My old $200 Motorola G9 Power phone lasted almost 4 years with only very minor scratches. Obviously in that period I have dropped it a few times getting out of the car, where the phone sometimes work itself out of my pant pocket while I drive, and then it slips out when I get out of the car. But no problem on my previous phones, despite the Moto had cheap Panda glass front.

Then I bought my $800 glass back Xiaomi 13T Pro in January, and I loved the phone for the camera and good specs. But alas after only 4 months, and single drop of just 30 cm while sitting on the porch, the glass back immediately cracked! The back now looks like an ugly mess, and the high water resistance is very likely gone too.

For sure the last time I buy a phone with a glass back!!!

I wonder why glass back is so popular, and I curse the media for reviewing the Samsung Galaxy S2 as “feeling a bit cheap”, because the back was synthetic, and drop tests showed it was 10 times as durable as the iPhone with its glass back.

Samsung did it right in the beginning, glass backs are a curse.

PS: I don’t use condoms for my phones, if they need that for daily use, it’s an obvious design flaw!!!

The glass back is supposedly there to give a premium feel to the phone. But because it’s fragile, people have to use a cover, but with the cover, the premium feel of a glass back is gone anyways?
How is glass back not a design flaw?

EDIT FOR CLARIFICATION:

I am not clumsy, that’s why I believe the phone should be able to last without cover. This was the first time the phone slid out of my packet, and I’ve NEVER dropped it out of my hands. One 30 cm slip and it’s broken. Where for instance my Moto had maybe 4-6 in all over the years, and remained unscathed, apart from some tiny scratches.
The sliding out of pocket does occur maybe a couple of times per year, but it’s a low drop, and the phone should absolutely be able to handle that tiny drop, as it’s an item for everyday use.
I’ve also never had problems with scratches on my screen on any phone, which is the reason people use screen protectors I guess, which I don’t either, because they are ugly, for instance they create a tiny ring around the camera, and they feel awful IMO, my phone came with it, and it took exactly 10 seconds for me to decide to remove it, because I could feel the edge of the screen protector when using the phone.
But please stop with the dropping my phone regularly comments! Just because I dropped my Moto a few times (slid out of pocket) over almost 4 years! Always from low height, which it should be able to handle a few times.

  • Pxtl
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    436 days ago

    Glass backs are the dumbest idea in the history of stupid.

    The only way things like that could be defensible if they were easy to replace (bring back Moto-Z style magnetic backs!), but since phones are all held together with glue now, that’s not a thing.

    • @AngryCommieKender
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      6 days ago

      I think my Samsung Galaxy S10 did it right. Glass back for the feel, attached to a removable and replaceable plastic back panel.

      • @BuffaloxOP
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        36 days ago

        Wow I didn’t know that, I agree that sounds like a great idea.

      • @[email protected]
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        206 days ago

        A glass back is not necessary for wireless charging. There’s many materials that can fit there, the glass choice is purely for “premium” feel.

        • @PlantJam
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          106 days ago

          Premium, aka so slippery it immediately goes in a case.

        • @[email protected]
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          56 days ago

          There is nothing premium about glass, that’s marketing lying to you. It’s designed to break easily being smooth and fragile, to make the phones more disposable.

      • @[email protected]
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        36 days ago

        It’s great for stuff like car phone holders. It sucks for basically every other use case. In particular, it means you can’t easily pick up, use, and put down your phone and maintain charging.

        • subignition
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          36 days ago

          I have one of those slanted chargers for desktop use, so while I’m at my desk, I just set it there (bonus that the screen is kept visible in case of a call or message)

          It’s reasonable to use it while it’s charging on the stand, though I wouldn’t enjoy doing anything landscape (it will still charge it’s just very precise)

          Definitely cannot deny the utility of a regular power cable if you are in bed or something and you really want to use it while charging.

        • @[email protected]
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          26 days ago

          In particular, it means you can’t easily pick up, use, and put down your phone and maintain charging.

          I strongly disagree. While you can’t “maintain charging”, it’s extremely easy to change from charging to using and back again. If you want to use your phone while charging, wireless charging doesn’t make sense, but if you want to quickly use your phone (like sending a quick text), it’s nicer than having a cable attached.

