Do you miss “old” Samsung — removable backs, IR blasters, plastic design?

There's an ever-going battle in the smartphone-loving communities. In one corner, we have those who like their device to look and feel premium — why drop $700 on an expensive piece of hardware if it's not going to make heads turn, right? On the other end, we have power users who could care less about looks and prefer to have the most decked-out phone in terms of both hardware and software.

The latter group was generally catered to by old school Samsung. Sammy used to throw whatever it can think of in its TouchWiz UI, had the latest hardware, removable batteries, IR blasters, the works. What it didn't have was aesthetics — in an age when competitors were going for metal and glass, Samsung kept on making plastic phones. The tipping point was the Galaxy S5, which had that weird dimple grid design on its back and was universally mocked for looking like a band aid.

Then, Sammy went back to the drawing board and started to listen. Its first forays in modern premium design were with the Galaxy Alpha and the Galaxy Note 4 / Note Edge. Afterward Project Zero elevated the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge to new levels. Well, some stuff had to be left behind. No more removable back, no more IR blaster, a much cleaner TouchWiz UI. With its following phones, Sammy never looked back and continued to march in this direction for two years now.

It's been a while. Do you still miss the pre-S6 features and looks or are you now a fan of the post-Project Zero Samsung products?

Do you miss old Samsung?

Nope. Things are much better now
Yes. I need my battery removable and / or an IR blaster!



1. BGChicago

Posts: 225; Member since: Nov 16, 2014

This all glass design is the stupidest thing ever. Slippery as hell, what's the point of a beautiful design when I have to hide it with uggly case/sleave which adds bulk? Not to mention the 2 years battery life cycle, let's fill the world with even more e-waste that is completely usable for 2 more years if battery can be swapped.

4. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1079; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

The battery can still be swapped, just not as easily

21. drunkenjay

Posts: 1695; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

then get the active version.

24. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Glass back designs are the most stupid design fad of all time tbh. Then secondly, why in the world will these oems even remove ir blasters and removable batteries? I mean, what does it even cost them? Smh.

45. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I'm curious, did you say the same for the iPhone 4/4S when it had its dual glass designs?

56. andrewc31394

Posts: 297; Member since: Jun 23, 2012


38. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

That's your fault that you pick ugly cases.

2. willy.4

Posts: 72; Member since: Oct 14, 2015

Love my last great Glaxy Note 4...... With my four batteries, only using two have two as backup. Will keep this phone till the end of days lol. Hopefuly untill the note 10 anyways

25. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Samsungs last truly great phone.

29. Flash

Posts: 1972; Member since: May 19, 2017

I agree. The Note 4 was the pinnacle of the Note devices.

30. warrenellis93

Posts: 550; Member since: Jul 21, 2011

i think samsung tried to kill that phone with an update that forced it to shut down constantly or reboot constantly, it is a widespread issue right now with the note 4's

46. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Why would they do that? They are not Apple!

58. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Apparently you didn't use the Note 7 during it's 2 month existence.

35. tedkord

Posts: 17397; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Not even close. The Note 5 surpassed it, and subsequently the Note 7 surpassed that.

34. wrm2013

Posts: 236; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

Hands down best phone. Mine was ruined by accidently updating it. Have s7 waiting on note 8

54. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

If the Note 4 was waterproof I would be using that phone today

57. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

That's the only thing that phone was missing that kept from being prefect.

3. haruken

Posts: 306; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

The S6E+ alone still looks better than a lot of 2017 phones, that's how good Samsung's design has gotten. On top of that they also replaces batteries for free in my country. There's nothing left to miss.

5. PortableKaypro

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 07, 2017

Huh? My S6 Edge has an IR blaster...

8. phonearenarocks

Posts: 606; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

Mine has too, IR Blaster is surely required.

14. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Samsung phones after the S6 have the IR Blaster removed. The new phone use a direct connect to the TV now. As long as your TV is at least from 2013/14, it should work with it. The remote works over the WiFi Direct connection or similar! All I do is press the Quick conenct button on the notification panel and it searches and if the TV supports it, it will connect and you get a menu with options that are supported. With my TV I get 4 options, one of hich is mirror display or use remote. When I use remote, the app turns into a Samsung Remote, exactly like the ones that came with their older TV's. I've used it with newer LG, Vizio, Samsung (of course) and Sony. Also in fact, the remote that came with my Samsung QLED TV, does not use Infrared either.

6. Landon

Posts: 1245; Member since: May 07, 2015

Wireless charging is pointless to me, my Note 5 battery life at its current state is not good, and I'd love to control my TV via IR blaster. I prefer functionality over "premium design".

47. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Then don't buy a phone with it. But for people who frequent Starbucks or some other cafe, its a welcome benefit, to just place phone on the table and have it charging while you are ion a meeting or doing some work. For me it has come in handy lots of time on the road and I might forget my charger. I stop in a Starbucks and place phone on the pad and get a charge. Also, here at my local Six Flags, some of the eating places inside not only have USB charging stands, they also have charging pads. Just because its not beneficial to you, doesn't mean its not at all

64. Landon

Posts: 1245; Member since: May 07, 2015

Notice that I said "pointless to me" implying that this is, my opinion, for myself. I have a case as well as a magnet in the back of my phone for docking (see link below for what I works awesome) so if I were to charge my phone via wireless, I'd have to take my case off every single time. Plus it doesn't charge as fast as plugging it in.

7. cleatglitch

Posts: 165; Member since: May 25, 2013

ever phone needs an ir blaster (never look for a remote again)...wit quick charge don't miss the removable battery

36. tedkord

Posts: 17397; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I'd like to see the ir blaster made a return because so many seemed to like it, but honestly I never used it. Tried it a few times, but my Logitech Harmony was always better and more convenient.

44. joeytaylor

Posts: 957; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

I think people liked the IR blaster id they were somewhere else and wanted to turn the channel.....doctors office... a bar....or something like that

9. warrenellis93

Posts: 550; Member since: Jul 21, 2011

i like the removable battery but i didnt like the chrome color plastic around the s5 that would peel off leaving you with a horrible looking phone.

10. Pabliell

Posts: 185; Member since: Mar 22, 2016

Galaxy Note 4 had aluminium frame, removable battery and IR blaster. You don't need to sacrifice build quality to have those. Plus, Galaxy S5 was water resistant.

11. surethom

Posts: 1712; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Don't care about removable battery, but ir blaster & NON shinny backs yes.

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