When properly executed, the use of metal in smartphone construction can make a huge impact on the subjective impression of handset reliability and build quality. While largely-plastic phones can still have those attributes, there’s just something about metal that many smartphone users love. HTC, though, may be planning a big push towards plastics, with a rumor suggesting the company will drastically cut back on the use of metal in its phones.
According to industry rumors, HTC will transition next year from having about 60% of its phones with a metal chassis to a figure more around 30%. This move may be related to the company’s interest in Nano Molding Technology, which we looked at this past spring, that would offer new ways to construct phones using fewer connective components.
More plastic use should mean lighter smartphones, and possibly even increased reception, but what about the trade-offs? Will they feel as solid in your hand? And what about holding up to abuse? We doubt HTC would want to appear as if it was producing inferior handsets, so we have faith that its upcoming designs will address these concerns, but (assuming this rumor is true) we’ll withhold final judgment until we can actually get our hands on one of these 2012 models.