Skip to main content

Samsung’s head of mobile design resigns, but don’t expect many major changes just yet

Galaxy S5 Glam Blue Top
Image used with permission by copyright holder

It’s all change at Samsung this week. Reuters has reported that the company’s head of mobile design has resigned, making way for some new blood. The man on his way out is Chang Dong-hoon, who will vacate his current role for Lee Min-hyouk. Unless you’re well versed with Samsung’s corporate structure, neither name is likely to be familiar, but make no mistake – these two have played an instrumental part in making the Galaxy series a world beater.

Since 2005, Chang has overseen the majority of Samsung’s Galaxy S and Galaxy Note smartphones, and is a huge supporter of the Design 3.0 philosophy, which took Samsung’s products in a new, user-focused direction. He cites the world around him as a key influence. If you think back to the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4’s Nature UX, with the water ripple effects and smooth, pebble-like shell, much of this came from Chang and his team. Chang’s not leaving Samsung though, and according to Reuters he’ll still head up Samsung’s design center.

So who’s the new guy? Lee Min-hyouk has apparently earned the nickname of Midas, after designing most Galaxy S phones, and the original Galaxy Note. In 2010, at the age of 42, he became the company’s youngest senior executive, primarily due to his work on the Galaxy devices. 

Such a high profile executive shuffle inevitably makes people question whether it’s a response to criticism over the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5’s lack of visual excitement, but it may not be the drastic overhaul if first looks like. In a 2012 interview with Reuters, Lee is quoted as saying he “sees no harm in tweaking rather than innovating” when it comes to design, indicating brave new concepts from the company may be further away than hoped. Additionally, it seems the same two people are still driving Samsung’s design department forward, just in different positions.

That said, rumors surrounding the Galaxy Note 4 and the so-called S5 Prime both include some intriguing design elements, so we may still be surprised by Samsung this year.

Andy Boxall
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S23 UItra: don’t buy the wrong one
Renders of the Google Pixel 8 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra next to each other.

The Google Pixel 8 Pro is the last of 2023's top smartphones to arrive. It's big, bold, and comes packed with camera tricks to take on Samsung and Apple's best. But if you are averse to Apple's ecosystem, the only direct rival to Google’s latest flagship is the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Both product lines have a reputation for having one of the most powerful camera phones, with Samsung banking more on hardware supremacy while Google leads with software processing. If you’re trying to find the best pound-for-pound flagship between the two, here’s a detailed comparison to help make your choice easier.
Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: specs

Read more
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs. Motorola Razr Plus: don’t make a mistake
Motorola Razr Plus and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 in hand with cover display turned on.

Samsung has finally added a big cover screen to its Flip lineup with the Galaxy Z Flip 5. After years of offering tiny cover displays that are good for widgets and notifications ,but nothing more, the Flip 5 is a major step forward.

Since its launch, we've hailed the Motorola Razr Plus as the best user experience on a clamshell foldable because it allows you to get things done without opening the phone — and in a very seamless manner. But with the addition of a 3.4-inch cover display on the Z Flip 5, has it finally bridged the gap between the two flip phones? Here's a full comparison between the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the Motorola Razr Plus.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs. Motorola Razr Plus: specs

Read more
Samsung, please don’t let accountants build the Galaxy S22
Samsung Galaxy S21 with Galaxy Buds Pro

“Controversially, the Galaxy S21 is using a plastic back -- yes, on an $800 phone.”

This quote is taken from our Samsung Galaxy S21 review, and I really don’t want to see it repeated when we review the Galaxy S22. The underlying reason for the plastic back was a noble one: it helped lower the price, but it was a decision that smacked of one being made by accountants with limited to no understanding of what people want or deserve from the smallest S Series.
Plastic can be fantastic
There’s nothing wrong with phones with a plastic back, and it is an effective way of minimizing the final cost of a phone, especially when used alongside other cost-cutting measures. Most smartphones around the $200 to $400 price have a plastic back, with Samsung’s own mid-range Galaxy A52 5G being a great example of where it really works.

Read more