Love it or hate it, Samsung Galaxy devices have tons of features. Pixel phones, on the other hand, are very simple. Google could learn a thing or two from Samsung and make Pixel devices even better. We have some suggestions.
More Camera Modes
Google loves to boast about the camera prowess of the Pixel series. Indeed, Pixel phones do have some of the best cameras you can find in a smartphone. However, the camera software on Pixel phones is a bit lacking.
The Google Camera app on Pixel phones doesn’t have many extra features. On the other hand, Samsung Galaxy devices have “Pro” modes that give you granular control over focus, ISO, exposure, and other things. They also have nifty modes like “Portrait Video.”
Compare that to the Google Camera which has the basic set of modes, including panorama, slow motion, time-lapse, and Night Sight. Samsung doesn’t shove all the extra features in your face. The overall experience is simple, but there are more options if you’re interested.
Bixby is not a well-liked Samsung service, but there is one genuinely useful tool tied to the name—Bixby Routines. You can select actions to be a “trigger” and then you decide what actions should happen when the trigger occurs.
It’s similar to Google Assistant routines but much more device-oriented. Some of the possible “triggers” include connecting to a Wi-Fi network, connecting a Bluetooth device, launching an app, entering a location, and much more.
The Pixel equivalent of this is a little-used feature called “Rules.” It’s a similar concept, but much, much more limited. The only triggers are connecting to a Wi-Fi network or entering a location. Google could do a lot more with this and not require Assistant.
Secure Folder is a Samsung feature that doesn’t get enough attention. People assume it’s just for people who need super hardcore security, but it’s far more useful than that.
With Secure Folder, you can essentially have a completely separate second phone on your Galaxy device. Apps in the Secure Folder are independent of the apps in the main area of your phone. Photos, videos, and files are separate as well. There’s even a separate version of the Play Store in the Secure Folder.
Pixel phones can use the “Locked Folder” in Google Photos or the “Safe Folder” in the Files app, but that’s it. If you want multiple instances of the same app on a Pixel phone, you need to use third-party methods.
Samsung “DeX” is a weird name that comes from “desktop experience.” It transforms the interface of a Samsung phone or tablet into something that looks closer to a Windows PC or Mac desktop. This happens when you connect the phone to a larger display.
Google Pixel phones simply have no equivalent to this. Android has had a barebones desktop mode built-in for a few years, but Pixel phones have never supported HDMI-out to use it. That’s a bummer.
Google already has added phone integration to Chrome OS. Taking it a step further for something more than just notification syncing would be very cool. Imagine if your Chromebook could also display your phone’s screen in a desktop UI?
RELATED: What Is DeX, Samsung's Desktop Mode?
Samsung phones have a lot of features—hence this list. However, Samsung offers even more features to enthusiasts through add-ons in an app called “Good Lock.”
Good Lock is a suite of add-ons that extend the functionality of many basic features. It allows customizing the lock screen, volume controls, custom themes, and much, much more. You can really go crazy with it.
Google obviously prefers a simpler approach for Pixel phones, but that’s why something like Good Lock would be perfect. It’s not included on Galaxy devices by default. You have to seek it out. That means the enthusiasts can go wild with it, but people who prefer simplicity never have to worry about all the extra features. It’s a win-win.
Simplicity is king when it comes to Google Pixel phones, but a few extra goodies here and there would go a long way. On the scale of “dead simple” to “overly complex,” Google just needs to inch the Pixel phones a little closer to the latter.
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