Samsung makes excellent phones, but there's one reason why I won't buy them

Samsung Galaxy S20+
Samsung Galaxy S20+ (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

Every year, there are certain Android phones you can rely on for different things time and time again. Google Pixel devices consistently have great cameras, OnePlus phones deliver top-of-the-line specs at competitive prices, and LG handsets are some of the last ones with headphone jacks.

Out of every company in the Android landscape, one that stands out for its unwavering consistency is Samsung. The company's Galaxy S and Note flagships are always some of the most well-built, eye-catching, and powerful on the market. Not only does this mean we regularly give Samsung phones high marks in our reviews, but it also makes them incredibly easy to recommend to just about anyone. That shows in Samsung's numbers, with the company being cemented as the world's largest phone manufacturer for almost a decade.

There's no denying the quality of Samsung's high-end Android phones or the success it's seen because of them, but despite all that, they're never devices I'm genuinely interested in spending my own money on.

If you caught my editorial last week, you probably know where this is going. I recently talked about the importance of software on smartphones and why it's something we should be analyzing just as much as we do for a handset's processor, display, or camera. In that editorial, I mentioned that One UI is the main reason why I tend to ignore Samsung phones. Today, I want to expand on that a little more and offer some additional insight as to why that is.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S9

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

I've used Samsung phones through all three of the major iterations the company's custom software has gone through. My first Android phone was a Galaxy S Fascinate during the hay day of TouchWiz, I rocked a Galaxy S8 and S9 powered by the Samsung Experience, and the S10 and Note 10 were the devices through which I first got familiar with One UI.

One UI is a massive improvement over TouchWiz, but that wasn't a high bar to surpass in the first place.

To give credit where credit is due, Samsung's software has gotten better with every new release. One UI is a night and day difference compared to the days of TouchWiz, largely thanks to its cleaner design and less cartoony icons and sound effects. However, there's still something about it that feels very Samsung-y.

Maybe it's because I'm so used to what Android looks/feels like on a Pixel, Motorola, or OnePlus phone, but so many elements of One UI feel like they're changing things just for the sake of being different — not necessarily better. For example, why change the app drawer to scroll horizontally instead of vertically? You swipe up or down to access the app drawer, so then shifting to a horizontal swipe to move through your installed apps feels off. It also means you can't swipe down anywhere on the home screen to access your notification panel, which is arguably one of Android's best gestures. Oh wait, except you can — after you go to Settings -> Display -> Home screen -> Swipe down for notification panel. Yes, this is so much better.

There's also the whole One UI design language, which while better than previous Samsung interfaces, feels completely different from pretty much everything else on your phone. Samsung crafted a very distinct and unique look for its apps, meaning you're constantly juggling between the way Samsung apps look/feel, Google apps, and other ones you have installed. This is something a lot of people probably don't pick up on or even care about, but it's something I notice every single time I use a Samsung phone.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Working hand-in-hand with the stark design difference is the laundry list of features Samsung loads onto its phones. There are a lot of people that love Samsung handsets because of this very reason, arguing that they get a lot of value out of how much utility these features bring. If that's you, more power to ya. Personally, I think it clutters up the entire experience and makes using a Galaxy phone a bit headache-inducing. Here are just a few examples:

  • You can add an Android Nougat-era app drawer icon for opening the app drawer on your home screen.
  • Edge panels allow you to store apps, contact shortcuts, and widgets by swiping over from the edge of your screen.
  • There's a theme store for changing the look of your phone, but many of them cost money.
  • Swipe your palm over the screen to take a screenshot, which is somehow easier than holding the volume and power buttons.

What am I really gaining from having two app stores on my phone?

And that's not to mention all of the duplicate apps and services Samsung still insists on offering. Not only does Samsung have its own clock, contacts, keyboard, email, and gallery apps separate from what Google already offers, but we also have to deal with things like the Galaxy Store — making you juggle between two separate application storefronts on your device. So simple, right?

Yes, you can ignore or disable many of these things and customize a Galaxy S20 or Note 10 to look like a Pixel or Android One device, but that requires a lot of extra work to make a phone work the way I want it to. Instead of fighting with the way my phone was designed, I'd rather go with something a bit simpler that's fine-tuned just how I like it right out of the gate. A good example is how OnePlus handles OxygenOS, which offers a few excellent additional features on top of stock Android while still showing a great deal of restraint. It's a setup that works incredibly well, and it's one I think Samsung should strive for.

Galaxy Note9 One UI

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

As I noted in my previous editorial, software is a highly subjective thing. I suspect a lot of you feel the same way I do about the way Samsung's software, whereas another group of people will think I'm off my rocker.

There's no right or wrong answer to this debate — just personal opinions from experience. As someone that places a great deal of value in simplicity, Samsung handsets don't vibe with me. I'd kill for a Google Play Edition of the Galaxy S20, but I know that day will never come. As such, I'll keep sticking with Pixel and OnePlus phones and keep an eager eye out for what Two UI, One UI Wiz, or whatever the next big evolution of Sammy software brings to the table.

