Opinion

Samsung needs to fix the haptic feedback on its smartphones

I, quite literally, had a rude awakening this morning. The alarm on my Galaxy S10+ went off and it felt like being woken up by being touched with electric wires. I had forgotten to turn off the vibration so its intensity was on full display when the alarm went off. It just reminded me of the fact that the haptic feedback on Samsung’s devices has always left a lot to be desired. Like other Samsung devices, it’s just too loud and strong.

Leave it on the nightstand and if your apartment has thin walls, your neighbor just might hear it vibrating in the wee hours of the morning. This has always been the problem with the haptic engine on Samsung’s recent devices. It’s just too loud. You can actually hear the engine vibrating so it kind of defeats the purpose of putting your phone on vibrate. Imagine you’re in a meeting and you don’t want to bother everyone with your ringtone and yet everyone can hear your phone vibrating every time a message comes in.

A lot of other people have complained about this as well. Even the vibrations from taps can be heard by everyone in a silent room. Turning the vibration intensity all the way down doesn’t really help either. It can quickly become very annoying for your colleagues at work or the person trying to sleep next to you.

Apple’s Taptic Engine is the gold standard for haptic feedback. Introduced with the iPhone 6S, it’s a complex setup comprising of a linear actuator and springs to provide a variety of tangible feedback. It’s not just intense buzzing. Users also get more control over the duration and intensity of the haptic feedback and that really makes all the difference. Apple also tweaked iOS to provide even the gentlest of haptic feedback in different situations such as a tiny bump when a slider is pushed to its extreme. It just feels much more natural than anything on a Samsung phone.

Even OnePlus appears to have recognized the importance of improving this. The company’s handsets have long been criticized for having weak haptic feedback. The OnePlus 7 Pro it unveiled yesterday has an entirely new haptic engine and the reviews have been good so far. This improvement stood out because Android manufacturers don’t really focus too much on haptic feedback beyond sticking a generic vibration motor in their smartphones. The OS itself doesn’t incentivize that.

This is one of the things that make your life easier in daily use once you’ve got over the initial shock and awe of a massive display or a multi-camera setup. All those things are great but it’s the little things that leave a lasting impression. There’s no difference in the haptic feedback that you get on a budget Samsung phone or a flagship. Would it not be better if at least the high-end devices got a better haptic engine? At least customers would feel that they’re getting more bang for their buck.

I wish that Samsung focuses on improving the haptic engine on future devices. Every other OEM is doing the big ticket stuff now like large displays, punch hole cameras, stereo speakers, etc. It has established its credentials in all of these areas. Hopefully, it will pay attention to this minor yet important functionality, so that we may find it even easier to live with our Samsung smartphones.

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KarenMac
KarenMac

Not sure if this is the right place for this, but I’ve been searching for info regarding haptic feedback bugs in S8’s and found this forum. I purchased a used, unlocked S8 2 months ago. The phone’s in great condition and 100% working order except for the haptic feedback “motor” is almost constantly pinging. I have turned it off completely in the settings, but it still boings in my pocket and most annoyingly when I’m on a call. It pings in my ear. I’ve taken it to a Samsung authorized repair shop and they re-flashed it. It stopped for awhile,… Read more »

keithsanantonio
keithsanantonio

You can set your vibration intensity on samsung so you have an option to minimize what you have called “too loud and strong” vibration

keithsanantonio
keithsanantonio

Its never an issue for me. Just turned off it if you were sleeping. Its good when the phone is in your pocket. Most of the time your phone is in your pocket not all the time your phone rings when sleep. It is useful i think for most people using the phone in vibrating mode.

keithsanantonio
keithsanantonio

I forgot, when i used iphones before i always missed calls and messages because i dont feel the vibration at all.

ArvindFLUIDIC
ArvindFLUIDIC

How to control the intensity of the vibration in Samsung Smartphones…??

Biransahin
Biransahin

In settings, where else?

ArvindFLUIDIC
ArvindFLUIDIC

Sorry, I cant find in the settings. Can you elaborate..?

jr_mtz01
jr_mtz01

Hard disagree. I LOVE their haptip feedback engines BECAUSE of how strong it is. I HATE noises, so I never have my phone off of silent; It is because of the strong vibrations that I never miss a call. They are strong to be felt in my pocket while doing ANYTHING- I can be walking, sitting, running, or even jumping and I will always feel the vibrations. My gf who has an iPhone could miss calls for days in the same scenario. So, no, I don’t think SamSung should copy CrApple, Google, or any other OEM. This is one of… Read more »

stoka123
stoka123

I never comment but i have to on this one. As a person whos phone is always on vibration and never on ringtone i found this for you “weird” behavior really amazing. I used sony phones before which didnt have so strong vibration and coming to S8 was “oooh my goood” i can feel it in my pocket. Personally i tried iphone, it is nice and smooth feeling while you hold it and do something on it but first second away its uselless. For many years i have only vibration on dont ask me why, and its convinient for example… Read more »

Biransahin
Biransahin

Exactly. As I commented earlier, some people only think about themselves. My sister is hearing impaired and needs the strong vibration setting to know when she has messages. The iPhones “knock knock” vibration is no good for her. Some people are just self centered and don’t see the full picture.

