Do you think Samsung software has too much bloat?

Galaxy Note9 One UI
Galaxy Note9 One UI (Image credit: Android Central)

If you're in the market for a new Android phone, it's often hard to go wrong with one from Samsung. The company's Galaxy S and Note flagships are consistently some of the easiest to recommend for most people, offering things like great displays, performance, cameras, etc.

For some folks, however, Samsung phones are a tough sell because of their software. We've come a long way from the dark days of TouchWiz and the Samsung Experience, with One UI offering a cleaner aesthetic and plenty of features. Even with the various improvements we've seen over the years, Samsung's take on Android just isn't for everyone.

Someone in our AC forums recently asked what people through about Samsung's current software setup — specifically, how it handles bloatware.

I was in the same boat as you until I bought my first ever Samsung phone (the S10) in October of last year! I'll try and give you my jumbled impressions - I haven't had much coffee yet! While I am not a fan of bloatware, especially coming from an unlocked Pixel 2, I am kind of used to it now, if that makes sense. I know which Samsung apps I'll use and which ones will kind of get in my way....

Morty2264

I agree with Ambassador. I have had my 10+ since they came out and love it. There is an option where you can "hide" your unwanted (bloat) apps completely from the app drawer so unless you actually go searching for them, you don't even know that they are on your phone. As far as the updates my carrier is USCelluler and I seem to get my update fairly on time. Battery life is pretty good, and it is...

CChamp

A combination of uninstalling, disabling and ignoring. Them trying to push their own ecosystem doesn't really bother me, I ignore their email app and those like it. The stuff that bothers me which gets removed or disabled is third party crap like Fortnite and LinkedIn... And the ad for McAfee in device care is almost enough to make me not buy from them again lol. But, it can be ignored...

fuzzylumpkin

Now, we want to hear from you — Do you think Samsung software has too much bloat?

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.