Why software is infinitely more important than any other phone spec

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

  • Couldn't agree more. I'm using an s10+ coming from the OnePlus6t and the software experience is jarring with UI. Why does Samsung try to duplicate everything that Google has? Google does it better and I feel like I'm always fighting for the soul of my phone. If Samsung would have gone to stock Android like Moto or OnePlus I think the Android vs iOS battle would be much closer. Stock Android with Samsung hardware would be a true iPhone killer!
  • How difficult is it to choose the app you want for a specific function? It takes 5-10 minutes, tops. For instance, I prefer Gallery over Google Photos, Gboard over Samsung Keyboard, and Outlook over both Gmail and Samsung Email.
  • Agreed 100%. It's just as easy to set your preferences and do it however you like on Samsung as on any other Android phone. I share your preferences and add Nova Launcher and I'm off to the races.
  • For me ide love them to just use one note instead of the samsung notes or email client ect. My issue is that although I can set defaults there are some things in the ui I can change and makes it frustrating. Tbh ide love a android phone with out anything on and you pick. Part of the reason I'm looking at replacing my note 8 with then p40 pro as I can kind of do this and be interesting to see my phone with only the apps I want. (not a big google user)
  • Dude you can uninstall almost every preinstalled app these days. I think the only two you cannot remove are Messages and Calendar. I got rid of Email and Internet. Preinstalled apps aren't a problem if you can remove them. Gallery is a different type of app to Google Photos. Which is terrible if you don't also use Google Photos. I don't.
  • I would probably buy a pixel if it weren't for the fact that Goggle has a vested interest in the cloud and appears to be completely against ever having sdcards in their products again, even if just to have the latest android experience, but I've been buying Samsung lately and it really isn't that big of a deal. I don't partake of the whole Samsung store/apps experience - I literally ignore it, and they finally let you turn off Bixby a year or so ago. So what about it really bothers you? In the early android days everyone would rail on about bloat or an enforced home page experience on a given phone, and the alternate GUI wrappers were common, but I think with faster processors most people literally don't care. I understand the aficionados get really into it and want to micro-manage everything, but that's not the majority. People just want to get on with their lives. I find there's a lot of quality of life aspects of samsung phones that just work out of the box and make them incredibly easy phones to use.
  • Sounds like the rantings of a secret Apple fanboys. I've owned as many Samsung phones as you. Also used iPhones. If you're honest, you'll admit iOS is the most limited OS on the planet. They've used the same interface since the iPhone 3. Apple is afraid of change.
  • OR just maybe change ain’t needed cause the OS doesn’t what it needs to do? They sell a lot of phones for you all to keep thinking 100s of millions of people are FANS lol.
  • iOS has what it needs to, there's a reason why people continue to buy iPhones, because iPhones are the most secure phones and instead of pointing out iOS weaknesses try to understand why a lot of people choose iPhones over Android, the better quality apps, the optimisation, the ecosystem the long term software support that a lot of people do care about, there's a reason why Apple is the number 1 smartphone vendor in he UK and US, I don't care about you other countries and I've done my research.
  • That’s Apple. Their interface for macOS hasn’t changed much since OS X was released 19 years ago. It’s functional and works for their customers. Apple doesn’t like changing things unless they have to, not like Windows or Android launchers with some updates changing the way you use your device (like MS getting rid of the Start Menu all together for a full touch interface with Windows 8/8.1).
  • That is really the only reason why I don’t buy Pixel phones, that and their hit or miss Bluetooth. Google doesn’t want to release anything with more than 128GB of storage and they don’t want to support microSD cards. I’m sure there are people fine with having 64-128GB of storage built into their phones but I like to take stuff with me as I’m not always in areas with reception (on a daily basis).
  • "I'd kill for a Google Play Edition of the Galaxy S20, but I know that day will never come." Because you're the only one who wants to replace the best version of Android with the sh*ttiest version of Android. Fortunately for everyone, you're in a ridiculously small minority and consumers disagree with you. Enjoy your iPixels and living in 2016 ;)
  • I'd buy one
  • Yeah its a stupid article. Oh noes, you have to pay for artists to design new themes and fonts that offer a way of customization that no other Android brand offers? Who knew?
  • Enjoy your Samsung bloatware @DJCBS because Android is all about choice and you Samsung knights are a Cancer that needs to be eradicated and is one of many reasons why I'm switching back to iPhone and iOS among other things.
  • Do you even read what you type before hitting the submit button? Listen to yourself. Calling people a "cancer that needs to be eradicated" because they prefer something different than you? You need serious help. Get a life.
  • I said only Samsung Knights like this DJCBS clown who always bashes stock Android and Google, I have no problem with someone liking something different to me, what I have a problem with is the abuse that the cancerous Samsung knights are spewing over an opinion that I happen t agree with.
  • I rely on the S-Pen a lot. Because of that, I've gone through most of the Notes up to the Note 9 which suits me fine right now. I also use Nova Launcher Prime and PD MDM. Did it take awhile a few iterations of the Note ago to set the phone up? Sure. Can I back all those settings up so all I have to do is install them on a new phone and I'm good to go? Yes. I can't stand the Edge app, can't stand Bixby, there are a few others I don't want. Those two apps take care of it all for me. I'd use them on any Android phone I have to have a phone exactly the way I want it, so it's not just Samsung.
