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Samsung Replaces Head of Mobile Design Amid Galaxy S5 Criticism

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According to Reuters, Samsung has replaced the head of its mobile design team due in part to criticism over the design of its latest flagship, the Galaxy S5Chang Dong-hoon, the man responsible for the Galaxy series from Samsung, has been moved over into a role as the head of Design Strategy, with the current VP of mobile design taking over his duties. Samsung claims that this realignment will help Chang focus on long-term design strategy. 

I can imagine that most of you barely made it through that paragraph without at least one fist pump. The design of the Galaxy S5 has not exactly been raved about around these parts by either readers or the DL staff. In fact, in our review, I called it a “step in the wrong direction for mankind.” I also noted that the phone seemed abnormally large for no reason, was slippery in hand, and looked and felt cheap thanks to the faux metal rim around the device.

I think the big question now is, “Does this mean the design of the Galaxy S6 will steer clear of cheap plastics?” One can hope. Unfortunately, since we are likely only 3-4 months away from seeing the next Galaxy Note, I would imagine it will carry a similar design to previous models, as it is simply too late in the game for a make-over.

But the future could be a bright one. While Change was once dubbed “Midas” for his “golden touch” with the Galaxy series, it certainly feels like the series needs a fresh touch or some polish.

Via:  Reuters
Cheers flosserelli!
  • grammar neo nazi

    Chang*

  • Sporttster

    Here’s hoping they put more effort into better radios as well.

  • AndrewWiggins

    All they do is steal ideas anyways. Easiest job in the world as Samsung’s design team.

  • http://www.ytmnd.com MH

    I like how samsung uses cheap plastics, yet the iphone is cheaper to build despite being aluminum. Billet aluminum is actually “cheap” when it comes to manufacturing.

  • Linx

    I’m wayyyyy happier with my S5 than I EVER was with my htc one x+. I get happier every time by one x+ would go dead by 3pm & I get hours more battery life on my S5 & a spare battery in my pocket!

    • Hershel

      I get over a day on my m8

  • ChristianPasquariello

    Radies and Jentamen…..

  • Blue Sun

    I wonder if he walked out of the office with a band aid on his head.

  • Chris King

    Hopefully they stick with plastic…. Albeit maybe upgraded. Carbon fiber s6 sure why not

    • Hershel

      plastic is so 90s

      • Chris King

        Maybe but it still takes more abuse then anything else you make a phone with

  • LionStone

    Correction: The newly promoted Lee Min-hyouk has the nickname “Midas” inside Samsung, for his success with the Galaxy designs.

  • Tony Byatt

    Good move…Now maybe we can get HTC, LG design levels from Samsung…

    Hopefully this includes the software team as well…

    • Band_Aid_Design_Department

      weirdly long/tall slippery aluminum case with wrongly aligned holes, awfully useless black bar and 2-camera gimmick: “HTC’s level of design”.
      “LG’s level of design” doesn’t exist yet. Thin bezels are not design.

      + SAMSUNG with HTC/LG “design” WOULD KILL both LG and HTC.

      It’s just the head of SAMSUNG’s design disaster iceberg.
      Band-aid team of “designers” has to be fired altogether.)))

      • Tony Byatt

        Your arguement is very incoherent…

        A majority of people would say the M7, M8, G2, G3 (Front & Back photos just posted by DL) have a better design than the S4 and S5…

        So I repeat, maybe we can get HTC, LG design levels from Samsung…

      • Hershel

        you need help;

  • Joe

    Samsung phones definitely aren’t aesthetically pleasing and they do feel cheap in the hand. The bright side is they are very easy to repair compared to other manufacturers’ phones. I personally wouldn’t buy one though.

    • LionStone

      The older phones were but the new S5, isn’t as easy due to the water resistance and extra glue.

  • Rodeojones000

    They could do a complete redesign and make it out of titanium and it would still be a piece of crap so long as TouchWiz is included.

  • HaveSomeVodka

    Step in the wrong direction indeed. I originally thought the Note was supposed to be their “bigger” line but the S series is crossing over.

    • PoisonApple31

      As are all the flagships, the screens are getting bigger. Post the same chart for flagships from the other OEMs.

      • HaveSomeVodka

        Everyone’s well aware of every OEM’s increase in screen size. What I’m trying to say is that Samsung doesn’t need to keep getting bigger, it’s almost intruding on Note territory. The original Note had a 5.3 inch screen and the S5 has a 5.1 inch screen. I rather they use the Moto approach and have a reasonably sized phone, especially since Samsung already has a larger flagship in play.

  • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

    So lets hope Sammy moves away from plastics and capacitive keys.

