Samsung Free vs. Google Discover: Which Messaging Service To Use

Samsung Free is the company’s competitor to Google Discover and comes standard on all Samsung Galaxy devices. Samsung finally added an option with the One UI 3.1 update to choose between Samsung Free and Google Discover as a menu on the left. Read on to find out all the differences and choose the perfect messaging companion for your Galaxy phone.

With that done, let’s compare Samsung Free to Google Discover on several fronts including user interface, features, services, their usefulness in daily life, and more.

user interface

Swipe right on your Galaxy phone’s home screen and One UI will greet you with either Google Discover or Samsung Free. First off, they both play perfectly with Android’s native dark theme.

Google Discover instantly provides the news recommendation that might interest you. Scroll down to see Google Stories, Ads, Recommendations, and News Articles in an endless scrolling list.

We like how Google tidied up the Discover UI with fewer options and buttons on the default homepage. Tap the profile icon in the top right corner and you will find the relevant options like Explore, Snapshot, Search, Collections and more.

Samsung Free shows news recommendations right on the home screen. You will notice a huge top news banner at the top and other news stories at the bottom. With Samsung, you can switch between relevant tabs directly from the Samsung Free home page.

Free Samsung user interface

Manage news categories and interests

Google Discover doesn’t categorize news. You can tap the three-dot menu and select Manage Interests. In the following menu you can view and manage interests.

Discover Google's interest management

Google finds interest

On Samsung Free, you can tap the three-dot menu in the top right corner and select Settings. Select Edit Categories from the Reading menu and you will be able to manage your news consumption.

Edit Samsung Free Categories

Free Samsung News Categories

News recommendations

Let’s talk about the top reason to even use Google Discover or Samsung Free – news recommendations. And we have to say, Google got that straight to the point with Google Discover.

Google’s news recommendations and algorithm are spot on. Most of the news will match your interests, and there is a higher chance that you stumble upon something you would like to read on Google Discover than on Samsung Free. The years of data collection by Google about you are displayed here in full.

Discover Google news

Samsung Free is relatively new to the field. The company has taken a standard way of delivering relevant messages to users. We didn’t find any targeted messages and the service still has a long way to go when it comes to matching Google’s advanced algorithms.

Samsung free news interest

Additional functions

Google Discover is meant to be your ready-to-use digital assistant to do your daily routine and tasks. Go to the snapshot menu and Google will give you the latest weather data, stocks you’ve been tracking, your to-dos, a shopping list, and more. You can also add new cards such as notes, reminders, and shopping items.

Google Collection is an interesting feature. In 2018, Google announced the collection feature It allows you to save all search results, web pages, and map locations in one place.

Explore Google Today Ads

Discover the collection from Google

The whole concept is that people use google to research but don’t think about bookmarking a webpage for easy retrieval. You can keep this information in collections for future reference. For more information on Google Collection, check out our dedicated guide here.

Samsung has incorporated the Samsung Live feature, which offers live TV channels right into the Samsung Free page. It’s a boon for those who use Samsung Smart TV at home. Just play the live TV channel and mirror it on a big screen for more convenience.

Samsung Live TV

Samsung play

Live TV is only limited to a handful of countries. However, it is a must if the add-on is enabled in your region. Samsung Play seemed useless to us. It’s nothing but a series of game displays in the Samsung Free app. It’s best to avoid that.

Organize your day

You are not forced to use both. There is an option to completely disable both services in the One UI. If we had to choose one, for the time being, we would be sliding down with Google Discover. Though adding Samsung Live TV might come in handy for some out there. Which one will you choose? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.

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