  • Yeah you set it up once and then its fine for whatever device you buy next. Setting it up is like an hour of work and you'll be using that setup for many years after...
  • My problem with Samsung was with a pad that only got one software update. I've been leery of every Samsung device since. Perhaps Chromebooks are better since Samsung doesn't control the update cycle?
  • Indeed Chromebooks are completely different in respect to updates. Every Chromebook has an AUE (auto update expiration) date so you know exactly how long it will be supported. In the past you could expect around 5 years but newer Chromebooks will get updates for 8 years or more. Just be sure to check the AUE before buying any ChromeOS device.
  • If you're using the stock UI on any phone (let alone basing entire articles on it), you're doing it wrong. I'm still using a Samsung Galaxy S9 and I've never once experienced OneUI or whatever it's called. I immediately replaced it with Action Launcher (like I always do on a new phone) and it's been just fine.
  • That's your opinion. Mine is that use whatever works best for you, & for me it's OneUI. Most apps have their own UI design anyway (which may or may not be consistent with the system), so it doesn't make much difference what launcher you use.
  • You cannot escape any phone's "stock UI" by merely replacing the're just covering up parts of it. The notification shade, settings menus, and other system stuff will still be there no matter what (unless you install a different ROM).
  • I'm definately in the simplicity camp. When I finally gave up on Windows phone I bought a galaxy s phone and absolutely hated it. Just so much going on and to me felt way too complicated, like you said 'headache inducing' this almost put me off android straight away but I sent it back and after reading many glowing reviews bought an original Moto g. The difference was like night and day, I loved it and clicked with it straight away. It was like a completely different OS. It is definitely down to the individual and it's good that there is different choices like pixel, one plus, Motorola and Nokia for simplicity and Samsung etc for folks who maybe feel they getting more for their money with extra features. I know one plus are getting toward Samsung prices but they probably the closest to Samsung hardware levels with a clean software experience. At least the choice is there.
  • I like Samsung's email app and Gallery. I don't like its calendar, but Google's looks like someone thought a calendar would look good in a clown suit. I use a third-party app. Samsung has a great dark mode. Beyond that, I don't worry too much; I've installed Smart Launcher on every phone I've had for the past 7 years, now. I have a backup phone--a Nokia 7.1--that 's Android One; the one UI difference that I really notice (besides dark mode) is that, on my Samsung, the settings icon is at the TOP of the quick settings panel, and on the Nokia, it's at the bottom. I find Samsung's arrangement much more convenient.
  • Samsung's software and OnePlus' camera are the reasons I have a Pixel right now. Software is so much better than it used to be, but I was on Nexus since the 5, so not clean enough. OnePlus camera is better than it used to be, but still cannot capture any amount of movement and gets watercolored indoors.
  • Only one reason? How about several?
  • Are you a Samsung or stock guy/girl? Sorry can't tell from your comment
  • Huh? Samsung stock guy or girl? Sorry, I can't tell if you are drunk or sleep deprived... So let me spell it out for you. I don't like Samsung. Not their hardware, nor their software. And I think that there several valid reasons for that rather than just the one listed here.
  • Well I have just come off a 12 hour night shift so yeah kinda sleep deprived but why you so angry I couldn't work out which side of the fence you was coming from? It was a polite genuine question. And by the way I can't stand Samsung phones either. Also how do I know if you male or female, I'm not quite sure what your profile photo is. Anyway peace brother/sister(I'm gonna guess you a guy)
  • So I pulled double shift...aka 16 hours at a job in a place where you would run out screeming from. So there is that... But anyways. You have a good one...
  • Work in a nursing home looking after dementia and end of life patients, absolutely love it but you definately win the top trumps at 16 hours especially if you don't like it, anyways good on ya, I'm in the UK so going for some shut eye now. Peace ✌
  • @ACorn65 When you have to see mothers and children suffer on yout shift then we'll talk. Until you've seen the face of a child who was raped and abused, or a woman who was used as a punching bag just because...or see women and their children, their babies die on your shift...then we can talk... Try doing that day in and day out for a couple of decades. Then we can talk. But please continue illuminating me about your "challenges and hardships"... You have yourself a nice life. Peace out...
  • You should try yoga or maybe burning a lavender candle to help with your hypertension.
  • Sure. After dealing with the death of a child at work, I will definitely try that... yoga, meditation, I'm sure it will help...hey why not scented candles?! Hey you time I see someone who was beaten within an inch of their life, and look at their broken limbs, bruises and just all around physical and mental damage...I'll try arm wrestling! Yay! Thanks for the suggestions...
  • I didn't know a stock room was so scary.
  • Yeahhh...rape, abuse and torture victims is exactly like being in the stock room! Wow, how couldn't I have seen that before...
  • What a pointless waste of time article. You sound like someone who need iOS. Someone who should be told what to do and use instead of choose it.
