What Constitutes A Premium Smartphone?
Since the launch of the Galaxy S4 Samsung have been taking a fair amount of flack for the build of its phones.
How can Samsung ask for the same money as the iPhone or HTC One, when those phones are manufactured from premium materials and the S4 is a plastic monolith?
Depends what you call premium materials and what's important to you.
Whilst I haven't had a chance to go hands on with the One, I can happily say that the iPhone feels no more premium to me than the Galaxy Note 2, which employs the same manufacturing process as the S4.
In the hand the two phones are as different as can be, size and materials from opposite ends of the spectrum.
Yet whilst the iPhone feels fragile and ready to leap to its death anytime is used out of its case, the Note 2 has a feeling of robustness that transcends is size. No case required here.
The iPhone, in the safety of the sort of case that most users employ actually occupies a greater volume than the naked Note 2. Weighs close to the same as well.
My biggest disappointment with the iPhone is that it needs to be in some kind of case. The result is that those 'premium' materials are mostly hidden. And the phone's 'in hand' usability is compromised too.
Realistically premium materials are only premium when they are also functional. In the case(!) of the Galaxy Note 2 the plastic construction turns out to have far more premium utility than some would suggest.
I have no doubts that the S4 will perform similarly well once in your hand.