Saying Buh-Bye to Samsung

I am the owner of a Samsung Galaxy S1 (i9000). When I got the phone, I loved it. I loved swiping to text (I still do), I loved that I could swipe to unlock my phone. I loved that I could put an external SD card and bring almost all my music with me. I loved that it was sleek and light. Yes, at the beginning I was in love my phone. I was a proud Samsung smartphone owner and laughed at my friends who owned iPhones or any other smartphone. Today the love I once had for Sammy has been replaced such animosity that I am counting the days until my contract is up.

My complaints with Samsung have nothing to do with the Android ecosystem. People call the Android world fragmented, others say Android phones are not as well made as iPhones. I have even read people saying there are not enough apps for Android smartphones. The not enough apps makes me laugh because Apple may have 750K apps in its store and Google may have just 600K in its store; but my question is do I really need all those apps? How many am I really going to need or even use for that matter. The only apps I am probably going to install will be something to track my 3G activity and a good Sudoku game, anything after that is bonus. No, my grievances with Sammy has nothing to do with the number of apps available, nor how the Android market is fragmented, or even the sturdiness of the phone. When I write of the sturdiness, I mean, I’m not afraid of what is going to happen to it if I drop it, not the internal workings of the phone.

I am not a new consumer of Samsung products, though the SG1, likely will be the last product I ever buy from Samsung. In addition to the SG1, I have owned a laptop, and a feature phone. What I have discovered when owning these products, that regardless of all the hype that surrounds them, they are utter pieces of crap. I am convinced that Samsung is Korean for crap. Let’s break down each of my purchases.

The laptop I bought, was directly from the manufacturer. The very day I brought the laptop home, it crashed and gave me a constant blue screen of death, the infamous BSOD. Every time I tried to install something it would crash. I complained to Samsung, who proceeded to take it back and keep it for two months. When it was returned it to me, I was told it had been fixed. I bring the laptop home, I turn it on and yes it does boot; but the first program I try to install on it, the machine gives me a BSOD. WTF!!!!! I call Samsung and demand my money back for the glorified paper weight they have sold me. It was explained to me that because my return period had passed, I could not get my money back. I ask them to replace the computer because in the two months that I had owned it, I have used it for a grand total of 5 minutes. I was told I could either return it to them for another repair job or live with the problem. Wow, nice customer service. I basically took my loss and went out and bought an Acer. Strike One!!

Like the dumbass that I am, I bought a Samsung feature cellphone. If memory serves me correct it was part of the SGH series. Anyways, at first the phone worked fine, but after a few months, it started to act strange. It would shut off or reboot itself for no good reason. I lived with these idiosyncrasies for about 18 months, but finally I had enough. As I did not have a contract, I was able to get a new phone at my expense. Strike Two!!

In September 2010, I was in the market for a smartphone, to replace the feature phone. The Samsung Galaxy (i9000) had just come out. When I received the phone, I was in awe. It was beautiful, it was light, it was fast, it was more than I could have imagined. However, over time awe turned to utter and complete disappointment. The first disappointment came from using Kies. Kies, for those who don’t know, is Samsung’s version of iTunes. I’m no fan of iTunes; but compared to Kies, iTunes might just be the second coming of the messiah. Kies would not see the the phone attached to my computer 9 times out of 10. If I tried backing up data from the phone via Kies and then did a test restore, I would be told the backup was corrupt and the restore had failed. Really? The backup was done less than 5 minutes ago and already it was corrupt? I am also extremely disappointed with Samsung itself. Since I bought the phone, I have received exactly zero, none, nil, zippo, nada firmware upgrades from Samsung. Any upgrade I have done, has been me going on the net, finding out how to do it and then praying that I don’t brick my phone. This last problem is indicative of the kind of customer service Samsung gives. Stee-rike 3!! YOU’RE OUT!!!!

Today, when I look at Sammy, it is with derision. The phone responds to my touch when it wants to. It reboots itself at random, even during a phone call. It freezes up sometimes, that I have to take the battery out to fix the problem. I can’t remember the last time I went a whole day without having to pop the battery out. Sometimes when it is booting up, it freezes on the “S” of the Samsung logo and I have to pop the battery out a few times to get it to finally boot properly. It has a tendency to call people all by itself. I watched it one time call the same person 10 times in a row. I kept having to hit hang up, before the call could be completed, but because it does not always respond to my touch, the call went through a few times and I had to apologize to the person and explain that I wasn’t stalking him. Sometimes I receive text messages, I open the app to view the message and right away the phone closes the app and returns me to the main screen. When this bug happens, I know this will happen five times before I am able to read the message. This same SMS bug can occur when I’m trying to send a text message.

If you couldn’t tell by now, my days of buying a product from Samsung are done. I even amaze myself that I almost bought the Galaxy Tab last summer. I am so thankful everyday that I did not, especially when I look at Sammy and remember my other poor experience with Samsung products. I think I had a momentary lapse of reason when I considered purchasing a Tab. As I mentioned in a previous blog, the Tab actually crashed out of the box, in the store three straight times. See? Samsung is Korean for crap. As I recently told a Samsung rep who was trying to convince me of the virtue of a the newest Samsung HDTV, I would rather be hung naked, dripping with honey over a bear cave than spend even one dollar on something from Samsung.

Even if I am bitching about my phone, there are a few things that I will miss. I will miss my widgets because I love widgets that give me the ability to personalize the phone and conform it to my needs. I will miss not having a memory expansion slot, thus allowing me to buy a cheaper model with less memory and adding my own at a cheaper price. Regardless of the things I will miss, there is so much more that I won’t miss about the phone, that I am more than willing to sacrifice a little personalization, for a more enjoyable smartphone experience.

Today, Sammy and I await the end of my contract. Sammy is on death row and there will be no last-minute pardon from the governor.