AH Primetime: When Does an OEM Put To Much Bloat on their Flagship?

Lately, a big topic has been bloatware. Now we've been talking about bloatware on Android devices for a few years now. But when the Galaxy S4 started to land in customers hands, we all noticed that it had quite a bit less internal space than we thought it would have. Right now I have the AT&T Galaxy S4 which gives you 9.62GB of space that you can use right out of the box on the 16GB version. That means there's a lot of space used up for Samsung's features like S Health, Adapt Display, Smart Pause, Smart Scroll, Chat On, among others and all the AT&T apps that come pre-loaded. That takes up a little less than half of the total space in the Galaxy S4.

Now, those of us that have bought phones, laptops, desktops, tablets, etc., over the past few years shouldn't be too surprised by this since we do usually get less storage than what is advertised. For instance, the Nexus 4 (16GB version) has about 12.92GB of storage available to the user. Which is about 3GB more than what the Galaxy S4 offers. So at least you've got a microSD card slot there.

So how do we know when bloatware has become too much? I think that Touchwiz is really pushing that in the Galaxy S4. We reported on lag in the Exynos 5 Octa variant. I also noticed some lag in the Snapdragon 600 version that I have here. But the lag seems to only be in the default keyboard. Once I installed Swiftkey, I haven't noticed any lag since. So I'm sure an update can fix the whole lag thing. But the thing here is that a quad-core Snapdragon 600 should not be lagging at all. Even if you have a million apps open, well it might lag a bit then.

I know many of you may feel that it's not too much bloatware on the Galaxy S4, but when you factor in how much bloat the carriers add, it gets to be rather bad. The AT&T Galaxy S4 has 58 applications pre-installed. That's before I've even opened the Play Store. Out of those 58, 11 of them are AT&T apps. Sure they can all (or almost all) be disabled, but we shouldn't have to do that. We should be able to buy a new phone and immediately install our favorite apps without having to uninstall ones we won't use or don't want first.

If you haven't noticed from what I've said already, I feel that the Galaxy S4 is really pushing it in terms of how much bloatware we'll allow on our devices before rooting. Now I haven't checked out the HTC One yet, but if it uses as much storage as the Galaxy S4 does, then it's definitely pushing the boundaries as well. But what do you think? Did Samsung and HTC put too much bloat on their 2013 flagship devices? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the Author

Alexander Maxham

Head Editor
Alex has written for Androidheadlines since 2012 as Editor of the site and traveled the World to many of the biggest Smartphone and Technology events. Alex has a background in Technology and IT and Deep Passion for Everything Android and Google. His specialties lay in Smartphones of all budgets, Accessories, Home Automation and more. Contact him at [email protected]