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Google Photos vs Samsung Gallery: What’s the Difference

by Mehvish
Samsung gallery vs google photos

Samsung has its own set of apps, which gives a touch competition to Google apps. One such app is the Samsung Gallery. You may have seen both Google Photos and Samsung Gallery apps on your Samsung Galaxy phone. Apart from the obvious, there was some subtle and not-so-subtle difference between the two. Here are the key differences between Samsung Gallery and Google Photos.

The Basic Difference

Both Samsung Gallery and Google Photos are a medium to see the photos and videos saved on your phone. Samsung Gallery is an offline gallery app designed for device folders whereas Google Photos is a gallery app plus a photo backup and sync service. Google Photos can be accessed on all platforms but Samsung Gallery is limited to Samsung Galaxy phones.

Also Read: You may have noticed two app stores on your phone too. Here is how Galaxy Store and Play Store differ.

Backup and Sync

A major aspect that separates the two apps is Google Photos app’s ability to back up and sync your photos and videos. What that means is that it automatically takes a backup of the photos on your phone and saves them in the cloud. This backup works for both camera and other device folders. So you can practically access the photos of your Samsung Galaxy phone on any other device. Be it the Samsung tablet, an iPhone, or your PC. The backup feature also comes in handy in case you lose your phone. In such a situation, your media will already be saved on the cloud.

The Samsung Gallery app also offers a backup and sync feature but it uses Microsoft’s OneDrive service. If you have a Galaxy tablet and sync is enabled on both devices, your photos from the Samsung phone will appear on the tablet or vice versa in the Gallery app. But not on iPhone. You will need to use the OneDrive app.

So while Samsung Gallery in collaboration with Microsoft does offer the backup and sync, it’s not as great and quick as Google Photos. Check our detailed comparison between OneDrive and Google Photos.

User Interface and Organization

The First Screen

When you open either of these apps, both greet you with a list of photos or videos on the first screen. The most recent files appear at the top. But, there’s a major difference in the content of each app.

Samsung Gallery app shows all the photos and videos on the main screen. It can be a WhatsApp photo, screenshot, photo from Facebook, and of course your camera pictures. On the other hand, the Google Photos app shows only the pictures taken from the Camera app on the main screen and the screenshots.

At the bottom, you will find different tabs in both apps. Further, tap on any photo or video to open it. You will see the editing and sharing buttons at the bottom.


Samsung Gallery: All pictures and videos

Google Photos: Camera files, screenshots, and synced files


Both apps let you view your photos and videos according to device folders. In the Samsung Gallery app, tap on the Albums tab at the bottom to view all the device folders.

The Google Photos app also shows device folders. You can access it under the Library section. However, keep in mind that there are two things related to folders in Google Photos. One is Albums, which are the cloud-based folders and the second one is folders that represent the local device folders. It is easy to download albums from Google Photos.

Here are some other differences between albums in Samsung Gallery and Google Photos:

 Samsung GalleryGoogle Photos
Create new foldersYesYes, but only while moving pictures
Move pictures between foldersYesYes
Change the cover photo of folderYesNo
Sort albumsYesNo
Hide unwanted albumsYesNo
Can show subfolders as subfoldersNoNo

Ability to Hide Photos

Both apps carry options to hide sensitive media files. The Google Photos app has a folder known as the Locked folder where you can hide your photos and videos. Similarly, the Samsung Gallery app lets you hide content inside the Secure Folder, which is a universal folder that can hide apps and other data too.


Samsung Gallery: Secure Folder

Google Photos: Locked Folder

Artificial Intelligence

Both apps are power-packed with intelligent features like the ability to extract text from a picture, find similar pictures, and more. While Google Photos uses the Google Lens feature for all things, Samsung Gallery offers Bixby Vision, which is similar to Google Lens to perform various tasks. In the Google Photos app, tap on the Lens icon or the suggested icons to perform different tasks. In Samsung Gallery, tap on the Eye icon (Bixby Vision).