  • I don't understand why when someone says they prefer a simple, less cluttered version of Android some folks immediately say get an iPhone? I've tried an iPhone and to be honest it wasn't much different to using a Samsung in the sense of ease of use. I don't buy the whole iPhones are simple thing. Plus the features I like to use aren't even on iOS yet like an AOD. Not everyone needs absolutely everything in their phone to overwhelm them plus most things have an app if you want to add it later.
  • This is his opinion, and one I happen to agree with, I don't need a 3rd party browser or app store on top of the far superior Play Store and Google apps or a UI that's like a maze to navigate nor do I need features that I will never use.
  • iOS is simpler, but my wife had no problem using HTC Sense after being an Apple girl for years. Only thing I had to help her out with was with features iPhones don't have.
  • That's the thing, I like simplicity and updates are also important end frequent updates are the only thing I'm disappointed with my OnePlus 7T and that's why it will be my last phone, while I like Samsung's hardware, I'll never buy their phones because of their software and updates is the reason I stayed away from HTC phones as well. Although I did like the HTC One M7 and M8 but their cameras were really bad against the iPhone so I passed on HTC phones and have no regrets.
  • One UI is not a problem for me. Bixby is.
  • Agreed 100%! A Galaxy S 20 running stock Android would be awesome, and would fly off the shelves. Until then, I'll keep buying Pixels.
  • Camera for anything but perfectly still subjects is why I no longer have a Samsung. Pixel is a dull phone but the camera just delivers 9 times out of 10.
  • Samsung favors longer exposure times for some reason. It's good for landscapes and buildings, not so much for people, pets, or... anything that moves, lol.
  • There's no denying that Samsung makes excellent hardware but I won't buy Samsung phones because of their bloated software and their pathetic software support as I'm a stock Android or close to stock Android guy, always have been and always will be.
  • I have been a stock Android user since the 2014 Moto. I haven't used a Samsung device since the Galaxy S3. Stock Android, or the 'Pixel Experience', is just so much easier to use. I played around with my buddies Note 8 and nothing in the UI made any sense to me. That, and software updates for Samsung are a joke compared to my Pixel 3. I have been tempted to try out Oneplus, but I just love getting timely updates being a Pixel user.
  • I think it is often the case that people don't know any better so they think Samsung software is good...until you use something better and then you can never go back. Samsung's Android software feels tacked on, heavy handed, and convoluted. It has always been this way and although it has gotten much better over the years it's still jarring, annoying, and frustrating once you've experienced Android as it was designed to be.
  • It's too bad that all the "pure" Android phones suck. Until they get better I'll stick to Sammy.
  • Sammy's Android sucks, keep your bloated One UI crap, with useless gimmickry features I'll never use, stock Android is better, easier to use, faster updates along with the stock Android/Oxygen OS being nicer to look at. Shove your Samshyte where the sun don't shine.
  • Three finger swipe on Oneplus for taking screen captures is so much easier to use that the palm thing that Samsung does.
  • All this talk about Sammy's bloated and poor software... my beef with Sammy has always been warranty and phone repair and only two year's of OS updates. What I want and have always wanted from a phone is very good reception and data transfer, reliability, good battery life, it's
    fairly easy to use and a display thats clean and crisp. And my cell phone number has been the same for twenty seven years. YMMV but the software comparisons and differences between Sammy phones and Pixels, frankly, I either don't notice them, don't care to and could not be bothered. If the Sammy phone works well, does a fine job with communications, data, text, camera, browsing and moves through the processes well... so be it, I'm very satisfied.
  • Stopped reading when the writer said swiping down anywhere doesn't bring down the notification panel in One UI. YES IT DOES!
  • If Samsung made a Android One phone, with stock Android and security updates every single month on time and THREE years Android updates, THEY COULDN'T MAKE ENOUGH OF THOSE PHONES!! They would sell out in every country on Earth.
  • I completely agree.
  • A Samsung Galaxy S phone with stock Android is a phone I'd definitely buy, it's ugly and bloatware infested software is the only reason I have no interest in their phone.
  • I changed to Samsung with the S20 after using nothing stock Android(or close) phones. Honestly prefer One UI now.
  • I think most people who dislike Samsung One UI simply don't take the time or have the interest in going through all the settings. Yes, the setup process for a Samsung is more tedious than other devices, but Samsung also offers more options (some people prefer to call those extras "bloatware", but that is another discussion). Once you get it setup the way you want, you rarely have to change anything. But many people just want to get through setup process as quickly as possible, and have no intention of opening the settings menu again. Some people like to explore and tinker, and some people just want the "standard" experience. Different strokes for different folks.
  • Good for you, I have no interest in ever Samsung because of their horrible UI and software, I've always been a stock Android guy, since the days of the Nexus 6 and won't change, I value a clean and tidy stock like Android with only Google apps.
  • We get it! You are bland and boring!
  • I prefer simplicity and ease of use over bloatware infested software if that makes me bland and boring to you cancerous fanboys then I don't care. I like what I like and as you cannot respect others preferences then I ain't gonna respect yours. You cancerous Samsung knights.
  • The only cancerous fanboy commenting here is you! Crap man get a life! I don't respect you due to you seeing you comment the same crap on multiple comments on here. Your opinion means about f*** all to me!
