Galaxy S5 criticism costs Samsung’s mobile design chief his job


For a high-end smartphone, the Galaxy S5 feels a little… cheap. I absolutely love mine; it’s one of the best Android phones I’ve ever owned thanks to its super speedy processor, stunning display, and excellent 16-megapixel camera. But I choose to carry the HTC One M8 instead. It’s just as capable in almost every way, and its sleek aluminum form factor is a joy to hold.

Like many of its predecessors and siblings, the Galaxy S5 has received criticism for its plastic design, and now the man who oversaw it is moving on. Chang Dong-hoon, head of Samsung’s mobile design center, will be replaced by vice president of mobile design Lee Min-Hyuk.

Chang Dong-hoon offered to resign last week, Reuters reports, but he won’t be leaving Samsung altogether. Instead, he will lead the design center that oversees the South Korean company’s overall design strategy.

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

Lee will now assume control of the mobile design center. He became Samsung’s youngest senior executive back in 2011 for his role in designed the Galaxy series, which has become one of the most successful smartphone brands of all time, overtaking the iPhone to become leader in smartphone market share.

Samsung now sells twice as many devices as Apple, and even though the Galaxy S5 has gotten off to a great start, critics have lambasted its design, which many feel is too similar to that of the Galaxy S4’s and too tacky — particularly in comparison to the One M8, one of its biggest competitors.

Some believed Samsung would take a different route this year, particularly after the original HTC One received so much praise and countless awards for design last year. But that didn’t happen — though recent rumors have claimed a Galaxy S5 “Prime” with an aluminum form factor could be arriving soon.