Opinion put up by
C. Scott Brown
I distinctly keep in mind the primary time I held the HTC One M7 in my hand. The graceful aluminum chassis felt cool to the contact, as if it had simply come out of a fridge. It had a superb weight to it that made it really feel as if I used to be holding a tool that price twice as a lot because it truly did. I had a whole lot of ideas on the time, however the very last thing on my thoughts was placing that cellphone in a case. It was made from metallic!
I had an analogous feeling the primary time I used a OnePlus One. That sandstone again was nearly like a built-in case. Holding it made you are feeling that even should you loosened your grip on it fully, it might nonetheless follow your hand. I by no means owned a case for my OnePlus One.
Finally, although, these designs vanished. As wi-fi charging grew to become extra prevalent, producers have been compelled to desert metallic builds and different various options. Apple went all-in on glass for the iPhone 4, and Android OEMs adopted go well with in a short time. In 2020, there isn’t one bonafide flagship smartphone that doesn’t incorporate a “glass sandwich” design.
Associated: The most effective Android telephones you should purchase proper now
As many individuals studying it will agree, it’s unfathomable to make use of a glass sandwich cellphone with out some sort of case. Even should you’re not afraid of dropping it and cracking the glass throughout, the slipperiness of the glass makes holding it awkward.
I actually miss the times of letting my cellphone go bare and free.
Credit score: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
Individuals who religiously comply with the smartphone trade will shortly level out that there are many 2020 gadgets with out glass backs. The Samsung Galaxy Be aware 20 has a plastic again, as does the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. The Google Pixel 4a and its 5G-powered sibling even have plastic backs. The Google Pixel 5 even has a bizarre aluminum/plastic hybrid again that also permits for wi-fi charging.
Associated: Google Pixel 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S20 FE: Which is best?
Nevertheless, you’ll discover that almost all of these telephones are mid-rangers. Within the circumstances of the Samsung telephones, they’re watered-down variations of flagships. The closest factor to a complete flagship package deal launched this 12 months with no glass again is the Xiaomi BlackShark 3 collection. These telephones have aluminum backs and high-end specs. However guess what? They aren’t formally obtainable in the US (and have fairly mediocre digital camera programs).
In different phrases, I’m left with a tricky determination: do I desire a flagship-quality smartphone that lives in a case always, or do I wish to dwell a case-free life with a watered-down flagship?
Frankly, I believe that call sucks. I would like my cake and to eat it, too. I desire a flagship high quality cellphone I can use with no case. Why is that so tough to seek out?
I’ve bought the style for it now
Credit score: David Imel / Android Authority
A number of weeks in the past, I used the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE as my each day driver for just a few days to provide a second opinion on our overview. I knew I might solely have the cellphone for about three days, and Samsung didn’t ship us any circumstances with our overview items. This compelled me to make use of the cellphone with no case. For the reason that again of the machine is plastic, doing so felt pure anyway.
Associated: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE overview second opinion: So near being a OnePlus killer
After I was executed with the Galaxy S20 FE and went again to my beloved OnePlus 7 Professional, I used to be disillusioned. My 7 Professional lives in a sandstone bumper case always (thanks, OnePlus, for maintaining the sandstone design alive, if solely in case kind). I needed I might have eliminated the case and used the 7 Professional as-is.
I gave it a shot, however I simply couldn’t maintain it going. Each time I went to select up the cellphone I used to be nervous it might slide proper out of my hand as a result of the again is simply so slippery. Taking the cellphone out of my pocket was additionally tougher than it was with the Galaxy S20 FE as a result of it’s tough to get a superb grip on it (the curved show sides don’t assist right here). It simply wasn’t best for each day use with out that case.
Now that I’ve spent just a few days utilizing a cellphone with no case, I’m determined to maintain doing so.
In fact, there’s the choice of foregoing a case and getting a customized pores and skin as a substitute. Skins are vinyl stickers reduce to the precise specs of your cellphone. The stickers give your cellphone extra grip in addition to a customized look you could really make your personal. Nevertheless, you’re nonetheless placing stickers throughout your machine (which by no means appears to be like nearly as good as you think about it). They don’t supply any actual safety towards glass-breaking drops both.
Apparently, I didn’t actually care a lot about my 7 Professional’s case earlier than utilizing the Galaxy S20 FE. Now, although, I give it some thought a number of instances a day. I take into consideration the attractive Nebula Blue colorway OnePlus designed and the way it shifts in numerous lighting. I take into consideration how I by no means get to see it as a result of that rattling case is on it on a regular basis.
The Pixel 5 proves it doesn’t have to be this manner
Credit score: Robert Triggs / Android Authority
The aforementioned Google Pixel 5 will not be a flagship cellphone. It doesn’t have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, has solely two rear digital camera lenses, and retains it old-school with a fingerprint sensor on the again. Nevertheless, the Pixel 5 does have a perfectly-grippy again panel that isn’t made from glass.
Google was in a position to make a cellphone individuals would use with no case whereas nonetheless permitting for wi-fi charging (and even reverse wi-fi charging). That cellphone is proof optimistic that there’s nothing stopping smartphone OEMs from abandoning the glass sandwich trope. For no matter motive, they simply aren’t bothering to attempt.
See additionally: The most effective cellphone case manufacturers: Our information to choosing a case on your cellphone
I can solely hope that Google is setting the instance right here and that different OEMs will comply with go well with. I do know that if I used to be selecting between a Pixel 5 and a comparable cellphone with a glass again (like, say, the OnePlus Nord), I might positively lean in the direction of the Pixel 5 merely due to its construct supplies. I’m positive there are many individuals studying this who would do the identical.
Hear my plea, smartphone OEMs: we’re so, so sick of the glass sandwich design. Get revolutionary. Make one thing distinctive. Don’t spend 1000’s of man-hours designing your stunning telephones simply to allow them to be encased in ugly slabs of black rubber for the remainder of their lives.
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