    Better design, premium build, toned down software and on screen keys will win me back. Without that, Sammy is still dead to me.

  • bogy25

    I think this was a legitimate decision – let’s get back on track with things and innovate so the other party keeps heading down that dark path.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    It’s never really been the “Plastic” that bothers me about the Galaxy Series… it’s the terrible design. Look at the S5… it’s terrible design the thing is just damn ugly. That fake metal around the edges is terrible.

    Plastic isn’t the problem DESIGN is. Always need to point to NOKIA as an example of using plastic and having great design.

    • The Narrator

      I just wish they wouldn’t make them bricks with big bezels. Great built quality though.

    • joe23521

      Agree 100%.

  • MichaelFranz

    Maybe we see change with the S6. For all we know that is already in a design. Unless they go back and start from scratch. Still curious to see if a “Prime/Premium” S5 rolls out this year.

    • Hershel

      prime will be the note 4

  • OF

    LG has lit a fire under their asses. Lets go LG!

    • bogy25

      Couldn’t agree more – my next phone is the LG G3 and I have never even used an LG phone before. But with the looks og the G3 how could you NOT be interested in it?

      • Daeshaun Griffiths

        because it doesn’t do anything the g2 can’t, besides the infared pictures.

        “Interestingly, what we initially thought was either a second LED flash or an IR blaster located on the left of the camera is actually something completely different. It is a laser beam that is intended to help the camera produce better night shots. We don’t know if this is based on infrared technology and how exactly it is going to work on the G3.”

        Source: http://www.gsmarena.com/lg_g3_gold_live_photos_exclusive-news-8471.php

      • Hershel

        ROFL…..

      • OF

        That’s what I’m saying! I’m in the same boat. My first LG phone and second Android phone. I quiver with anticipation!

    • MistaButters

      LG: Let’s Go!

      (I think you just came up with a new advertising campaign)

  • T4rd

    The hardware isn’t so bad.. it’s their god-awful software UX that needs totally re-vamped. Their dialer and settings menus are atrocious.

    • MichaelFranz

      I still think its a great improvement over the S3 and S4 variations.

      I think it needs a good in house cleaning of all the lag and such. I expected it to be there with a UI overhaul and new features. Just hoping that with a now global rollout they can focus on reported bugs and go from there.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    meh, i thought the squared off shape was awesome. i Think the note 3 looks good too.

  • Zander

    Hopefully this doesn’t take away all the positives of the Galaxy designs. Yes they are ugly and cheap plastic, but I still appreciate how lightweight they are, and the nice rounded corners. I guess we’ll just wait and see. It may have been smart to hire some new people for the design team but maybe don’t replace the head altogether… They made *some* smart decisions.

  • droidify

    What? Samsung didn’t know that adding more weight and larger bezels isn’t what everyone wants?

  • mcdonsco

    They need someone replaced in the performance department. The S5 is laggy as can be…can’t wait to return it, my 2nd LG G2 should be here today; yea!

    • LionStone

      My brother just got an S5 few days ago…already had to do a factory reset! He’s a glutton for punishment :-)

  • mjmedstarved

    Not sure what took them so long; we’ve always bashed it’s design. I’m excited.

    • SirLance99

      They still sell more than everyone else in Android land combined.

      • LionStone

        Unfortunately this is about “design”, regardless of sales.

  • Eric
    • James

      Why in the hell do people upvote these gifs? Sure, a well timed one – every once in a while – can be funny. But it’s gotten out of hand. Am I the only one around here who actually wants to see a dialogue about the article?

      Cue the Lebowski meme…

      • The Narrator
        • Hershel

          as with your own opinion

      • Eric

        Why use dialogue when the gif portrays my reaction perfectly?

        • James

          Because it doesn’t add anything substantive to the conversation. You’re happy, I’m happy, I imagine we’re all happy about the news. But like I said, the overuse of gifs on this site and so many others has just gotten old. Or maybe I’m just in a bad mood cause the weather is crappy here today :)

          • Hershel

            its just little punks who shopuld be in school, not droid life

        • flosserelli

          James is just upset because he didn’t post it first.

      • MotoRulz

        Dialogue.. If a picture is worth a thousand words what is a gif worth?

        • James

          Ha, an interesting question. Although one could argue the quality/nature of the picture makes a pretty big difference…

        • Eric Blackman

          Depends on your data limit.

      • Christopher Moore

        If I could down vote you I would. A picture speaks a thousand words.

        • James

          Really? Every picture? Including these gifs that have been played out over and over again? Absolutely, an original picture can speak a thousand words. But that quote was said in a very different context from how these images are being used.

