Samsung Galaxy S4 Release Date Nears: Features Include A Plastic Exterior, Says Analyst

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” seems to be Samsung's approach to the outer build of the Galaxy S4.

Russian analyst Eldar Murtazin says the soon-to-be-released smartphone will feature a plastic exterior similar to that of the Galaxy S3.

Several sources indicate that this latest suggestion backs a possible hint dropped by Samsung itself -- that the Galaxy S4 will likely be made of a glossy plastic. It’s “Be ready 4” print ads feature a dot pattern in the background, similar to how the Galaxy 3 print ads from last year mimicked the glazed plastic finish seen on the third-generation smartphone.

Many are taking Murtazin at his word as he accurately predicted the March 14 date for Samsung’s Unpacked event, where most expect the company will unveil the Galaxy S4.

But the idea of a plastic build for yet another Galaxy S phone has garnered mixed reviews. While some appreciate the durability of a plastic casing, others find it “cheap” and visually unappealing. As a compromise, some suggest that Samsung is focusing more of its energy on beefing up the internal hardware specs and making the outside just pretty enough despite a plastic exterior.

Is Metal Really Superior?

Other companies have gone with metal exteriors, making for streamlined, premium-looking phones, but it also makes them more susceptible to dents and scratching. Apple notably had this problem with the aluminum casing of its current iPhone 5.

The issue, dubbed “scuffgate,” had many consumers complaining of scuffs, nicks, chips and scratches on the sixth-generation iPhone as soon as it was taken out of the box. According to Bloomberg, iPhone manufacturer Foxconn said the issue originated from a new type of aluminum being used on the iPhone in order to make it thinner and lighter, and that it would tighten up its quality-control procedures to address the matter.

Apple's senior VP of marketing, Phil Schiller, chalked the scratching up to the "normal wear and tear" that comes with regular use of any phone.

The soon-to-be released HTC One also sports an aluminum unibody. However, its 4.7-inch screen reaches the edges of the phone and its rounded nude-aluminum corners may have been HTC’s answer to the scuffing.

Samsung Galaxy S4: Already in Production?

According to Phone Arena, Murtazin claims that the Galaxy S4 is already in mass production and will be ready for a swift release date after its March 14 unveiling at Samsung Unpacked. If that is any indication, rumors of any last-minute additions to the phone may prove to be false.  

The analyst assures that the phone has enough updates and special features to keep consumers interested and to keep Samsung sales high. The Korean-based company reportedly has a lofty sales goal of 100 million handsets in 2013.

One of the rumors surrounding the Galaxy S4 is that it will feature different processors in its international and U.S. versions. Murtazin indicates that one of those processors will be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core version that is also seen in the HTC One and will likely be designated for the U.S. version, while the recently leaked Antutu benchmark test indicated an eight-core Exynos 5 Octa processor, which is said to be featured in the international version of the Galaxy S4.

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