Four times the strength of regular aluminum. Or not, HTC?

April 11, 2012

Uh oh, there seems to be some trouble brewing in the HTC paradise, as a good number of unhappy owners of the HTC One S report that the phone’s surface isn’t as sturdy and durable as HTC has been claiming. So what’s wrong with the surface of the HTC One S then?

In spite of the bold claims made by HTC about the micro-arc oxidation (MAO) process used on the One S making the phone almost immune to dents and scratches, reality (as it, too often, tends to do) begs to disagree. A thread on XDA-Developers, started by a user complaining about the chipping that appeared on his freshly bought HTC One S, quickly turned into a cacophony of laments from other users that are suffering from the same problem. So, just what went wrong for the HTC One S?

It’s certainly not out of the ordinary for a phone to show signs of wear and tear, but dents and scratches shouldn’t just come out of nowhere, after only a week or two of usage. Moreover, in the case of  the One S, HTC even went as far as to claim that a protective case isn’t required. Some people are pointing fingers at MAO and how the brittle ceramic shell of the phone can’t hold on to the flexible aluminum underneath. But that’s only a hypothesis, and we can’t pinpoint yet the cause of the problem.

It is still unclear whether the problem is a design issue (the chipping are occurring on the sharpish edge of the phone) or merely a manufacturing problem, but HTC has been notified by members of the forum and it acknowledged that it has received numerous similar complaints from disgruntled users. Whilst awaiting for the company to look into the matter, affected customers can send the phone in for repairs.

On a better note, only the black variant of the HTC One S is suffering from the chipping problems. The blue/grey variant, which will be making its way to T-Mobile USA soon, doesn’t undergo the MAO treatment. While this rather embarrassing issue may slightly tarnish HTC’s comeback attempt, we have full faith in HTC to come with an explanation and a solution to the problem.

Comments

  • Amine Elouakil

    Do you know what does Strenght mean when it comes to material science or mechanics? No I’m sure you don’t. I won’t go into technical details, but HTC claim is correct, Ceramics are one of the strongest material ever, but at the same one of the most fragile, the process to transform the aluminium surface into ceramic, has to be well adjusted to get in that sweet spot, where you get the ideal strenght/fragility point for a dailly usage of a phone.

    Anyway HTC has made an annoucement (I think to the verge) way before you write this artical, and said that they are changing any One S with defect, and they’ve already adjusting their production/Quality control to not have this issue anymore.

  • Zombie Killer

    Talk about misunderstanding the process and claims!!!!

    MAO is a treatment for the METAL. The claim is that the METAL is strong. The PAINT is applied OVER the very strong METAL.

    They are NOT claiming a strong PAINT. The PAINT may chip off as paint may when subject to wear and tear. The PICTURE is showing damage to the PAINT. The picture is NOT showing damage to the METAL.

  • SoL

    Zombie Killer , get your facts right before you try to correct others…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZPZ7y1EDKvk
    to quote HTC .. MAO uses Ten thousand volts of electricity to hit the metal, almost like lighting strikes, causing a microscopic transformation which creates a super-strong ceramic case that is five times stronger than aerospace aluminum.

    it’s not a paint as you suggest

  • Blah

    Zombie Killer is a massive tard.