          • BillySuede

            no shots but your issue with the gifs have little to do with the topic at hand. one could argue that’s a bigger deal than people using pictures to illustrate their point.

    • MistaButters

      This was made so much more epic because of Trance music playing in my headphones.

      • JackMeOffski

        Trance is for gays.

        • MistaButters

          Intolerance is for fools.

  • The Narrator

    how about hiring a new software team?

    • mjmedstarved

      Or…. just get rid of it altogether and go AOSP…… Or at least make the same flagship phones available in AOSP flavors.

      • JoshGroff

        This is why I don’t purchase phones without dev community backing. The odds of manufacturers getting the hint is slim.

        • K

          Yup. Basically if I can’t stand running the phone’s stock firmware then I avoid the device altogether.

        • TylerCameron

          And you figure buying their phone anyway, despite it having an awful, bloated, ugly skin, will help them get the hint? No.. They see “Oh, we got a lot of sales of this phone. Customers LOVE our skin.” That’s what you’re supporting.

          • JoshGroff

            I buy most of my phones second hand because I buy off contract. Only phone I bought full retail was my Moto X. (Which deserved it)

      • Maxim∑

        I don’t like touchwiz, but in a way it makes the phone unique. Stock with some of samsungs apps installed ontop would be nice

        • mjmedstarved

          TouchWiz in theory isn’t that bad, I agree; what SUCKS it the way the implement it and it slows down the phone. There shouldn’t be ANY lag, given the specs of the phone.

        • Hershel

          ROFL

          no it wouldnt

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        Honestly, the AOSP arguement is dead. No one is going full Stock.

        • mjmedstarved

          That doesn’t mean the argument is dead… Look at what one+ is doing right now.

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            OnePlusOne? They’re using a ROM dev….It’s not even close to the same thing. They don’t have anything to lose.

          • mjmedstarved

            I’m sorry, but I don’t see the point you’re trying to make here..?

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            The point is there is no Upside for a highend manufacturer to use stock android. If you want stock android you can get it for half the price from a Nexus. They’ll be shooting themselves in the face. They need to differentiate.

          • mjmedstarved

            Sure there is.. they don’t LOSE SALES to those who do make AOSP models.

            That, my friend, is lost revenue; why not offer the CHOICE?

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            They are offering choice. They’re offering something other that STOCK. And they’re not losing Sales to AOSP, the only meaningful phone that’s stock are Nexus Devices….and that’s not challenging anyone in the sales department.

          • SirLance99

            For all of five people who buy it in the grand scheme of things. No, no one is losing sales over this.

          • Hershel

            9 out of 10 people who buy android, buy it with sense or touchwiz.

          • TylerCameron

            Because it’s so hard to differentiate on design, screens, and other hardware?
            My one and the Nexus 5 are both stock Android, both have 1080p screens, but my One has a higher quality screen, a more premium design, and much better cameras. But the Nexus has a better SoC and cost(Ed) half of what the M7 costed new. (Snapdragon 800 vs 600)
            This is differentiation at its finest.

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            None of that matters. The point is if you want Stock, a Nexus would give you that for half the price of any other device. That’s not a business model for OEMs.

          • SirLance99

            I don’t see the point your are trying to make.

          • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

            Cyanogen is no longer some ROM dev. They are paid software engineers now. Hacking code in your mom’s basement is a lot different than working as an actual employed software engineers. Cyanogen is every bit, if not more capable than Samsung, LG and Moto.

          • The Narrator

            You never go full stock.

          • mjmedstarved

            Well, of course. BUT, I would much rather have a phone come with stock android, and add whateverthehellIwant, before I would ever ask for TouchWiz.

          • The Narrator

            That’s called Nexus 5 or paying the absurd GPE prices.

          • mjmedstarved

            Are the play editions ever available on-contract? Just a question, I don’t by on contract myself anymore. (yeah, VZW unlimited)

            Sure the Nexus is AOSP, but it isn’t a flagship by A, B, And C manufacturers.

          • JoshGroff

            Off contract only, same price as off contract normal variants of said phones.

          • mjmedstarved

            Off-contract only really kills the possibility for many people. Anyways…. I can’t think of anyone who would rather pony up the extra dough for a GPE and not go the cheaper Nexus route.

          • SirLance99

            Better camera maybe. Nexus doesn’t have that great of a camera. It’s ok but no where near what flagship phones have.

          • SirLance99

            There will never be a FLAGSHIP AOSP, get over it already.

          • Daistaar

            Nexus 5?

          • SirLance99

            I would not really call that a flagship phone.

          • JoshGroff

            I wonder if carriers started subsidizing the GPE models people would stop complaining about the price.