      • @AA5B
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        16 days ago

        And probably stiffness. Aluminum would both scratch more easily than glass and bend/dent more easily

        • @[email protected]
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          76 days ago

          Yes glass doesn’t bend or dent because it shatters. I had a Note 4 with an aluminum frame and never needed a case. I used it for 5 years before upgrading and still own it (it still works). The aluminum frame and plastic back are by far the most durable combination I’ve used thus far and it survived many drops hard enough to leave small gouges in the aluminum.

          Now I have a thick ass case on my modern phone because it probably wouldn’t even survive a fall onto the carpet without some protection which is a huge downgrade in my opinion.

          • @[email protected]
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            26 days ago

            Anecdotally, I used to have an aluminum and plastic phone (HTC Evo) with no case. I didn’t abuse it, but one of the few times I dropped it, the screen shattered. Since then I’ve had other phones, most with glass backs, and all have had rubber-edged cases. No screen shatters (though the back of one of them did crack). And I’ve definitely been less gentle with them.

  • @[email protected]
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    6 days ago

    Yeah, you have to either buy a case or buy a ruggedized phone. The sexy glass ones are just to look good in ads and in stores.

    • @BuffaloxOP
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      106 days ago

      Yes I agree, and I added this to my post:

      The glass back is supposedly there to give a premium feel to the phone. But because it’s fragile, people have to use a cover, but with the cover, the premium feel of a glass back is gone anyways?
      How is glass back not a design flaw?

      • @[email protected]
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        86 days ago

        I wouldn’t say it’s a flaw, but an intentional decision. They expect you to buy a case aftermarket.

        Is it shitty? Maybe. But people also like being able to choose a personalized case, which you can’t get with a ruggedized phone. If you don’t care about that, I’d look at ruggedized phones like what Cat makes: https://www.catphones.com/en-us/cat-s62-smartphone/

        • @[email protected]
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          46 days ago

          How about a nice aluminum frame with a plastic back? You can still use your personalized case with them but they aren’t really needed if you don’t want one. This was pretty much the whole industry until 2015-2016

        • @BuffaloxOP
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          6 days ago

          My Moto held brilliantly without being ruggedized and without a case. And that’s despite it is big 6.8" screen and relatively heavy with 220 grams.

          I’d say it’s absolutely a flaw, to chose a material that is way way worse and yet more expensive.
          As I write in my post, with a case, there is zero advantage to the glass back, and you don’t get any premium feel from it.

        • @BuffaloxOP
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          26 days ago

          Yes, usually plastic backs have texture, that actually make them quite comfortable to hold IMO. Also the texture can be made so it looks very cool.
          Also plastic backs aren’t usually just cheap plastics, they are high quality synthetic materials.
          Plastic backs are also both thinner and lighter. Which all in all makes it the way superior material even over aluminium.

  • I Cast Fist
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    156 days ago

    I wonder why glass back is so popular (…) How is glass back not a design flaw?

    Because Steve Jobs. Seriously, many stupid “but it’s pretty”, as well as several anti consumer decisions (hard to repair, glued parts), can be traced back to Apple and Steve Jobs. Couple that with every fucking manufacturer wanting to emulate Apple, especially Chinese ones, and everything in the smartphone world makes sense.

    • Chewy
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      5 days ago

      Glass backs were already popular on Android phones when Apple started using them. Previously they used metal backs, but they aren’t compatible with wireless charging so manufacturers have to choose between plastic and glass — guess which one is more popular with reviewers?

  • Margot RobbieM
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    236 days ago

    Glass backs are popular because it makes assembly easier, because if the front and back are made from the same material, then they would have the same thermal expansion coefficient, which means that you can get a less variable fit between the front and the back.

    It is for the benefit of the manufacturer and not the customer.

    • @[email protected]
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      156 days ago

      It’s also partly because phones now require 60,000 antennae and radio waves don’t go through metal. Wireless charging, NFC, wifi (x2), bluetooth, cellular (x4), UWB… There’s some ability to reuse the antennas via TDM and other tricks but they just “need” so many these days. Also also, plastic is kinda evil from a pollution standpoint, although one could also argue that it could just be recycled with the rest of the phone.

