Oh Samsung. How the mighty have fallen.
I’ve had Samsung phones since Sprint launched their 3G network on the a500 in 2002. That was before camera phones existed, but Samsung sold a separate camera that plugged into that phone, which was quite an innovative accessory. I had Samsung Palm OS phones like the i330, i500, and i550 after that, but I ditched Samsung for Treo when they threw in the towel on Palm Pilots.
After a decade with Sprint, they tossed me off my grandfathered plan and I was finally able to make the jump to Android in 2011 when I went back to Samsung with the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S4, the Note 4 Edge, Note 8, and currently the Note 10+.
The Note 4 Edge was easily my favorite Android phone. It had an awesome functional edge screen that Samsung made useless on subsequent phones. It also had a removeable battery, Micro-SD storage, IR/remote control, and more features that Samsung has since ditched. I held onto it for years until finally moving onto the Note 8 and losing my ability to travel with spare batteries.
The beauty of Android to me was that it allowed the user to make decisions on how to customize their phone. The ability to have an app drawer and decide what apps and widgets to display on the home page, the ability to have external storage, etc.
But Samsung has truly lost their way now. After years of poking fun at Apple, they are ditching all the things that made them not Apple.
Removing features in favor of planned obsolescence is the name of the game. Apple has even slowed down phones to “protect” batteries that can’t be replaced. Samsung had long resisted that, but those days are over.
The S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra all kill the Micro-SD slot. I store data on my Micro-SD card to quickly switch between phones or backup data to my computer. It means I don’t need to spend extra on a phone’s storage and that if the phone has a catastrophic failure, I won’t lose my data.
Samsung clearly knew this was a key differentiator. They even mocked iPhones for not having external storage. And yet, even if you buy the top-end S21 Ultra you are left without the ability to have a Micro-SD card.
Despite killing the Micro-SD slot, available memory options from 128GB-512GB haven’t changed in years. That’s despite higher resolution photos and videos taking up more space than ever.
Apple makes a fortune selling iCloud storage. And Google does as well, so it’s no surprise that Pixel phones also don’t offer external storage. I’m sure Samsung wants to get a piece of that as well, and there’s no better way than killing off the Micro-SD slot.
Just a few months ago, Samsung made fun of Apple for ditching the charger. Now Samsung has copied Apple and done the same with the S21.
Samsung Pay’s innovative magnetic transmission allowed you to pay with your phone, even if the store didn’t have an NFC enabled terminal.
As of the S21, Samsung said that they are permanently ditching magnetic transmission, which means they will no longer have that key advantage over Android Pay and Apple Pay.
My wife made the switch from Samsung to Pixel during the Black Friday 2018 deal and has been thrilled with her phone.
Well Samsung, will you fix this, or will I be a free agent when I’m ready for a new phone this fall?
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@SamsungMobile @SamsungMobileUS @Samsung @SamsungUS
You killed the super useful removeable battery. You removed the charging block. And worst of all, you killed MicroSD storage.
Why do you expect your customers to stay loyal?
Sure hope the Note21 has SD support or else I'll bail!
— DansDeals (@DansDeals) January 14, 2021
If Samsung doesn’t bring back some of these features to the Note 21, or if they kill off the Note line, which phones should I look into trying out?