Would you accept a plastic Xperia flagship if it meant smaller bezels and a cheaper price?

by XB on 2nd June 2014

in News


sony-xperia-logoThe lead designer of the LG G3 made some interesting comments recently when addressing criticism over the lack of premium build quality. Chul Bae Lee, LG’s Vice President of Mobile Design, said that adding a metal chassis to the LG G3 would have made the phone $300 more expensive. The LG G3 launched with a plastic body and “polished metallic skin”.

If you could charge $300 more for the phone, maybe we could make it metal,” said Lee. He also went on to say that the use of plastic meant a more compact phone. “To maintain the compactness of this phone, there is no other choice than this material. If I had applied metal to the G3 is would be much bulkier in the bezels and in all four directions. It would be very big and very heavy. It would be really slippery as well,” Lee said.

Design and build quality has always been a strong feature of Sony Xperia flagships. More recently, this has meant an abundance of glass and aluminium frames. However, if moving to a plastic frame meant a more cheaper, lighter and compact Xperia phone, would you be okay with that? Would you be willing to sacrifice build quality for the above factors? We’d love to hear your views below.

Via Trusted Reviews.

  • Polycarbonate

    Polycarbonate == Plastic?

  • Alessio

    No. Quality first.

  • Peter

    Simply – no, na-ah, no way. I buy a Sony flagship for premium quality and design and I don’t want to replace that with cheap plastic. If I’d like a cheaper plastic phone, I would buy LG – but I don’t, and I hope Sony won’t follow this path and won’t stop catering to people who buy phones once every 2-3 years – but expect a fully premium product.

    Oh and anyway… I’m sorry but as far as LG G2 is great – the build quality and the feel of the device is ABYSMAL. Honestly, it’s even worse than Samsung if that’s even possible…

  • Maybe…

    May and may not. The Arc had a nice design and it was plastic. Durability is questionable..

    I think as long as there’s a solid metal supporting the core structure of the phone, i should be fine with it imho.

  • Matze33

    No, don’t go the Samsung way!

  • RamyRamz69

    Well my Z1 Compact is made out of plastic and doesn’t feel any cheap, but at the same time the bezels aren’t any small…

  • asian101

    Probably, it depends on the overall package. But basically, no. As much as I like G3’s looks, the Z2 is a real killer particularly to its glass and metal frame design. Subjective it may be, but at the end of the day, you will or would want your phone to be forged in glass or metal (m8 or z2 as examples), because most people want finely crafted products, like your wristwatch. A plastic wristwatch and a tux does not really blend ;) probably the same goes for a smartphone as well.

  • Okenok

    Yes. Plastic doesn’t mean bad design

  • bobeobi gzigzigzeo

    In the past there were all plastics phones, so, yes

  • Zack

    Yes

  • JustinRichman

    Nope.

  • adc

    Take original Z’s material, shrink it down to fit a 4 inch screen and make it bezelless like ZL, keep the thickness. Eat with sauce.

  • Armin Torkashvand

    even with smaller bezels i choose glass!!!

  • Guest

    Yes.

  • Keyvan Ghanbary

    NO! Premium phone must have premium materials…Sony will never do that

  • sincere

    If they just solve the heating problems without compromise the quality, I wouldn’t care about the cost

  • goldenblls

    No, no, no!!!

    I could understand how it would be nice to have the choice, however, I would NEVER pay so much for a phone that had the same build quality and feel as a cheaper bottom / mid range model.

    Personally, I would feel cheated. Samsung and LG customers have been blinded by marketing to even believe that what they have in their hands is a premium device. Premium on specs yes, but on build quality no, and unless you have both of these then you don’t have hold of a good, premium device. You have been ripped off!

    Who cares if the phone is 10 or 20g heavier, it’s hardly going to break your arm or pull your pants down. Without Xperia phones giving us a proper premium option I’d have no choice but to go with Apple as I prefer their quality over LG / Samsung.

  • igel705

    I don’t think it would be cheaper – look at Samsung, they are plastic and as expensive as Sony ;-D
    But…i think i really got used to glass and metal…and somehow Sony will make it, that with metal therr are no bezels ;-) look at the z2 much less beezel!!

    I would pay more for a better quality. And i think…300$ just because of a little bit metal is really not realistic :-D

  • xili

    Material is not a big deal to me, as long as the phone does gave me a solid and premium feel, I’m ok with that.

    Cheaper? Better screen-to-bezel ratio? Lighter? Of course, why not?

  • iainbong

    No such thing as big and heavy by using metal. Apple creates iPhone with metal and Macbook with aluminium. I would say that the next BIG companies would be Sony and Apple. Screw Samsung.

  • Diogo Simões

    This ” lead designer” must be blind!