  • I don't respect anyone of you Android snobs thank goodness I'm switching to an iPhone, Android central has become toxic with you lowlife scummy snobs with your "Samsung is the best" crap and your constant bitchiness over an opinion piece. So what, I just realized after over 2 years with Android that I prefer iPhones and you toxic scum are making it easier to drop Android altogether now get a life and don't talk to me again, or I will report your comment you Samsung fagboy.
  • you literally spend HOURS a day posting your Toxic opinions and tell people how they are wrong to like Samsung, or android or anything YOU don't like but yet THEY are the toxic ones? why don't you just let people like what they like and go get a life outside of android central bashing android users.
    i am sure EVERYONE is glad you are switching to iOS, now why don't you swtich to iOS sites and get out of here with your android hate.
    You post at least 15 times on literally every single article. if you are on iOS and hate android, LEAVE. You are the toxic cancer on the site. not the android users.
  • I'm giving them a taste of their own medicine, I have no problem with them liking Android, I like Android ffs I'm not the one accusingly the author of this article of "liking iPhones and iPads" I'm at least respecting his opponent which u don't see much of on here, yes I go too far a lot of the time, but hey this is the internet. Even when I switch back to iOS I will still come to Android Central and annoy all of the Samsung Knights because I love seeing all of the Android "fans" lose their heads over am Apple article, it's so hilarious and sad at the same time.
  • I cannot stand Samsung phones for this very reason.
  • Echoing this. Used an S10+ for a bit and I went back to my Pixel 4 after 2 weeks because OneUI just isn't for me. Definitely has its merits but I much prefer the boring & simplistic software experience of Pixels, other Android phones with stock-ish skins (Sony, OnePlus, etc.) And iPhones over the feature-heavy and bloaty-feeling skins of Samsung, LG, and the like.
  • I really love Samsung One UI is so user friendly and lot of customization....
    Infact i dont like pure Android...
    Find it boring...
    Never used a oneplus os but ppl love that also
  • I hate Samsung UI and is the reason why I won't use their phones, I don't understand what people see in their ugly and bloatware infested UI, I like pure Android and Oxygen OS and iPhones over Samsung or any other Android phone with a UI that's that's not clean. I only want Google apps on my phone I don't care about inferior OEM 3rd party apps.
  • Truth is most people find stock android to be meh.
  • The truth is most people don't know what stock Android is so you cannot at most people find stock Android meh, but Android is all about choice and if prefer stock Android to Samsung's bloated trash.
  • I recently used a S20+ and man it was sooo annoying having Samsung push all of their stuff in your face. It's like your phone is fighting with itself, like no use the galaxy store, no use samsung internet, no use Samsung Pass and on and on. I'm with you Joe if I went Android full time again I would definitely stay away from Samsung.
  • Hates TouchWiz but loves iPhones and iPads. Never mind that with the former you have the option of changing launchers and default apps but the latter ... no dice. AndroidCentral eh guys?
  • Bore off @centosguy.
  • I have had Samsungs and Pixels and there are things I prefer on one or the other. I much prefer the simplicity of having only one version of an app per phone, but I would need to pick and choose whose version for each app. Most of the time it I use the stock Android version, but there are some things that are just so much easier to do with the Samsung version I will open that one when I need them. Right now I am using a Note and being able to hit the key I want on the first try almost every time instead of once in a blue moon is worth the things I am annoyed by. I should think it is obvious by now that different people value different features in their phones and use them in different ways. That is why we have so many vendors and phones and models in the first place. Even the lamest piece of crap you have ever seen was someone's idea of the next best thing.
  • Well said and one of the few constructive comments that isn't attacking Joe for his reasons for not buying Samsung phones, I share his opinion but truth be told I'm getting bored of Android and I'm switching back to iPhone and plan to go all in the Apple ecosystem because I feel that apps are better quality on the iPhone, 5 years of software support, better optimisation as all iPhones are unified as one phone along with iMessage and facetime( Duo comes close) and ease of use (I'm not saying Android isn't easy to use because it is if it's a Pixel, Android One or OnePlus) but I don't really customise my phone beyond setup I prefer not having many features to overwhelm me.
  • If android was like iOS and every phone looked and performed the same this wouldn't even be a thing and everybody would simply get used to how their phone worked like anyone with an iPhone does as there would be no choice. The fact that android manufacturers can customise the OS to make it distinctly their particular 'skin' to make it look or behave the way they want it to simply means people can choose the one that suits them the best. It only really becomes a problem if you like the hardware of a phone but hate the skin on the phone. This is probably most noticeable with Samsung and pixel phones as Samsung make some lovely phones but personally I can't stand their version of Android so won't buy one, or the pixel can seem rather outdated or poorly designed eg big notch or bezels and weak battery but much cleaner software and longer software support. It ends up with how much you want to compromise to get the hardware or software that most suits your needs but at the end of the day I'm sure if I bought a Samsung phone and used it for a while I'd simply get used to it and it wouldn't be an issue anyway. It's only because the choice is there that this is even a thing.
