Are you going to buy a new Samsung Phone? We highly recommend reading this article.
I have been using Samsung phones for more than 12 years. I’ve used Galaxy S3, S5, Note 3, Note 4, Tablet Note 10.1, A5, A7, and currently using Galaxy S7 Edge. This article is about my decades’ experience with all those Samsung phones.
Some of the cons discussed here would not be obvious to you if you change your phone every 2 years. However, if you keep using a Samsung phone for more than 2 years, then the cons discussed here would become apparent.
Whenever a new phone comes, everyone jumps to review it. A new phone will always perform best in speed and efficiency. However, we believe whether a phone is good or bad depends on how it performs after several years of ownership. For example, people usually don’t want to buy Chinese branded products. Though the price of their product could be low, but their quality is lower compared to other competitive products.
Pros of Samsung Phones:
Best Innovative hardware:
Samsung is one of the most Innovative phone hardware companies in the world. They make the best phone processor, cameras, and display. Samsung’s high-end phones always features cutting edge technologies. In every flagship phone, Samsung is pushing boundaries. They give the best hardware – memory, ram, processor, display, and cameras – in their phones.
Samsung also makes the world’s best phone displays. Samsung is the first company to provide a curved screen on their phone. For example, Galaxy note edge. They are also the first company to mass-market the OLED display on the phone.
Samsung also one of the first brands to provide a fingerprint sensor, heartbeat sensor, iris scanner on its phone.
A flagship Samsung phone is also waterproof and has built-in wireless charging capability. We can also insert an extra microSD card, which is not possible on an iPhone. Every high-end Samsung phones have NFC. Depending on different markets, some phones have dual sim capability.
Samsung always tries to provide the best software features on its phones. For example, the pull-down menu from the top has all the necessary shortcuts — WiFi, Location, Bluetooth, Flashlight, Airplane Mode, etc. — we use all the time.
You can mirror your Samsung phone screen with an MHL cable to your TV (any TV with HDMI input) or a projector easily. This is very useful if you want to give a presentation with a projector and a phone.
Samsung phones also come with a built-in gameplay recording app. Every app on the Google AppStore only records the screen but can’t record internal audio. However, the Samsung gameplay recording app can record the screen with internal sound. This is very helpful for those who want to record their gameplay and share on Youtube, Facebook.
Using the Samsung Mobile Print app, you can connect to any Wireless Samsung Printer and print directly from your phone, bypassing a computer.
You can also use your phone as a Gear VR Screen. Samsung ships its flagship phones with the world’s best display. So, Samsung phones are the best option for a VR screen.
As an Android phone, it’s easy to download, share files from one android device to another device. Compared to the iPhone, that’s huge.
Cons of Samsung phones:
Any new phone will operate very smoothly. However, whether a phone has excellent or bad hardware and software depends on how it performs after a few years of ownership.
No doubt that Samsung is a great hardware company. However, Samsung lags on software. It uses Android as its mobile OS, which is developed by Google. Previously Samsung tried to develop the Tizen mobile operating system, but it failed miserably to capture any market share with this mobile OS. Though Samsung uses this OS in its TV, wearable devices, Fridge, ovens, but that OS has no significant impact on the software market.
I found the following cons are common for every Samsung phone.
A new Samsung phone charges very quickly and holds the charge for a long time. However, after a few years, Samsung batteries perform very poorly. Even if you use a high-speed charger to charge your phone battery, the battery charge will deplete very fast. Before you could replace the battery, but nowadays, in high-end Samsung phones, you can’t do that either.
Samsung phones come with many redundant software. For example, every Android phone comes preloaded with Google’s Email, Chrome, Maps, Drive, Youtube, Google Assistant, etc. apps. At the same time, these phones also come with Samsung’s browser, calendar, smart things, Samsung pay, Samsung Appstore, Email, Samsung Assistant, etc. apps. In some cases, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, etc. comes preinstalled. You can’t uninstall these but only disable these apps. But this is really a problematic issue as even if disabled, these apps take up a lot of storage. For example, I don’t use Facebook, Instagram, or Flipboard. But all these apps taking a lot of valuable storage, which I could have used to store photos or music.
Poor Thermal Management System:
Have you ever played Android games on a Samsung phone? If you did, then I’m sure you noticed the phone becomes very hot during gameplay. Now, play the same games on an iPhone. Did you see the difference? Yes, iPhone did not become too hot like the Samsung phone.
It’s not only games but valid for any process-intensive Android apps on a Samsung phone. The phone sometimes becomes so hot that it becomes very hard to hold it in hand. It’s mainly because of Samsung’s poor battery management system or lack of battery management. This happens to all types of Samsung phones. It does not matter whether it is cheap or flagship phone.
I tried several times to use my Samsung Galaxy S7 edge in Gear VR. After only a few minutes, the phone becomes so hot that I do not use them any more out of safety precautions.
