Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 25th Feb 2014 20:03 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

If you ever wanted to know why some people - including myself - have such a negative opinion of Samsung devices, consider the following. Let's take the latest CyanogenMod ROM for, say, my Find 51, and add the latest Google Apps package, and it totals at about 300 MB. That's the complete, fully functional Android operating system with all the Google applications and services.

The ROM on the Galaxy S5 takes up a whopping 8 GB.

No wonder Samsung swears by SD card slots.

1 I actually run OmniROM.

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Nico57
Member since:
2006-12-18

http://stats.cyanogenmod.org/

But does this mean that their OS is crap, or that their phones are very popular? :-)

Les deux, votre honneur !

Edited 2014-02-25 20:24 UTC

Reply Score: 3

jgagnon Member since:
2008-06-24

I have nothing relevant to add to this, but I will say that after a year or so with my Google Nexus 4, my next phone will most certainly have an SDHC (or SDXC) slot. I've found enough things I want to do with a smart phone that do not fit comfortably in 16 GB (or even 32 GB) and I do not want to be locked down any more with a fixed amount of space.

Reply Score: 8

glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

There are adapters you can get to connect an SDcard to the USB port of a slotless phone. But they may not be as convenient as you would like.

Reply Score: 2

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Nexus 4, all you need is an OTG USB and un unlocked/rooted phone. The software to mount the drive is pretty much free. You can use any USB mass storage device then, including an SD adapter. However, I'd only really ever use that for media as it isn't safe for apps IMO.

Reply Score: 4

judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

There is no such thing as a "smart" phone for many years to come. It is just a marketing ploy name for extended downloadable-app-phones.

Reply Score: 4

fmaxwell Member since:
2005-11-13

...after a year or so with my Google Nexus 4, my next phone will most certainly have an SDHC (or SDXC) slot. I've found enough things I want to do with a smart phone that do not fit comfortably in 16 GB (or even 32 GB) and I do not want to be locked down any more with a fixed amount of space.


I've not found that storage is a problem with my 64GB iPhone 5S. I've got over 300 apps on it and about 320 full albums, most encoded in VBR MP3 at the highest quality settings.

The fewer connectors on a mobile phone, the happier I am. Connectors are frequent failure points and places for FOD intrusion.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

But does this mean that their OS is crap, or that their phones are very popular?


It will mean whatever supports the point you want to make ;)

Reply Score: 4

300MB before unzip
by dindin on Tue 25th Feb 2014 20:41 UTC
dindin
Member since:
2006-03-29

But probably will still be less than 1GB after install.

Reply Score: 1

RE: 300MB before unzip
by gus3 on Tue 25th Feb 2014 21:03 UTC in reply to "300MB before unzip"
gus3 Member since:
2010-09-02

According to the download page, the zipped package is 200MB. It unzips to 300MB.

Still no excuse for Samsung trying to be the Microsoft Windows of the Android space.

Reply Score: 2

8GB
by chenxiaolong on Tue 25th Feb 2014 21:56 UTC
chenxiaolong
Member since:
2011-12-05

Just a quick thing to note: that 8GB includes the size of the /cache partition which is usually empty, but needs to be able to hold a zip'd copy of the full ROM for OTAs. The actual size of the ROM is the amount of used space on /system. On the Galaxy S4, the /cache partition was 2GB and the /system partition was 2.7GB. For the S5, I'm guessing it's a 3GB/5GB split or something like that.

That's not to say TouchWiz isn't ridiculously huge, but it's not 8GB huge.

Source: myself (I wrote and maintain the dual boot project for the SGS4 ;) )

Reply Score: 13

RE: 8GB
by hobgoblin on Tue 25th Feb 2014 22:54 UTC in reply to "8GB"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

Sounds reasonable, as i am seeing something similar on a Huawei Ascend P6.

8GB total internal, only 4GB available for user files. Best i can tell, they have split the rest into equal sized partitions that gets used during update. Possibly so that of a update goes bad, it can always fall back to the last working firmware.