    Just show them the plastic Galaxy S5 – 749,90 €

    And now the Xperia Z2 – €619,90

  • Lajos Márk Kovács

    Maybe.

    Get a Brother flagship thin bezels, high-quality plastic, cheaper …

  • SeVeMaS

    Yes. Said no Sony lover ever…

  • Absolutely no!

  • cem

    I buy sony everytime cuz of the material quality

  • sfordesign

    stupid LG. can’t make plastic phone in good quality then blame metal material expensive. why not check nokia and see how they make phone with premium quality plastic and gorgeous good look? Lee only tells how incapable LG is

  • fried_egg

    The differentiation between android phones is largely down to the camera & the casing. Sony has gone quality, while LG has gone low rent. Phones are still status symbols and price is the barrier to entry.. LG WOULD! make their phones the same way as Sony if they thought they would sell as many… they do not, so to get sales they need better volumes at a cheaper price…

  • sfordesign

    LG*

  • s-emo

    The only reason why the Arc did not take off as it should have is because of the plastics. So excellent design should not be mixed with cheap materials!

  • Maxnoob

    Even Nokia is manufacturing aluminum phones

  • Ali Bach-Tobji

    No way

  • 8oldemar

    I don’t care, because I don’t buy now Xperia’s flagships (“shovel”, more 4,3″)!

    However, if I bought Xperia flagship, I would definitely wanted little bezels for compactness. But plastic shows himself badly in the drop-tests, compared with Xperia Z1/Z2. Therefore, only metal.

  • Malik Shahid Farooq aWaN

    No never

  • Mac

    Yep 4.55″ screen in same body and we would have the best of the best. Oh.. yeah the firmware really need some help..

  • Mohammad Bader Qawasmeh

    Quality first and special material like carbon fiber in vaio laptops or alminuim and glass in xperia line

  • $ony

    Excuses to keep same price, but reduce production cost. Increase profit. $ony.

  • Sture Karlsson

    Yes, but I’d prioritise other materials. IP certification is the most popular for my part.

  • Camilo Uribe

    Never !

  • mustafa

    How about fuck no?

  • Yasir Fawad

    so if that adds $300 more, where on earth M8 is not that expensive. He is the head designer, but I’m sure he is giving lame excuses to hide his incompetency. Lee very pathetic comments. U should be fired, Take a lesson from HTC, Sony, Design Teams.

  • Jonathan

    Those are fucking lies… there are chinese phones with small bezel and good build quality made of metal with decent internals (8 core mediatek etc..) and ips full-hd screens around 200 euros so don’t even try to sell me that bullshit! Lee you are the reason why i won’t ever buy a LG besides sony making better phones for my taste (unless you get kicked off and still i don’t think the design could rival Sony)

  • aaaa

    No, then it will be just another android phone. Design, craftsman ship and premium material is what set Xperia line apart from the rest.

  • GuapoMe

    If only Sony can make a waterproof phone with the screen size and bezel of Xperia ZL. The reason why I can’t buy a z1 or a z2 is because it doesnt fit my pocket and I don’t want to carry a bag all the time. Metallic and glass frame phones are ofcourse better than plastic but it would be much better if the bezels are smaller, I know that its possible coz Sony has the best engineers.

  • alex

    Not necessarily compactly sizes only with plastic! Sony, you just need to stop the growth in the size of screens) But main problem is – you see what others are doing and then do the same. Your smartphones are much bigger than from your competitors, and the cause is not the use of aluminum ..) We don’t want 5.5 shovels ok!? And about price.., You release your flagships every half a year, and so they should cost half the amount of no more than 500 bucks! And main.! Sony you will better hire new programmers who will create the best camera on smartphone, this is much more important.

  • Feanor

    Absolutely not.
    Let alone that I think that bezels have to do with not being able to fit the massive 20.7MP camera module directly behind the screen and with waterproofing, not with the material of choice. We don’t have to believe whatever promotional speeches of LG management.

  • Hans Sjunnesson

    Xperia Z, with composite frame, is more compact than z1 with aluminium frame.

  • Ruub

    Its simple…

  • Rene Pedroso

    No

  • roby

    No! Premium or not premium. I’ve make my choice!

  • Tim Westerholm

    I have always like the design of Z2

  • Ethan ‘blaze’ Parker

    YES!

  • Raj Singh

    I don’t care if it’s plastic or not. I like the current glass and metal chassis on high end Xperias though. I had Sony Ericsson phones made of plastic. They were cool too, and I liked them a lot. At this point it would kind of seem like a step backwards since the current design language is so nice.

  • Dean Weaver

    No – like it as it is….

  • Ayad Anes

    Noooooooo keep it premium please we are the best

  • the bezel, design display size…
    all them should gather in durability

  • Peter Feichtinger

    $300 for a metal body, I wonder where he got that from…

  • sonyboy

    No, i will buy an iPhone or OnePlus.