Previously Samsung had a nightmare with its Note 7. Though Samsung tried to blame the whole issue on the lithium-ion battery. However, the battery is not the culprit alone. Note 7 had a massive battery and display. As we already know, Samsung does not have any sound thermal management system on its phone. This made the phone very hot and the battery explosion incidents.
For the last ten years, Samsung had not fixed this problem, and I do not expect them to fix it any time soon.
Software with a lot of bugs:
Samsung, as a whole, is a great hardware company but very poor as a software company. Samsung believes to ship out a phone with buggy software and solve those bugs through over the air updates. It’s a core Samsung philosophy. I have found this to be right all the time.
Lack of Software updates:
A new Samsung phone would receive software updates frequently. However, after 18 months or so, Samsung would stop providing any new software updates. It’s because they have moved to other newer phone projects.
When Apple continuously supports its older phones and provides software updates, Samsung abandons its flagship phones within 2 years. If your phone is not a flagship phone then you would not receive any kind of software updates.
It’s a common issue in Samsung phones. The integrated GPS hardware fails to work correctly after a few years.
For example, I talked to several uber and lyft drivers. According to them in Samsung phone, they face this problem where the Uber and Lyft app fails to get GPS data due to GPS hardware problems. They always need to restart their Samsung phone to mitigate this issue.
Loss of processing power:
A new Samsung phone runs smoothly. However, after a few years, you would notice that apps do not perform very well on performance perspective. Apps would crash frequently, would freeze or worse phone would restart all by itself.
Slow feature phones:
Samsung not only makes Android phones but also feature phones. I used several Samsung feature phones. The software on these phones is very slow compared to other manufacturers. Over time the performance of these phones gets worse. If you are on the market, I do not recommend you to buy a feature phone made by Samsung. Samsung is not new to the feature phone market. They have been making phones for a long time. When Nokia was around, Samsung had a tiny market share. It only succeeded when they adopted Android as their mobile OS.
Cons of Tizen Phones:
Tizen is an operating system initially made by Samsung and Intel. Currently, Samsung uses this OS on their TV, wearable devices, fridge, dishwasher, oven — basically everywhere. There are few Tizen phones on the market, such as Z1. We used the Tizen Z1 and found that the phone was speedy and smooth. However, the AppStore has almost zero app selection. A phone without a good AppStore is useless.
Moreover, writing applications for Tizen OS is challenging. Though developers can write an app using web technologies but native app — written in C — runs faster. To develop a Native app for Tizen is very cumbersome. That’s why there are almost no developers in the world are eager to write apps for Tizen. So, Tizen phones have no future.
That’s why we do not recommend you to buy a Tizen phone because there are almost no apps, games, and tools available for this phone.
Our Experience with Samsung Tablet:
I bought the Samsung Note 10.1 2014 edition in 2013. The specs were great. The screen was 2560 x 1440 pixels LCD display. But unfortunately, it died recently (after 5 years of use) without any warning. It does not take any charge, nor it starts. A Note with $800 price tag should outlast longer than this. It had 16GB memory, but I could use only around 10 GB. The rest of the space was taken by Android OS and Samsung bloatware.
There’s no doubt Samsung makes the best hardware. But they lack in software and long term support. Though I used an iPhone on several occasions but never kept it for daily use purposes. However, after a lot of not so good experience with Samsung phones, I’m thinking of switching to the iPhone next year.
Common Problems with Samsung Phones and their diagnostics:
Why Samsung Phone not charging?
If your phone is not charging or it is charging very slowly, then don’t panic. The majority of the time, the problem lies with the USB wire. We found that most of the time, the wire got damaged somehow, and as a result charge rate through the wire is very poor. First, change the USB charging cable. It will solve your problem. Secondly, not all USB cable can handle fast charging. Always buy a cable that can quickly charge your phone.
Why is Samsung Phone Slow?
A new phone would run smoothly. As the days go by, the phone would become slow. The phone battery could be the main problem source. An old battery causes the processor to run slowly. If you can change the battery of your phone then do it. Most of the time, it would solve the problem. However, if you still see the problem persist, then we suggest you removing some of the android applications such as Facebook, Facebook Chat, etc. apps. These apps take up enormous resources on your phone. Instead, use your mobile browser to use Facebook.
We found that when Facebook is installed, and we use google maps, the maps will crash frequently. After uninstalling Facebook, we noticed that google maps no longer crashes.
Why Samsung Phone get hot?
Its a known issue worldwide for Samsung phones. Samsung has done nothing so far to remedy this problem. When playing mobile games, browsing certain websites, doing video editing, using the phone as a VR screen, Samsung Phones gets very hot. It mainly because of poor thermal management systems and poor software coding. Samsung is not as good as a software company. Internally they still use perforce instead of GitHub. This gives you an idea of how inefficient they are in software. For the last 10 years, they have not fixed this major issue, and we do not expect them to fix it.
Why Samsung Phone Suddenly Switch Off?
If your phone suddenly switches off or restarts for no apparent reason, then don’t panic. It’s a prevalent issue among Samsung devices.