Poll: Do you prefer glass or plastic backs on smartphones?

Google Pixel 6 vs Galaxy S21 Hero
Google Pixel 6 vs Galaxy S21 Hero (Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

In the smartphone world, one of the main differentiators between lower- and higher-end devices is the material they're made from. While aluminum used to run rampant across smartphones of yore, these days, the battle is mainly between two materials: plastic and glass.

While there are benefits and tradeoffs to both, we're curious about what material our readers prefer on the back of their smartphones.

When it comes to the best Android phones, you're likely to find glass on the back of the device. While glass has the unfortunate characteristic of being prone to scratches, fingerprints, and, of course, the dreaded crack, it often provides smartphones with a more premium look and feel while adding a certain heft that users may appreciate. Plus, the use of Corning's Gorilla Glass makes these phones much less prone to this sort of damage (at least on paper), which should provide users with some semblance of relief.

Still, if your phone has a glass back, we always recommend checking out some wonderful cases to protect your investment.

Then there are the phones with plastic backs. This is usually found on lower-end models, but even some higher-end smartphones couldn't resist the benefits of plastic. That includes less weight and, of course, a back that's more durable and less prone to cracking. Higher-end phones also tend to go the "glasstic" route by making it look like it's frosted glass, like the base Galaxy Note 20 or the Galaxy S21.

Samsung is rumored to ditch the glasstic back for the base Galaxy S22 in favor of a glass back, which some may appreciate (and others, of course, won't).

There's also the aluminum route that Google uses on the Pixel 5, but a thick layer of plastic covers it, so you'll likely never feel the aluminum. Of course, it would be nice if every smartphone OEM had some Moto Maker type customization so we could bring back rubber, wood, and leather.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.