  • karamelakimo

    No plz don’t use plastic ever…
    it’s great enough with glass or metal only
    i think it’s one of the most importnant factors i love in sony mobiles

  • Utsav Shah

    So this proves that Sony and HTC designers are doing great Job keeping the bezels minimal!
    And LG and Samesung designers are lame who can’t find a way to work with metals :D

  • Dmitry Perets

    Depends what kind of plastic. I think that the soft-touch plastic used in Xperia V looks very good and is also very practical (no scratches, not too much fingerprints, not sliding like the glass…). Also Xperia Tablet has a plastic back and looks very well. On the other hand, the glass is not that perfect at all – the phone tends to slide, it gathers fingerprints very well etc. So I don’t think it is about a specific material. It depends how you do it.

  • Mashaan Alabdulaziz

    the LG G3 (16GB) just went for pre-order for €615 in the UK ………that is so not cheap

  • Abdullah Robben

    the funny thing that LG actually is just stealing Samsung designs so the real question is what does Chul Bae Lee work ?

  • Anukul

    probably magnesium alloy that high end DSLRs use or carbon fiber or maybe high quality polycarbonate will also do it for me. In the end , it should feel solid and premium

  • Marco Rocha

    Absolutamente NO!!
    Si para tener un acabado de cristal y protección contra agua y polvo se necesita incrementar un poco las orillas y aumentar un par de gramos vale demasiado la pena!
    Absolutely not!
    If you need to increase a few the bezels and add a couple of grams to have a crystal and water protection it worth it.

  • arcwindz

    They are kidding us lol. 300 more where htc one can manage almost the same price.
    I like xperia build quality, and having a non-glass back xperia as long as they retain build quality is SUPER okay. At least something like polycarbonate can help them move on from their current design

  • Micro

    you know what LG…? Go back designing your Microwaves and vacuum cleaners, you simply suck in mobile area. At least those things you do better than samesung, and Sony with Apple wouldn’t humiliate you because they don’t do that kind of devices. Yet..

  • sora77

    Want Sony to build its next flagship as small as Sharp aquos. The only gripe against Sony at the moment is its a little bigger size than competition.

  • Lucian

    Oh hell no! Have you seen Z2 drop test by Joshua Vergara? It won’t break when dropped to the ground.. I guess that G3 will break (just like G2 did) as fast as it can due to its plastic body and slim bezels…
    So I rather pay more for Z2 and get top quality build with waterproof than getting “cheaper” plastic phones that break before they even fall to the ground…

  • Wexx

    There will be no point in this “glass premium” bullsh** as long as those so called flagships will be as sensitive to scratches. I bought a Xperia Z1 compact three months ago and both screens and back are all scratched.

    Buying a waterproof phone is pointless if you have to fear using it without damaging it.

  • rubinaish

    I prefer glass and aluminum since it just feels and looks better. If I wanted a plastic phone, I would buy a Samsung.

  • Exodite

    That’d be win-win-win in my book.

    Getting rid of the glass, smaller bezels and lower price? I’m in!

    Sadly it’s unlikely to be that easy.

  • Raphael

    NO.

  • Michael Hernandez

    NEVER! Quality first!

  • Faisal Jafar

    yes

    premium plastic

  • SonyXperiaBug

    Go home Bae Lee ur drunk…

  • Tomaz Habulin

    If we would have wanted plastic crap we would have bougth the IPhone 5c

  • Plus+

    How about…. NO. no way

  • Vwake Nova

    If wana bring dat plastic pls bring the ericsson back to sony,,,,if not dont do plastic phone,make it matel pls

  • xperiaDROID

    Now, tell me, how is LG stealing Samsung’s design when Samsung’s design is already uncreative and ugly? Yes, their Optimus G Pro looks a bit like the Note 2 but if you think they stole Samsung’s design, I would say they’re just inspired by Samsung’s design and made it better. Just look at their fellow Korean manufacturer Pantech, they also have similar designs as Samsung but they also made it better. I would say LG designs are way better than Samsung.

    Just accept the fact that many phones look similar to each other these days, just look at the Huawei Ascend P7 and the Sony Xperia Z2, they also look similar; and look at last year’s Blackberry Z10 and HTC One M7, they also look similar.

    “Copy” and “steal” is getting old already, let’s just say “Inspired”.

  • xperiaDROID

    You’re too biased over premium materials. The reason why Samsung and LG use plastic material is because it’s easy to be removed and you can replace the battery.

    “LG G3 = 8.9mm (Fake Plastic! and no water & dust proof)”
    How is the G3 using fake plastic when it’s already plastic? This proves that you’re biased over premium materials, and not give credit to plastic materials. If you really like premium materials, why don’t you buy a Vertu then?