  • What a terrible article? You don't like the startscreen? Use an alternate launcher. Anything can mimic what Samsung does with that, so there's no issue there.
    Can't swipe down? Oh wait, there's an actual setting there. Might be one of those things for your next "tips and tricks for samsung phones" article that is just basically a list of items about "go through the settings and you'll find this easily" OneUI specializes in one-hand usage. Something Android really lacks. And something Samsung should be applauded for. It also has more in-depth customization with the fonts and the themes. Sure there are paid ones but you don't have to use those. And what a horrible suggestion to have to pay artists for their work. Brrrrrr. Other manufacturers don't provide this level of customization, but somehow Samsung gets flack for it. What the hell... And yes there is another app store. Big whoop. Has a smaller percentage for Samsung than what apps pay Google at the Play Store. Some neat discounts can be found there. Its Steam vs Epic Games Store all over again. Nobody cares, just install from wherever and get it over with. I'd rather have it this way where apps download and update then waiting for major updates for slight changes and bugfixes. Its not difficult either and its quite an upgrade from the default Google Apps too, offering more features and customization. We got devices with 64 gigs, who cares if there are 2 agenda apps downloaded? You can just hide them from wherever so you'll only see the one you want to use. God forbid you take an hour to go through all the settings on your phone to set them and then use that as a backup for every device you then buy. And if you use a custom launcher, you can get your apps listed on whatever device you want. I don't want to decrease the amount of settings I can change. Thats why I'm using an Android and not an iOS device. I don't want a pure Android experience because lets face it: its barebones, ugly and lacks a lot of handy features that we come to expect nowadays. But good luck on the default Android skins that will get features I've been using in forever in the next year or so...
  • FFS this right there is why I'm switching back to iPhone, you morons get so upset over an opinion? Which I happen to agree with z I don't give a crap about extra features I'll never use, I don't care about and don't need duplicate OEM apps which are mostly inferior to the Google apps, I want my Android experience pure !or close to it), clean and smooth with frequent updates and simplicity, I will never use Samsung's ugly and garbage software, you don't like pure Android? I don't like disgusting bloatware infested UIs like OneUI. I especially prefer iOS to OneUI. I don't care about tinkering with my phone, I just want to enjoy my phone and not be overwhelmed by excessive gimmickry features and a clutter interface. Take your rants to people who give a crap, to a Samsung forum with like minded fools like you who make me ashamed to be an Android user. Android fanboys, especially Samsung fratboy are a Cancer and can't even respect an AC writer's opinion, Joe Maring recently wrote a Galaxy Tab S6 Lite review and because he recommended an an iPad over it, the Samsung knights on here lost their minds. So sad and pathetic.
  • It all makes sense now!!! Either you are Joe Maring or you are in love with him! Which one is it?
  • None I'm defending his right to his opinion and the pro Samsung Knights are attacking him left, right and centre.
  • I've got an S10+ and have spent a lot more than an hour customising it to get it how I want it. And by that I mean close to stock Android, because I'm a previous OnePlus owner. It simply isn't accurate to make out that it's easy to do or can be done completely successfully. Changing mail and browser is of course easy, contacts too. Launcher is a pain because the second you use a custom launcher the phone disables gesture navigation. Also, you cannot completely remove Samsung's changes (e.g. icon shapes), so the icons in the task switcher don't match the launcher icons. My biggest problems came trying to use the Google Phone app instead of the Samsung version. It can be done with an APK download but it's quite glitchy to use. The problem with OneUI is it's so different in style to Android that it doesn't integrate with the rest of the OS and applications visually. Before buying the phone I read a lot of opinions about how OneUI is much improved over TouchWiz (true) and a great UI (not true in my opinion). Next time round I think I'd rather take the hit on camera quality and get another OnePlus. Or get a Pixel if things improve there.
  • AC staff are certainly entitled to post editorial opinion articles. But lately this site has taken a noticeable anti-Samsung stance. Joe Maring already voiced his distaste for Samsung's One UI, and follows up with this article less than a week later. Almost as if he feels the need to rationalize his continued bashing of Samsung. I can't wait for next week's editorial. Probably along the lines of "How Samsung stole my wife/girlfriend and ran over my dog"
  • Yup, until Sammy releases the next phone and AC will be drooling over the brilliance of it again.
  • Good and I hope they continue, because I'm anti Samsung because of their garbage and bloatware infested skin.
  • ya these aren't articles. the chumps can't actually write articles. they know how to click bait a 2-3 paragraph of random garbage with no research or foundation. This site was 'ok' (wouldn't call it good) back about 4 years ago, it's pure garbage now.
  • I've had my Note 10+ for about 4 months and it's the best phone experience I've ever had.
  • i use iPhone (and sometimes a google pixel) but i still also like LG's UI, Samsung's One UI, etc. each one brings something to the table. I also have a Mac and iPad and a Windows 10 gaming rig..
    Love Windows 10 and MacOS... AT THE SAME TIME EVEN!!!!). mind blown???? (did you know that Linux is awesome too?!)
    You people act like it's a crime for someone to like something YOU don't, and you have to call people names to defend what YOU like.
