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Do you think Samsung software is better than 'stock' Android?

Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20+
Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20+ (Image credit: Android Central)

Whenever a new Android update is announced, we tend to get pretty excited about it. New software from Google means new features and user interface elements to sink our teeth into, but as time goes on, these big changes are most impactful with Pixel phones and other handsets that mimick Google's Android interface.

If you look at a phone like the Galaxy S20 from Samsung, which is powered by One UI, an update such as Android 11 isn't quite as exciting. Why? Samsung phones tend to have more software features than your typical "stock" Android phone.

Some of our AC forum members recently got to talking about this very subject, with the conversation going as follows:

This right here. Like Samsung's features or not, you have to admit they make their own stuff and don't depend nearly so much on Google. That it's Google under the skin is getting less and less important nowadays. Shoot, they went their own way with Tizen for the watches. I wrestled with that a bit before I pulled the trigger, but I have zero regrets about buying a Galaxy Watch. (In fact,...

Adam Frix

I agree when it comes to features -- but I'd be more concerned about important security patches. Granted, many security patches are minor, but every now and then there's a more consequential one, so I'd hope those get pushed out by Samsung in an expedited manner.

B. Diddy

it's not Samsung that's the issue now, it's the carriers. TMobile sucks at updates.

Dooki

Main thing is Samsung has these features that later on get added to stock Andriod, which is true like mentioned in the article, for faster Andriod updates the pixel has that but features they behind, and not gimmick features its ones that get added eventually to stock Andriod.

mustang7757

Now, we want to hear from you — Do you think Samsung software is better than "stock" Android?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

27 Comments
  • Not at all I hate using Samsung phones because of their software.
  • Umm.. not even close.
  • My wife loves the Samsung phones. I hate just trying to find simple settings as it seems like a major task. I dread whenever she has a problem with it and asks for help.
  • I like both pretty equally. Both take a back seat to iOS imo.
  • I prefer Samsung over stock.
  • I like Samsung's additions to Android. I dont like:
    Inability to remove their apps I dont want to use.
    Slow updates.
  • Yes. It's not even a competition.
    OneUI is YEARS ahead of the stock crap.
    It's more customisable, better designed, more feature rich and just as fluid. It also doesn't take more phone storage than stock. As for the updates, I got more than 3 years of updates on the S7, monthly. My S10e gets the monthly update in the first days of every month... Unlike the HMD "Nokia" 9P with Android One for example.
  • I'm not saying Samsung software is 'better', but I do like Samsung software over Google stock
  • Samsung is bloatware Hell. Stock Android, as is on Pixel phones, is still the best. Far superior to Samsung or LG.
  • I've been using the Samsung S10 Lite lately and the software has been amazing. One UI 2.0 is absolutely incredible. Samsung has nailed it on the software front finally. Plus it behaves so much more stable and mature than say the really good oxygen OS.
  • Also, the speed and animations are rock solid. I could say in the past that I'd get the one plus because of the software, not any longer.
  • I like and use both software wise but as far as devices go Samsung over Google stock all day long! Google stock is absolutely boring for me personally.
  • I love how Stock implements what Samsung creates. LOL.
  • Yes and no offense to anyone but this is why Pixel is still struggling, online experts don't exactly help sales. Samsung is miles ahead in battery life and efficiency. At least Sammy tries to figure out ways to make things a little quicker for you, stock android is boring but I think it needs some better battery optimizations.
  • I use both pure android in my 4xl & one UI in my s10+. Both work very well. I 👍 like what Google offers in the wallpaper department. Plus pure android is plain & simple. I very much enjoy 😉 both, kinda the best of two worlds! Actually their not that much different? On the software front even with 2less gigs the 4xl is alittle faster speed wise. Plus the computational photography is excellent, that definitely 👍 gives the edge to the pixel? But with the s10+ videos are better and offer the wide angle 📷! It's just a matter of choice?
  • Samsung is inarguably the leader of Android development and features for OS updates. It's been quite common for the upcoming release of Android to use features Samsung has ironed out earlier. That truth has been discussed adnaseum in several related articles. I much prefer Android 10 and One UI 2.0 over the latest iOS offering on my daughters XR and sons iPad. Having all apps splayed out on one or two main pages seems less organized and clean than swiping up for all or using the excellent edge panels. Notifications, to me are not even close as Android prevails. It's also less layered to me in regards to settings. Lastly I appreciate the ease of setting default apps, the easy integration with my Windows 10 machines and having expandable storage for my music library. (I prefer having the option to not stream) I honestly wish we still had BlackBerry with BB10 and Windows mobile developing so that we had more choices and competition.
  • I've always thought Samsung's software was better. Every year, I watch the Google Keynote and stare at my Samsung phone, wondering what's actually new. Besides, by the time we get updates, most of the bugs have been filtered out. When pixel devices get updates, they always usually come with bugs. I've always stood behind Samsung, their software, and their updates over Google's.
  • No, because I'm not bonkers in the nut.
  • Could never get behind Samsung take on Android. I'll admit there are things to like in it. That though does not make up for what is so so wrong. A bazzilion and one features soo buried at times you have to ask Google where it's located. Then the bog slowness of the os. Granted with UI 2 it's much better. This is only a recent benefit. Otherwise you'd wonder why it's not responding. The worst though is the actual updates that come if you are lucky withing 6 months. You'd thing the way Samsung and Google are so necessary to each other. Samsung would be ready within a week or two to drop the update. Now is Google any better? In some ways it can be worse. Buggy software that makes you feel like you are in a continual Beta program. Having an OS brick your phone because someone forgot to not throttle back the SoC (RIP Nexus 5X). We can go on but you get what i'm getting at. Now though at least Google will provide more than one OS update as compared to the other OEM's. That and for many it's a smooth experience. A big plus is that since this is as close to stock you can get without making one yourself. The system overall will fly compared to others with a more resource intense Skin. In the end we like what we like. I'll take speed and efficiency over more showy processor killers.
  • Definitely yes, I also like the Samsung apps.
  • Samsung is a hell of a lot better, or at least a hell of a lot less bad than it used to be.
  • Its not even a contest. I much prefer Samsung UI over boring stock Android. Security updates have been on fire especially since December 2019 to present. Most months updates received on the first on the month or within a very few days.
  • Pixel isn't even "stock" Android.
  • Yes, by light years. But then again Google does most of the under the hood heavy lifting, which allows Samsung to spend more resources on the UI.
  • I would say no, because in my gut that is how I feel. Be if I'm being honest I can't even answer. I have never owned a Samsung other then the Galaxy Nexus. This of course was running pure Google, or whatever was the closet to it at the time. That was also the only "Google" phone I have used. But if I had to choice either a Samsung or Pixel to spend my money on I would go with a Pixel.
  • Yes...Sammy for the win! I use Samsung's / Google's ecosystem for most things. Have a note 10 plus, active 2 watch/ Google home hubs/ Chromecast...all seems to integrate pretty dang well.
  • My unlocked SD s20+ has gotten monthly security patches on near or even on the first of the month. Nearly all of the features on android 11, and even most of the ones on IOS 14 have been on One UI for a long time. Samsung sets the bar.