I’ve been following the Samsung Galaxy S6 for a while. Well before the press conference announcing it, there were leaks. Oh boy were there leaks. I feel like we heard about this phone forever. Only overshadowed by a rumored HTC One M9 refresh that turned out to be false, the S6 was one of the mostly talked about phones ever. I was on red alert and hype mode was engaged. All systems were go.
And once I actually saw the phone, I fell in love. Samsung finally tried to step up and beat Apple at their own game. A fresh new glass and metal body and a paired down TouchWiz skin promised great things.
Unfortunately, in my case, Samsung couldn’t deliver on the hype.
Galaxy S6 Review
When I wrote my Galaxy S6 review, little a problem had cropped up. I did ding it for battery, most notably. I think this is a teaching moment for myself especially that when reviews are going up early in the process, the reviewer may not have had much time with the device to find the flaws that pop up after a while. This is especially important with software, which Samsung did a terrible job with.
Was TouchWiz actually toned down? Yeah, a little bit. Most of the options were still there, just buried deeper in menus than before. And that’s fine. If you want to bury features so only those who are truly going to use them can find them, I don’t have a problem with that. But the fact remains that Samsung continues to pack their phones with features that most people don’t want filling up storage space. And now you don’t have the option of adding memory to ease the issue.
High on the list of issues I’ve encountered with the Galaxy S6 is memory management. It seems that every Galaxy S6 owner with an internet connection has complained on Reddit or XDA about how poorly the S6 manages apps in the background. Leaving an app for only a few seconds would routinely have them killed by Samsung’s overly aggressive management. Chrome, for example, doesn’t appear to be allowed to sit in memory at all. What’s the point in having 3 gigs of RAM if you don’t actually use it.
That brings us to our next issue. Massive, massive memory leaks. Now, I can’t entirely blame this one on Samsung because many people speculate this more of a Lollipop issue. Lollipop, in my opinion, has been the Windows Vista of Android. It was never really good but it introduced features that will be important to the OS going forward.
But some other phones seem to get around these memory leaks somehow. The S6 would sometimes take up as much as a gig of ram with the only remedy being a complete reboot. That’s ridiculous. Gone are the days where OEMs would clean up Google’s mess in Android. Now it’s all about throwing “features” on top so they can brag about them to tech press and in commercials. Yeah, Samsung. That wide-angle front facing camera is super awesome but if phone won’t work when I need it to, what’s the point?
This phone lagged. A lot. When it worked, it was brilliant and probably the best phone on the market. But it says something that I continued to use the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 after my review time with it over the Galaxy S6. While the Idol 3 is nowhere near as fast as the S6, it was consistent and that’s one of the biggest flaws with the S6. I could use it for a while and it would be completely fine, then it would be completely unusable.
I’m not a patient person. If something isn’t working, it annoys me and I use my phone so much that if it’s a constant annoyance, I tend to move on. That’s part of the reason I go through so many phones. I waited on Samsung to fix the Galaxy S6. When the 5.1.1. update was pushed by T-Mobile and users reported that it didn’t fix the memory management, lag or battery life issue, I knew it was time to move on.
Followers of the site may have read my issues with T-Mobile and what I had to go through to get a refund. Luckily the response from T-Mobile was swift and in my update piece I noted that after an off-hand comment to the gentleman I was working with about how disappointed with the S6 I was, he offered to swap me out a phone of my choosing.
I honestly hadn’t thought about getting rid of the S6 before that. But when I sat and thought about the issues I had been having with the phone and the frustration I’ve been going through, it just wasn’t worth it anymore. The phone has amazing, class leading build quality (yes, better than the iPhone 6) and the camera is brilliant but I don’t want to fight my phone. I don’t want to edit the build.prop to fix the memory management issues. I don’t want to have to worry about tripping Knox and voiding my warranty to flash a different ROM because the stock one is unusable at times.
It was just too much.
So I went with the G4. I have a bit of experience with LG phones. I owned the G3 and I set a family member up with a G2 so I’m on there a lot helping them out so I knew a bit what I was getting into. I really wanted to stay away from this generation of Snapdraggon processors because I think companies like LG option for the SD808 instead of the SD810 due to overheating issues is a bad indicator for the future.
But the G4 is a really solid phone. It’s convenient, if nothing else. Taking pictures is convenient. Swapping out the battery and adding an SD card for more storage is convenient. And that’s what a phone should be. It should make your life easier, not harder and that’s exactly what the G4 has done where Samsung failed.
I find myself unable to recommend the Galaxy S6 at this point due to the terrible software. Maybe you’ll get luckier than I did and it will work brilliantly for you but for me, the right move was simply moving on.