Martin R.
Martin R.

This is an opinion and has nothing to do with what you’re implying here. This is why we write these pieces to spark a discussion not to be ridiculed.

ChandravadanR
ChandravadanR

What!!!??? For me Samsung has very low intensity of vibration. I always miss the calls if the phone is on vibrate mode. See? It’s just an opinion. Just like color preferences are.

locarno
locarno

Good article.

Gunter2
Gunter2

Mr. Biran made a very good point here if this is not a joke though I think it is. People with hearing impairments may very well need a strong vibration in order to know when messages or other information arrives. I think Samsung do the right thing for people to be able to adjust vibration to be big or small. There are also quite a lot of people who have a condition called Hypoesthesia. I learned about this in medical school where people suffer from a reduction in sensitivity to touch. The would need a stronger haptic feedback that other… Read more »

Biransahin
Biransahin

Well we learn something new every day. Having read your comment I just Googled this medical condition where sense of touch is reduced. It’s good Samsung remember people who may have disabilities, whether hearing impaired or suffering from touch in sensitivity. The article, joking or not, has highlighted that some people can need something that we don’t even think about.

Gunter2
Gunter2

Yes, we should not think selfishly. We must remember that there are people with different needs to our own, like your own hearing impaired sister for example as you mentioned below.

Turbotomate
Turbotomate

You and Biransahin really dont get the point. Its not about how strong the vibration is, but how it feels and sounds. Samsungs vibration is really loud and feels totally undefined and cheap. You normally put your phone on vibration when you dont want it to be heard. But Samsungs vibration is so loud that one can hear it from a pocket or desk. Apple, OnePlus, Google etc. on the other hand have a absolutely fine knocking. Apple Watch vibration feels like someone is knocking on your wrist. In addition you cant hear the vibration. So it is a much… Read more »

Martin R.
Martin R.

Exactly this is what we meant with this article!!

Gunter2
Gunter2

I know exactly what the iPhone feedback feels like. That’s why this whole thing is so ridiculous. Since when does Samsung need to copy Apple? Personally I feel it’s better on the Samsung phones.

Martin R.
Martin R.

Let us agree to disagree…

Biransahin
Biransahin

I agree, obviously some people prefer iPhone and that’s their right, but I certainly don’t want my phone to copy Apple. But we agree to disagree.

Abhijeet
Abhijeet

As Martin said, let us agree to disagree, but I’d just like to point out that the thing about “why should Samsung copy Apple” just seems like saying “I just don’t like Apple, so Samsung shouldn’t copy them.” Which I hope isn’t the case and you actually prefer the vibration on the Samsung phones. But again, agree to disagree as everyone has different opinions, and that’s exactly why these articles go into the opinion section. Cheers!

Biransahin
Biransahin

You have a point Abhijeet, however if people want the iPhone experience, there’s a simple solution. The comments I made were based on practical reasons. My sister cannot hear very well. She needs the strong vibration option that Samsung provides. The iPhones “knock” vibration is not suitable. I think Samsung do a far better job for sense impaired people than any other company including Apple. The vibration strength can be adjusted easily. People can be very selfish and only think of themselves sometimes, which is natural. But the phone is not just for them, it’s for everyone to be able… Read more »

siaho
siaho

While I will agree that the iphones haptic engine is a really something else and good, the samsung vibration motors are not that bad + the intensity can be controlled (mentioned) and on the lowest setting it’s acceptable. I am even on the second setting, not the lowest one.

ArvindFLUIDIC
ArvindFLUIDIC

How the intensity can be controlled..?

keithsanantonio
keithsanantonio

If you are using samsung phone with pie it is already on sound and vibration setting>vibration intensity

Gunter2
Gunter2

Is this a funny article to make us laugh? Surely this is not a serious article! Haptic feedback too strong for your finger? hahahaha!! Ok, I know this is a joke! Good one Danny! Of course I know you must be aware that you can control the strength of the haptic feedback and the vibration motor in settings! and amazingly some people actually believed the joke!! It’s good to see some humour from Sammobile! You should do it more!!

