Why Samsung/Android Will Never Get Another Dime From Me

Android - No dime from me

Android - No dime from me

(Rant Alert. Keep away if you wish!)

I hate Samsung Mobiles and Android. I hate them with an unparalleled intensity. Btw, I pre-ordered and bought a Samsung Galaxy S2, SGS2, believing it would ‘truly’ be the phone that proves Apple iOS had legitimate competition.

Before you ask, I am an Apple fan but never owned an iPhone myself. I have owned Nokia, BlackBerry and Motorola so far. Apple phones have always been rather expensive in India, so have admired them from afar. You would think with Nokia, Blackberry and Motorola as yardsticks for quality Samsung and Google would have no issue in making a customer happy. Tough luck, these fellows have no bloody clue on what makes a consumer device tick.

Just so we are objective in our hatred, here are some points:

Multi-tasking: The very first joke that hit me. After a full first charge done overnight, I used the phone from 8am and the damn thing lasted until 1 or 2pm, just by using the built-in apps. I used them slightly more than normal because it was a new device and I was eager to play. Pathetic power management was my impression on the first day of use. Nah, make piss-poor power management. Am sure at least few engineers behind Android knew multi-tasking would suck the battery’s soul and spit it into dark places. But guess multi-tasking was a marketing differentiator against Apple and the morons used it.

First App: Which led me to Google for options. I found that using a product like Advanced Task Killer helps power management. I hope you get the irony of this. My first f**cking app is “Advanced Task Killer” on Samsung, can you f**cking believe that? Anyway gentlemen, I did that and power management got vastly better..if I constantly killed apps that run in the background. Reminded me of using TaskManager on Windows to speed up my PC.

App Launch Experience: I got the standard list of apps Samsung ships with its version of Android. Eagerly I opened the pre-installed apps one by one. Every time I did that I had to accept Terms and Conditions..for every bloody app. I did not bother to understand whether it was for every app or every publisher or some other criteria. For all apps on the home page I had to accept conditions. What the f**k were they thinking?!!

Built-in Apps: The Google native apps were tolerable but none, absolutely none, of the built in apps put a smile on my face or helped accomplish my task without wincing. Let me highlight another gem, on the home screen the following apps were pre-installed – Voice Command, Voice Recorder, Voice Talk and Voice Search. Am sure if you thought about it deeply you might figure out what each of them did..but are you so jobless? Was there no person at Samsung to spot this?

Heating Problems: This phone heats up without apparent reasons, like a teenager who needs no specific reasons to feel horny. And I have given up trying to figure out the causes, just as I would think of a raving, slobbering, drunk on the street. It just is, best to ignore.

App Store: This deserves its own post. The Android App Store, or Google Play, is the very antithesis of “play”. It is a murky cesspool, notwithstanding the shiny veneer that confronts you when you launch it. Peer a tad closer and you will see clones of popular apps, apps that don’t elicit confidence that your private data will be treated with care, app equivalent of the Nigerian inheritance scam mails and more.

And so far I have not mustered enough recklessness to give Google my credit card details, so never bought a paid app. Before you think am a technical noob, I regularly buy my books/ebooks online via Amazon or Flipkart. On my iPad, of the 176 apps almost 35-40% are paid apps. Least expensive must be the 99cents ones, and most expensive one must be the WSJ subscription and AppCooker. That is just on my mobile devices, on the Mac I have bought Scrivener, OmniGraffle and more. Bottom line, as a software guy I love to pay developers for their work and don’t mind putting up the cash. The Android ecosystem(Google Play, Android, Samsung) just does not inspire that confidence in me, nor delight me enough to overcome perceptions of the ecosystem.

PC Sync: Samsung supplies a software called Kies to play the role of iTunes for iOS devices. It would be no exaggeration to state Kies is easily the most effed up piece of software thrust upon a hapless mankind. I truly have no words to describe how awful it is. The syncing mechanism is not reliable, when it actually manages to work. Inspite of constant updates, it has stayed as half-assed as when it was born. The firmware upgrade process is a joke, the OS upgrade is yet to arrive, the syncing works sometimes..in short, useless.

To Android fans: Sorry, you might have your reasons to love your variant of the mess that is Android. Hackability is a important but not in a consumer device. The ecosystem just does not attract the kind of mindsets and cultures that go into making beautiful and affordable experiences. Apps like Instagram for Android are exceptions to what prevails normally.

Conclusion: I bought a brick with my hard-earned money and deeply regret buying Samsung Galaxy S2. The issue is not with this device alone but the entire ecosystem and the kind of software providers and mindset it attracts. Am putting up this post so it can help people who are considering Galaxy Note, Galaxy S3 and other locust-like swarm of Android variants that are waiting to feed on our money and our patience. Not a dime more from me Google/Android/Samsung, I did pay a big price and trusted you to build something worthy. And you let me down big time.

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Comments

  1. Seems ur a apple fan! Samsung phone galaxy S series r the most popular models! Most of the ppl say its the NO1 phone in the world, even websites rates them in top 3! That’s y I am surprised by ur article!

    Thanks

    • Mahesh CR says:

      Apple fan yes, but note that I bought Galaxy S2 for my own use and have had it since its launch in India.

      Btw, popularity is rarely a measure for quality. McDonalds is popular, hardly healthy or even tasty.

      • Prakash Jeyapaul says:

        I can guess the reasons for your frustration… when you were a Microsoft guy you supported Microsoft and now working on iOS and supporting apple iPhones. I still remember incidents where we had hard argument on Microsoft and Sun…:-)

        • Mahesh CR says:

          Prakash – Valid point but a little nuance has to be observed. I supported Microsoft because they had better tools and the idea of a “Application that performs well on one platform” appealed to me, as opposed to the Java vision of “App that performs poorly over many platforms”. I still stand by that belief.

