The launch of a large number of smartphones sporting similar looks, feel and specs at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) revealed the increasing difficulty OEMs face in differentiating their products. How are consumers supposed to choose one multi-core, 4.3-inch, Android camera-phone from another?
The answer may lie in the materials used to make the casing. Each has their pros and cons: metal is durable, but is heavy and scratches easily, plastic is light but can look and feel cheap, while glass is attractive but fragile. Increasingly smartphone OEMs are looking to ceramics to differentiate their latest devices.
While the launch of the One X grabbed most of the attention from HTC’s MWC offering, the mid-range One S unveiled a new type of casing that uses a technique called microarc oxidation to deposit a super-dense ceramic coating onto aluminium that is claimed to be four times harder than anodized aluminium. More recently Pantech is reported to be launching the Vega Racer 2 in South Korea, with a ceramic glass coating. And lastly the successor to the hugely popular Samsung Galaxy S 2 is widely reported to be sporting a ceramic casing.
(Image credit: D daily)
In an era when the form-factor, feature-set and functionality of smartphones have become largely standardised, innovation in materials could be the key to making your device stand out from the crowd. Until everyone follows suit, that is.