Back in July of last year Samsung ran a commercial that called iPhone customers "wall huggers" and tried its best to make them look stupid for choosing a phone with a fruit logo on the back over one that had swappable battery. Samsung Mobile seems to have removed the ad from their YouTube page but Samsung Australia still has it up:
Then, some nine months later, Samsung launched the Galaxy S6 which abandoned its swappable battery to once again embrace a much more iPhone-like aesthetic. More or less. The result? Well, while doing some research on Galaxy S6 battery life, I came across this:
I have yet to make it through a full day, which for me is 5am to 10pm, without needing to put it on the charger. While battery capacity is certainly a contributing factor here, I blame Samsung's firmware for the rapid power drain. This phone never really settles down, never really enters deep sleep, and even in power save modes never seems to do much to actually save battery life. It's also worth pointing out that having wireless charging and a variant of Quick Charge 2.0 onboard by default does not excuse such terrible power performance. It's as though Samsung had to choose between a smooth UI and better battery life, and all votes went to the former.
Those power-hungry apps also took a toll on battery life. In our web browsing battery test (which loops a web page once a minute), the Galaxy S6 held up well, achieving over nine hours of uptime. But in actual usage — especially when streaming YouTube or playing games — I got less than that, sometimes distressingly less. There were days that I made it to midnight and beyond before it conked out, and there were days where the battery saver mode kicked in as early as 6PM. That's decidedly average at best, and worse than what I get with an iPhone 6.
Anecdotally, battery life lasted about a day doing all the things I do most: cruise the Web and Yelp, check my mail, upload photos to social networks and navigate using Google Maps. Note that batteries wear out over time, and the more you demand of your phone, the faster it will drain. Bottom line: this is not the phone that takes you all day and all night on a single charge with more juice to spare. (Note, again, that you can't swap in a new battery like you would with the S5; but you can buy a Mophie charging case later this year for $100 or so.)
The pettiness of the Samsung ad aside, you could argue that marketing in July of 2014 might not have known what product was getting ready to ship in April of 2015. But the executives who ultimately approved the ad should have. So either no one with enough knowledge of the company paid attention to the ads, no one with that knowledge cared enough that their own phone would be the butt of wall-hugger jokes less than a year later, or no one thought any of us would remember.
You could also argue Apple's iPhone 5 "Thumb" ad was pretty much the same thing. It was released almost two years before the big and bigger iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and while there have been some complaints about the loss of the smaller size, there have also been record sales.
Here's the iPhone ad Apple was running during the same time period as Samsung's wall hugger spot, though. Instead of focusing on a competitor or owners of a competing product, it focused on how the iPhone could make life better for parents and children. It's timeless.
A swappable battery, archaic as it was, was a differentiator for Samsung in 2014. In 2015, that's gone. As this reader pointed out:
I've had three android phones and am now switching to the iphone 6. There are many reasons to switch, as you said, the pointless bloatware apps in the Galaxies. I like the simplicity of the iphone, plus the fact that nearly everyone I know uses an iphone makes it seem a lot easier to use. Galaxy does have it's perks, such as the better camera, but it's os is out of date pretty much the moment you get the phone(which is not true with apple). Finally, the fact that Galaxy is getting rid of it's external battery and storage with the G6 meant there was really no reason for me to stay with Galaxy, so onto the iPhone it is.
It's not just our readers either, as this comment shows:
I tried the S6 and disliked the non-removable battery and the lack of an SD card very much. But what really made me return it and get an iPhone was the the truly terribly battery life. Not an improvement on the S5 at all.
The upcoming Galaxy Note 5 is rumored to be losing the removable battery as well. So I guess the lesson here is two-fold:
First, never insult the customers of a competing product when you're on the precipice of conceding that product did it better and launching something similar. And second, it's never been a better time to consider switching to iPhone.
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