Our readers chime in on the plastic or glass smartphone debate

Samsung Galaxy S21 Purple
Samsung Galaxy S21 Purple (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • We asked our readers if they prefer smartphones with plastic or glass backs.
  • More than 50% voted for plastic backs while 35% voted for glass.
  • Some users expressed interest in metal or other materials.

The days of Moto Maker are unfortunately behind us, meaning we're largely at the mercy of smartphone OEMs when it comes to the materials on our phones. Generally, we're looking at smartphones with plastic or glass backs, and while glass is usually reserved for higher-end smartphones and plastic more commonly found on lower-end devices, it's not a rule that's set in stone. However, with rumors of the base Galaxy S22 returning to a glass back, we asked our readers if they preferred glass or plastic on their smartphones.

It's not too surprising that plastic was the most popular option amongst our readers, obtaining more than 56% of votes out of nearly 2400 responses. Glass is still a favorite, it seems, with 35% of votes. However, there were some that preferred other materials on their smartphones.

Glass Or Plastic Poll Responses

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

One reader, Playfully_Candid, was playfully candid about why they preferred plastic over glass.

Plastic, period. Glass--all glass used on phones--breaks infinitely more easily than plastic, even with a case. I find it completely laughable any time someone utters the ridiculous phrase "glass feels more premium". No, it doesn't. It feels MORE FRAGILE. Because it IS more fragile. And, quite frankly, you can do more with color on the plastic housings than you can glass, and you can avoid that horrific oily-fingerprinting that all glass bodies end up with.

This is a stance that many commenters seemed to agree with, highlighting the durability and lightweight of plastic over the heavy and more fragile nature of glass.

Some readers didn't seem to care as long as there was a case on the phone to help protect it from any potential cracks. However, it could be argued that the added weight from a case would make the heavier glass less desirable.

Of course, you might not even need a case if you had a phone made of tougher and more durable materials, which you'll find on many of the best rugged Android phones. Still, for more consumer-friendly smartphones, it seems that plastic is the way to go for cheaper, more durable devices.

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.