Samsung doesn’t need to sell its own phones to have a huge presence in mobile because all the best phones use Samsung parts.
Happy Saturday, Android fans. I hope everyone is being safe and healthy and looking at a gorgeous Samsung display reading things on the internet while dreaming of one day being able to go outside again. And chances are that you’re doing just that, even if the back of your phone doesn’t say Samsung on it.
Samsung makes a whole heck of a lot of phones every year. For a while now, Samsung has been one of the top three smartphone manufacturers, with a lot of time spent at the top spot. But Samsung doesn’t have to make phones for it to be a driving force in the mobile space (and the laptop space and the tablet space and the smart home space) because almost every phone has plenty of Samsung parts inside.
The headline part here is always going to be the display. Pick a flagship phone and you’ll probably find a Samsung Super-AMOLED display on its front face — even if you picked an Apple iPhone. That’s because Samsung is the absolute, undisputed leader in small form-factor OLED panels when it comes to quality. LG may hold that title when talking 40-inches or bigger, but you instantly notice an OLED screen that wasn’t made by Samsung if you are into phones and have looked at a lot of them. A fact that Pixel 2 XL owners remember all too well.
But that’s not where it stops. Samsung also makes the best memory and memory controller — a piece and its associated software that makes memory actually work — money can buy. Memory is as important to how much you’ll love a phone as the display is; you need it to function properly every time and be super fast while doing it. Your phone — yes, even if it’s an iPhone — uses Samsung memory. Probably both kinds of memory, the RAM kind, and the storage kind!
Samsung parts are in all sorts of small electronics because they are the best.
If we step away from phones you still see Samsung everywhere. The same Samsung parts you find soldered to circuit boards inside a phone can also be found on things like a Raspberry Pi and other brands of small connected “things” use Samsung Exynos processors, too.
Samsung makes the best computer flash storage, too, so you find it in Chromebooks and Macbook Airs. Samsung makes the best Solid-State Drives so the hard drive in your computer is probably made by Samsung. You may even use a Samsung monitor, because they do a pretty good job at building those, too.
A lot of people don’t know this and think Samsung is just a company that makes phones or televisions or washing machines. But Samsung is also one of the world’s largest component suppliers and the company makes plenty of money through its various component divisions.
Samsung isn’t alone here. LG is similar and makes more than appliances or phones (the battery in your Samsung phone could have been made by LG). Oppo is one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers and makes disc players, cameras, and more under its own name or as white-label products for other companies. But nobody seems to have captured most of the mobile component market the way Samsung has because it does two things so well phone makers just don’t want to use a competing product.
You may not know who makes the parts inside your phone but you would know if they weren’t very good.
Those two things are what I mentioned earlier — the display and the memory. Both are so good that even Apple, a company known for extremely tight spending to maximize the profit margin on every iPhone it sells, just buys them instead of sourcing parts from several manufacturers. Apple fine-tunes an iPhone display to its own liking, but it needs a high-quality panel to start with. The highest quality comes from Samsung.
Of course, this shows in Samsung’s own phones, too. Once you dig through the internet rabble over software and updates and every other bit of drama that surrounds Android, you find one point everyone can agree on — Samsung phones use the best hardware money can buy and have the best displays of any phone on the market.
Even if you aren’t interested in buying the next big Samsung phone, the phone you buy will be filled with plenty of Samsung parts. And you’ll appreciate those parts even if you didn’t know they came from Samsung because they help make your phone better.
Galaxy Note 10 Lite
$455 at Amazon
Mid-range productivity workhorse.
The Note 10 Lite is interesting because it brings the S Pen to a wider audience. There’s also the fact that it has a 3.5mm jack, and while some hardware choices don’t make much sense, the phone should hold up just fine in day-to-day usage. If you’ve wanted to try out the S Pen but didn’t want to pay over $1,000 for the Note 10, the Note 10 Lite could just be the phone for you.