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Opinion 222 Shares 13 comments

The 5 biggest mistakes Samsung ever made

Samsung's decision not to bring the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 to Europe has angered even some of its most loyal followers. And it's not the first major error Samsung has made – here are a few more times when the biggest Android manufacturer has really missed the mark.

1. Not bringing the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 to Europe

We'll start with the decision that's freshest in the mind. There were rumors floating around for a long time that Samsung had decided Europe didn't need the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and could make do with a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ instead. But that didn't make the confirmation of those rumors any less painful.

The Galaxy Note is one of the Korean manufacturer's most complete, versatile devices, so it's not unreasonable of users worldwide to have expected the line's continuation. It has also been a commercial success, popularizing the phablet and winning over countless followers since its launch in 2011. 

samsung galaxy note 5 screen
What is the future of the Galaxy Note range?/ © ANDROIDPIT

So why has Samsung decided to go with the S6 Edge+ over the Galaxy Note 5 in Europe? One possible reason is that the Galaxy S6 Edge was so popular that the manufacturer couldn't satisfy the demand, leading to negative impact on sales and perhaps a greater demand for a new Edge model. Other than that, it's pretty hard to say.

2. Releasing a new Galaxy S6 instead of a Galaxy Note 5

That's not the only problem with the announcements made this week. If we take a closer look at both phones, it's pretty clear they are virtually identical, with an S-Pen on one and a curved screen on the other the only clear distinctions.

samsung galaxy note 5 front cam
Samsung appears to have ignored its users. / © AndroidPIT

In Samsung's attempt to glam up its high end offerings this year, these devices have lost a little wow factor, as well as some more concrete things – namely the microSD slot and the removable battery. Admittedly it's debatable whether these are necessary features on a phone when there are numerous wireless and cloud storage solutions, but Samsung fans made it pretty clear they wanted expandable memory and batteries and it appears the manufacturer has ignored them.

3. Starting the mini smartphone trend

Let's be clear from the start: no one likes 'mini' smartphones. They need to be stopped immediately. And when you're looking for someone to blame, you can look in Samsung's direction.

After the aberrations that were the Samsung Galaxy Mini and the Samsung Galaxy Mini 2, the company decided to continue the series with a small version of the Samsung Galaxy S III. While this may have been a smart move from a commercial perspective, attracting consumers who want the look of a high-end product without the expense, the Galaxy S III bore almost no resemblance to a top-end phone.

s5 s4 mini mini screen
The 'mini' trend is a curse on the Android world. / © AndroidPIT

As a result of the high sales these devices achieved, many manufacturers now launch more modest versions of their own flagship products – think the LG G4 or Huawei P8 Lite. The makers justify the price by saying the smaller versions offer a 'flagship phone' experience at a fraction of the price. In reality though, consumers at that end of the market can find much better value than these inferior copies. So, thanks for starting the worst trend in the Android world right now, Samsung.

4. Still copying Apple in 2015

You'd think a company that's able to sell as many phones as Samsung wouldn't need to mimic its greatest rivals, in this case Apple.

Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case. The Samsung Galaxy S6, for example, mimics the design of Apple phones in several ways. The Korean manufacturer even copied the promotional image style used for Apple's iPad when it launched the Galaxy Tab S2.

s6 edge vs iphone 6 plus plus USB speaekrs
Spot the difference. / © AndroidPIT

Samsung isn't the only Asian manufacturer to make this mistake, with manufacturers such as Xiaomi and Meizu aping designs from Cupertino to try to attract more buyers. The fundamental flaws in this way of thinking can be seen in the success of manufacturers such as Motorola and LG, who have made the design of their phones unique.

5. The inability to make a decent mid-range phone

Despite all its success, Samsung has not been able to crack the middle-of-the-road market. The best example of this failure was the Samsung Galaxy A3, which hit stores last year. The phone had a starting price of just over US$300 but had much lower specs than many cheaper models. Phones such as the Asus Zenfoen 2 or 3 Alcatel OneTouch Idol offered significantly better all-round packages for much less money.

