Too late! Samsung, Google react to iPhone 14 by fixing 8-11 months old Galaxy S22 and Pixel 6 issues

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Too late! Samsung, Google react to iPhone 14 by fixing 8-11 months old Galaxy S22 and Pixel 6 issues
The Galaxy S22 series of flagship phones are some of the most reliable devices you can get in 2022. Unfortunately, that’s in contrast with Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. However, while both Samsung and Google have a ton of value to offer, neither company's managed to make a “flawless” phone, which isn’t exactly surprising - the perfect phone doesn’t exist...

Anyway, if you were to ask, I’d tell you that perhaps the biggest problem with the Galaxy S22 series, or at least the most noticeable one compared to the Galaxy S21, would be that Samsung’s flagships tend to overexpose some photos taken in high-contrast scenarios. On the other hand, Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have been troubled by a whole bunch of software and hardware issues that needed addressing.

Well, whether it’s due to the pressure from the launch of the new iPhone 14 series or not, both Samsung and Google are finally addressing the biggest problems with their existing flagship phones that have been out for a long time now.

Of course, the timing could be a coincidence, but it’s still a great occasion to talk about Android’s effort towards improvement and competing with the new iPhones. Although the main critique I’ll have here is how long it took Samsung and Google to address these rather obvious shortcomings!

Let’s take a look…

Better super-late than never: Arriving just in time for the launch of iPhone 14, Android 13 fixes most Pixel 6 bugs that have bothering users for 11 months

Let's start with Google since the story with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro is rather clear - I mean at least as far as what was wrong with the phones...

As someone who’s been using the Pixel 6 Pro on Android 13 for a couple of weeks now, I’m very, and I mean very glad to report that the Pixel 6 Pro is a generally stable, and way more responsive phone than it was at launch!

  • The Pixel 6 Pro's auto brightness feature might not be class-leading, but it’s far more stable than before
  • The fingerprint reader (by far the most annoying issue with the Pixel 6) is now more reliable, and it doesn’t appear as slow as it used to - mostly thanks to tweaked animations
  • My Pixel 6 Pro isn’t randomly freezing now (although this wasn’t happening so frequently anyway)
  • Widget transition animations are now way more consistent and fluid, which helps the Pixel 6 feel smoother (they don't randomly refresh anymore)
  • Photo taking and processing is now more consistent and even slightly swifter than it was at launch (it used to be a total mess - it would crash, slow down the phone, etc.)
  • Scrolling through apps like Twitter and Instagram on Pixel 6 Pro is now as smooth as it was always supposed to be, instead of jittery at times

Anyway, the reason why I say my Pixel 6 Pro with Android 13 impressions are relatively short-term is because I don’t use the Pixel 6 Pro as my main phone anymore. That’s because about 2-3 months ago I had to switch to using the more reliable iPhone 13 mini, which I've come to love (mostly thanks to the reliability and size).

Well, really, the reason for the switch was the fact that Google was so slow to address the now seemingly addressed software issues that I’ve had to encounter for nearly 10 months on my Pixel 6 Pro, which is why Google doesn’t get many points in my book for fixing bugs that were never meant to exist, or that the company should’ve addressed at least half a year earlier. Still, it’s nice to be able to say that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are now reliable phones!

Better super late than never?!

Samsung’s One UI 5 beta fixes the two biggest Galaxy S22 issues just in time for Apple’s iPhone 14 launch, but way too late for Galaxy users

Luckily for Galaxy fans, though, the issues over at Samsung were much milder, but certainly not ones to ignore. It’s just that Google set the bug bar really high (or low?).

Anyway, the two main problems with the Galaxy S22 series of phones were the sluggish animations and inconsistent camera performance when it comes to HDR. According to tech enthusiast and leakster Ice Universe, who’s running the latest One UI 5.3 beta, animations on his Galaxy S22 Ultra are now smoother than ever, which is great news. He also notes that the Galaxy still isn't on the level of the iPhone when it comes to fluidity.

But the other, more important fix is coming to the camera of the Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra. Once it hits your devices via an OTA update, One UI 5 will essentially help bring the improved photo HDR algorithm of the new Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 to Samsung’s more conventional flagships!

For those who aren't familiar, as of now, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 take noticeably better photos than the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which of course is great news for Fold and Flip users, but disappointing for those who bought the camera-centric Galaxy S22 Ultra back in February...

Samsung users disappointed as Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 take better photos than the Galaxy S22 Ultra

When the camera disparities between the foldable Galaxy flagships for 2022 and the more camera-centric S series of phones became apparent after comparisons, many Galaxy S22 fans took to Twitter to complain, which I understand. I also wouldn't be thrilled to find out my Galaxy S22 Ultra takes worse photos than the Galaxy Z Flip 4, given that the whole point of buying a Galaxy S22 Ultra is for the extravagant camera system.

In fact, it’s quite hard to answer the question “which Samsung flagship has the best camera?” right now. But that’s the challenge Samsung creates for itself by launching multiple flagship phones in the same year, and by cancelling the Galaxy Note.

The fact that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 take better photos than the Galaxy S22 Ultra shows the huge role of computational photography and sheer processing power for smartphone cameras. It won’t be shocking if eventually the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 trump the Galaxy S23 series when it comes to refined photography experience too.

Galaxy S22, Pixel 6, and iPhone 14 bugs: Samsung and Google need to follow Apple’s example of timely bug fixes and software updates

In the end, it’s great that two of the most important Android phone-makers are taking care of old bugs and issues. The problem I have here is exactly the fact that the bugs and issues the Pixel 6 and Galaxy S22 series had are now... super-old.

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro were released all the way back in October 2021, meaning it took Google almost a whole year and a whole new version of Android to fix its two flagship phones that the company now supposedly has total control over (Google makes the software and hardware for Pixel 6).

On the other hand, the Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra came out in February of this year, which makes them eight months old. In the meantime, Samsung is just about to send software update to fix camera issues that we discovered on the Galaxy S22 Ultra on day one. You can take a look at our full Galaxy S22 Ultra review.

Anyway, to bring the story to a full circle, I have to mention that the iPhone 14 Pro has been on sale for just over a week now. In the meantime, some rather serious bugs and issues were discovered, but Apple was super quick to react and a few days ago I was already able to install the second update on my iPhone 14 Pro that fixes the bugs that came up immediately after launch.

So, I don’t know whether Google and Samsung intentionally waited to make their existing phones better right in time for the iPhone 14 series launch, but they could surely take some cues from Cupertino when it comes to software updates, bug fixes, and particularly how quickly these should be addressed.

Because waiting 8-11 months for your $600-1,200 phone to get good or even usable... isn't good enough.

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