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What is Samsung Free?

You can't get something for nothing, right? Or can you?
February 3, 2023
A Samsung Galaxy A51 rests on white surface displaying popular podcasts available via Samsung Free.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Can you truly get something for nothing? Samsung Free seems to promise that, but what is it, and what exactly do you get if you decide to use it? If you have a Galaxy phone, you might have even swiped past Samsung Free without realizing it. We’ll cover what Samsung Free is and if it’s worth your time — if not your money — to use the service.

Quick answer

Samsung Free is a content aggregator service that comes with any Samsung phone running Android 11 or up and One UI 3.0 and above. It collects news, podcasts, TV shows, and games from different sources and presents them to you in a centralized place on your Galaxy device. As a result, the content and ads you’ll see are based on your viewing habits and Samsung’s promotions. And as the name implies, you don’t pay anything upfront to use the service.

What is Samsung Free?

Samsung Free takes the form of a media feed on your device, like Google Discover. Similar to other media feeds, you can think of it as an app organized into categories: Watch, Play, Read, and Listen. Each of these contains collections of content for you to browse and use. Furthermore, you do not have to download any of the content to experience it. Instead, you’re essentially streaming whatever you select for as long as you want to.

Your specific content experience will vary based on your device and mobile service provider. Additionally, all the content requires an internet connection and will use mobile data, as well.

Content available on Samsung Free

Samsung Free contains four primary categories, as mentioned: Watch, Play, Read, and Listen.

  • Watch contains Samsung TV Plus, a streaming television service organized into channels, much like standard TV broadcasting. You get a selection of typical channels found from many basic cable providers or that you could pull in via an antenna, along with some proprietary streaming-only channels. Other options include channels broadcasting a particular movie or episodes from a series.
  • Read is a news service that consists of a collection of articles sourced from various areas on the web. You can look at trending stories in different categories and customize the feed slightly, but not as much as a dedicated news app, for instance.
  • Listen offers streaming podcasts in various categories. These include news, society and culture, comedy, true crime, and sports.
  • Play lets you play mobile games without downloading them to your device. These are mostly simple, quick mobile games that involve easy controls.

You can also enter keywords into the search bar in any of these categories to help find the content you want.

Is Samsung Free any good?

The question of whether Samsung Free is “worth” it is almost beside the point because you don’t have to pay for it. Instead, the question likely comes down to whether it’s something you’d want to spend time using.

Perhaps the most exciting offering is Samsung TV Plus. Watching TV on the go without paying for it is a good way to pass the time. For example, you can watch a show while stuck in a waiting room and you’ve run out of YouTube videos to binge. Samsung TV Plus also has full-length movies, which you’ll usually find on paid streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime. But you don’t get the varied choices and on-demand control that actual streaming services give you.

The Read news feed is like most other news aggregators, and you can’t customize it much compared to dedicated apps. If you’re the kind of person that endlessly scrolls through Twitter, it will likely fill up some time for you (without the comments, which might be nice).

Samsung Free is, well, free and that might be its biggest draw.

Podcasts can be found almost anywhere, from Spotify to Amazon Music and beyond. But unlike some of these streaming apps, they aren’t behind a paywall on Samsung Free, as expected. This option might work if you don’t want to bother with yet another app just to listen to podcasts. However, the selection may not be as extensive compared to dedicated streaming services.

Finally, the Play section contains simple mobile games, so don’t expect much in terms of outstanding graphics, nuanced stories, or intriguing gameplay mechanics. Instead, these games are designed to be quick and fun. Therefore, they’ll serve a similar role as the other offerings: filling up moments here and there.

Overall, Samsung Free’s appeal lies in the fact that it is, indeed, free. You’ll likely find yourself turning to it at a bus stop or waiting for your turn in a dentist’s chair. Otherwise, it’ll probably fade into the background.

How to delete Samsung Free if you don’t want it

You can disable Samsung Free if you don’t find it all that compelling or simply don’t want to use it. However, you cannot delete it because it’s a built-in service that comes with your Samsung phone. To disable it, here’s what to do:

  1. Long-press an empty area (free of icons and widgets) on your Galaxy device’s home screen or pinch inwards with two fingers.
  2. On the home screen settings page that opens, swipe to the far left home screen that contains Samsung Free.
  3. Tap the toggle at the top of the screen to disable Samsung Free.

If you want to re-enable Samsung Free later, repeat the steps above but put the toggle back into the “on” position.

Frequently asked questions about Samsung Free

Yes. If you want to keep Samsung Free around but only care about specific components, you customize it slightly. To only use the portions you wish to:

  1. Open the Settings menu on your Samsung phone.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Scroll down to Samsung Free.
  4. On the app info page, tap Samsung Free settings.
  5. The settings page controls the app itself. To customize what will appear in your feed, tap Manage channels.
  6. In Manage channels, you can enable or disable the categories and types of content you wish to see.
  7. Scrolling down to Privacy on the settings page lets you control how much data you want to share with Samsung that it’ll use to tailor content within the feed.

Yes. By default, Samsung Free can access your data to target content and ads to your feeds based on your activity. This includes accessing your viewing and listening habits. If you don’t wish to give Samsung Free this level of access, you can disable data access in the Samsung Free settings menu, as described above.