Many cellphones today basically have similar functions and features that attract buyers whenever they are released on the market. One of the most sought after feature today is the metal body. Most smartphones today have dumped the plastic coating on their main covers and adopted a metal body which is not only durable and beautiful, but comes with serious technological advancements as well.Gtel’s latest offering, the XL7, is one of the smartphones that has adopted this feature as it comes neatly packed in 7mm metal casing.
But what is so special about the metal casing and the benefits of metal casing over plastic?
Since Apple introduced an aluminium unibody design on the iPhone in 2012, many smartphone brands have followed suit by introducing metal casings for their flagship devices.
What really excites me though, is the endless debate over whether metal or plastic is the better material.
Metal has long been associated with premium high-end design and style on a mobile phone. Feeling rigid and expensive, a metal case gives a phone that desired premium feel in your hand.
To that extent, many smartphone manufacturers have chosen to use metal on their design-conscious phones.
Most smartphone makers use metal casings as a way of differentiating their premium and mid-priced models against stiff competition world wide.
Aluminium and magnesium (metals that are most commonly used in smartphones) are malleable which allows manufacturers to be adventurous in their design.
However, each material has at least one major weakness. For example, metal is typically better at heat dispersion than plastic, but it also interferes with radio signals while plastic in polycarbonate does not.
Heat dissipation has both pros and cons, it is another reason why metal is a good building material, it aids OEMs by dissipating heat generated by the processor and internals in a way that plastic devices can’t.
With some current processors overheating, a metal smartphone can disperse of more heat than its plastic counterparts.
Another major advantage is the metal protection that you get over plastic cellphones. If, however, you take a look at all the hyper-protective cases available on the market, you will notice they all have one particular characteristic in common, ie they all incorporate an absorption system that usually relies on give.
More specifically, this is quite similar to the idea of crumple-zones on vehicles where the impact of a crash is absorbed by the car’s chassis rather than transferred in its entirety to its occupants.
In the same way, these cases distribute destructive forces away from your device when it hits the ground.
A metallic case essentially works as a Faraday cage. Examples of Faraday cages in daily life include microwave ovens which use a metallic shell to confine the high energy microwave radiation inside the oven.
Alternatively, mobile phone manufacturers often use anechoic chambers when testing their phones.
These keep other radio signals outside so the test can occur under controlled conditions. As metallic phone cases act as a partial Faraday cage, they can weaken reception which sometimes means fewer bars of reception on your phone and lower download speeds.
Battery life may also be degraded as more energy is required to maintain the connection with the mobile network.
On the downside the primary disadvantage of using a metal case is that it will weaken the phone signal.
Just like a mirror reflects light waves, a metallic case reflects the radio waves that your mobile phone uses to communicate.
This is where the new Gtel XL7 stands out as well, with a special metal ribbon like wound around the phone, the technology acts as an external antenna to receive and send high signals outside the metal shield casting for a magnificent reception that also saves your battery.
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