Samsung Galaxy A3 11
The Galaxy A3 did not compare well to other mid-range phones. / © AndroidPIT

The reason people bought the A3 was the same reason people bought Samsung's 'minis' – the popularity of its high-end devices gave the phone a reflected prestige it didn't deserve.

If Samsung continues down this path, it may well start to lose its share of emerging smartphone markets, where consumers are less subject to brand loyalty and history, and focus just on facts.

Is there anything we've missed? What would you add to this list?


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  • Kuttyjoe Aug 24, 2015 Link to comment

    I think we've made it know how strongly we feel about the sd card and removable battery. Samsung will either decide to give us the product we want, or we will hold onto our Note 3's and 4's until someone else decides to make a competing product. I'm not buying a glass phone. I'm not buying a device which is as important to me as a smartphone that won't allow me to easily and quickly change the battery. That's just crazy. I have more storage in my Note 3 right now, than is even possible with the Note 5. Buying the Note 5 would be little more than gearlust. It has some features that I like such as being able to write on the screen while it's off. That's a killer feature. But I can't buy a new phone just for that feature while giving up critical features.

  • I think there are two things that you missed. 1: they denied for many years to give their flagships a premium feeling. With all plastic or fake leather stitched every phone feeld like it was worth 300 dollars/euros less. 2. Samsung still has too many phones. It hasnt a clear line. They just drop every week a new phone with something"new". Thats my opinion.

    Ps:sry my bad english

  • Junaid Q. Aug 18, 2015 Link to comment

    Yes I truly Agree with the article

  • I would say you forgot two of Samsungs biggest blunders of all. Specifically doing away with removable storage ( SD Card ), and a removable battery. These have been two of the leading factors for most in choosing Samsung devices. Now that these options are no longer available, I'm sure many will choose to look elsewhere for their new device.

    • I agree with Hector. I like Sergio's articles but I'm surprised he left out the 2 biggest. He's listing first world problem's. If those are all Samsung has done wrong well then they haven't done all that much wrong.

  • BruinGuy Aug 18, 2015 Link to comment

    Wow, these "facts" are just opinions that don' t match what many non-tech people think.

    • That made no sense.

      "...don' t match what many non-tech people think.'

      What in the h**l is that? Why would you care about just opinions that didn't match the beliefs of non tech people? And why would you want to use non-tech people on a tech page?

  • Mike Aug 18, 2015 Link to comment

    I'm just sticking with my Note 4. If Samsung comes out with something significantly better, I'll upgrade. If not, I'll look for something else.

    • I made the decision to just update on the even ones. A lot cheaper that way. I just hope the Note 6 is significantly better than the 4, otherwise I won't have a reason to upgrade. Other than wanting a new phone of course.

    • BruinGuy Aug 18, 2015 Link to comment

      I chose to try the Note 5. My Note 4 has times when the lag is so significant that I just have to set it down for a minute or so until it decides to respond to me. Thank goodness I haven't needed to dial 911 during those times.

  • "Is there anything we've missed?"

    Yes. The possibility that the Note series simply doesn't sell well in Europe, so it's pointless to make stock that won't sell.

  • Moto X Pure Edition coming in Sept. 2015 looks to be the next best thing. Similar specs. 5.7" screen and only half the price, but without the s pen. As for me, my old Note I is still the more useful phone than the new Note 5. By changing the SD card I can add all the extra space I need for videos, and I can still make a call at 2am. when I change the battery. A note 5 would be long dead by then. I'm not giving up on the s pen, so now I'll wait another full year for a Note 6. to compare the features. If I needed a phone today it would be the Note 4. I see the Note 5 as a slim pretty box with no useful features. Kind of like the "Emperor has no clothes story".

  • Scottay Aug 18, 2015 Link to comment

    Could you do an article on what other Android phones are similar to the Note 4 so i can decide which phone I buy next. Sorry Samsung but you've gone in a direction I'm not going in good luck with it.

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