Then again, internal user files storage is a kludge. It pretty much hijacks the (physically) external storage support of Android, and redirects it to a partition of the internal eMMC (or since 4.1, optionally a FUSE mount overlaying a directory on the system partition).

And Google seems reluctant to properly deal with this kludge. Their latest effort in Android storage management, Storage Access Framework, do not provide any way for apps to gain write access to physically external media (SD cards, USB drives via OTG and so on). If you want to put any files there, you need to plug it into a desktop or laptop...

Edited 2014-02-25 22:55 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: 8GB
by Vanders on Tue 25th Feb 2014 23:05 UTC in reply to "RE: 8GB"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Possibly so that of a update goes bad, it can always fall back to the last working firmware.


Pretty much. That and obviously it needs to be able to download the whole update before it can apply it, and it needs somewhere to store it while it downloads it.

Then again, internal user files storage is a kludge. It pretty much hijacks the (physically) external storage support of Android, and redirects it to a partition of the internal eMMC (or since 4.1, optionally a FUSE mount overlaying a directory on the system partition).


Ah now this, this is a reason to be annoyed. I have an old HTC Desire HD (personal 'phone) and a SGS4 (work 'phone). The HTC, I can just plug in and it appears as a USB Mass Storage device. Easy peasy. The SGS4...ah, well, MTP 'gov. Can't show the whole filesystem, more than my jobs worth init? Oh yeah, the slow transfers? That's a feature that is. Can't do anything about that, know what I mean?

Access to storage on Android 'phones has been steadily going backwards for years, basically.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: 8GB
by hobgoblin on Tue 25th Feb 2014 23:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 8GB"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

Best i can tell, the designers are in charge. And hell bent on "idiotproofing" everything.

One response i have seen to the change to MTP is that it allows file transfers without dismounting the partition internally.

This because various people were supposedly annoyed that the music player crashed when the usb cable was plugged in.

The simple reason for that? the partition that the music files was stored on had to be dismounted so that it could be accessed by the computer via UMS (the USB protocol used for external HDDs and thumb drives).

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: 8GB
by shotsman on Thu 27th Feb 2014 06:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 8GB"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Sometimes idiotproofing can be a good thing.

The way an iPhone handles tethering is very good indeed especially using the cable connection and not the WiFi hotspot. OTOH, with my old Android device, it was next to impossible to setup.

Generally, I wish more designed of just about everything made 'Ease of Use' more important in their end product.

Back in the 1980's we had to redesign a product simple because it was too difficult to use.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: 8GB
by hobgoblin on Thu 27th Feb 2014 07:57 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: 8GB"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

Can't comment on 1.x, but i don't recall having any issues setting it up on 2.x. But then the issue may as well have been political, as i recall there being a whole lot of hand-wringing about the issue from USA thanks to carrier meddling.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: 8GB
by Soulbender on Thu 27th Feb 2014 09:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: 8GB"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

OTOH, with my old Android device, it was next to impossible to setup.


Uh...it's easy-peasy to set up USB and WIFI tethering on Android.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: 8GB
by kurkosdr on Wed 26th Feb 2014 14:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 8GB"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

The HTC, I can just plug in and it appears as a USB Mass Storage device. Easy peasy. The SGS4...ah, well, MTP 'gov.


To be fair, the USB mass storage option was abandoned in 4.x when Google decided to unify the space for user files (aka "internal SD") with the space intended for apps. It's all MTP now, try to find the USB mass storage option on a Nexus 5 if you don't believe me. It's not just a Samsung thing.

Edited 2014-02-26 14:10 UTC

Reply Score: 6

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Wow that story is the zen of zdnet.

Completely wrong, but written as a perfect ad for "business people".

Reply Score: 4

Oh noes!
by Vanders on Tue 25th Feb 2014 23:00 UTC
Vanders
Member since:
2005-07-06

Not 8GB! I was going to use that internal storage space for...uh...for...um...for something else!

Honestly, this is just a silly argument for not liking Samsung. They design their 'phones to work with their software stack. They know how large their stack is.

