Samsung Free vs Google Discover: Which News Service You Should Use

Samsung Free is the company’s rival to Google Discover and comes by default on all Samsung Galaxy devices. Samsung finally added an option to choose between Samsung Free and Google Discover as the left side menu with One UI 3.1 update. Read on to find all the differences and pick the perfect news companion for your Galaxy phone.

Samsung free vs google discover

Note: The option to choose between Samsung Free and Google Discover is only available for Galaxy phones launching with One UI 3.1 built-in. If your phone recently received the One UI 3.1 update, then you won’t see the option.

With that out of the way, let’s compare Samsung Free to Google Discover on multiple fronts, including UI, 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 of all, both play perfectly fine with Android’s native dark theme.

Google Discover straight away offers the news recommendation that you might be interested in. Scroll down to see Google Stories, ads, recommendations, and news articles in an endless scrolling list.

Google discover ui

We like how Google has cleaned up the Discover UI with fewer options and buttons on the default home. Tap on the profile icon at the upper right corner, and you will find those relevant options such as Discover, Snapshot, Search, Collections, and more.

Samsung Free displays news recommendations right on the home screen. You will notice a giant Top News banner at the top and other News stories at the bottom. Samsung allows you switching between relevant tabs right from the Samsung Free home.

Samsung free ui

News Categories and Manage Interests

Google Discover doesn’t categorize news stories. You can tap on the three-dot menu and select Manage interests. From the following menu, you can see and manage interests.

Google discover manage interest
Google discover interest

On Samsung Free, you can tap on the three-dot menu at the upper right corner and select Settings. Select Edit Categories under the Read menu, and you can manage your news consumption.

Samsung free edit categories
Samsung free news categories

News Recommendations

Let’s talk about the biggest reason to use either Google Discover or Samsung Free in the first place – News recommendations. And we have to say, Google has nailed that with Google Discover.

Google’s news recommendations and algorithm are spot on. Most news will stories align with your interest, and there are more chances of you stumbling upon something you would like to read on Google Discover than Samsung Free. Google’s years of data collection on you completely show up here.

Google discover news

Samsung Free is relatively new in the space. The company has taken a standard route to deliver relevant news to users. We didn’t find any targeted news, and the service has a long way to go when matching Google’s advanced algorithms.

Samsung free news interest

Extra Features

Google Discover aims to be your ready-to-go digital assistant to handle your daily schedule and tasks. Go to the Snapshot menu, and Google will serve you with today’s weather details, the stocks you follow, your to-dos, shopping list, and more. One can also add new cards such as Notes, Reminders, and Shopping items.

Google Collection is an interesting feature. In 2018, Google announced the Collections feature that lets you save any search results, webpages, and map locations in a single place.

Google discover today view
Google discover collection

The whole concept is that people use Google for research but don’t remember to bookmark a webpage for easy retrieval. You can keep that information in Collections for later use. You can read more about Google Collection in our dedicated guide here.

Samsung has integrated Samsung Live function that offers live TV channels right into the Samsung Free page. It’s a boon for those using Samsung smart TV at home. Simply play the live TV channel and mirror it on a big screen for more convenience.

Samsung live tv
Samsung play

The live TV is only limited to a handful of countries. But it’s a must-have if the add-on is enabled in your region. Samsung Play seemed useless to us. It’s nothing but a bunch of game ads in the Samsung Free app. Best to avoid that.

Get Your Day Organized

You aren’t forced to use either of these. There is an option to completely disable both services in the One UI. If we had to pick one, we would slide with Google Discover for now. Although the addition of Samsung Live TV might be useful to some out there. Which one are you going to pick? Share your opinion in the comments below.

Next up: Samsung Gallery is another excellent alternative to Google Photos. Read the comparison post below to pick the better gallery app for you.

Last updated on 13 July, 2021

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