Ceramic? Leather? Or something even crazier?

These days, almost all smartphones on the market are made from a combination of glass, plastic, and aluminum. There’s no doubt that these materials have served us well – damn it, the recently released Pixel 6a has such a nice plastic back it was easy to believe has been glass – but if you buy enough devices it starts to get pretty boring. There’s a whole world of exotic and luxurious materials that smartphone makers can use on their next-gen products, but so far stainless steel seems like the most adventurous a company is willing to get.


This could finally change. This week we learned that Google is working on a future Pixel device that uses ceramic rather than glass. It’s not the first smartphone to swap out one material for another – indeed, the OnePlus X, Essential PH-1 and Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 4 have all used it in the past. Ceramic is harder than glass, which makes it less scratch resistant, although often at the cost of durability. Still, with such a premium feel in the hand, it’s hard to beat.

Of course, ceramic isn’t the only unorthodox material we’d like to see in future smartphones, even though it’s the most likely to hit the market. We’ve seen wooden and leather smartphones from Motorola in the past – their Moto Maker app in the mid-2010s was offered as both premium options – while cobalt and titanium have also floated around the industry. As AP’s Ryne Hager reported last year, there are reasons why all of these materials should be avoided by smartphone makers at launch – durability, availability, cost – but that doesn’t mean we can’t. can’t dream.

In honor of the potential for a future ceramic Pixel device, I want to know what your dream phone is made of for this week’s poll. It could be any of the materials I’ve listed below, but if you want to go crazy – a felt smartphone, I don’t know – feel free to make some weird suggestions in the comments. In the meantime, I’ll spend the rest of the weekend lamenting the Essential PH-1 that I never bought.