It’s no secret. We here at Trusted Reviews love the Galaxy S10 family. Every model we’ve tested so far, including the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 Plus and Galaxy S10e scored 4.5/5 during our in-depth reviews. But there was one unifying feature we hated: the Bixby button.
Out of the box, the button grants access to Samsung’s digital assistant. This, on paper is fine, but as our mobile editor Max Parker wrote in his Galaxy S10 review: “The virtual assistant Bixby is, and always has been, inferior to Google’s excellent Assistant.”
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You can admittedly change the button’s function to activate Google Assistant instead of Bixby, using the phone’s out of the box software. But to us it still felt like a superfluous feature.
Which is why we were surprised to see that some Samsung fans have come of the woodwork to not just defend, but outright gush over the Bixby button.
We first spotted the Bixby defenders on Reddit. Thankfully the Samsung fans aren’t defending Bixby itself – which would be outright madness. Instead they’re praising innovative, unofficial, ways to make the button itself useful.
“People constantly complain about the bixby button on Samsung devices, and I don’t get it,” reads the first Reddit post.
“I simply downloaded bxActions and followed the steps to allow a complete remap. (No root required.) Now I have access to all sorts of useful features on a dedicated hardware button. (Never used Bixby once).”
Since then a chorus has begun to sing the button’s praises. “It’s an extra button you can remap to anything. No idea why anyone would complain about it anymore,” chirped in one user.
“I too enjoy having an extra hardware button that I can program to do different things,” added another.
“It’s honestly kinda awesome once you remap it. Quick access to Google Assistant, GCam, Flashlight and notifications,” concluded one more.
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Personally we’d always recommend avoiding using non-official re-mapping software unless you know what you’re doing and really trust the vendor that made it. The tech generally needs a lot of permissions and access to most areas of the phone to work, which means nayer-do-wells can use them for less than scrupulous purposes.
But, we’re equally enticed by the idea of a programmable button. In the past, having quick access controls have been super useful, making it easy to do things like turn on the phone’s flashlight function, or jump straight into your favourite music player/streaming service.
Love the Bixby button or hate it? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.