Samsung Galaxy S4 Polycarbonate Glaze Explained!

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Polycarbonate Glaze Explained!

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Since we already spoke about the use of plastics by Samsung, and their unwillingness to move to a different type of build for their most recent flagship the Galaxy S4. A lot of readers are confused about the one statement made by Samsung Executives who said, “The new Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with Polycarbonate Glaze”, in fact it appears Samsung’s use of the said statement has actually met with its purpose. 

Lets lay down the details first, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is the Korean company’s latest flagship announced at an event held in New York on the 14th of March 2013. The smartphone just like any other from Samsung in the past and others this year, features top of the line specifications. The norm being full HD 1920 x 1080p display, a 13 MP camera, various storage capacities, an octa-core processor and a newer set of software tweaks to satisfy the user and to set them apart from others. The Samsung Galaxy S4 also has a large 2600 mAh battery and the very latest Android 4.2.2 with their new designed for life  TouchWiz/ Nature/ Life UI. 

But one major element of the latest smartphone that seems to not be catching the fancy of the eye is the lack of design change and the continued use of plastics in the so called natural form factor. We do understand that most companies follow the “if it sells then why change it?” policy, But the reason Samsung came into the limelight is because they changed the norms, with the S2, with the Note series and even with their tablets to some extent, which were unique in their own way and different from the herd of smartphones that were being built on Android. 

But, before we start another battle, lets talk about the “Polycarbonate Glaze”. Polycarbonate Glazing (confused here), is used to replace glass in areas where extra strength is required, like greenhouses, security cars, safe rooms and even on some fighter jets. However the thinnest form of this polycarbonate glazing which can be used effectively is either 4mm or 5mm, and since most of us know that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is just short of the 8 mm thickness, Samsung did not fill half of that bulk with a polycarbonate sheet.


[pullquote_left] special poly-carbonate body [/pullquote_left]Polycarbonate Glaze, however, is what Samsung has actually done on this variant of the Galaxy, Glaze by definition of its use here is “a layer of paint, thinned with a medium, so as to become somewhat transparent” . The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a fully plastic shell/frame which does not use Polycarbonate anywhere. In-fact Samsung goes to say that the Galaxy S4’s bezel is wrapped in a “special polycarbonate body” which means that the plastic back panel has a coating of polycarbonate paint, generally used to provide added strength to RC boats, cars and toys. This particular “Polycarbonate Glaze” is also used on some other model novelty items to provide some added shine and strength. 


In May 2012 Samsung responded to several users upset with the build quality of the galaxy S3, claiming that the back cover of the Galaxy S3 in-fact has polycarbonate, “Using three layers of high quality, pure and clear polycarbonate”, what they did not mention is that these three layers are by all intents and purposes laid on top (read: painted/coated) of the plastic back panel of the Galaxy S3, the Note 2 and in-fact the recently launched Galaxy Grand aswell. So, go ahead Grand owners celebrate your phone is made out of polycarbonate. The Lumia series of phones from Nokia, are the greatest example of the kind of feel a polycarbonate shell would give to the one holding it, some HTC phones also possess this type of build.

The fact remains Samsung may or may not change their design process, especially if they continue to sell the numbers they already do. We have reached out to Samsung for better clarification and will update this article, once they do respond.


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About The Author
Bharat Nagpal
Founder and Chief Editor of iGyaan. Bharat likes to keep on top of technology ! Follow Him on Google Plus : Google+
  • iampun33t

    this article is completely false. Samsung has never said that it is made up of polycarbonate glaze. In the launch event, they clearly explained that the S4 was made of polycarbonate! Also, many companies have actually tested that the S3 was infact polycarbonate rather than plastic or even plastic with polycarbonate coating. I didn’t think iGyaan would be presenting false facts. Facts Here:

  • kartik4u98

    OH my God..Why iGyaan always write S4’s SoC as “OCTA CORE PROCESSOR” ????
    It’s  not a 8-core processor…it’s just a cluster of quad A15 cores and A7 cores…
    All the cores cannot function as one

    • SnsBaid

      kartik4u98 ohh my god samsung calls it a octa core processor themselves so just have a shower under cool water

      • shantanu

        Dual-quad core would have been the correct name for samsung SoC…!.octa core is misleading nomenclature used by samsung…..!

        • iampun33t

          shantanu samsung never said octa core. They said Exynos 5 Octa. Also technically octa core is correct as there are truly 8 cores even if they do not work simultaneously

        • shantanu

          iampun33t ..Thats correct upto some extent..!Samsung has done a good job..balancing power consumption and performance..But a SoC can only be called as N-core …..where N should be the number of cores working simultaneously….the idle cores should not be counted…since they do not contribute to the raw performance of SoC !Thats what parallel processing is all about….!But due to the term Octa in the name ..mostly people generalize it as an octacore chip in traditional way….!

        • SnsBaid

          shantanu marketing and  misleading yes ,tthats what samsung has been donig for years

  • Sunil Kumar

    crapy plastic phones by samsung…there are lots of good phones in market going unnoticed

  • Mohit Mahi

    xperia z is much betr dan ..bulshit samsung cel phons

    • iampun33t

      @Mohit MahiXperia Z is also turning into a waterproof paperweight..!! Atleast Sammy doesn’t go for a high looks and low everything else. Read More Here @

      • shantanu

        The normal TFT lCDs used on sony handsets are poor in terms of color reproduction and viewing angles are subpar…colors always look washed out…!And they have double standard for that…the LCDs used in Sony handsets for Japan NTT DOCOMO have a better displays than the handsets distributed in India..and rest of the regions ..! Super amoleds on samsung mobiles are way better than those LCDs…!But thats the point of personal preference though….some prefer Amoled’s colors…someone may feel it oversaturated ..!But displays used on sony handsets are of not up to the mark even on their high-end smartphones…..!

  • Shona Pari


  • Sameer Dash

    so XPERIA Z, it is to go for….??

  • Yash Chitresh

    its workìng , click on shared a “a link” , and @ iGyaan – i read somewhr that Xolo x1000 phone is world’s fastest smart phone ,? is it correct ?

  • Shobith

    Lets see what Samsung says. I think the whole shell is polycarbonate with hyperglaze coating on top, But it feels different than the Lumia 920 because it is not Unibody(ad partly due to hyperglaze). Maybe I’m wrong, but it does not feel like cheap plastic.

    • SnsBaid

      Shobith you are wrong and feels like plastic and that too cheap

      • FarhanMohd

        SnsBaid Shobith HATER HATER GO AWAY lol :D

        • SnsBaid

          FarhanMohd SnsBaid Shobith lover lover go and lick samsungs korean as lol

        • FarhanMohd

          SnsBaid FarhanMohd Shobith seriously kiddo?? thats how you argue? abusing lol I thot you were stupid but your seriously a **** head :)

        • SnsBaid

          FarhanMohd SnsBaid Shobith was that abusive sorry kid

  • Dinesh Sharma

    links is not working