Biransahin
Biransahin

Someone voted down my comment. Maybe they’re serious. 😳. No……….they can’t be. It must be a big joke. The staff are rolling around the floor laughing as we comment here! 🤣

Biransahin
Biransahin

Seriously man. Even at full strength, it’s not that strong. And you can adjust the strength of the haptic engine in settings to a very low level that won’t hurt your poor delicate little finger. I was wondering if this article was an April Fools Day joke…….until I remembered it was May 15th. This is hilarious!! LOLOL

Gunter2
Gunter2

I think you are right first time mein freund. Danny D has made a joke article here. this could not be serious in any way at all. I’m sure he, as we, are very well aware that the haptic feedback and vibration can be adjusted to be very light.

Biransahin
Biransahin

You’re right, I’ve just read the article again. It’s definitely a joke. Of course the guys know that the haptic and vibration strength can be adjusted to suit individual needs. My sister who is a little hard of hearing needs a strong vibration so she understands when messages arrive. She has the S10 plus and is very appreciative that Samsung consider people like her when they design the phone.

Martin R.
Martin R.

If you have never tried the other haptic engines you do not even know what we mean.. This is no joke!

iPhone do not vibrate, they knock which is much better then vibrating…

Gunter2
Gunter2

The point is that I have. This is why I honestly thought this was some kind of joke. I know people can have the most petty complaints sometimes but in my opinion this is ridiculous. And again. why should Samsung copy Apple? If I wanted an iPhone, I would buy an iPhone. I buy a Samsung because I like it as it is. I’ve had iPhones 3 and 4 and 5 and 6s then gotfirst Samsung . I don’t want a phone with iPhone characteristics. I want a Samsung with Samsung characteristics.

Biransahin
Biransahin

Again I feel the same. If I wanted a phone that acted like an iPhone then I would buy an iPhone. A “knock knock” effect would not be much good for my hearing impaired sister. She needs the constant and strong vibration. In my opinion it is better. The original point of this article was the vibration is too strong, and of course the vibration and haptic strength can be adjusted. Suddenly some people here seem to want the Samsung phone to be an iPhone. I just don’t get it. Anyway, each to his or her own opinion.

Anas108
Anas108

By the way, did Samsung removed the 3D touch home button in S10? Cuz I loved it in my Note8

gogolak
gogolak

Yes they did. After people got used to on screen home button…for me the haptic one was kind of useless. My navigation bar is always visible.. and now Samsung has introduced double tap to wake…so…it became useless

tylok
tylok

the vibration strength can be adjusted in the setings… 😉

Martin R.
Martin R.

Of course, it can. This doesn’t change the fact that there is zero innovation in this area. Apple, Sony, LG and now even One Plus does it. Samsung “buzz” has been the same for years…

Gunter2
Gunter2

Innovation on a vibration motor? Are you all in on this joke Martin? But humour is always good mein freund! I approve, even if it is not April one!!!! 🙂

Martin R.
Martin R.

Have you tried the Apple one? Or the Pixels vibration engine? If not than you do not know what we mean…

tylok
tylok

At work I am using an iphone 7 and I also used a 1+6T for a while. In my Opinion the Samsung Vibration engine is the best. Could be that I am justed used to it as I habe been using Galaxy phones since the S2…

o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

It’s a vibration motor, that is actually customisable too. I have used iPhones, and yeah, it does feel nicer – but does it any way improve the usability – I think not. The haptic feedback motor is no more important than a colour option! It’s just not a big deal! And the more people make it out like it is, the more stupid the price will be! Jus, think for a second, iPhone users are having to resort to boast about the vibration motor on their phone in order to impress android users now.?! It’s a bit pathetic. And worst!… Read more »

Martin R.
Martin R.

That is your use case.. We here at SamMobile find that Samsung is lacking innovation in this area, and we point that out. It is just the same engine on a budget model than on a flagship. That is unacceptable.

o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

But what’s so important about it!?!? That is my point. It brings nothing to the user. I’ve never heard anyone, ever, say they chose a phone because it vibrates good! I mean, come on. I’m not denying that it’s ‘lacking’ compared to Apple but I can’t understand why you think it’s important – it vibrates. What other purpose must it have? Also, I actually miss vibrations from my S9+ all the time in my pocket (jeans or blazer) that’s why I’ve got a Galaxy Watch. So your insistence that it is TOO strong is difficult to believe, and in any… Read more »

Turbotomate
Turbotomate

Important point, thanks for the article! When using an iPhone or a Pixel 3 i really love the Feedback they give. Its more like knocking than vibrating. Apple Watch has it aswell. Samsung needs to step up its game.

Martin R.
Martin R.

Exactly!