Google Messages vs Samsung Messages – What’s the difference?

Text messages, or SMS messages, are still used as a major part of our online communications every single day.

With the invention of instant messaging services like WhatsApp and Snapchat, you may think that the use of text messaging services has decreased over the years. However, text messages services are still going strong.

Android users may wonder what the difference is between the text messaging services on their operating system. In this review article we’re going to look at Google messages versus Samsung messages to see what the differences are, how they’re used and ultimately, which is better.

Google Message vs Samsung Messages – The Differences

Android phones are installed with ‘Google Messages’, which is also known as Android messages. Google messages are the default SMS service for all Android phones and devices – with the exception of Samsung, who have their own default SMS service called ‘Samsung Messages’.

This isn’t anything too fancy, it’s just like how the iPhone has iMessage. A device like Google Pixel as an example of comparison has Android Messages as the default SMS service preinstalled onto the phone when you buy it.

However, the Samsung Galaxy S20 has Samsung messages pre-installed as its default messaging app. You’ll also find it on other Samsung Galaxy devices, both phones and tablets.

So if your unread messages are piling up, it can be a good idea to understand the differences between the two apps.

Google Messages and Samsung comparison – UI, categories & search function

Google messages for Android uses a familiar classic interface that contains a search bar on the top right of the screen, the main menu button, and the ‘Start Chat’ button for composing new messages quickly. Samsung message has a bunch of similar features to Google messages.

It has the search feature on the top right of the screen in the app, which is depicted with a magnifying glass icon where you can search for keywords or names of contacts.

On the bottom right of the screen you have the ‘Chat’ bubble. This is the same as the ‘Start Chat’ icon for Google messages, and from here you can click this to compose new messages.

At the bottom of the Samsung messages app there are two further tabs you don’t see with Google messages, Conversations and Contacts.

Conversations shows you your text messages as in the default interface, and they can be split into personalized categories that you choose yourself. ALL is the default category this is where you can see all the messages stored on your phone.

However, Samsung allows you to add categories like Friends and Bills, and basically any word you think describes certain types of messages – this is where your messages that fit that keyword can be found.

The ‘Contacts’ tab shows you a list from A-Z of all your contacts on your phone, it is basically quick access to your address book.

The chats displayed within the app itself also differ slightly, Google Messages only show one line of words from the text you have received.

This is in comparison to Samsung messages, which shows two lines of text for you to see more of the content without having to open the message fully. A handy feature if you are avoiding someone and don’t want them to know you read their message.

Another feature of both Google and Samsung is their spam detection services, but again they use different things to detect spam. Google messaging uses its own service, whereas Samsung takes information from a service called Hiya to show spam callers and message.

Samsung Messages – The good

The first great thing about Samsung messages is the ease of use that it allows, it is set up in a way that you can access all features within the SMS app using only one hand. In comparison to Google messages, which doesn’t allow for this use because it uses the full screen to display messages.

In Samsung messages, the top message is the most recent conversation, which is located halfway up the screen so you can literally reach your most recent message one-handed.

Google’s most recent message is right at the top of the screen so you have to extend your thumb all the way up to the top making it harder for you to access using only one hand.

Looking at the settings within Samsung, located next to the search icon, depicted with three vertical dots. The best feature for Samsung within these messages is ‘Starred’ messages. Starred messages are useful if you have been sent something super important, for example, an interview time and date.

If you want to, in Samsung messages you can go into the SMS with this information, click and hold on the relevant important message, choose ‘Star’ message.

This then drops that one line into the starred message file in order for you to access that piece of important information at any time you need. This means you don’t miss important things you need to remember because you have access to them.

In comparison, Google message does not have this option. The closest to this feature you see with Google is ‘Archive’ which Samsung also have.

But Archive will transfer the entire conversational history with that person so you will still have to scroll through all your messages to find the information you are looking for.

The next closest thing Google messages offer to the ‘Starred’ message of Samsung is to set a reminder on a particular message. This isn’t really helpful however when you’re trying to figure out where the message is a few weeks later as it only sets a reminder for a certain date and/or time.

In a few months from the reminder, if you need the information again you have to scroll through your whole history to find the message you wanted to save. You can also use Dark mode with Samsung messages, which may be a little easier on the eyes.

Where Google Messages may be better

Probably the main pro of Google message is a service they have called ‘Messages for the web’. It works much in the same way WhatsApp does.

The Message for web service allows you to both send and receive messages on your computer, to do this you scan the barcode using your SMS app then it is saved to your computer for use in the future.

Overall, there are more features happening in Samsung messages than on Android messages because one is made by Android devices across the board so all in all it’s going to be very vanilla and have more basic stuff than the one specifically made for Samsung devices.

However, there are times where you may find that Samsung messages is not working, which can be pretty frustrating. Of course, in this case it’s better to switch over to Google Messages instead.

Feature Comparison

Below is the table, I have put in the features that SMS services use and allow, and I have put in whether or not Google Message or Samsung have this feature capability for you to see which both offer individually and in comparison.

Feature of SMS serviceSamsung MessagesGoogle Messages
Contact InfoYesYes
NotesSamsung NotesNo
File SendingNoYes
Scheduled MeetingsYesYes
Web SearchingNoLimited
Quick ReplyYesNo
Smart ReplyNoYes
Add SubjectYesNo
Total Supported13/1612/16

One thing that’s not mentioned is the ability to pin messages to the top of your app. With Google Messages, you only have the ability to do this with three chats.

But with Samsung messages, you have the ability to do this with twenty chats. This makes quick responses to your friends a little easier.

FAQs about Messages

How do I switch to MMS messages using Samsung messages?

Your messaging service will automatically switch to MMS if you are sending a picture message, or if your text message goes over the character limit.

How do I know if my Google message chat features are on?

Chat features will be turned on when all the participants in a conversation have chat features.

Do chat features cost me money?

When using chat features, your messages are sent over Wi-Fi and mobile data. As long as you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network that you don’t have to pay to use, there should be no cost to send and receive messages.


In conclusion, I would say from experience Samsung messages is the better way to send SMS messages. This is because it was specifically made for and by Samsung, so it makes sense to use it.

It is a little less vanilla than Google messages, which is basically a default SMS service for all Android phones. The actual features of Samsung messages outweigh those of features by Google messages marginally but still, they do.

I’d say that Samsung messages tend to be a more user-friendly interface, whereas Google messages are moderately more difficult to use in situations where you may not be able to use more than one hand. Ever tried to send a text sneakily whilst in class or at work?

Then Samsung messages are going to make it easier to do this for you. Both are great apps and useful in their own ways, but Samsung messages is typically better than Google messages.

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An avid gamer, historian and all-round literature buff, Tracy is our go-to when it comes to using different devices. MacOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux or whatever else, Tracy's got a device that runs it (she's even got an old Blackberry laying around somewhere!).

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