A few SamMobile team members had the great opportunity to experience last week's Galaxy Unpacked event live at COEX in Seoul. But it was more than that. Aside from seeing Samsung's latest devices live on stage, we visited many wonderful places in Korea, including the Samsung Innovation Museum and the Samsung Digital City, which left us in awe. You can read more about our trip to Korea in one of our latest editorials, but now, we have something else to share with you.
During our visit to Galaxy Unpacked, Samsung invited us to attend a conference where we had the chance to interview TM Roh. We used this opportunity to ask TM Roh about his plans for Galaxy and the apparent lack of raw hardware innovation in the latest mobile devices. Here's what happened.
Story continues after the video
TM Roh told us all about Samsung's vision for mobile
When it was our turn to talk with TM Roh at the conference, we tried to speak not only for ourselves but to represent the Samsung and SamMobile fanbase. Since there's been a lot of talk around raw hardware specs lately, we decided to touch on this subject. The question we had for TM Roh reads as follows:
Danny Dorresteijn — SamMobile Founder: “Technology and smartphone fans have been feeling underwhelmed recently by Samsung's pace of innovation when it comes to hardware specifications.
People agree Samsung's focus on software, including both software features and software updates, is a good thing, but can they expect Samsung to once again bring substantial jumps in hardware specs in the near future, or are major hardware upgrades not part of Samsung's current vision?”
The head of Samsung Mobile took the time to answer our queries in detail and address these concerns. He shared Samsung's current vision with us and gave us a better understanding of how the mobile division plans to move forward in the next era. These are TM Roh's answers — transcribed and slightly paraphrased due to audio quality issues.
TM Roh — Head of Samsung Mobile Business: “I believe that, in the mobile industry, especially for smartphones, hardware and software already very closely interact with each other to provide optimal performance and features to the users.
So without software optimization and algorithms, it would not be possible to enjoy the best usability or experience or the product hardware. And vice versa. Without the right hardware, we would not enjoy better performance and software features.
And in fact, even on the same hardware, depending on the OS and UI, as long as there's software optimization, the user experience can vastly differ. And I believe that is going to be even more so the case in the future.
On Galaxy devices, we have a very powerful user interface, One UI, as well as the system software that supports it, which allow devices to have the best usability, personalization, and customization. And there's the AI algorithm network as well.
Having said that, what Samsung has been very good at, what Galaxy mobile devices have been very good at, is hardware innovation, and we will keep innovating the hardware side as well. To provide the best display, best camera, and also new form factors like foldables, and also better heat dissipation, we are already investing a lot of resources to continue with our innovation.”
No room for huge jumps in hardware, but software can do wonders
By the sound of it, Samsung understands that raw mobile hardware almost plateaued. You can throw more RAM at a device, but that won't make a huge difference to the user experience. There's no longer as much room for innovation in areas of raw hardware as there used to be a few years ago.
The company seemingly understands that, at least right now, there's a bigger payoff from directing its efforts toward optimizing and innovating on the software side. Hence, Samsung is trying to be ahead of the curve, act proactively, and focus more on the user experience, One UI, optimization, software features, cross-device quality-of-life features, and AI solutions rather than spec sheets.
Even though this may sound less exciting for raw spec enthusiasts, it most likely is a healthy approach to improving the Galaxy experience for the majority of Samsung mobile customers worldwide.
Nevertheless, Samsung is equally aware that software and hardware go hand in hand. One can't exist without the other, which is why TM Roh says Samsung continues to invest in researching and innovating aspects it deems worthy of such efforts, such as displays, cameras, new form factors, and powerful AI.