Are Samsung and Android the Same?

If you’re on the market for a phone right now, you probably are looking at an Android or an iPhone. And, if you’re looking at the Android side of things, chances are in every price segment, you’re looking at a Samsung phone, from $120 to $1500, from conventional phones to folding phones!

There are other manufacturers too, but market shares prove that on the Android side of things, Samsung is dominating in every way possible. So, that makes us curious, are Samsung and Android the same? Are Android and Samsung phones the same thing?

Well, the short answer is yes, but in this article, we’re going to dive in and understand the difference between Samsung and Android.

What Is Android?

Android is an operating system built for phones and tablets. You can think of it as the entire system that powers the phone to run your favorite apps and manage the system resources.

Android and iOS (by Apple) are the two main competitors in the phone segment. There are others but most of them are no longer maintained and lack modern features.

Google-owned, Android is an open-source operating system, meaning OEM/manufacturers like Samsung can take the android source code, add their own spin to it, customize it with their features and publish it on their phones.

Different versions of Android throughout the years

So, How Does Samsung Fit Into This?

Now that you know what Android is, the question arises — Where does Samsung come into all this?

Samsung is an electronics company that not just produces phones, but also TVs, appliances, computers, and smart home peripherals.

For smartphones, Samsung sells them under the ‘Galaxy’ brand name, which then splits into different product lines for each price segment, like the A and M series for affordable price-for-value phones, the S and Z lines which offer more premium high-performance experience.

The Galaxy line uses Android as its own operating system, with a software skin called OneUI (previously TouchWiz).

Simply put: ‘Samsung’ is a manufacturer that uses ‘Android’ as its operating system.

Samsung's 2021 flagship. Galaxy S21 Ultra


What Is the Difference Between Samsung and Android Phones?

You’ve got an idea of what Samsung and Android actually are. You also now know there are other manufacturers that can use the open-source code of Android and make their own version of it for their android phones.

So, what’s the difference? What sets Samsung’s phones apart from the competition?

Software

Samsung’s software skin, called OneUI was launched in 2019 with a complete overhaul of the Android design. They emphasized one-handed accessibility for larger phones. 

Software Package on Phone

Other than accessibility, Samsung adds tons of features to make the smartphone experience, like multi-window which they launched in 2014. Google and even Apple take a lot of features from Samsung’s software skin and then stock android and iOS respectively!

Other manufacturers have their own spin on Android. Google uses the android source code to make a very lightweight, basic skin for their Pixel phones. 

OnePlus, Oppo and Realme have their ColorOS which, just like OneUI adds features and tweaks to set them apart. Xiaomi has their MiUI which often gets called out for being bug-ridden android skin.

Chipset

Most android manufacturers globally use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon or Mediatek processors to power their phones. Samsung, along with Snapdragon, also offers its own in-house chipset called Exynos in certain markets. To learn more about Chipset Manufacturing, do check out our article on Microprocessor.

Chips

Should You Choose Samsung Phones?

Should you buy a Samsung phone or go for another company? That IS the big question, right?

It’s down to your personal preferences, but numbers show the majority of Android phones being used globally are from Samsung. In fact, in 2021, Samsung’s market share for smartphones was as high as 19%, second only to Apple.

In most comparisons, Samsung’s phones turn out to be the best-rated phone of the year, like the S21 Ultra being called the best phone of 2021 by youtube reviewers.

Biggest Smartphone Brands

There are a few reasons for that. If you are tight on a budget, Samsung offers you great value-for-money phones like their A series which can do 70% of what your top-of-the-line phone does, but costs less than 50% of it.

Other companies have affordable phones too, right? Well, yes, but Samsung has built a reputation in the last few years for their quality. Samsung’s in-house displays are market-leading and even other companies end up using them.

 Samsung phones have a good record of being durable and lasting longer than the competition. The competition usually has one remarkable feature like gaming or camera, but end up building a not-so-good phone in other aspects like hardware quality or screen. 

Samsung plays it safe and builds the best bang for the buck you can buy.

Coming to the software, back in the day, Samsung’s skin used to be in controversies a lot for being slow, not getting updates, and being too flashy. 

With the release of OneUI, they listened to all the feedback and improved on all of it. Less bloatware, faster software updates, and their user interface being more refined.

As pointed out by various Android enthusiasts, Samsung is virtually controlling the Android experience.

While most manufacturers offer 2-3 years of updates, including android’s creator Google itself, Samsung started offering 4 years of OS upgrades with 5 years of security upgrades which in itself, is a remarkable feat. 

This means you can use your phone longer without worrying about it slowing down or losing modern security updates.

Samsung also often partners up with other companies like Google or Microsoft to integrate features into their software.

Let’s Recap

So, coming to an end, now we know

  1. Samsung makes phones.
  2. Android is the Operating System on Samsung smartphones.
  3. One UI is Samsung’s software skin on top of Android.

Next time you’re looking for a phone, you now have the knowledge to help you decide which is right for you. Who knows, it will be a Samsung phone running Android.

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