A cell phone is made of various materials, including plastics, base metals, precious metals, and other miscellaneous components. See a more detailed breakdown below.
Polycarbonate plastic plays a large part in the production of modern cell phone bodies. This material has superior flexibility and impact resistance. It also has the upside of being very cheap to manufacture in addition to having no antenna interference. ABS and hybrid Poly ABS variations are commonly found as well.
The use of base metals for phone chassis has become more common as consumers expect higher quality materials as cell phone prices rise. Aluminum is the most common in current applications, offering higher structural rigidity and a more refined finish. One of the downsides of using aluminum is the negative effect it has on antenna reception, resulting in most aluminum bodied phones coming with an external antenna.
Consumer cell phones contain trace amounts of various precious metals. These include Silver, Nickel, Palladium, Platinum, Copper, and Gold, among others. Circuit board component manufacturing and electroplating has vastly improved. The result is thinner precious metal surface coverage. We should strive to mitigate the impact of mining these materials by responsibly recycling our consumer goods.
Glass and PMMA screens, Lithium-Ion batteries, and plastic/fiber circuit boards are all common as well. Screws and hardware can be steel or variations of a magnesium alloy. Each phone model will have differences in the use of each material.
What is a cell phone made of?