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We asked, you told us: Most of you care what your phone looks like and that's OK

An overwhelming majority of voters care at least a little bit what their phone looks like.

Published onFebruary 29, 2020

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra right rear profile 1

Last week Galaxy S20 reviews started rolling in, which prompted me to ask you how you feel about phone design.

I happen to care a lot about the way my phone looks. I want it to look somewhat unique and simple, but not too cookie-cutter, you know? I’m sure you’ve heard me say this before, but I really like the Pixel 4’s design. It fits my criteria for good phone design.

I also can’t really get over how boring the Galaxy S20 lineup looks. So, I asked you how important phone design is to you when choosing a new smartphone.

How much does phone design matter to you?


38% of Android Authority readers care a lot about what their phone looks like. It needs to look and feel premium for those voters to even consider buying it. 48% of voters said design is important, but it’s not the most important factor to consider. That means a total of 86% of readers care at least somewhat about what their phone looks like. I don’t blame them — I certainly want my phones to look nice, but I tend to prioritize software and battery life over design.

Finally, just 14% of voters said they don’t really care at all about what their phone looks like.

Here’s what you had to say

Here are some of the best comments from last week’s poll explaining why they voted the way that they did:

  • Bonedatt: I don’t use a case (I’m aware of the risk), because I want to enjoy the design of my device. I’ll slap a skin on it to aid with grip if the device is slippery. On another Note, 😉 I’ll deal with a poorly designed phone (my Note9 in this case), if it offers the functionality that I need. So yea, design is important but function is more important.
  • Painfully_Candid: I think it’s funny that a lot of people who love the S20 Ultra also complained about the “big camera bump” on the Lumia 1020.
  • White Razor: I’d say if on a scale 0 is design and 10 is functionality, I’d sit at about 8.5.The back of the S20 to me looks ugly but hey I’d take that if it’s the best smartphone camera on the market. For example, I’d put that on the back of the Pixel 2 XL design, have the latest specs and Android version and that’ll currently be my ideal phone.
  • White Razor: It’s interesting when you think about this, and in a way it’s how Apple basically win their reputation. They don’t necessarily have all the functions but they try to push the design to the top, including what is not even necessary. Since their device works they basically have something they can charge a heap for and it makes people want it.As soon as a manufacturer tries to save the consumer money people see it as a flaw or “cutting corners”. You can save say 30% by buying a plastic phone… but then it’s a “cheap plastic device”, as an example. They basically make people feel good with their device, despite the list of reasons to also not need to spend that much money.I’m glad we have Android and I cannot see myself going away from it. The functionality wins me over too easily over design… but hey, I understand there are a heap of people out there who simply do not care.
  • Avieshek: I wouldn’t really say look but feel of the phone. Like phones are aiming towards more than 90% of screen-to-body ratio and that’s the ultimate goal, what are you supposed to look at – the back?
    But the feel of the phone – like when the iPhone X was first released back in 2017 is still pristine with the Stainless Chrome Steel, White Transparent Glass with maintaining equilibrium & symmetry as much can be (like thicker borders as opposed to having a chin) to the size of the phone that’s so Universal with thickness that snuggles in your palm etc. Imagine all that again but in the size of Samsung’s S20 Ultra’s ~7″ screen – then all the good points points transforms to bad points.
    Just a Glass-Metal Sandwich is more of an excuse for marketing premiumness and not necessarily the best feel as the A-series to many Chinese Phones but S10e on the other hand feels comfortable. This is something, that doesn’t necessarily affect function – like you can house a bigger battery or look at Sony that releasing a phone without a Notch is possible etcThis is the reason I can’t understand the weirdos at Samsung looking foldables as the future for phones or double Punch-hole in a S10+ is more desired & therefore premium.
  • Whatever5000: Function over form anytime, it makes you want to use it more, it’s not a fashion item.
    Note 10 Plus is my favourite *design* of phones up until now, sleek, simple, usable… Ok a few imperfections like the punch hole but nothing I can’t live with.
  • KRB: I mean we don’t want an out and out ugly looking phone, but considering how much money we spend on our device many of us put a case of one sort or another on it to protect it. So does looks really matter – glass, plastic, metal, color, whatever else – if all I’m gonna do is cover it up with some silicone case?
  • MatteBlack: Not much. But I think the Note 9 is peak smartphone design (minus the curved display)z Just enough bezel. The all screen is meh.
  • Ghost of Dixie: I don’t care about the design of my phone as long as it doesn’t have a notch/holepunch camera.

That’s it for this week. As always, thanks for voting, thanks for the comments, and don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the results below!

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