Function over form
Function over form is a design philosophy that favours the functionality, practicality and usually repairability of a product (e.g. replaceable batteries and physical robustness of mobile phones) over “premium design” (thin, metal/glass, unibody(euphemism)).
Form over function is preferred by power users, as opposed to form over function, preferred by minimalists.
Mobile phone rear covers
Rear covers of mobile phones are mainly made out of three different materials: Polycarbonate, glass and metal.
Polycarbonate exists as glossy (as used on the Galaxy S3 and S4, for example) and textured/ripped (as used on Galaxy Note 3, S5, Note 4, and Galaxy S4 Value Edition GT-i9515).
Early mobile phones were mainly equipped with polycarbonate rear covers.
While labeled as cheap and non-premium by form-over-function advocates, it has the benefits of not interfering with radio signals and wireless charging and not being susceptible to scratches or bending like aluminium, as well as better shock absorbtion than glass and no cracking.
These benefits facilitate a user-replaceable battery design.
In addition, textured/ripped polycarbonate with a dotted (Galaxy S5) or leather pattern (Galaxy Note 3, 4) is non-slippery.
- “Flat Design Is Going Too Far” (essay by Oliver McGough on UsaBilla blog, 2014-02-27)
- “Why I love ugly, messy interfaces — and you probably do too” (essay by Jonas Dowsey on SignalVnoise blog, 2016-04-06)
- Video: The Current Laptop Trend of Thinness Over Practicality by Kevin Muldoon, 2019-04-08