring the signature dual speakers on the top and bottom, and a similar capacitive button setup. The speaker grills have rounded corners and are a bit narrower than the One’s. A black plastic frame goes around the sides of the device, just like on the HTC One Mini.

On the back, the Desire 700 features a glossy plastic removable back plate with the two horizontal stripes that HTC’s design team favored throughout 2013. When removed, the rounded back cover exposes two SIM-card slots (GSM and WCDMA/GSM) and a microSD card. The 2,100 mAh battery is removable.

The specs of the Desire 700 are decidedly mid-range, with a Snapdragon 200 processor (quad-core Cortex-A7 @ 1.2Ghz), 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. You get an 8MP camera on the back, and a 2.1 MP on the front.

On the software side, you get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with HTC’s Sense 5 on top.

Sascha Pallenberg of Mobile Geeks got a quick look at the Desire 700, check it out:

The Desire 700 will be initially available in Taiwan, but it may make it to the other markets as well. In its homeland, the device goes for NT ,900, the equivalent of roughly 0, but we can expect it at a lower price if it ever makes it to the West.

With that said, the Moto G really raised the bar for budget devices, and HTC will have to price the Desire 700 very aggressively to make it competitive.

Android Authority

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Apple begins airing new iPhone 5c ad titled ‘Plastic Perfected’

With the iPhone 5C all set for release on on September 20th, Apple has now unveiled one of what is sure to a few ads for the colorful line of devices.

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The great plastic debate of 2013: is plastic really that bad?

plastic Credit: puuikibeach/Flickr

Samsung is keeping with the tradition of using plastic cases on its flagship devices. The use of plastic is a polarizing issue, but is it really that bad as some commentators put it?

Disclaimer: I am likely to be called a Samsung fanboy anyway, but for the record, I love the design of the glass-backed Xperia Z and Nexus 4.

Let’s do an experiment. Read any post about the newly unveiled Samsung Galaxy S4, on Android Authority or on other sites. Look at the comments. I am willing to bet that most posts will have at least one comment complaining about the plastic build of the device. Ranging from well-thought criticism to downright trolling, these comments seem to suggest that having a flagship made of (gasp) plastic is a disgrace, a stigma bore only by fly-by-night sweatshops in China.

But is plastic really that bad? Do we need more aluminum, glass, carbon fiber, unicorn skin (what?) in our lives? And why do we get so worked up over the materials that go into devices that we aren’t going to buy anyway?

Plastic vs polycarbonate

First off all, repeat after me: polycarbonate is plastic. I say this because, from time to time, there will be a stray commenter or even tech writer suggesting that the polycarbonate on phone X is better than the plastic on phone Y. Well, it isn’t, just like a Mercedes isn’t better than a car.

The flexible backplate of the Galaxy S4 is polycarbonate, just like the hard unibody of the HTC One X. It’s just that they were processed, shaped, and finished in very different ways.

plastic vs aluminum

Plastic isn’t inherently bad

People seem to hate the plastic on the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy S4, but it probably has more to do with the way Samsung has designed its devices than with the actual material.

My guess is many people dislike the glazed finish of Samsung’s phones and hate the fact that the phones feel squishy, even flimsy. So people criticizing plastic actually complain about how the devices are built.

Of course, the final design of any phone is based on many hours of research, design work, prototyping, and evaluating. There are many factors to consider, and the price of the device is just one of them. In other words, Samsung doesn’t make its devices from thin plastic just to save a few dollars per unit.

Sure, price is an important factor, but it’s balanced by many others, from production planning (where do you source 100 million aluminum unibodies from?), to design (thicker plastic adds girth), to engineering (metal bodies stop radio waves).

Plastic has advantages for users as well. It allows for lighter devices. It makes replacing a scratched back plate affordable. It doesn’t chip like anodized aluminum or crack like glass. And for many users, it feels better. I personally hate using devices that I perceive as fragile.

I know some people like their devices to look premium: “If I paid 500 bucks on a phone, it better look like it!” I guess this logic would make the new Vertu Ti (clad in titanium and sapphire crystal) the ultimate Android smartphone, right? Not really, I think we all agree.

Why all the hate?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you should embrace plastic. You’re free to love metal or whatever floats your boat. Diversity is what makes Android strong.

I am just saying you should live and let live. You may prefer aluminum or glass. Or better said, your favorite company might prefer those materials. But that doesn’t mean everything made of plastic is cheap crap you should dismiss. And more importantly, using a certain phone doesn’t give you the license to insult people that prefer other devices.

We’re all Android fans here. Why don’t we act like it instead of endlessly arguing over which phone is made of the “better” material?

The post The great plastic debate of 2013: is plastic really that bad? appeared first on Android Authority.

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