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You told us: This is your favorite material for the back of a smartphone

Three options claimed more than two-thirds of the total vote. But do you agree with the popular decision?

Published onAugust 11, 2021

Mi 11 Ultra review in handjpg
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The smartphone world is no longer just a mire of plastic, metal, and glass. Manufacturers are now offering devices’ rear plates in a plethora of materials from ceramic to glasstic. But which do users prefer?

We asked this very question in a recent poll, and the results are remarkable. Read on for the details!

What’s your favorite material for the back of a smartphone?


We saw over 4,000 votes on this poll published on August 6, and the results are surprisingly close, too.

The top three choices all garnered more than 20% of the vote each, with metal (26.2%) outweighing glass (21.6%) and plastic (20%) in popularity. Overall, this trio accounted for more than two-thirds of the total vote, which justifies smartphone makers’ reliance on these materials.

They weren’t the only choices available, though. Of the remaining options, ceramic garnered 12.6% of the votes cast, outperforming glasstic (9.7%) and vegan leather/pleather (7.2%).

Although glasstic features on some Samsung devices, it’s not a widely used material across the industry. Ceramic too finds favor with Xiaomi and Huawei flagships, but it’s pricey and comes with its own set of negatives. Vegan leather and alternatives are usually reserved for special edition devices unless you still carry an LG G4 around.

But what about the “other” option? Well, many readers (3.2%) weighed in with their own materials in the comments. Several anecdotes suggest that “rubberized” plastic is a crowd favorite, usually featuring on rugged devices. Motorola’s experiment with kevlar also received mention, while carbon fiber and wood seem to be outliers, too. Finally, other readers suggest they simply don’t care what their phone is made of, as they almost always place them in a case after purchase. Peruse more user views below.

Your comments

  • needa: Plastic. Even better… Rubberized plastic.
  • Javier Holos: My favorite is rubbery plastic.
  • Desertwhale: When Motorola had the Kevlar back I loved it!
  • Chintan: I want to see real carbon fiber phone.
  • Konrad Uroda-Darlak: Polycarbonate :)
  • Phil Gartman: I have zero preference. I’ve never used my phones without a case so it really doesn’t matter.
  • Scott: I don’t care about the materials for the back of the phone because I put a case on it straight away and never see the back of the phone at all. That’s why camera bump is so frustrating. Just make the phone a little thicker to dissipate heat or stuff a larger battery in it. Every case I put overcomes the camera bump anyway.
  • anonymous42: Doesn’t matter as I always use a case with my phone. And even if I wasn’t using a case, I would rather have a phone that doesn’t break when you drop it than a phone with a glass back. Though, I do want wireless charging and water resistance on my phone, so that will limit the options.
  • Alan Gilbertson: LG had a phenomenal plastic that was almost impossible to drop even though it wasn’t at all sticky. It was also self-healing, so tiny scratches would just disappear. That was by far the best I’ve come across.
  • Mike Gardner: I liked the wooden backs you can get for the Moto Z’s and then I would use a bumper instead of a case.
  • bossfan61: I really liked the leather back covers for the LG G4.
  • Techngro: My favorite back ever was the Pleather one on my Galaxy Note 4. I had it in white it looked awesome with the faux stitching around it and had the perfect amount of grip.
  • Shizuma: I picked metal as it’s my preferred material, but plastic is also nice, or leather, or really anything but glass which is by far the worst material to use any more than absolutely required on a mobile device.

That’s it for this poll. Thanks for your votes and comments. If you have any further notes about your favorite phone material or the poll results, be sure to drop them down below.

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