Weekly poll result: titanium emerges as the new material of choice for smartphones

February 19, 2024

Some people always keep their phone in a case and so they don’t care about materials. That doesn’t mean that there is no room for trying out new things – last week’s poll shows that there is a lot of interest in titanium. Right now this is available only on a few premium phones, the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro, the Galaxy S24 Ultra and a special edition of the Xiaomi 14 Pro (and, according to rumors, the 14 Ultra too).

This doesn’t have to be the case, however. Remember the Essential PH-1? Cloud gimmicks aside, the phone had a titanium frame and a ceramic back – fancy! It cost $700 at launch, but a few months later that fell to $500. There were many more price cuts that followed (it was as low as $224 at one point), though that was just a failing company clearing out inventory.


Essential PH-1’s titanium frame

Still, if the $500 price point was viable, then we may see many more phones adopt titanium. And if it wasn’t, then it will remain a premium feature. It’s not always a question of economics, the Galaxy S24 and S24+ still use aluminum and the old Gorilla Glass Victus 2 not because Gorilla Armor was too expensive but because the S24 Ultra has to stand out.

Anyway, nearly 1 in 3 voters will be keeping an eye on titanium-clad phones when it comes time to upgrade from their old phone.

Weekly poll result: titanium emerges as the new material of choice for smartphones

Aluminum and stainless steel are not quite as popular (both won over around 1 in 5 voters). We didn’t expect to see them even, however. Outside of some older, no longer relevant examples, only iPhone Pros used stainless steel. But people in the comments had positive things to say about the material’s durability and were okay with the extra weight.

As for aluminum, it’s cheap and easy to work with. There are different grades of aluminum and different phones have tougher or weaker internal structures. But when engineers get it right, aluminum phones can be quite rigid.