          • SirLance99

            You are in the extremely small minority of people who want this. SMALL

          • Hershel

            then root or buy a nexus.

            otherwise get over it.

          • MistaButters

            God I’m so glad somebody said it :p

          • SirLance99

            One+ will sell just a few phones in the overall landscape of the total phones sold worldwide. It will not even be a blip on the radar. It’ll be in the “other” category when reports come out.

          • Hershel

            one plus is still a new brand and new phone. very few will even buy it and whos to say they wont close up shop in a year?

        • John

          +1. Stock AOSP means a Nexus device as you first power it on. The minute you root and install CM or AOKP or whatevers, it’s…no longer stock. It’s just a custom rom just like from big manufacturers. Anybody that’s running a Nexus device that isn’t even rooted can claim it’s stock otherwise it’s hypocritical in some ways. Don’t get me wrong, the devs do an amazing job in creating CUSTOM roms, but that doesn’t mean it’s stock but it’s based on stock, just like TW and whatever other manufacturers slap on it.

        • Hershel

          that would be an apple like move

        • parth

          Wy. Did u forget nexus 5

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            I’m not talking about Nexus devices. The point of a Nexus is to be stock.

      • MistaButters

        “Or at least make the same flagship phones available in AOSP flavors”

        I mean there are GPE. But I take you mean also offer then on contract?

        • mjmedstarved

          Right.

          Look, just like car manufacturers do, you need to diversify. The reason A Nexus is CHEAPER is because no SW development costs need to be made back… so we, as consumers, should speak out and state we’d like a simple aosp phone from you; and yes, we want it cheaper than the cost of the model you sell with all the manufacturers SW… because, some people want just that. I would; I’d even buy it if it didn’t come with a warranty after 30days.

          • MistaButters

            Umm. While I’m sure OEMs spend a lot of time and money on sw, that isn’t 100% accurate. The reason a Nexus is cheaper is because Google cuts their margins on Nexus devices.

          • Cowboydroid

            NO, they don’t need to diversify. What they need to do is offer value. Simply diversifying your product does not guarantee that value is gained against the competition. But that’s the formula that idiot managerial staff follow, and that’s why we get crappily designed products.

          • mjmedstarved

            Agreed

          • Hershel

            Only the nerds care about that stuff. Most people (98% of actual android users) are fine with touch wiz, sense, etc.

      • SirLance99

        This AOSP debate is old hat. People who want, or demand in your case, represent way less than 1% of people who buy and use it. It’ll never happen so get over it.

        • Hershel

          agreed. why would they go to the apple way and force everyone to use stock?

          • cizzlen

            They are called shooples instead

          • TylerCameron

            Because it crates a better user experience. It would mean that no matter what Android device you use, there is no learning curve between devices. Its the same. A consistent UX is very, very important thing for customer retention. If things are always different, people get confused and don’t like the overall platform. If one phone (Galaxy S4) lags because of a skin, its a powerful phone, yet it lags, so in the customer’s head, “Wow. My phone cost this much. It’s top of the line, and it still lags? Wow, Android must suck.”

      • Hershel

        no thanks. This is ANDROID. not iOS. no one wants to be forced to use stock

    • Jonathan Williams

      Tizen software team? /s

    • Orion

      Exactly this.

    • TSY87

      …THIS, why not let android be android!!! But I guess this is a good step… assuming the next phone has a great build/design but terrible implementation of android, they will get it that we want great looking devices that work well!

      • Hershel

        so you want android to go the route of apple and force everyone to use stock?

        NO F-IN THANK YOU.

        • TSY87

          woah, calm down hershel… There are brands that do a good job of skinning android and then there is samsung. I’m not saying ALL android phones need to be stock, but I tend to find the closer to stock the rom is, the better experience.

  • MARS GRAF-X

    i have a S3 and this looks better then the S5.. i saw the S5 in the store after reading your review on it .. AND ITS UGLY .. the fake metal edge is the biggest turn off.. and i will not be buying this when my up grade comes up..

    • eilegz

      sure the metal corner its bad since note 3 but the gs3 its horrible the huge bezel looks bad, the gs4 its the best lookibg of the seris i still think that the gs2 its the best

  • j

    Adding water resistance at the expense of design aesthetics was a mistake in my opinion. In my 20 years of cell phone ownership, I’ve gotten a phone slightly wet once..

    • JoshGroff

      Only time I got a phone wet was my own fault, listening to music with earbuds in the shower, and that was back in high school.

      • eagletrippin

        O.o

    • OF

      My lady friend gets my phone wet all the time….

      • j

        1) phone on vibrate
        2) ???
        3) o face

        • niuguy

          Profit.