Reply Score: 3

locked bootloaders...
by bnolsen on Tue 25th Feb 2014 23:17 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

Stupid me, I allowed my AT&T galaxy s4 business phone to update from an open firmware to one with a totally locked down bootloader. At least I was able to use something called 'safestrap' to get a system with every single piece of AT&T bloatware removed and almost all the samsung garbage gone as well, when I finally had enough of the builtin garbage.

The answer in the US is: buy a phone you can't lose control over and gut the power of the cell phone providers (AT&T and Verizon are both bad guys for locking their phones in this case).

Reply Score: 2

RE: locked bootloaders...
by WorknMan on Tue 25th Feb 2014 23:23 UTC in reply to "locked bootloaders..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

The answer in the US is: buy a phone you can't lose control over and gut the power of the cell phone providers (AT&T and Verizon are both bad guys for locking their phones in this case).


Which pretty much limits you to a Nexus phone, and maybe a couple of others that you have to pay $600+ for. Better to find a way to unlock the bootloaders ;)

And the #1 reason why Thom and people like him don't like Samsung phones is because of the plastic, whether they choose to admit it or not. Personally? I wish the ROMs were a little smaller, but I like some of the xtras that Touchwiz provides that is hard to replicate elsewhere, esp the s-pen and multi-window capabilities on my Note tablet.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: locked bootloaders...
by Anon on Wed 26th Feb 2014 16:39 UTC in reply to "RE: locked bootloaders..."
Anon Member since:
2006-01-02

... or a Motorola Moto G 16GB for around $199.

This phone is phenomenal for the price.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: locked bootloaders...
by DeadFishMan on Wed 26th Feb 2014 21:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: locked bootloaders..."
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

... or a Motorola Moto G 16GB for around $199.

This phone is phenomenal for the price.


Agreed. Recently I purchased the 16 gigs, dual SIM with colorful cases version for myself because my old LG L5 was getting long in the tooth and the MotoG specs sounded good enough for the price tag.

I was actually looking for a Nexus4 that was approaching affordable prices here in Brazil after the Nexus5 came out but that was already a stretch for me specially after the price hikes during Xmas seasons. I really needed the dual SIM card support and I live constantly on a budget so the MotoG was really a no-brainer but I went in thinking that it would be yet another laggy and lacking phone. I have never been so glad to be WRONG!

The Moto G is a good performer and it came with Jelly Bean off the shelf - which was fine as I wasn't really missing much - but has already been updated to the latest KitKat and the performance improvements are noticeable. For the first time in my life I truly couldn't be happier with a cell phone.

And I heard that it is making waves here in Latin America probably due to the price tag. Motorola really knocked it out of the park with the G and the X series.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: locked bootloaders...
by WorknMan on Wed 26th Feb 2014 21:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: locked bootloaders..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

It's a good phone for the price, but more on the lower end; not comparable to the heavy hitters.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: locked bootloaders...
by zima on Fri 28th Feb 2014 12:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: locked bootloaders..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

How is it not comparable? (besides one thing only, a mediocre camera)

Reply Score: 2

Apples to Oranges?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 26th Feb 2014 00:07 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Why compare a cyanogenmod rom for a non samsung phone, to a samsung stock rom?

Why not compare the samsung S4 cyanogenmod rom to the stock samsung rom?

The numbers don't matter, but it just looks weird. Like measuring time in light-centimeters.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Apples to Oranges?
by Soulbender on Thu 27th Feb 2014 08:52 UTC in reply to "Apples to Oranges? "
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Why compare a cyanogenmod rom for a non samsung phone, to a samsung stock rom?


Carefully selected comparisons: powering shaky assertions since forever.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Apples to Oranges?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 28th Feb 2014 15:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Apples to Oranges? "
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah, but it didn't even make a difference in this case. All of the cyanogenmods are about the same size give or take a few Mb. He actually weakened the point point by doing a confusing comparison.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Lorin
by Lorin on Wed 26th Feb 2014 04:57 UTC
Lorin
Member since:
2010-04-06

I spend more time fixing bugs in the AOSP derivatives than I do using the phone, so I will stick with the professionals.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by gan17
by gan17 on Wed 26th Feb 2014 05:21 UTC
gan17
Member since:
2008-06-03

Everything Samsung I've owned (except for a washing machine) over the last decade has died on me, usually just a month or two after the 1 year warranty expired. Engineering stuff to die after a certain time could be seen as pretty savvy, but it's still unscrupulous. The warranty claims department (at least in my part of the world) is hell to work with. Oh, and K-Pop is annoying as f*ck, and since Samsung runs Korea, it's their fault.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by gan17
by zima on Sat 1st Mar 2014 19:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by gan17"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

But other places have different warranty periods, longer than your 1 year...