    Stop being a 12 year old and respect others likes and dislikes. Why do you care what people like and or use? Does it make you 'better' because you use something they don't?
    the 079 thinks it's a crime if people don't agree with it's opinion.
    Here's what it boils down to, if you can't respect every OS on the market for phones and computers, you aren't a tech fan. you are just a fanboy with an opinion. and the ONLY thing you 'want' to hear is YOUR opinion coming out of someone else's mouth.
  • And that's 99.99% of the Android "fans" who pollute this site.
  • 079, so let me get this straight, you are on an android site bashing android fans for liking android?
    android users "pollute" an ANDROID site? seriously dude.... trolls troll i guess
  • I'm not bashing Android the "fans" on here for liking Android, I'm laughing a scathing attacks on those attacking Joe for his preference for a Pixel by giving them a taste of their own medicine.
  • LMAO, an Android editorial, and users, complaiing about all the choice different manufactures give them. But I guess obsessing over very finely sifted small details is all there is to write about. Only reviewers of Android phones for a living get confused by different skin versions of Android. The real world owns one phone, sets it up, never reads a blog post, and could not care less. If I may offer constructive criticism to Android hardware manufactures, it is 2020..... Surely it is possible to enable a choice of a stock Android every manufacturer can agree on, or ebabling something like One UI, by a click of an option when you first set up your phone.... That solution would please everyone.... And doesn't sound impossible to me. Amen to choice.... Don't lose your minds over the luxury of choices. Fact: The Beno account is escilating his personal attacks... It's boorish, repetitive, and about due for a timeout. I respect an opinion, but the Beno opinion is out of control....It might even be a glost account from someone working for Android Central. It's a cancer in the comment area. Reading about newer phone teck is a casual interest. In my opinion, chasing after the latest small changes in flagships every year or two is foolish. Granted, 5G is the shiny new toy that might be of interest if you are in a major urban area almost all of your time.
  • Yep, good points, chill and move on. Peace ✌
    First world problems eh!
  • Bore off @Northern Arbiter we know you're a Samsung shill keep your bloated and trashy software.
  • There’s nothing wrong with OneUI. I was never a fan of TouchWiz and updates used to butcher my phones. My Note Edge was ruined with a major OS update so that the Edge panel no longer worked like it should have. Icons used to be way too cartoonish, having 5-6 different ways of doing the same thing was too redundant, and both security and major OS updates were few and far between (sometimes never happening with the later). But Samsung has improved things so much that OneUI isn’t bad and neither was SamsungExperience before that. Monthly security updates are pushed out and phones are getting major OS updates ~4 months after they’re released. Samsung was also first to implement new features like a system wide dark mode and a few other things that eventually made their way into Android. Their software is no longer a stuttering mess. Samsung is one of the few companies that has found the right balance of hardware and software in their flagship models (haven’t used their low and mid-tier options) that some companies still haven’t figured out. Although Samsung messes up for one generation, they are one of the few companies that has the option for expendable storage. While most everyone else are getting rid of memory card support and gimping internal storage capacity (like Google), Samsung is adding more internal storage and still supporting microSD cards.
  • I hated TouchWiz so much that I avoided buying Samsung phones in spite of the top-notch hardware. OneUI is a big improvement appearance-wise, but I do not understand why Samsung installs bloatware even on their premium phones. One more thing that infuriates me is the fact that the screenshots get backed up to Google photos even though I choose to back up only my camera folder. I think Samsung may be saving screenshots to the DCIM folder. I have not had this problem on any other phone. I do not want my screenshots ruining my Google photos. Until Samsung addresses this issue, and bloatware on 1000 dollar phones, I will continue to not give my money to them.
  • My only gripe with Sammy is Exynos in Europe. It is clearly inferior to SnapDragon.
  • Dude you can uninstall almost every preinstalled app these days. I think the only two you cannot remove are Messages and Calendar. I got rid of Email and Internet. Gallery is a different type of app to Google Photos. Which is terrible if you don't also use Google Photos. I don't.
  • My only gripe these days is feature overload. I'll never use Secure Folders for example. But using Stock Android and it's so basic. The different app design language is a plus point. They can be used with one hand.
  • Samsung is the leading Android phone maker. They basically are building their own ecosystem outside of Google apps. While some suck, some Samsung apps are better A lot of people fail to admit that "stock" Android just adds features every year that Samsung had already. They are leading the innovation more than Google itself seems like.
  • After owning the Samsung Captivate I told myself never to buy another Samsung product again.
  • also, Samsung does not provide technical support.
  • Dear Joe, You totally lost me – and my interest in your opinion piece – when you said one of Samsung’s headache-inducing features for you was its OPTION to take photos using the screen-swipe feature. WHAT?! Since my LG G3, the first thing I’ve done with my two subsequent Android phones, both Samsung (S7 edge and current Note10+), was install Nova Launcher Prime. I don’t recall what those phones’ native UIs look like, but obviously didn’t like it enough, so I exercised my ANDROID OPTION to make changes to my liking. Though Samsung has become better with its software updates, my main concern is their software support policy. When I buy their highest-end phone, a “business” device no less (the Note10+), why would I get just 2 years’ of OS updates? Apple supports their phones, even the cheapest ones I think, with up to 5 years of security and OS support. People buy *a thing* for a myriad of reasons: Besides my Samsung phones, I have other major Samsung electronics in my life. I think they make all-round decent products, giving me as many, or as few headaches, when compared to other brands.