          The technology landscape has changed. We have HTML 5.0 as a credible alternative for rich cross-platform experiences, in fact I bet on it when we envisioned and built out Compose at the previous company.

          Am an Apple fan yes, because their philosophy of building beautiful experiences that are commercially profitable is something I admire and aspire to emulate.

          To be clear, I did give Android a chance..paid Rs. 32,000 for the device..and used it for more than an year..so this is not a rant as an Apple fan, this is disappointment of someone who paid money and expected a decent product.

  2. Sudhakar Subramanian says:

    I bought a cheaper Android phone from LG and initially the first few days I got battery backup for 8 hrs (I didn’t let my device sleep, the display was always on because I was exploring the phone). Later the battery backup improved to 2 days. Now I have rooted my phone and installed “CPU Tuner”. With that I am getting 4 days of battery backup. I know you don’t wanna get into rooting hassles, but it helps. Ask Sunnath how much he loves his Android phone over an iPhone which he never had ๐Ÿ˜€

    Are you willing to sell the brick at half the price you paid? I know someone who will be interested in it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Mahesh CR says:

      Sudhakar – See, I really dont want to root the device, dont see why I should take that headache when I have paid a premium for it.

      Btw, would have sold the device long time back if I had that thought ๐Ÿ™‚ Keeping it for testing purposes if people ask for an android version of product we are building.

  3. Peppin Jerold says:

    No way Mahesh, i bought Apple ipad first gen,and you know what,it was just a cool looking device,with ios and app store,gr8 look and feel, but, has a control on users that is way too much.Supports hardly any movie formats apart from one or two.Battery does drops faster until you make brightness to dimmer levels,and expensive 3g model..These are all real deal breaker for me..They take away freedom..

    I was regretting within a month and finally traded it for Samsung Note.Life became so easier since then..every day i thank God for G note…!!because all apps i need are in play store,any and every movie and audio format support,freedom to download any thing literally anything from the world..expandable memory, replaceable battery, cool flip cover included in price,and tablet/phone functions..Moreover the screen..a vivid Super Amoled!!this screen alone is according to me is enough to pick Gnote..

    With Gnote, i am speechless man!!!

    • Mahesh CR says:

      Peppin – completely agree the display is beautiful on S2. My priorities are a little different, am willing to put up with constraints if compensated by a world-class experience elsewhere. All the features you talk about are useful to you perhaps but they dont even register for me! Battery life on my first gen iPad is first rate even now after intensive use.

      I see you care about certain classic Android traits, happy for you ๐Ÿ™‚ But for me, the primary UI experience has to be top notch..and am willing to give up ancillary preferences.

      As a final point, my kids pester me for the iPad even when am doing something important on it. The S2 always sits there untouched..every damn time! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for commenting Peppin.

  4. You are not the only one to have problems with Scamsung products.

    I bought a GT P1000 galaxy tab in april last year. I wish I knew the G stands for Garbage.

    So far, the device has corrupted two SD cards, reset itself on it’s own every second day, rebooted dozens of times per day on it’s own. It used to overheat (~70ยฐC at the threshold of pain to hold it), drain it’s battery while off, wifi problems, call quality issues. . . just about everything.

    The service center experience was terrible. An uneducated lala kind of person operating it, acting like he is doing some charity. I had to call the call center again, ask for a supervisor and verbally threaten him that I would go to consumer court.

    All this just to get my firmware updated?

    Did not solve the problem.

    Neither him nor the call center were ready to take the device back or repair or exchange it. Such cheap bstrds.

    This year, I installed Cyanogen Mod9. This totally fixed all but the wifi and SD card corruption problems.

    Yesterday, Sunday Evening. Enough was enough. It took a screwdriver with a 3 pronged tip, and two credit cards.

    So I opened the device and I was shocked to see that solder job was all corroded in several places. SEVERAL PLACES. Not one or two but several places where the solder is corroded and crumbling away.

    But what can you expect? I guess there are little children sitting Korea or China assembling these in a sweatshop somewhere, committing suicide every now and then.

    So I tossed this device into the garbage truck and never looked back. It is simply impossible to fix such a poorly made device.

    If this were apple, I would have received a replacement at my second complaint. (my ipod classic)

    I also own an iphone 3gs, ipod classic, two laptops (Acer and Asus), and a plethora of other digital devices. This is the first time that I have seen such shit quality of manufacturing. I mean dry solder/loose solder is one thing. But your soldered joints corroding and cumbling away is in a league of it’s own.

    The bstrds had the audacity to take 24Grand from me for it. And could not even manufacture it properly.

    One and a half years of ownership and today I feel better having tossed it in the garbage. Money down the drain. Heartbreaks and frustration over lost data. Embarrassment before friends.

    **********************

    Fun incident that happened to me courtesy of Scamsung :-

    On a flight to the US, the device suddenly overheated after I switched it off before take off.

    Fortunately, the flight attendant was kind and did not think that I am a terrorist. She asked me to keep an eye on it if it starts smoking or melting.

    The guy sitting next to me introduced himself as a professor of management studies, and told me that he has students placed in Samsung. The feedback he has received from them is not positive and he would not recommend that company to any of his students again.

    He thought Nokia makes great products and will be on top soon.

    *********************

    Personally, I love andriod, hate windows mobile, and my iphone “just works” as long as you don’t expect much from it.

    I will buy andriod again, but not samsung.

    Samsung will never get another buck from me.

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