Reply Score: 2

stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

the size of the rom is the last reason i could possibly think of to avoid samsung.

Reply Score: 2

v Soo....
by Soulbender on Wed 26th Feb 2014 05:53 UTC
RE: Soo....
by kwan_e on Wed 26th Feb 2014 06:51 UTC in reply to "Soo...."
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

That's a strawman, as the complaint is that he gets a fully featured OS for 300MB for one phone and 8GB for another.

If in terms of commonly used functionality they are equal, then the space it takes up is a factor. That's significantly different from saying that it's a measure of usability.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Soo....
by Morgan on Wed 26th Feb 2014 11:17 UTC in reply to "Soo...."
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Actually the difference is closer to Haiku vs Windows, based on the scale. Haiku takes up less than 400MB on a fresh install, Windows 7 is well over 8GB.

Of course, then you get into apples and oranges, because the features of each of those OSes aren't comparable. Haiku is still a hobby OS at this stage, and can barely be used for daily work.

You could maybe say Windows 98 takes up 600MB of space installed vs Windows 7, but then you have a horribly outdated, buggy, and useless OS compared to its modern, powerful, and productive successor.

Honestly, there is no computer to phone analogy that works, since Cyanogenmod provides a fully functioning, highly useful OS, just as Samsung's stock ROM does. Even if you load up enough apps and widgets into Cyanogenmod to equal the form and function of the standard Samsung ROM, you still are barely reaching the 1GB mark, if at all.

Simply put, Samsung's offering is pure bloatware. That doesn't bother some people, and for those it does bother, there is Cyanogenmod. Everyone can be happy!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Soo....
by bnolsen on Wed 26th Feb 2014 12:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Soo...."
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

at&t and verizon locked bootloaders kills it. life is not so good anymore.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Soo....
by Morgan on Wed 26th Feb 2014 14:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Soo...."
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Well, that's a strictly American problem, isn't it? But you're right, and I hate that carriers have so much power here.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Soo....
by Soulbender on Thu 27th Feb 2014 08:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Soo...."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

there is no computer to phone analogy that works, since Cyanogenmod provides a fully functioning, highly useful OS, just as Samsung's stock ROM does.



So...it's almost exactly like my comparison then? ;)

Reply Score: 3

CM stats - Nightlies..
by Brunis on Wed 26th Feb 2014 11:09 UTC
Brunis
Member since:
2005-11-01

That's a lot of people beta testing ;)

Reply Score: 2

Re:
by kurkosdr on Wed 26th Feb 2014 13:57 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Let's see, "16GB" is 14.9GB of actual space, let's set apart 2GB for caches and stuff, minus the 7.9GB that are free, so that makes us about 5GB of code.

When I hear about code that has a size of 5GB, my mind boggles (I am talking about pure code here, not games where game assets take the bulk of space). Can you imagine how long the source code for that code would be?

On a second thought, a large portion of that code can be multiple copies of the same code and unused assets (icons etc).

Bad news either way.

PS: Samsung phones measure storage and free space as decimal, so if you see "16GB" of storage in your Samsung phone, don't get too exited. It's really 14.9GB. And the free space you see is actually less.

Edited 2014-02-26 14:09 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Samsung G5 rulz
by kpugovkin on Wed 26th Feb 2014 18:11 UTC
kpugovkin
Member since:
2011-07-05
OmniRom
by IndigoJo on Thu 27th Feb 2014 13:33 UTC
IndigoJo
Member since:
2005-07-06

What does OmniRom do? I looked on their website and couldn't find any screenshots or any list of what it offers that CyanogenMod doesn't.

Reply Score: 2