Samsung’s smartphones are usually packed with interesting features and premium hardware, but they’re often about as sexy as your nan. With a seriously phlegmy bout of the flu. But all of that is set to change thanks to Samsung’s latest hire…
Samsung appears to have finally taken the hint about its plasticky, ugly phone design, something it’s called out on with almost every release. At the end of last year we finally saw some sexiness creep into a handful of Galaxy handsets, namely the metal-bodied Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4, and now the Korean giant has gone and hired Lee Don-tae to change the look of its products.
Right, so who’s Lee Don-tae?
Lee Don-tae is a first-rate designer who used to be CEO of Tangerine, the design studio founded by a certain Jony Ive, currently Senior Vice President of Design at Apple.
Mr Lee, who received his M.A. in Design Products from the Royal College of Art before joining Ive’s lauded studio, is now the head of Samsung’s Global Design Team. While there he’ll oversee the design of Samsung’s products, including the company’s smartphone range, reporting directly to Samsung’s head honcho, Yoon Boo-keun.
Samsung has reportedly been striving to change its design ethos for quite a while and has added a number of high-profile names to its staff in recent years. Just recently we’ve begun seeing a marked improvement in the company’s smartphones, with premium materials such as metal taking the place of lightweight plastics. Hopefully that’s just a first step, with future smartphones and tablets sporting some eye-catching and truly innovative design.
So what does this mean for the Galaxy S6?
Only good things. Samsung is clearly committed to the aesthetics of its handsets, and not just in terms of the physical frames. Mr Lee will probably have a hand in interface design too, so with any luck we’ll have a Galaxy S6 that’s beautiful to gaze at and even more enjoyable to use.
Quite what direction Samsung’s design team will take under Lee’s command remains to be seen, but the man has a reputation for original thinking and his input should certainly go a long way to putting right people’s view of Samsung as a company always looking to emulate Apple – even if they’re taking their cues from Cupertino to do so.