A bit long, but I hope my experience is interesting or useful!
For years I had avoided purchasing Samsung products, finally making the jump with the S7 Edge in 2016, followed by a Tab A in 2017, an S10 in 2020 and lately the Tab A7. But I've got to say I'm a little disappointed lately.
Back in 2015, I spent 2 years looking for a good replacement of the original HTC One (M7). That phone was a beauty. It wasn't until I saw the late 2016 release of the S7 Edge in Coral Blue that I was finally excited to buy a phone again. Thankfully no more boring black or grey! And surprisingly a Samsung! Friends had recommended Samsung phones to me for years but the plastic was such a cheap-feeling contrast to the premium-feeling aluminum body HTC One and the S6 although looking better than its predecessors had poor battery life. The S7 Edge honestly blew me away. It was beautiful, felt great, had great battery life (that surprisingly improved! with most updates) and most importantly did what I wanted it to do!
The TabA (8" 2015 version) also has been one of my favourite and most utilized tech purchases.
With increasing demands and an aging S7 Edge, It was time in January of 2020 to get an S10. The intervening years models were ok but I mostly liked the look and feel of the S10.
But here's where things 'take a turn'. I tell you, I've never had a phone that seemed to 'fly' out of my hands more than the S10. And it always found the ground. And this was only the first month following purchase.
Thankfully, by this point there was only some minor pieces of glass missing from the back, and so I purchased a cover so i wouldn't see it any more. I am not a fan of covers. I buy a phone because I like the look and feel of it as-is. I have an expectation that it should be made to be durable enough for everyday use. Indeed, I thought I would have that with the Gorrilla Glass 6 protected S10...but..., now, for the first time EVER I purchased a cover. I had never needed one before, and even after 3 years of having the S7, it didn't get a crack until shortly before my S10's arrival. I wasn't happy having to use a cover, but at least now I won't wince every time I see the back of the phone.
Earlier this year, I became the 2020 8" Tab A started showing up and my providers (Rogers), and with increasing demands of my poor 2015 TabA (used for hours every day), I thought it was time to upgrade. Following the launch of the A7 (the 2020 10" Tab A) towards the end of the year, I thought I found my device. It's nice, but after a month of using it I find the interface changes that I liked on the S10 I find annoying at best on the A7. I mean it's got a much better and bigger screen, has a much newer version of Android, is very clearly built more solidly....but it's also somehow more cumbersome. Nine times out of ten in attempting to do anything on the device inevitably results in a "what the?!? how do ya!??! just work please!!!" moment. Its weight bothers me a bit more than I thought it would too. I also bought the A7 Samsung branded case as it was on sale, but find it doesn't quite work the way I would like it to as it doesn't sit at close enough to 90 degrees as I was able to with a $4 stand I used to use with the 2015 TabA.
Finally, that S10 I was talking about earlier? Well I put it in my front jeans pocket this September... the same pocket I put it in every day since I got it, took it out after a few hours of outside work around the house, and *SHOCK*. There was a 1-2 inch circle outline on the front of the glass, with micro-pieces of the glass partially loosened, and deep and radiating cracks going outward from the circle in all directions. I still don't know what (if anything) I did that could have caused that damage: All I was doing was cutting the lawn. I don't recall any impacts to me of any kind, and even if there were the only thing I was handling was a lawn mower... a standard lawn mower with no blunt handles or anything.
But, since I can't prove it I have to take at least partial responsibility. And I did (mainly because I myself couldn't figure out a cause, and I was increasingly exhausted and exasperated). But getting the S10 fixed was outrageous: Fixing it would cost in the neighbourhood of $400 through Rogers or $500 at a private dealer. And because I was not even one year into a two-year contract, I technically owed $700 still on the device, so upgrading and absorbing the money into a contract wasn't something that they do (not sure if this is a government thing surrounding contracts, or a Rogers thing which (I hope) unintentionally punishes customers. After something like 10 calls, Rogers was eventually helpful ...and I now get to finish my contract, by choosing to purchase a refurbished Motorola G Play through Rogers (only $130)...much easier to absorb for a college student and especially around Christmas time.
Which leads me to writing this. I have to admit, I'm a little bitter. At Rogers in part because they made it such a hard a process and one agent suggested the damage I made to the phone was deliberate, but also at Samsung. Why did their S10 flagship device of 2019 with Gorrilla Glass 6 fail over the Gorilla Glass 3 protected S7 Edge? How did the front of the device so catastrophically fail in my jeans pocket? While a call to Samsung (between calls to Rogers) about possible options was a pleasant conversation, and the agent was very nice and felt very genuine in her attempts to find a solution, Samsung did not have one.
And the kicker -- that cheap refurbished Moto G7 Play -- it has better reception than either of my Samsung devices, which is crucial for where I live in the country.
And that's why I sit here in early 2021, writing a long email about my experience. Loyalty in Samsung products had been building for 4-5 years, but now I'm uncertain and its coloured my view of Samsung products I still have.
Indeed, I'm sure that's the case in large part regarding my recent A7 purchase so far.
More importantly though, by seeing that a ~$100 non-Samsung phone (one that I wouldn't even have considered unless I had no choice!) has better reception than a ~$1400 phone...that makes me angry. And as a result, I can't say Samsung will be high on the list of contenders once my contract comes up in January of next year.
Reliability for such an important communication device and its ecosystem is just one thing I don't want to be uncertain about.
Thanks for listening.
i guess phone nowadays are very fragile when it comes to physical damages.
me too also, i want to use the phone naked, no skins, no tempered glass, no cases... but when i got into this samsung community, someone told me that "protecting your $1000 phone with a $80 tempered glass is not a bad investment..
i am a samsung convert too.. been a fan of sonyericsson/sony phones since 2002 lol (that's how old i am) lol but when i started using Note 8 my phone world changes a lot. just sharing this story too not to please you on staying with samsung, it's your money and your device, but for me, this Samsung isn't perfect, they have flaws, i am also one of the people who are bothered with ads and their prices, some of us here has bad experience with their customer service, but they make rooms for improvements and what i like is they try to innovate..
I know there's still something new that they can do..
Now I am looking forward to the new Galaxy Fold..
just sharing.. :)
stay safe and have a great day...
thats also why the ui update was pushed in Canada.
its not just Samsung. its cell phone in
we want better screens with more security and pro cameras, you need the glass to absorb some of that. (in glass sensors, filters, scanners).
I broke the back of my note 10+ of course its THE GLOW, 175 bucks. 500 for the front.
I'm kinda just babling on here too now. sorry.
point is.... the cases for some of these phones are worth more than the phones I used to have in high-school.
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Thanks for your comments and sharing gokongming!
I understand what that person meant about the tempered glass, and it sounds reasonable and for some is.
I also understand that devices cannot use metal due to the technology that they need to employ (namely wireless charging). Agreed Chrisp8323 , If plastic is done right, and I know that it can be these days, I would welcome plastic backs again on even premium devices (just not like it was with S3, S4, and S5).
Nonetheless, I still think Samsung (at least for their flagship and premium devices) should be more durable.
I do think that if Samsung offered screen protection plan for around $5/mo. through providers I would subscribe to that. it is my understanding that unfortunately this is not the case: Either you have to buy the phone directly from Samsung (not my preference) to get the service or pay, in Rogers case, an outrageous $14/mo. which is rather an insulting price for insurance of a consumer electronics device.