No one likes bloat on their brand new phone, but it’s something you have to deal with if you purchase a carrier-locked device. US carriers like Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T usually add a ton of carrier-branded apps and partner apps to their devices as soon as you boot up your phone. This is why one of the best reasons to pick up an unlocked device is to skip all the bloat with the added bonus of being able to use your phone on pretty much any network. With the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G Unlocked Edition, you pretty much get this, though there are still some preinstalled apps. Luckily you can uninstall most of them.
So what does come on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G Unlocked Edition that isn’t either Google or Samsung? First up we got Netflix, Spotify, and Facebook. Those are the three apps I would really consider bloat. Spotify and Facebook you can delete, however Netflix you can only disable. Not sure why that is.
Next up we have a few Microsoft apps, which I can understand seeing as Samsung seems to have a partnership with Microsoft at the moment. This can be seen in the fact that Samsung makes the only phones right now that can make full use of Microsoft’s “Your Phone” app. We’ll talk more about that later in another post or in our full review.
Because of this partnership, the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G Unlocked comes with Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Office, and LinkedIn. If you don’t use Microsoft services, you can delete these all, except for OneDrive which can only be disabled. I don’t suggest disabling OneDrive though.
Next up, Samsung installs a ton of Samsung apps that you may or may not even use seeing as there are Google equivalents for some of them. Here’s a full list of what’s installed:
- AR Zone
- Galaxy Shop (can uninstall)
- Galaxy Wearable (can uninstall)
- Penup (can uninstall)
- Samsung Health (can uninstall)
- Samsung Members (can uninstall)
- Samsung Pay (can uninstall)
- Samsung TV Plus (can uninstall)
- Smart Switch (can uninstall)
- SmartThings (can uninstall)
- Samsung Global Goals (can uninstall)
- Samsung Notes
- Samsung Free
- Galaxy Store
That’s pretty much it. I left most of the apps on for now before I decide what I really don’t need. Other than that, most of these apps also appear on the carrier-locked versions with the addition of many more apps the carriers add on. Basically, getting the unlocked version is the lesser of two evils and you’ll have more control of what you want and don’t want on your phone.