Samsung designers tell how they brought the Galaxy ​S4 to life

In the latest installment of its "design story" series, Samsung cracks open the Galaxy S4 design process for all to see, revealing some of the thinking behind the looks and features of its new high-end smartphone. Narrated in sound bites from Samsung designers, the Galaxy S4 is simultaneously described as "not a radical difference, but more of an evolution" and "like nothing you've ever seen before." Samsung's "life companion" branding gets name-dropped more than a few times, too.

Externally, the Galaxy S4 is described as having "natural elements" at its heart, including the new reflective battery cover, said to resemble "precious stone glittering in the dark, or countless stars sparkling in the night sky." So no shortage of flowery language to describe Samsung's latest lump of plastic, glass and silicon.

Check out the video above, and if you've not yet read it, find out what we thought of the Galaxy S4's design in our full review.

Source: SamsungTomorrow on YouTube; More: Samsung Galaxy S4 review

 
There are 46 comments

it's really simple.
take a galaxy s3, put it through a roller, to make it a lil thin and larger. done!
who needs thinking or inspiration if they wanna design a galaxy phone? duh!

dguillaume says:

Damn, You beat me to it. HTC One all the Way

tim242 says:

The S4 is smaller than the S3. So, you would be wrong.

i meant in terms of screen size and the buttons.

MunMaRu says:

And . . . the roller can't change the resolution of the screen.

antw081 says:

Wow, Samsung. I never knew you cared so much about enriching my life. Hugs & kisses!

npco543 says:

Yea, I find it hard to watch videos like this, they're just a little too grandiose in their epic self virtuosity. Not singling out Samsung specifically, but the drive for all these corporations is to make as much money as possible, and that means giving consumers *just* enough reason to buy their product this year, while not giving them so much that they can't be convinced to buy next year's model.

There's countless ways corporations could truly make a difference in people's lives. I'm sorry, I like these smart phones as much as the next guy, but one model phone over another isn't going to make an appreciable difference in anyone's life.

They should really tone down the touchy-feely stories filled with warm fuzzies. At some point, it comes across as disingenuous.

Mobius135 says:

Great video about the Galaxy S3! or S4, it's all the same. And for those saying the HTC One is soooo much better not copying the iPhone like Samsung; it's the same aluminum unibody design Apple used since the start. It just added the features of: Non-removable battery, vivid scratches and dents. Enjoy your Galaxy One S 5 or whatever it'll come to.

antw081 says:

You sound a bit bitter. It's just phones man.

LastKingMel says:

Except that the iPhones started off as plastic, and till this day they aren't an aluminum uni body construction. I don't get annoyed when people decide they like a certain product that isn't exactly my preference, that seems to be your case. It is a bit of an annoyance when people like you decide to start spewing nonsense just because you're upset over something that should be a non issue to you.

Mobius135 says:

It is a non-issue to me, because I already have a Nexus phone. I'm merely pointing out how disappointing it is that manufacturers prefer to copy the other's success, rather than attempt to innovate their own. Much like how Apple quit making products all together, and just started suing everybody instead to make profits.

slackerjack says:

So you're disappointed in huge corporation ensuring that manufacturing costs are kept down in the face of a tiny percentage of people who might actually care about a phone being made of plastic versus aluminum? Man, let me know how that tremendous waste of time works out for you - I think I'll sit back and marvel about the idea that some of you even waste your time thinking about stuff like this - Samsung isn't worried about you, it's worried about reproducing the success it had in the GS3, which of similar build quality and materials, illustrated just how little your take on materials matters to the bulk of people who will undoubtedly buy this device.

Oh, and before you start...I know...the masses are stupid, only the niche and the niche-minded are right ever...except when it comes to making money. Samsung just found a printing press for money.

jackwagon06 says:

+1000 awesome

Beenyweenies says:

I didn't see anyone saying anything about how many of these phones Sammy would sell, only that the design is crap. The best design doesn't always win (Blu Ray vs. HD DVD? Beta vs. VHS?) but that shouldn't stop people from commenting on it.

ZigmunD says:

Design? WTF is design?
- Samsung

Madness87 says:

You're right, Samsung which has won more industry design awards than any other the past few years, knows nothing about them right?

Just look at their radical design for the Galaxy SIII, hyper-glaze coating, blah blah.

Look at their televisions as well.

Yes, I'd have preferred more sturdy materials for the Galaxy S4, but the phone is a marvel of engineering. Not only does it contain a 5" 1080p screen, but it's the thinnest phone to do so. The HTC almost feels like it's double the size.

Another thing, it's actually gotten great scores for durability and easy repair as well. What good is the HTC One zero-gap construction, if a hard drop means the phone is basically unrepairable and you need to get a new one or send it in to be fixed?

I've got an HTC One myself now, only because there was a local deal too good to pass up, but you are fools if you think Samsung has poor design or quality control. The GSIII design everyone loved, that's why they exported it to the Note series, the Galaxy Tab, and sort of reinvented it for the S4.

Beenyweenies says:

First of all, holding an HTC One in one hand and a GS4 in the other, the HTC does NOT feel twice as big, you are just straight up exaggerating for effect.