  • I love Samsung internet much more then Chrome
    Same with the mail app (I hate Gmail)
  • I don't like any browser except Chrome and Safari, I'll never use any other browser (especially Samsung) or email except for Gmail and I actually prefer Apple's mail app.
  • I completely agree with this article, I've owned OnePlus phones in the past but this time round I went with an S10+ because it was a great deal and the hardware is exactly what I want. OneUI gets positive comments in quite a few reviews, but this is probably from people who are just relieved it's not TouchWiz. OneUI has disappointed me personally. I get what they're trying to do with the one-handed UI, but the styling of everything is so different to standard Android that it just feels jarring. While changing apps over to stock/Google versions can mostly be done, it's not entirely successful. Changing the launcher disables gesture navigation. If I set the icon shape back to a circle in the launcher, I still see Samsung squircles in the task switcher and settings apps. The phone app is quite tricky to replace, and is glitchy in a few ways. I'd love to see Samsung offer a choice at setup time between a stock (or stock-like) Android setup and their OneUI experience, but done properly so choosing stock gets rid of all the inconsistencies. That and solving the Exynos problem are the two big things they need to do to keep their customers happy.
  • everthing wrong with this article
    your article is based on stock android experience only
    what about the phone experience before android
    menu was horizontal since early mobile phones nokia Motorola java phones if you remember
    and that is much better and sorted way to find tour apps in app drawer and
    Samsung apps are way better and good looking than stock gapps
    duplicate apps seriously u sound lik a ios user
    i have better software support than android
    my ios is smoother ui than android blah blah
    and your article sounds like your just being sarcastic the whole tym in this article
    like your praising Samsung more than pixel n oneplus
    and who buys pixels so your opinion or anything u said as a pixel user doesn't count and oneplus i would consider but stock android is boring as hell
    thats y Samsung sell more phones cuz they know what maximum ratio of consumer wants
    only con about their phone ryt now is exynos
    and even i never bought a Samsung when i used sony z3 z5 which has a horizontal menu btw lik every brand with brain
    i hated for there phone plastic look and software design laggy as hell but after s6 they changed the game so good try to push oneplus but it was never a flagship it was a flagship compromise from the beginning so
    Samsung has achieved the name
    i think and they gonna keep it fo long
    the king of smartphones
  • Thanks for proving my how awful you Samsung knights are, keep your bloated software, gimmicky and convoluted features to yourself. I fully support Joe here.
  • Please try posting again, but this time in proper English.
  • Samsung's fanboys are toxic, they can't respect other people's opinions and excuse people of being "secret Apple fanboys" such is their paranoia and inferiority complex. Samsung makes great hardware but I've never seen the appeal of their inferior wnr bloated software and UI.
  • After reading the comments, I've come to the conclusion that most Android enthusiasts are Pro Samsung and are not respectful of the opinion of Joe Maring's article and I'll admit I have no respect for the pro Samsung users who are the biggest Android snobs with comments like iPhones are for grandmas and kids" and Joe wrote a Galaxy Tab S6 Lite review and for which he was accused of "liking iPads" when he suggested people buy an iPad over the Galaxy S6 Lite which h gave his resources for which I agree with (I'd never buy an Android tablet as they suck)
    which I'll admit I was guilty of doing myself but until recently i thought I'd never come back to iPhone but I realised that I was hasty getting rid of my iPhone 6s Plus, but iOS 11 and "battery gate" forced my hand and having used Android for 2 years, I'm bored of it and realised I'd have to still fiddle with my phone when transferring data from my old Android phone to my new one with only OnePlus doing the best job of transfering all of my data from my Nokia 8.1 to my OnePlus 7T but they aren't the best with updates which is very important to me and Google's backup/restore is rubbish because most of my game data isn't restored or custom ring tones saved by they have what I'm looking for in updates (but I want software support to be as long as Apple) but the optimisation still isn't as good which is an Android issue even though apps on Android aren't as bad anymore but the social media apps are still better on the iPhone and those reasons along with the better app quality, optimisation, better accessibility (I'm visually impaired) 5 years of software support, better ecosystem and so on, if not for me liking stock Android or near stock Android along with Android being useful for apps I can download to watch TV shows like Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash along with Dynasty then I'd drop Android completely. So why Apple will be my daily driver from August when I get my iPhone 11 and iPad 2019, I'll have an Android phone for the reasons I stated as a backup (secondary) phone.
  • Totally nailed it - this is why I left Samsung phones (despite great screens and cameras) a few years ago and it sounds like although they've improved there's still the same issue of bloat, duplication and changes for the sake of changes.
  • Building an OS is like being a politician, you ain't ever gonna please everybody!