Galaxy S6 – The Bad Parts

I purchased a Samsung Galaxy S6 on launch day (April 10) in Canada. I went for the black 64GB (non-edge) version on Bell Mobility. After eight days of use I’m really liking the phone, but there are still a lot of things to complain about.

I’ve gotten tired of all the reviews giving the S6 such positive praise so I’ve put together a list of ten things that I don’t like about it. Here we go…

Still Laggy

Pretty much every review of the S6 that I’ve read so far says there is no lag whatsoever. This is simply not true. Here is an Android Central post that discusses the lag I’ve been seeing.

I’ve heard that the Nexus 6 had similar lag issues before it got an upgrade to Android 5.1, so I’m hoping the S6 sees similar improvements once Samsung ships a 5.1 update.

Heavy Scroll Momentum

UPDATE: After installing the first OS update, and doing a factory reset, this problem has pretty much went away :)

This is a weird issue, and possibly subjective, but it seems like the touchscreen is simply too sensitive. When scrolling a page vertically, the content stops moving as soon as I lift my finger.

This seems like a screen sensitivity issue because sometimes the content even starts scrolling the opposite direction after I lift off, making me think that it’s still tracking for a short time after my finger has left the screen and stopped moving (or changed direction).

After doing some reading, it seems like the S6 might have increased sensitivity enabled by default to make it work with gloves. I actually tested it with some wool gloves and it does work, so that might be the issue. On previous Galaxy phones, “glove mode” had to be enabled manually in the settings.

Here’s another Android Central post on the weird scrolling behavior.

Bloatware

I’m not sure how much of this is from Samsung and how much of it is from Bell, but there is a lot of shit preinstalled on this phone that cannot be uninstalled.

Here’s a list of non-Samsung apps that I had to disable:

  • Facebook
  • Hancom Office 2014
  • Instagram
  • Messenger (Facebook)
  • OneDrive
  • OneNote
  • Skype
  • WhatsApp

Besides these, there were a large number of Samsung-made apps that I disabled as well.

I understand that these companies probably pay Samsung (or possibly Bell) to preinstall these on the phone. I’m fine with that. What really bothers me is that there is no way to uninstall them.

Screen Ghosting

There seems to be a very noticable tail (ghosting) when scrolling dark content. I know what you’re thinking and the answer is no, this isn’t just one of those things that only an extremely picky person can see. It is extremely noticeable. I’m pretty sure this is a property of all AMOLED screens, but it’s distracting and I wish it didn’t happen.

The other night I was reading a book in bed (in dark mode) and, while scrolling, the text just looked like a dark blur.

Cannot Disable Shutter Sound (Canada Only)

This one really bothers me. There is no way to turn off the shutter sound on the Canadian S6. The option in the settings simply isn’t there. I’m pretty sure that Canada requires a shutter sound to be on (for privacy reasons) but it sure makes me mad that it can’t be disabled.

Note: Let me know if this is a problem for anyone outside Canada.

So Slippery

If you ever had a Nexus 4 then you already know how slippery a glass sandwitch phone can be. To make matters slighly worse, The S6 is larger than the Nexus 4 which amplifies the problem. This slipperiness is especially bad when using the finger print sensor because it forces you to hold on to the bottom edge of the phone with one hand (super sketchy).

I ended up buying a Dbrand Skin which helped a lot.

Stock Samsung Apps

The default apps on Touchwiz are just awful. The clock app is a nightmare and the contacts app is alright, but still pretty bad. I ended up disabling and replacing what I could, but core apps like Clock and Contacts cannot be disabled.

UPDATE: This is a pretty subjective opinion. Coming from stock Android where the stock apps follow a consistent style (Material Design) and are extremely basic, I find the Samsung apps try to go for the change-for-the-sake-of-change strategy, which adds unnecessary complexity for the sake of trying to look flashy or pretty.

The Color

So basically the phone is blue, not black. Personally, I don’t like the blue of the Galaxy S6 which is another reason I purchased a Dbrand skin.

Battery Life

Like most of the reviews point out, battery life is alright, but it will never be a selling point of this phone. I find that the battery lasts longer than my 1.5 year old Nexus 5, which is good enough for me.

Conclusion

So, after all this complaining, I still love the S6. Hopefully Samsung can fix the scrolling and lag issues with a 5.1 update, and I’m sure the modding community will have fixes soon for a lot of my other complaints (like uninstalling bloat).

I hope you’ve learned a few things that you didn’t already know from reading mainstream reviews. I’m happy to answer any questions is you have them.