34 Comments
  • Don't know if it's the bloatware, if I happened to get a lemon or if it's just a poor product in general, but my Tab A has been nothing but minor troubles from the get-go.
  • It's actually minimal, in my opinion. I've seen much worse in the past with various manufacturers.
  • Which god awful manufacturers make the crap that comes pre-installed on a Samsung look light?
  • Blu, zte. They were both far worse than my note 3 Verizon. It was super bad.
  • I have the Unlocked S20 from Samsung.virtually no bliatware.I always buy unlocked, have for many years.
  • Not just the bloatware, but the need to change things to be different for no functional reason. It's unfortunate because they have good hardware, but the software keeps me from buying one.
    I've had LG and Moto previously - LG is OK. Moto is fairly close to pure Android. But now that I have a Pixel, I don't think I will ever go back. Why manufacturers can't see that pure Android is a good thing is beyond me.
  • Pure Android is just not selling that many units.
  • Yep. I think so. Bixby alone is bad enough, nevermind all the rest of the preloaded and hard to get rid of stuff. That is why I prefer the Android One programme and the devices which offer it, specifically Nokia. A clean, simple and straightforward version of the software. No bells and whistles, uncecessary add-ons or useless features. Of course, I'm only speaking for myself. For me, Samsung has never been a brand I've been interested in, in terms of both hardware or software.
  • Same here, I just don't see the appeal of Samsung devices, they're software doesn't interest me at all, it's like navigating a maze with Samsung software when I tried my older siblings Galaxy S6 a few years ago. I'd rather use an iPhone than Samsung and in fact that's what I will be doing in the summer (iPhone 11 and iPad as I want to be in Apple's ecosystem)) as Android as a whole is beginning to lose it's appeal for me outside of a Pixel.
  • S20+ international here.
    I've dealt with all the bloat from day one. There are many customization options available, it would or wouldn't be bloat depending on the person. If the bloat isn't ads, then i don't mind. BTW, the Force Darkmode under Developer Options works really well.
  • Here we go again. The third anti-Samsung clickbait article in less than 2 weeks. Joe Maring must have had a really bad experience with Samsung, and is now suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Samsung Disorder)
  • It's ok to not like Samsung's ugly and bloatware infested software, I don't want or need extra gimmickry features that I'll never use and I don't want an inferior browser to Chrome or a poor imitation of the superior Play Store with inferior duplicate Samsung apps, nor do I like their smartwatches either. The Apple watch is far superior and that's why I'm going all in the Apple ecosystem because their overall experience and ecosystem is better than Samsung and pretty much all of Android including the Pixels at least as far as ecosystem goes. Outside of the Pixel, Android has begun to lose it's appeal to me and I'm realising everyday that I was wrong to ditch Apple over, 2 years ago but thankfully I'm writing that wrong with an iPhone 11 and iPad and eventually an Apple Watch followed by a Mac..
  • Choice and freedom in Android OS.... Oh, wait, no Samsung, your are offering too much choice, be more like Apple! 🤣 The three comments captured in the article sum up Samsung software well. That is to say, it's a one time nuisance to deal with when you set up your phone. For me, the superior Samsung flagship hardware is worth a slightly longer new phone set up process. I refuse to buy a Chinese phone, and I'd have to squint to notice the alleged camera greatness on the otherwise inferior Pixel phones. I don't upgrade phones often, so I don't find Samsung bloatware an issue... That's something I had to do once three years ago on the Note 8 I use. The few extra apps take a little time to hide and disable, but that's it. Bloatware has zero performance costs. Along with other Android settings, I set them up on a new phone and I leave them. I don't spend any further time running around settings... But I guess a vocal minority do. I'll see what 2022 offers... Maybe something then (5 years) will convince me to upgrade. By all means, if you don't like Samsung phones, then choose something else. But when fundamentalist "pure android" users write and whine about Samsung, what they are really saying is they want fewer software app choices and fewer Android sub menu setting decisions. Ok, fine, lol... People are different... I never found Sansung software that complicated.
  • Bore off @Northern Arbiter.
  • I've been with Samsung since the Note 3. Their bloat has cut down significantly over the years (Note 8 now) but there are a number of Samsung software things they can do without (Bixby, voice commands) because others do it extremely better. I hate only being able to "disable" (HaHa), you should have the option to completely remove. Samsung has great software and the good vastly outweighs the bad for me.
  • Yes. All are. I should be allowed to choose what software I want/need on my device.
  • Heck yeah. I only use 10% of the pre-installed Samsung apps.
  • It's way too busy with too many useless features.
  • Yes Samsung's software is too bloated for me, I don't need another browser that won't sync between, Windows, iPhone and Android, I don't need an inferior Samsung app store and I don't need Samsung services being pushed in my face. So yeah, their software is why I will NEVER buy their phones and I'm happy with my decision, ok happy with not having useless and gimmickry features I'll never use. I don't want that many features, I just want the features are truly useful, that add to my user experience and right now I think as a visually impaired person, Apple offers what I want overall and at least when I increase the font on an iPhone, it scales oroperly with all apps so I don't get some text cropped. I can't believe Android still can't scail large font properly in 2020.
  • Some of the samsung apps are better than on pixel like calendar, messages, email client, contacts and dialer. So, i don't mind.
  • Let's have a moan, shall we.
  • Yes. If Samsung ever released a phone with vanilla Android it would outsell prior models highly. Until then, I'll stick with my Pixel phones.
  • Lol tell that to the Samsung Google play editions of devices.... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Google_Play_edition_devices
  • They didn't sell well because carriers didn't sell them. Only being availabel online (especially a few years ago) is going to really limit sales of phones.
  • At this point there is minimal app "bloat" on the new Samsung models. However I would argue there is too much feature bloat that only a fraction of people find useful. (looking at you bixby)
    Also the fact that they refuse to just adopt google apps is annoying, especially for handling pictures. In 202 do we really still need a separate default galley app on phones? How is that helping people who don't know any better that its not backing up their stuff. And its just sloppy imo.
  • I could do without all the Google crap that can't be uninstalled, actually. Samsung Internet is better than Chrome. Music is better than Play Music. Mail is better than Gmail...for me, at least.
  • My only complaint is the bloat ware from Verizon or attt
  • I can't really explain what it is about Samsung phones both hardware and software except to say I just can't 'click' with them. It's nothing specific really, it's just the way they do things doesn't work for me in the way that a more 'stock' experience does. And while their hardware is obviously well designed I just find it a bit meh.
  • Frankly I don't care, I use what really works well for me and disable / ignore the rest.
  • I really appreciate the product
  • The couple I have used certainly did, I know the UI is better these days than what it used to be, but I think it is still bloated, like why does it need another personal assistant when there is one built into Android?
    i used to have a Nexus 4 and that was good phone and had plain Android, yes there was apps i would liked to have got rid off, but at least the UI was pure Android. I have now got a huewei p10 lite, while it does have a skin the EMUI skin on, it is not too bad and certainly not bloated. the phone is not perfect, but then none of them are, it does have some apps i would love to get rid off, the awful MS switftkey keyboard for a start, I can put another as default, but the keyboard is still om the phone. The other thing is the Huewie ID thing, why is that needed? Not that i have signed into it? Samsung seems to want to add more and more to their phones for no reason at all, it is a shame as the hardware is normally good, but is let down by the software, not that I have any plans to by a Samsung, they are over hyped, my next phone i think will be a xiaomi.
  • It's ok to not like Samsung's ugly and bloatware infested software, I don't want or need extra gimmickry features that I'll never use and I don't want an inferior browser to Chrome or a poor imitation of the superior Play Store with inferior duplicate Samsung apps, nor do I like their smartwatches either. The Apple watch is far superior and that's why I'm going all in the Apple ecosystem because their overall experience and ecosystem is better than Samsung and pretty much all of Android including the Pixels at least as far as ecosystem goes. Outside of the Pixel, Android has begun to lose it's appeal to me and I'm realising everyday that I was wrong to ditch Apple over, 2 years ago but thankfully I'm writing that wrong with an iPhone 11 and iPad and eventually an Apple Watch followed by a Mac. The pro Samsung comments attacking this article makes me ashamed to be an Android user thankfully Android won't be my main phone in August.
  • Good luck with that. Being forced to use all Apple's inferior stock apps as default. Safari is awful and still doesn't have pull down to refresh to this day. That kills me everytime I use it. Not being able to swipe down from the lockscreen to check your notifications is another big bugbear, a 'back' gesture that sometimes works on some apps but doesn't work all the time on all apps so you end up trying to swipe right to go back but end up faffing around reaching for your last page. I could go on all day to be honest but the days of saying iPhone "just works" is long gone. It's became a convoluted pain in the butt to use and don't even get me started on the fact there's still no Always On Display. I'll stick with my Galaxy S20 Ultra over my iPhone 11 Pro any day thanks. The screen alone and camera features kill the iPhone for me never mind all the other stuff. And Apple watch is a walled garden too. I've had 3 of those and you can't even choose your own notification tones just like the iPhone. Screw that. Galaxy watch beats it in most ways and still WearOS does too tbh
  • I don't see any of the stock Samsung apps as Bloatware on my unlocked Note 10+. I use every single one of them except email. Which i use outlook for that because thats what is required for work.
    I also use Samsung Goodlock to fully customize my device.
    And I run Microsoft Launcher on top of it.