Secondly, the GS4 scores LOWER than the GS3 and iPhone5 for durability. How that's some design improvement that we're all supposed to marvel at is beyond me.

jackinit says:

Copy Apple upgrades, S3S. Copy HTC with a video about the design. But HTC actually has an innovative design. S3S. 'nuff said.

tim242 says:

The HTC Inspire and Thunderbolt were aluminum phones. Nobody praised them. They were awful phones. So is the ONE. 'buff said.

jrb363 says:

Stop trolling

All these comments are 'trollish' just move on.

jimbo says:

@tim242...Love the physical home button, stamped plastic gaps, UI bugs, lack of innovation from old S3, and deviation from Android.

You're a perfect representation of Samsung.

jimbo says:

In Internet slang, troll (pron.: /ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is someone who posts inflammatory,[1]extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

A perfect definition of tim242 and his consistent inflammatory remarks and misrepresentations which make the Samsung forums in which he posts an extremely unpleasant experience. He's even raised the ire of Android Central's editors.

Quis89 says:

Lol the One is an awful phone? That's cute...

tim242 says:

They went backwards in screen size and camera. Battery life is still terrible. Sense is still a mess. It's just a thinner Thunderbolt with a better display and worse camera.

How old are you like 5? You sound butt hurt because another phone is getting love instead of your plastic cheap toy phone. Get over it buddy, or go cry somewhere else.

tim242 says:

How old are you, like 5? I stated facts. I don't get butt hurt over silly idiotic commenters.

jimbo says:

Mobius135 says:

You sound at least 8 years old. Tim was right, he stated facts.

tim242 says:

They went backwards in screen size and camera. Battery life is still terrible. Sense is still a mess. It's just a thinner Thunderbolt with a better display and worse camera.

So both of you need to learn the definition of the word #FACT, and #OPINION and learn the difference. There is nothing #FACTUAL about that statement.

Beenyweenies says:

The One's camera is better in several ways than the GS4, particularly in handling of low light, and worse in others. It's a wash, and dozens of scientific comparisons online (including Anandtech) confirm that fact.

As for battery life, every review I've seen shows that the One is on par with the GS4 in battery life so I'm not sure where you pulled this little nugget from.

And Samsung's Engrish in their marketing materials is an embarrassment, but it's all over in their UI as well. That is just unacceptable.

Beenyweenies says:

The One's camera is better in several ways than the GS4, particularly in handling of low light, and worse in others. It's a wash, and dozens of scientific comparisons online (including Anandtech) confirm that fact.

As for battery life, every review I've seen shows that the One is on par with the GS4 in battery life so I'm not sure where you pulled this little nugget from.

And Samsung's Engrish in their marketing materials is an embarrassment, but it's all over in their UI as well. That is just unacceptable.

troyboytn says:

My God!!!! I'm so damn sick of hearing this plastic vs aluminum B.S.!!!!! I am not going to buy a phone based on what it in encased in, I'm going to buy a phone based on its features (software) and its ability to bring those features to life in an efficient, fast and smooth way (processor, ram, display, camera, removable storage and removable battery). This is an article about the SG4....why do the same damn trolls keep making every SG4 article about HTC and Apple? Those of you guilty of this should go praise your your precious HTC and Apple product on the appropriate articles and leave those who want to learn more about the SG4 to talk about it instead of how you trolls can't be more than 12 yrs old.

Beenyweenies says:

So you only want to read information that confirms your personal opinions? You must be pretty insecure if you can't handle opposing views.

joebob2000 says:

Yes please. Preach more about insecurity. You are a pretty good example of someone clearly not offended by differing opinion... This whole thread makes me LOL but the segue to armchair psychology is the creme de la creme. Why don't you find a way to bring up Hitler/Nazis while you're at it?

tim242 says:

@troyboytn: Those HTC fanboys that think HTC never made an aluminum phone before this one are so insecure, and they love to show it.

jimbo says:

@tim242

Obviously you fail to recognize the difference. And should be ignored.

jfs101 says:

Why can't folks just be happy that we've got two great flagship phones to further more android's dominance? Be honest, how many of you leave your precious device naked? I always protect my phones with a cover, so I don't really care about the finish. Maybe Samsung knows that the vast majority thinks like me and don't bother to change their plastic ways... So people, just be happy that we have excellent choices and stop the android civil war.

tim242 says:

I don't use cases...and I love plastic phones.

Mobius135 says:

Yeah because they don't dent or scratch easily. About as smart as Apple when they decided the front AND center back should be glass.

buffdaddy72 says:

Geez, who let in all these adolescent mouthbreathers? Go over to Engadget if you want to flame each other over which phone is the best.

Both phones are great devices. Just choose whichever one works for you and be happy with it!

deadlock4400 says:

@Alex Dobie

Thanks for the post.

wow so many talks from so many people. LOL ??

Samsung Galaxy S4 design is not bad, but they kinda Note2 or S3. at present time is very competitive in every field. so Samsung should become more cautious about their product too.

Thanks in Advance

Since we're talking about aluminum & all, I held an S4 in my hand this weekend & started to look at the "brushed aluminum" band that's around this...is it just me or does this seem like a plastic brushed aluminum band. The reason I ask is because I saw a seam where the band came together & looked alot like how plastic seams together. Kindof like the shiny plastic chrome band on the Note II.

Anyone else notice this?

Beenyweenies says:

It is in fact plastic, which might be forgivable on a free-on-contract Cricket phone, but not on a device that costs the same as the iPhone 5, Lumias, HTC One etc. which are almost in a totally different build class.

You'd expect something like this on some cheap chinatown knock-off crap-gadget. That's why so many people are making fun of the GS4.

DARKNEZ777 says:

I am still getting a SGS4 and trading in my plastic & aluminum HTC sensation 4g while i'm at it.