People looking for Black Friday phone deals ask us what makes it best samsung phones worth buying, it’s easy to show you. Look at the design innovation of the foldable Galaxy Z Flip 4. Check out the endless features of the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It’s easy to appreciate Samsung phones, but Samsung also takes its fair share of criticism, especially when it comes to how the software looks and works.
Suddenly, the latest leaks from Google have us wondering if Samsung will finally gain appreciation where it is usually ridiculed. We’ve seen leaks from Google Pixel Fold hardware, and it makes us question what Google can accomplish with its first foldable. A first-generation Pixel Fold could do the impossible: it could finally prove that Samsung knows what it’s doing with software.
In the beginning, Samsung’s interface designs felt silly and too colorful while phones became serious and the interface reflected real textures. These days, Samsung’s software simply adds layers upon layers of features on top of Google’s already robust Android OS. Samsung One UI is so removed from Android that it has its own version numbers and user beta programs.
Throughout Samsung’s Android history, the company has weathered complaints that software improvements slow down phones, degrade the upgrade cycle for new system upgrades, and generally cause more confusion than improvement.
Why does the phone still have two browsers?
Take the browser for example. Samsung makes a good browser – the eponymous Samsung Internet. It’s actually a good browser, closely tied to the phone’s security features. It’s also one of two browsers on your new Galaxy phone because Google insists on loading its Chrome browser as well.
This confusion persists throughout the phone. Samsung phones have at least two messaging apps. They often have duplicate apps for the photo gallery, or for taking notes, or even for basics like the calendar. One will be from Samsung, the other is included at Google’s insistence.
Apps aren’t the only problem. While iPhone users are rarely confused about whose service they’re using, a Samsung owner can use an app that backs up to Samsung’s own cloud, Google’s servers, or even Microsoft OneDrive, depending on the latest partnerships.
Even though Samsung is Google’s biggest Android partner, it seems that the phone is in conflict with the operating system. If Samsung had its way, the phone would certainly be more streamlined.
Sometimes Samsung’s stuff is superior
Why does Samsung bother to fight Google and create its own thing? Believe it or not, sometimes the Samsung stuff is better. We often turn to Samsung Internet on our Galaxy phones via Google Chrome because it performs better on the company’s own devices and syncs our website passwords just like Chrome.
Samsung even brought multitasking to Android before Google. When Samsung blew up its phone screens with the giant Galaxy Note series, it created a multi-window feature that lets users open multiple app windows simultaneously on Galaxy Note 2. Google didn’t add multi-window to Android until Android 7, five years later.
Samsung is not good at creating a new design from scratch. It was long accused of copying Apple’s iPhone hardware design and much of the look and feel of iOS. What Samsung does well is fix problems, incrementally, until a feature is refined into something amazing.
Using multi-window apps on a Samsung phone is faster than on other mobile devices. Once you’ve become familiar with the right buttons and dragging techniques, you can arrange windows, drag elements between windows, and create shortcuts that open multiple apps at once in your preferred screen configuration.
This is because Samsung has been building multi-window features into their phones for ten years, and they’ve been continuously improving them. When Google launches its first foldable phone, it won’t be starting from scratch like Samsung did, but it also won’t have Samsung’s years of experience and tweaks to build on.
Google is just starting to take tablets seriously
Google started preparing for a folding screen world last year with Android 12La version of Android 12 that was made to handle both larger screens and foldable devices that switch between smaller and larger screens.
The improvements Google added with Android 12L are table stakes compared to the game Samsung plays with its high-end devices. Google has added simplified versions of features, like multi-window support, that Samsung has been improving for years. Even with the demise of the Galaxy Note, Samsung’s foldable devices have had four generations of improvements to build on.
We suspect that the first Google Pixel Fold will be a very basic device compared to the high-end foldable devices Samsung offers. We’re expecting multi-window features and quick screen switching, but we doubt we’ll see robust features like the interesting trackpad controls Samsung gives you with the phone weighted in the middle, or even the overall stability of Samsung’s device when it comes to switch between screens.
Why is a foldable Pixel a better Pixel?
A foldable phone is a huge risk for Google because the device has to justify its own existence. Google needs to create a reason why buyers should pay exorbitant prices for a phone that only folds in half. It has to be special, but it also has to work perfectly.
Samsung has been trying to make its phones special for years, and whether it’s succeeded is up for debate. We love using foldable phones, especially the Galaxy Z Flip 4, but we might be in the minority. Flip phones haven’t sold very well.
Regardless of their popularity, Samsung foldable devices work perfectly. The phones transition smoothly from the external screen to the internal display, regardless of whether we open a larger map on it Galaxy Z Fold 4 or take selfies with the front panel of the Galaxy Z Flip 4.
The Google Pixel 7 phones come loaded with Google’s own chips, ready to run Google’s software at its best. Google says only the Tensor G2 is powerful enough to handle features like Photo Unblur. Hopefully, we’ll also see the same dedication to improving the experience on foldable phones, giving us a reason why a foldable is better than a flat phone.
Samsung has been working for years to fix any issues in its foldable phone software. If Google wants to sell us on a better foldable, a Pixel Fold, it can’t backpedal with a device that’s simpler and more basic than Samsung’s innovation. It needs to identify new problems we didn’t know we had and then give us a collapsible solution to fix them.
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