    • SGH Fan
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      106 days ago

      Oh, I thought it was so that the phone would feel more premium!

      • Margot RobbieM
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        96 days ago

        That’s just marketing, since everyone put their phone in a big case immediately anyway.

    • @BuffaloxOP
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      66 days ago

      it makes assembly easier,

      Easier than plastic?

      • Margot RobbieM
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        76 days ago

        Waterproofing requirements makes everything harder, because there can’t be any gaps between the screen and the back.

  • @BuffaloxOP
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    217 days ago

    It’s like we can’t have good phones. If you want Headphone Jack, SD card, Message LED, and synthetic back, you can’t get a phone with good camera, GPU and water resistance at the same time.

    Why are phone makers so hostile to their own users?

    • @voracitude
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      196 days ago

      Because if they give you everything you want, you’ll fix it and update it and you won’t buy another phone for like 8, maybe even 10 years. And that would destroy their short-term profits, which would obviously be disastrous. No, it wouldn’t kill the company or even require a single employee to be laid off, but the profits though 🥺

      • @crypticthree
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        46 days ago

        Google will stop supporting the android distro long before you have had it for ten years

    • @Box
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      36 days ago

      The Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro has all of those things plus a removable battery and can take a serious beating. I used to throw the phone almost daily to demonstrate it’s durability. The sides got dents and gouges, but I never once had a crack in the screen. The newer Xcover 6 Pro has all of the same features as well as an iPhone 12 quality camera.

      I managed to kill one after breaking the charging port (ironically not related to years of repeatedly being thrown at concrete) and got a Unihertz Titan. Its basically an oversized modern Blackberry 8830 and has the same durability, battery life, and a physical keyboard. No removable battery unfortunately and the camera sucks though.

      • @BuffaloxOP
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        45 days ago

        Never heard of the Samsung Xcover 6 Pro, that looks very interesting. But I don’t think it’s a match to the Xiaomi 13T Pro spec wise.

    • warm
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      6 days ago

      The Sony Xperia phones offer IP68 with an SD card slot and a 3.5mm port. They just have poor software support and cost a shit ton.

      • @[email protected]
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        35 days ago

        The newer Sony phones have improved software support of 3 OS & 4 years of security updates.

        • warm
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          25 days ago

          That’s good then. Still kind of low, but not terrible like before.

    • @crypticthree
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      66 days ago

      Motorola is doing a lot of what you are looking for. And they’re a lot cheaper than the competition

      • @BuffaloxOP
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        56 days ago

        Yes I really liked my Motorola phone, but I wanted a better camera, and now Motorola uses those IMO shitty curved screens except on a few cheaper models.

    • @[email protected]
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      56 days ago

      And it isn’t like the materials are the problem either. If they can make water resistant phone with glass they sure should be able to do it with plastic, right? But nope.

      • @Meron35
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        3 days ago

        The Galaxy S5 had flagship specs, SD card slot, 3.5mm jack, IP67 water resistance, and a removable battery via a durable polycarbonate (plastic) back cover, back in 2014, a whole decade ago.

        It was roasted by reviewers for being made out of “non premium” materials.

      • @cm0002
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        46 days ago

        Well we would have premium metal back phones, but metal backs interfere with the other gimmick “wireless” charging

        • @BuffaloxOP
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          6 days ago

          Metal often being Aluminum is also great for cooling, and my phone doesn’t even have wireless charging! It’s kind of a “budget” flagship, so some corners were cut. Now one of the corners is a bit smashed too. 😜

  • 😈MedicPig🐷BabySaver😈
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    76 days ago

    Glass backs are dumb. I always use a simple case that can hold my driver’s license and a card. I never use a wallet. I think it’s been at least 20 years since I’ve carried a wallet.

    • @[email protected]
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      45 days ago

      I don’t understand why people do this. Surely if you lose your phone or it is stolen then you are without your phone, ID and bank card?

      • 😈MedicPig🐷BabySaver😈
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        45 days ago

        I’ll take my chances. Good thing is, if I lose my phone, I won’t be able to whine about it on Lemmy.

