With the introduction of the
glass-metal Galaxy S6 line-up, Samsung introduced fundamental design and build
material changes to its iconic Galaxy S smartphone series. However, according
to a recent report, it looks like Samsung might be gearing up to further
improve on the build quality of its high-end handsets. More to the point, a
fresh report from the South Korean media claims that the Samsung Galaxy S7 will
make use of a magnesium alloy unibody.
The report, quoting unnamed sources
from inside Samsung's supply chain, says that Samsung recently received
magnesium alloy case samples from the same company that makes the 6013 aluminum
metal frame for the current-generation Galaxy S6 phones. There's reason to
believe that the report is referring to a metal unibody, and not a new build
material for the metal frame that goes around current-gen Galaxy S smartphones.
Allegedly, the parts supplier was told to deliver a magnesium alloy with a
surface as smooth as the aluminum that Apple uses on its current-gen iPhones.
Ever since Apple launched the
iPhone 6 Plus last year, the related Bendgate scandal has caused multiple
smartphone makers to improve on their build materials. While the iPhone 6 Plus
came with 6003 aluminum, the second-generation Apple phablet, the iPhone 6s
Plus, features 7000 series aluminum, which will be tougher to bend. The thing
is that, if it plans to maintain the glass-metal sandwich design philosophy,
Samsung really doesn't need a tougher build material for the internal frame, as
this frame also gets some structural support from the glass back. Where the
magnesium alloy comes into play is in the context of a metal unibody, where the
outer metal case is also the structural frame of the handset.
Since magnesium alloy is tougher to
bend but also lighter compared to aluminum alloys, its adoption as a build
material for a unibody design would not only solve the durability issues, but
could also allow for a much lighter handset overall.