Samsung has never been hailed for its design, particularly for its stickiness to old elements that users did not particularly like. However, the company's newest smartphones show Samsung isn't afraid to switch up its designs. Whether that decision will sit well with consumers remains to be unseen and Samsung goes all out to explain how and why it came up with the design for the Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy Note Edge.
The Korean smartphone maker says its designers have decided to come up with an overall design that emphasizes simplicity, emotionality and innovativeness. Samsung calls this "modern sleek," and it is the design concept that guided its designers all throughout the process. It is, in fact, also the reason why Samsung decided to ditch the unpopular fake leather stitching on the back of the Galaxy Note 3.
"If its predecessor was about being 'classic,' the Galaxy Note 4 is more about being 'modern sleek' with an emphasis on the urban vibe," writes Samsung in a blog post. "With the implementation of metal frame with diamond cuts, the designers wanted to take a more simple approach which aligns with the 'modern sleek' design concept."
Samsung also answered questions about its ability to develop metal phones, saying it decided to use the metal frame with diamond cutting not for the sake of just using metal as a material but because, this time, the metal frame fits well with the "modern sleek" design while still providing a soft-touch cover for users.
"Modern Sleek is not just about being modern, but also being warm and emotional," says Samsung. "One thing the designers did not want to do was to use metal and give out the sense that the device is too hard and cold."
Having a soft cover also means users can remove and change their batteries, a feature that sets apart Samsung's Galaxy smartphones from other flagships, which usually come with un-detachable batteries.
Samsung also highlights its challenge of designing the Galaxy Note Edge's curved screen, a task that involved combining analog and digital elements because of the phone's top-of-the-line specs and the handwriting experience with Samsung's S Pen, which critics say is inarguably the best digital pen available. The decision to place the curved screen on the right, says Samsung, was inspired by the natural reading and writing experience from left to write.
"Since people generally tend to read from left to right, the designers thought it would be the right decision to place the Edge Screen on the right side," says Samsung.
Samsung collaborated with Montblanc, the prestigious maker of luxury writing instruments, to create the S Pen. The smartphone maker says the main focus of the design for its digital pen was coming up with the right "grip." The designers initially wanted the S Pen to be bigger than it actually is, but they didn't want to make it too big for the slim Galaxy Note 4. Samsung also says it tried on several different materials for the tip of the pen to come up with the right amount of sensitivity.
"Technically, the sensitivity has been doubled and it even recognizes how much the pen is tilted so that users can control the thickness of the writings," says Samsung.