  Samsung Gallery Google Photos
Service usedBixby VisionGoogle Lens
Translate text into picturesYesYes
Find similar imagesYesYes
Translate text in picturesYesYes

Editing Features

When it comes to editing, the Samsung Gallery app is far ahead of the Google Photos app. Firstly, it offers more features and secondly, all the features are free. For instance, you can create/add stickers or a picture on top of another picture using the Samsung Gallery app. This isn’t possible in Google Photos. Both apps can edit videos and create collages. Here is how to create a collage using Google Photos.

  Samsung GalleryAdd a watermark or any other image
Color adjustmentsYesYes
Markup (Add text or draw)YesYes
Different fontsYesNo
Create or add stickersYesNo
Add watermark or any other imageYesNo
Object eraserYesYes, but paid.
Free-form or shape cropYesNo
Resize ImageYesNo

Pro Tip: Starting Samsung Galaxy 24 series, Samsung Gallery apps will offer AI-based edit suggestions too.

Search Features

Both apps support natural language or descriptive terms to search for related images or videos. However, while Samsung Gallery can scan all the device folders, Google Photos can search only the backed-up files. So if your images or videos aren’t backed up, Google Photos search will not help. Furthermore, each app also categorizes files according to locations, things/scenery, or documents in the search. Samsung Gallery also shows files according to shot types like portrait, selfie, motion photo, GIF, etc., inside the search function.


Samsung Gallery: Descriptive search can be used offline.

Google Photos: Advanced search can be used only on photos stored in the cloud.

Other Important Features

Here are some other key differences between Samsung Gallery and Google Photos:

 Samsung GalleryGoogle Photos
View videos onlyYes. Tap the three-bar icon and select Videos folder.Yes. Tap on the Search tab and scroll down. Tap on Videos category.
Favourites albumYesYes
Recycle BinYes. Files deleted after 30 days.Yes, backed up items are deleted after 60 days, whereas other items after 30 days.
Archive itemsNoYes
Shared albumsYesYes
Link sharingYes, with expiry dateYes

Also Read: Know how to share photos and videos from Google Photos.

Available Storage and Pricing

Technically, neither the Samsung Gallery nor the Google Photos app has storage of its own. To put it in perspective, the photos you see in Samsung Gallery are stored in your phone’s memory. So the number of photos that it can store depends on the available storage on your Samsung Galaxy phone. If you want to use the OneDrive sync feature in Samsung Gallery, then OneDrive offers 5GB of free cloud storage, which you can increase by buying paid plans.

Similarly, the Google Photos app also doesn’t have a storage of its own, provided you use it offline only. If you backup your photos to Google Photos, then Google Photos service offers 15GB of cloud storage for free. However, keep in mind that this cloud storage is shared across your Google services like Gmail, Google Drive, and Photos. You can buy additional storage from Google.


Samsung Gallery: Offline storage based on phone’s storage, 5GB of free cloud storage.

Google Photos: Offline storage based on phone’s storage, 15GB of free cloud storage.

Cross-Platform Availability

Samsung Gallery is available on Samsung Galaxy devices only. You cannot install it on any other Android phone. On the other hand, Google Photos is available everywhere. You can use it on any Android phone including Samsung, or iPhone, and it even has a web version.

Google Photos: Android, iPhone, and Web

Samsung Gallery: Samsung Galaxy devices only

Which One to Use

If you are wondering which app to use between Samsung Gallery vs Google Photos, we would suggest both. As a Samsung Galaxy phone user, you are quite lucky since you can enjoy the benefits of both apps. Use the Samsung Gallery app daily for offline features to view all your pictures and videos and also for editing tasks. Keep the Google Photos app for backup and sync functionality.

I prefer Samsung Gallery over Google Photos as it’s a proper gallery app whereas nothing comes to Google Photos when it’s time to store pictures online.

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