The Samsung Galaxy S5 could be the first of Samsung’s Galaxy line to arrive with a metal design as a new report from Korea states Samsung is working on an upgraded assembly line which will play an integral role in the next flagship phone for 2014.
Rumors of metal designs for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 surfaced early on, but Samsung stuck with plastic for the S4, and at this point it looks like the rumored Galaxy Note 3 will also come with a plastic back.
While competitors such as Apple and HTC shifted to metal designs already, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will likely arrive in plastic next month.
If this new report is correct, Samsung could be shifting to metal for the Samsung Galaxy S5.
According to Etnews, Samsung is building a new line in its Gumi plant in Korea which will be capable of producing smartphone casings in magnesium or aluminum.
The article does not name the Galaxy S5 by name, calling out a premium smartphone for early next year. This fits into Samsung’s annual Galaxy S upgrade cycle, which is likely to be the Galaxy S5.
Most smartphones on the market with a metal design offer tradeoffs that consumers may not want, such as a lack of expandable storage and a removable battery. The iPhone 5 and HTC One for example are completely sealed, preventing users from switching batteries or adding more storage.
This doesn’t mean there is no way to deliver an aluminum design with hallmark Samsung Galaxy features.
The Samsung Wave 3 features a brushed aluminum design that users can remove to access a replaceable battery and a Micro SD card slot.
While it is entirely speculation at this point, we could see Samsung work this type of technology into the Galaxy S5 to deliver an all metal Galaxy S5 design with the same access to battery and more storage Samsung customers enjoy.
A rumor from Android Geeks in June pointed to a Samsung Galaxy S5 metal design using a new Samsung Design 3.0 language. This report also claimed plastic would still make up the major part of the Galaxy Note 3, which appears to be correct.
Samsung recently shared that the plastic designs actually include some metal materials in them to deliver a shine that designers could not achieve with plastic alone.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is likely to arrive in Spring 2014 with a major event, possibly the first Samsung Mobile Unpacked event of 2014. There is talk of a Flexible display which Samsung showed off at CES 2013 earlier this year. It’s not clear if a metal design which is more rigid could help Samsung deliver this. We expect a new look and Android 5.0 on board as well.