      • ma11en
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        14 days ago

        I’m more likely to lose my wallet than my phone.

  • @[email protected]
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    146 days ago

    Glass back is a premium design feature because it breaks easily, and customers who buy premium phones are expected to be rich enough to just buy another phone.

    It’s a profit making feature.

    Much like luxury cars, nobody actually expects BMW or Mercedes to last more than 3 years. People who buy them are expected to trade up for the latest model every few years.

    Same with luxury fashion. Absolutely some of the cheapest and fragile clothing I’ve ever seen come from big fashion brands. And nobody cares, because by the time they break, they’re out of style and the buyer will be updating their wardrobe anyways.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned, expensive luxury items = cheap and breakable. Midrange products are where the customers tend to be concerned with longevity and value.

  • @[email protected]
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    86 days ago

    Lol “I regularly drop my phone. I knowingly bought a fragile phone for $800 even though there are alternatives and i also refuse to use drop protection on this expensive device. Now i dropped it which is my fault and it broke the glas back which has no functionality and i can still use it. But for me it’s totally destroyed and i blame the manufacturer for this”

    • ji59
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      136 days ago

      Wow, blame the user for manufacturing decisions. Give me an example of alternative with quality camera, wireless charging, water resistance, …
      I laughed at Apple (BTW Samsung too) for the aweful cutoff at the top of the screen, for the lack of headphone jack, SD card reader. Now it’s impossible to find powerful phone with these things. So please don’t blame users for stupid corporate decisions.
      Also broken glass back compromises water resistance and could be safety hazard if the shards fall of.

    • @BuffaloxOP
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      5 days ago

      Wow way to misrepresent what I wrote. No I don’t “regularly” drop my phone, But it happens, and when it does it has ALWAYS been from a sitting position sliding out of my pants pocket, making the drop only about 30-45 cm. Most drop tests are done at 1m, and since the damage is exponential to the height, a drop of 30 cm maybe 3 or 4 times in the lifespan of the phone shouldn’t be a problem.

      But thanks for the strawman argument.

  • @[email protected]
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    116 days ago

    If you’ve got a glass phone without a case or insurance then you kinda running this risk.

    I hate insurance, but on a phone I’ll take AppleCare. Once it’s getting towards the end I purposely wreck the phone off a wall and get brand new (refurbished to new standard) one. Then I sell that and upgrade again.

    • @BuffaloxOP
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      5 days ago

      If you’ve got a glass phone without a case or insurance then you kinda running this risk.

      Yes I know, but I’ve never had any problems at all, I’ve never dropped the phone out of my hands, so I considered the risk to be very low. I must admit I’m shocked the phone cracked from such a minor drop.

      Once it’s getting towards the end I purposely wreck the phone off a wall and get brand new

      That’s fraud.

      Edit PS.

      Note this is the only time I’ve dropped this phone. When I mention it happens, it’s maybe a couple of times in a year, I’ve never really dropped my phone while holding it, it’s always slipped out of my pocket, it’s happened when I drive, I think it’s first time ever it happened on the terace.

      • @Benaaasaaas
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        36 days ago

        You literally mentioned dropping the phone occasionally in your post, now you’re claiming to never have done that?

        • @BuffaloxOP
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          26 days ago

          Read again, I write I’ve never dropped it out of my hands, meaning I’ve never dropped it more than about the 30 cm, because it’s always from my pocket while sitting down.

          Always may sound like it something that happens frequently, but it’s not, it’s maybe 1 or 2 times per year, but over many years with smartphones, a trend still appear.

  • Nemo Wuming
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    126 days ago

    I wonder why glass back is so popular,

    They are being hyped up by marketing because people easily fall for it. Even you:

    Then I bought my $800 glass back Xiaomi 13T Pro in January

    It works the same as with cigarettes: people think it’s cool. Most don’t care about the rest. Easy money for the suppliers.

    Good for you for calling them out on their bullshit. Anyone else with a history of dropping their phones from their pockets (and yet buying a flashy glass back (and refusing to protect it with a case (and referring to it as a condom))) will benefit from reading about your awakening and they might go for something different.

    Just remember, if you fell for this one, you might fall for another marketing gimmick unless you pay more attention.