  • xperiaDROID

    That’s because Samsung advertised too much and consumers have to pay for it as well. That’s why I don’t buy Samsung products.

  • Maybe…

    I thought it is worth mentioning that the XS and SP are both of plastic construction as well.

    That being said, the XP had the same design as the XS but aluminum construction also didn’t fare any better.

    Though you do have a point it is only until the Z that the Xperia series gets decently recognized..

  • T-REX

    In the past dinosaurs ruled the earth, so,yes

  • Santhusa, Ravihara Wijethunga

    Bull shit!! They should admit it if they cannot do a design with premium build quality! You’ll never get that feeling of an Xperia from another smartphone in the world!!!
    Still Samsung and LG are continuing the same design as there previous flagships because they don’t know how to handle premium material like that!! Not to “Compact” or whatever!

  • tugares

    IT could be. If sony gives same features like metal, glass body with a plastic which has good quality. I don’t care with the material :))

  • J N

    The comments by LG on metallic frame is not correct, It wont be $300,, even full phone is made with metal,, carbon fibre is also as strong as metal..
    What ever sony making is fine tune to market, but they have to concentrate on diff screen sizes of phone, with 5″, or 5.5″ n 6″ etc models, then it reaches to all people, and also, sony have to reduce prize of phone to at least 20%, then its suitable for all class ppl to buy in world countries.

  • afzal

    it just an excuse…not more then that

  • Billy de Fretes

    what i love from LG is software department.. but for design, oh please LG…

  • HUSAM

    NO… i don’t accept a plastic Xperia flagship and i’ll never will…
    premium materials and gorgeous design = SONY Xperia…
    plus, the Z2 bezels is more than acceptable, and considering the premium materials and the water proofing, the bezels is very good…

  • Jumbo

    Look at what you guys have done!! Bezel this bezel that, come on guys! Sheesh…. Who cares, the bottom-line is the material and design that goes into it!

  • Ruslan K

    XPERIA ZR – has plastic body :-) but it’s perfect for me )))

  • seppl

    Of course: no! if I spend multiple 100 EUROs, I expect first quality – not plastic!

  • shahab

    Please

  • Shahab Sadegholvad

    no

  • Wolf0491

    At least when I drop my Z which is rare I never even think about it possibly being cracked or broken. It holds up very well. Strongly built.

  • xperianer

    my many times felt down-plastic xperia T feels quiet premium for me
    ;)
    – stable
    – strong
    – perfect size
    – fall down apporved
    – gummed back !!!!

    its quiet easy to make a premium feeling with plastic phones. make a gummed back….this type of back is without any discussion the best for daily life. i will not accept any other opinion regarding that material!

    so yes, there could be premium plastic phones. i dont care material. i care feeling and usability.

  • Keyvan Ghanbary

    Fake Plastic…I mean it’s plastic but with metallic finish…Is it to hard to LG use a Real Remove able Metal back cover? and get their fans what they want…which is Premium Feels!…They paid for it and i think they deserve it

  • samesung

    HELL NOOOOOO!!!!

  • Arthur Simon

    HELL NO

  • Mateusz R Traczyk

    Cry me a river, it’s 2900zl in Poland.

  • hocestquisumus

    Well, there are a few letters left in the alphabet…

  • Steven Khoo Skkl

    No way.Not in a million years would I accept an Xperia flagship made of plastic..And bezel is a plus point for me because it’s a place where I can rest my thumbs,gamer style..Also,if I wanted plastic, I wouldn’t be spending RM2400(USD800) on a flagship and use RM300 to buy a China rip off..Seriously.. Glass and metal has always wowed me and my friends..

  • Bryan Ng

    No way. Z2 design and build quality for me is the best of both worlds; That sets Sony unique from most brands. Plastics are only for LG, Samsung, and others. Technology evolves each passing day so I know Sony will work on that bezel issue while keeping the design and build quality soon.

  • Steven Khoo Skkl

    True that,just drop my XZ the other day on the tarmac and all that was left by the tarmac was just a puny scratch that isn’t even evident today from close up..

  • Naos

    Not sure, but worth considering. For sure I would prefer my Z2 to be less heavy, and top and bottom bezels could be smaller.

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  • Wolf_Blitza

    the iPhone has a very large bezel

  • Paul M

    they can make a cheaper version of the phone with cheaper materials, but use a different model name, e.g. Xperia V, or something.

  • tendyfish

    plastic,…mehh but slimmer bezels is definitely something that you have to work on, as of now i cant let go of my Xperia ZL. I feel its the best design from SONY ever.

  • Grey

    I feel exactly the same for my Xperia ZL! :-)

  • Kaostheory

    Didn’t quite understand, the T is aluminum.

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