It’s been reported that Samsung had considered the use of metal for the Galaxy S4 flagship smartphone, but decided against it due to delays resulting in the change of materials. However, aside from the change in materials, it’s unclear how Samsung would evolve its product designs, at least until possibly now. A recent leaked image posted by @evleaks on Twitter suggests that Samsung may take a drastic change from its current design as the South Korean electronics giant is speculated to explore new designs for future products.
It’s unclear if the leaked images represent a near-final design product that Samsung is working on, a complex forgery, or an early prototype. In the past, Samsung has been known to place its smartphone innards into a box to disguise them when showing them to early partners in an effort to prevent leaks, and this could be one such ‘box’ attempt.
Described as a new Samsung design language, I am not sure the new designs are necessarily better than the fluid, nature-inspired designs of the Samsung Galaxy S3, which is adopted in large part on the Galaxy S4 flagship that will be available in the U.S. starting this month. The new deisgn shows a brick-lick design that’s rectangular, with subtle rounded corners, and a traditional Samsung hardware home button. From the looks of the image, it appears that Samsung may either introduce a unibody polycarbonate design, such as that adopted by Nokia on the flagship Lumia 920, or a single piece back that is removable, like the design adopted by Nokia’s Lumia 820 series. In fact, the design that’s shown here looks like it could be taken from the Lumia 820. The straight edges and matte finish reminds me a lot of what Nokia’s doing in the design department.
The white non-gloss reminds me of the Nokia 808 smartphone, the polycarbonate a tribute to the Lumia 920, and the angular edges and brick design an homage to the Lumia 820 series, which also includes the Lumia 810 for T-Mobile USA.
If the photos are accurate of Samsung’s next phone generation, we’ll have to touch, hold, and feel one before passing final judgment, but the design appears to be less comfortable to hold than the nature-inspired design of the Galaxy S3. Straight edges, boxy appearance, and a thick body may make the phone less ergonomic compared with the smooth curves and thinner body of the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 designs.
The photo makes it hard to discern if any metal parts were used in the casing design.
But even the Galaxy S3’s design may have been forced on Samsung in the midst of on-going patent lawsuits with Apple. Apple had made claims that Samsung’s Galaxy series of smartphones had infringed on its iPhone design, and the Galaxy S3’s asymmetrical design may have been created to appease Apple’s ambitious lawyers. Early previews of the phone had bloggers and tech journalists crying foul, with one headline title boldly stating that it was a smartphone ‘designed by lawyers.’ However, the Galaxy S3 went on to become the best selling Android smartphone, so who knows what the fate of this new leaked design language may bring to Samsung.
And if the Galaxy S3’s design was forced by lawyers, then the new leaks may be an aspiration for Samsung to go back to a minimalist block for its smartphone.