I have been using Samsung devices for almost a year now, and while there are many things I love about them, there are also many areas where I wish Samsung would improve. Unfortunately, the number of things I dislike about Samsung is double the number of things I like.
This post aims to discuss my experience with Samsung phones in terms of both hardware and software. If you are considering purchasing a Samsung phone, please read this post carefully. Do not rely solely on YouTubers or big tech bloggers, as they often only use the phone for a short period of time before reviewing it. Additionally, they may use top-end phones with high storage capacity, which can provide a better experience even in the short term.
In this post, I will be sharing my experience using the Samsung S22 Ultra with 128GB of storage for a year. I believe that most people purchase the base storage model, so this post should be relevant to many readers.
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Let’s talk about Samsung software. This is an aspect that most reviewers overlook when discussing Samsung phones. However, the software is important for users who use their phones for general purposes or heavy usage.
Let’s take a closer look at each aspect and discuss what I like and don’t like.
FYI: Samsung is a well-known brand worldwide, but it was not as widely used in some countries. For instance, in the United States, Samsung’s market share was less than 20%.
UI (User Experience)
The first thing you notice when you start your phone is how the phone works and how the interface and display of the phone look.
Personally, I do not think that the UI is good-looking or easy to use. I rank Samsung One UI as the third-best option after stock Android in Pixel phones and OnePlus phones.
Samsung Exclusive Features
However, this UI has plenty of features that you may never use or know about. Some of them are Samsung Quick Share, Samsung Modes/Routines, Samsung Secure Folder, and many more.
You may see these features as primary and top features of Samsung, but as a user, you may rarely or never use them. Personally, I have never used them.
Samsung Quick Share
Most people are familiar with Apple Airdrop or Android Nearby Share, and Samsung Quick Share is Samsung’s version of both. It is fast, accurate, and works perfectly. However, as I mentioned, most people never use it. Moreover, people are often unaware of the feature’s existence as it only works with Samsung devices. Finding a Samsung user can be challenging, and it becomes even more difficult to you to use multiple Samsung devices, such as a phone, tablet, and Samsung Book (Windows laptop).
Samsung Secure Folder
Many of you may use apps like photo lockers or file lockers, or even app lockers, to keep your phone secure. However, installing all these apps can be risky, as they can potentially install viruses or incur monthly fees. With Secure Folder, you can do all of these things and more, without revealing that these apps are installed on your phone.
However, despite its usefulness, I have never used this option, and I believe that many users who buy the phone are unaware of this feature’s existence.
Samsung phones come with pre-installed apps that are not found on any other phones. While other phones have 2-5 pre-installed apps, Samsung phones have more than 10, and these apps cannot be uninstalled from the phone.
These apps, along with the system, take up more than 35 GB of storage on your phone, which is around 30% of the 128GB storage.
In addition to these pre-installed apps, Google also installs around 10 apps that cannot be uninstalled, taking up a total of around 8GB-10GB of storage.
When you first open your brand new phone, more than 40% of total storage is already used.
Always keep in mind that the primary reason why any device, such as a phone or PC, becomes slow is due to storage. It is recommended to maintain storage at less than 60%.
If you are buying a premium phone, such as the S23, S23 Plus, Z Flip, Z Fold, or S22 Ultra, the base storage is 128GB or less. These phones already come pre-installed with more than 40% of storage, leaving little room to download more apps or high storage apps. If you fill more than 80% of storage, the phone may slow down.
As a fan of the S Pen, I have to admit that while it has great features and customization options, I hardly use it on my S22 Ultra. I might use it once or twice a week at most. This is not because the S Pen is bad – quite the opposite, in fact. It’s one of the best features of a smartphone. Unfortunately, in real-life usage, the screen is not ideal for using the S Pen for anything other than Samsung Notes or a few other apps. This can make it difficult to use for day-to-day tasks on your phone, which may prompt you to use a Samsung Tab or iPad instead.
If you’re considering buying a Samsung Tab or iPad, I recommend reading my other post to see my thoughts on them. However, I should note that I don’t recommend either of them personally, having used both. ( Official Blog post is coming next week stay subscribe for reason)
With the S Pen on your phone, you can take handwritten notes on Samsung Notes, as well as sketch on some Samsung drawing apps and a few third-party apps.
However, Samsung doesn’t have as many apps that support the S Pen as Apple does. While there are some recent third-party apps like GoodNotes and LumaFusion that work on Samsung devices and other Androids, there aren’t many.
So, while the S Pen looks great on paper and is rich in features, in real-life usability, it has limited applications.
Samsung currently has one of the best cameras in the market, outperforming even other Android and iPhone cameras. However, this high performance comes at a cost. The shutter lag is longer, causing you to miss capturing rare moments such as motion photos or pictures during a movie that you may want to share on social media.
Even if you purchase the base model storage phone with 128GB or less, you may still face issues. Once you have installed more apps, the camera app takes a long time to open, leaving you unable to capture the moment immediately. I have been using the S22 Ultra for almost a year and have only used 70% of my 128GB storage. However, when I try to open the camera app, it takes over 8 seconds to load, and the shutter takes an additional 2 seconds. Closing the app takes more than 5 seconds.
On paper, this may not seem like a significant issue, but in reality, it can be frustrating when you want to take a quick snap at the gym, during a movie, or in other scenarios.
Despite this, I have no complaints regarding picture or video quality, as they are excellent. I recommend watching some YouTube videos to better understand this.
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Samsung hardware is decent but not the best.
Samsung offers best-in-class processors in the market. The S23 Ultra comes with the latest and best Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. This processor is ideal for general usage such as calls, photos, and browsing. It is also suitable for casual gamers. However, if you want to stream on YouTube or Twitch, do not buy it. This applies not only to Samsung but any Android phone.
Display & Multimedia
Samsung display is best in class and offers an industry-standard display, even better than the iPhone. When using the phone for the first time, you can compare it with your old phone. Even Samsung phones offer up to 120Hz refresh rate, which is best for daily users. Although you may not find the difference while using the Samsung One UI, the UI may not be optimized for 120Hz. However, you can find the difference while browsing the internet or scrolling.
When it comes to multimedia experience, Samsung offers the best sound. Most Samsung phones come with Dolby Atmos experience, providing excellent listening experience. However, when compared to iPhone Pro Max phones, the sound is less audible.
Samsung offers the best charging solution for the Pro and Ultra phones in the premium segment, with up to 45W charging that provides long-term battery life. The phone can also charge from 0% to 100% in less than an hour. (Source: Android Authority)
However, when it comes to battery life, in my experience with my S22 Ultra, it takes about a working day (8-6 PM) for the battery to drop from 85% to 20% with normal usage, including YouTube, social media, and the camera.
So, you need to charge it at the end of each day to be ready for the next day.
Samsung also offers wireless charging up to 15W, which may take more than 90 minutes to fully charge the phone.
It’s worth noting that Samsung does not provide any chargers in the box, so you need to buy them separately.
In regards to camera quality, Samsung’s hardware is top-notch and can capture high-quality photos in both daylight and low light conditions. To gain a better understanding of the camera department, check out some YouTube videos.
Keep in mind that each photo taken can take up to an average of 10MB of storage.
Are you a big fan of taking pictures? Then you need to know about this AI tool that can make your selfies better than ever. This tool is called HeyPhoto. Learn more about how to use it and its benefits here.
In my opinion, if you have a budget of more than $1000, and considering to purchase a Samsung phone.
I recommend purchasing the highest storage model available, with a minimum capacity of 256GB, as well as the phone with the best RAM. This will improve the user experience and provide more room for Android flexibility, giving you the freedom to install more apps.