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Does a new head of mobile design at Samsung mean no more plastic smartphones?

Samsung’s mobile head of design position is about to change up, following reports that the company’s current lead agreed to step down.

Take a look back at many of our Samsung reviews and reviews of the company’s top smartphones across the internet and they’ll probably all share at least one criticism. For all the impressive technology and feature-packed user experiences Sammy’s top handsets offer, they just don’t match up to competition in the design department.

Samsung’s long-standing preference for plastic fantastic smartphones throughout its range, right up to the £600+ Galaxy S5, means it saves on weight, cost and each handset will likely retain its lustre longer than its metallic rivals. But that’s not what people expect from a top-tier handset and something that the most recent internal changing of the guard might be able to fix.

Plastic fantastic

Reports picked up by Reuters reveal that the current head of design at Samsung Mobile, Chang Dong-hoon has offered to step down from his position of power to be replaced by Lee Min-hyouk, currently VP of design at Samsung Mobile and the man responsible for the birth of the company’s Galaxy smartphone family; the force behind Samsung’s global success in the mobile space.

Lee’s hand in the rise to power of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones granted him the nickname ‘Midas’ for his golden touch when it comes to design, and that looks to be something Samsung wants to rekindle going forward. Lee was also the company’s youngest senior executive when he was promoted at the age of 42 back in 2010.

Samsung’s latest flagship has received heavy scrutiny for a number of reasons, but its design, aesthetically at least, has been one of its biggest shortcomings. Chang will remain at Samsung, placing his talents in the broader design process at the South Korean company.

“The realignment will enable Chang to focus more on his role as head of the Design Strategy Team, the company’s corporate design centre which is responsible for long-term design strategy across all of Samsung’s businesses, including Mobile Communications,” a Samsung spokesperson said in a statement.

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