The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is one step closer to perfecting the foldable formula, a device I’ve enjoyed enough to make it my personal phone. But every year, I end up switching to a Samsung phone and losing items from my regular Google Pixel.
The One UI is excellent, but it still ignores what makes Google great
The Samsung skin on top of Android used to be the riff of the platform, but that has changed dramatically over the past few years. One UI is very cool and One UI 4.1.1 based on Android 12L brings a really great experience to Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Honestly, I’m not sure I’d like to use a foldable gadget with any other experience at this moment. What Samsung has developed here is easy to use, fast and really knows how to take advantage of the large screen space.
As with Samsung’s One UI interface, it’s still the polar opposite of Google’s approach. Samsung literally takes every feature and cramps it, for better or worse. On the other hand, Google has a more focused, more enjoyable experience to use. On top of that, the Google experience doesn’t feel like it’s fighting with third-party apps, as Samsung’s look and feel is often in stark contrast to other apps on your phone.
Of course, this does not mean that Google is doing everything right, or that Samsung is doing everything wrong. One of the biggest issues is that Google updates always seem to bring the most bizarre bugs, as Samsung usually doesn’t.
With that said, there are a lot of little things I miss from the Pixel when I’m on my Folder, or any other Samsung phone, but the list has been significantly narrowed down over the years.
Cameras of course
It wouldn’t be a Pixel post without talking about the cameras, which is something I always miss when moving to a Samsung phone.
Consistent Google Camera experience. Samsung is not.
The camera hardware on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Pixel 6 Pro is very similar overall — 50 MP primary, 12 MP ultra-wide and a telephoto lens — but the Pixel comes out with consistently better photos across the board. why? Basically software.
Samsung’s image processing tends to oversaturate and not reflect real life in some cases. You will probably get a fun shot, until you look at the details. But for every good shot, there are also likely to be some hard hits. Take a picture of a dog? Hopefully it’s a statue, otherwise you’ll get a movement from the time you pick up the shutter. Trying to capture some dramatic lighting in the evening? Samsung’s treatment will likely nullify it and completely neutralize the effect.
But the real thing, as you’ve noticed, is that Samsung’s camera app still isn’t able to show anything close to the end product from the viewfinder. I’ve had many occasions where I was very happy with a shot in the viewfinder, but then Samsung’s software just processed it to death, effectively ruining the image. It’s not every time, but it’s enough to be very frustrating.
On the other hand, the pixels show a very accurate HDR representation when you actually take the photo. It may be tweaked to bring out some detail or adjust exposure, but what you see in the viewfinder is more or less what you’ll get in the final shot.
I don’t mind shooting with the Galaxy Z Fold 4, because I know I’ll still get a usable shot at the end of the day, but I don’t trust taking a great photo… well, really not at all. This is probably what I miss the most about the Pixel 6 Pro since moving to the latest Samsung releases.
Google’s version of Digital Wellbeing is really helpful
This is a relatively minor point, but one that really bothers me every time I step out of the Pixel. Google’s opinion on digital wellbeing is really helpful.
Digital wellbeing is an idea that usually manifests in a way that you know what your online habits are so you can possibly work on reducing screen time, muting distractions, and achieving a better balance between what’s happening on your phone and what’s going on on your phone. the world around you. It’s an idea that I usually have mixed feelings about.
Personally, I don’t care much about seeing how many times I unlocked my phone in a day, or the inappropriate number of notifications I’ve received, or anything like that. I just want to be able to quickly unplug work, disconnect from Twitter so I can enjoy an afternoon at home, or even a vacation.
On the Pixel, Google makes this super easy. If it’s a long day and I don’t want to hear back from my email, Slack or Twitter, I can simply “pause” these apps from my home screen. A few quick clicks, and they’re all off for the day. No need to dive into settings, nothing I need to set it up beforehand. And if you need to dive again for any reason, it only takes one extra click.
I mean, I can literally flip my phone over to put it completely on mute. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
But on a Samsung phone, this process is nowhere convenient.
Digital Wellbeing on a Samsung device is all about diving into a few layers of settings and using Focus Mode to block a list of pre-selected apps. Except for those apps that are in the allow list, not in the block list. If I just want to turn off some apps I have to manually allow every other app on my phone. The only other tool I have access to is App Timers, which is definitely a great option, but it doesn’t help with what I want to do as mentioned before.
Like I said, this is a minor point for most people. I’d be willing to bet that most people don’t use digital wellbeing gadgets in any capacity, but the point is, on your Google Pixel, these tools are there to help you on the go, as Samsung really only lets them in in an organized way beforehand.
But at the end of the day, the fold 4 is unique
Despite the small parts I miss from Google phones, there’s a reason Samsung’s foldable devices are their major annual smartphone purchase. The Galaxy Z Fold 4, like its predecessors, remains unique, at least in the United States. Until Google finally releases its foldable version, which has been an emotional game so far, Samsung is the best in the field.
The benefits that the foldable device brings me, including just the pleasure of carrying such a large screen in such a compact package, far outweigh these software frustrations. However, I’m sure things will change in a few months when I end up using the Pixel 7 Pro for a while – I’m just curious if Samsung’s enhanced package will be able to get me off this phone when the time comes.
what about you? Have you ever switched from a Pixel to a Samsung phone, or vice versa? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!
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