Earlier this month, a discussion broke out in our forums over the use of metal vs. plastic in regards to smartphone design. Some people were of the mindset that metal was preferable to cheaper plastics, whereas others preferred the function and utilitarian nature of the latter. During this debate, the phrase "premium feel" popped up quite a bit when users were discussing their preferred material of choice.

However, just what does "premium feel" actually mean? Is it a way of describing a phone that feels solid and durable, or one that has a more luxurious construction?

Here's what some of our forum users had to say on the matter.

I Can Be Your Hero

Just means that it feels like an expensive piece of hardware, because it is an expensive piece of hardware. The materials the exterior of the body is made of, the heft of the device etc. Basically if you're buying a $650-$900 phone, you don't want it to feel like a cheap Fisher Price toy. What feels premium is subjective, but generally, phones with a build of metal or glass generally are...


Premium is very subjective so I think that's the issue some people have with calling devices premium and saying so and so phone is more premium than the other guy. If it's subject you can't make statements like this. Yes people will say things like well aluminum and glass IS more premium than cheap plastic, but again, it's all subjective. I have no problem with people saying what they like and...


Basically metal or glass backs. Off course the downside to "premium feeling" phones is the loss of removable backs and batteries. Do you recall when Samsung made plastic phones and lots of people swore off Samsung if they didn't do like Apple and make a "premium feeling" phone. Well Samsung and HTC saw the writing on the wall and switched to glass and metal. Of course even budget and mid range...


To me, premium feel simply means that it feels exceptionally well constructed. Buttons have good tactile response with no loose 'wiggle,' phone body is solid with no creaking it forcing under moderate pressure, and seams are tight. I've held metal, glass, and plastic body phones that feel premium, and held devices of each that don't, so don't rule out a material based on prejudice.


People think that premium has to mean Metal or Glass. Some of the most premium and robust phones I even owned or held were Nokia Lumia's. Polycarbonate phones were gorgeous, solid and felt indestructible. But then there were Samsung's like the S3 that were plastic with painted sides to look like metal that just felt cheap for their price tag. I really wish a manufacturer would take a risk and try...


There's no "right" answer to this question, but we're interested in knowing what you think – what do you consider to be a "premium" phone?

Join the conversation in the forums!