Samsung Fascinate Uses Bing Instead of Google Search (Updated)

I’m severely disappointed in Verizon and Samsung. The Samsung Fascinate, Big Red’s version of the Galaxy S, has been reviewed by the folks over at Engadget. They were quick to point out that the search widget is BING, not Google Search. It does make sense to a certain degree, as there’s a Bing app only available to Verizon customers. Apparently, Big Red would rather use a Microsoft search engine on a Google-powered device. A bit odd if you ask me.

We’ve seen this before, of course, in the Motorola Backflip, which uses Yahoo Search. That was also a disappointment. But I digress. This probably isn’t a deal breaker for most people, and some won’t even notice the difference. I guess I just prefer Google folks!

Is this a deal breaker for any of you?

UPDATE: More bad news.  According to Engadget, there is no way to change the search engine to Google.  You are stuck with Bing.  Hopefully we will have something in the market. We will have to wait and see on this.

Source Engadget

  • Reminds me of that device on AT&T that did something similar… didn’t it sell really well too?

  • Bing search a deal breaker? Absolutely! I was waiting to sign up with Verizon and get a Fascinate, but after learning about the Bing integration, I won’t waste my time. Putting a Microsoft product on a Google-powered phone is blasphemy, in my opinion, and I would never buy that phone now. I refuse to use a Microsoft product. Sorry Verizon, you screwed up a perfectly good phone to the point that I won’t buy it. I guess I’ll go check out what AT&T has to offer.

    • Ian do yourself a favor, Wait a tic give it a few days, If I remember correctly you SHOULD be able to replace it with Google Search, I don’t have a review unit yet but I should have one soon, Also go to the store and play with it see if you can download if via the market, and lastly check out the Droid X, Droid Inc, and Droid 2 All great phones on a great network (Yes I’m a VZW customer), If your serious about the AT&T check out the Samsung Galaxy S Captivate on AT&T hands down the best Android Phone on AT&T

      • DMKrow

        You probably can’t download the Google search until 2.2 (Froyo) is out. It doesn’t show up in the market for the Vibrant, but does for a G1 running 2.2.

      • Aaron Yeah, I’ll wait until root is found and I can change what I want. Meanwhile I’ll check out the Droid X, Droid 2 and Droid Inc.. been watching video reviews and they are indeed nice phones. Thanks for the advice.

      • Matt


    • Andy

      Thats what happens when overpaid execs make technical decisions. Bing sucks and who wants to use microsoft? That company is a dying and diseased p.o.c. Now I can cross verizon off my list of companies who I thought were intelligent. Looks like I will be going with my second choice, Sprint.

    • Johnathan

      same here. i dont use bing on my pc and therefore won’t buy a phone that FORCES me to use it there.

  • Melvin Quinones

    I only have one word… LAME.

    I know that you may be able to replace with Google search, but just because of the principle, I wouldn’t support this device.

    • david

      Same-Same….is the cleanest words I can say…

  • fatscooter


  • This is actually great news for Android!

    Yeah, Bing is an awful search engine — I’ve spent a lot of time testing its results and index time for new web pages, and both are abysmal beside Google (even AltaVista does a better job) — but the fact that Verizon has the freedom to put a crappy search app on their phones hilights the difference between iOS and Android: there’s no Google Big Brother forcing Verizon to run only approved apps.

    • Mario

      Great point! I agree.

  • Josh

    This is one of those few situations that Apple has the upper hand with the lockdown, Apple controls every aspect of the user experience and does not allow carriers to control what goes on the phone. Even Apple gives users the option of what search engine they want to use and still defaults with the best, Google.

    • hazydave

      Google just brands it — if you buy a “Google Experience” phone like the original Droid, you get no meddling from the network or hardware company. If not, they are free to mess with things.

      The difference is that, if what you wanted by default isn’t on your Android phone, you can probably get it. If it’s not on your iPhone, you can’t get it if Apple doesn’t find it acceptable for your use.

      The concern I have here isn’t just the search bar — clearly, you could get one with Google instead, if it’s not already included and just not displayed. The problem is, if they have Bing! hardwired into the phone, it’s not going to function correctly. Android uses the Google search engine for voice recognition. It in turn knows which applications to launch in response to keywords. It’s also searching your phone, which is pretty handy if you need to find something, like a phone number, quickly.

      There are plenty of situations in which Android and Google interact, seamlessly. Bing just won’t have that same capability, particularly for a non-Microsoft device. So the question of this is important — is this just the widget, or did they try to integrate Bing! as the search engine used under the hood. The first is a trivial fix, the second breaks much of what’s good about Android.

  • JoAnn

    Absolutely a dealbreaker, especially when given a choice. I’d take the Incredible, Droid 2, X, or even Sprint’s Evo before I’d buy this BingBloat phone.

  • Jekisca

    This actually is a deal breaker for me if there really is no way to switch the default search engine. I use google search quite a bit evey day. I’ve been on the line about going with motorola or the new samsung.. This will be a deciding factor for me

  • coder


  • opiate46

    Don’t forget that this also includes Bing Navigation. I think it’s a bit easier to switch to Google Nav, but really? Bing navigation? I wasn’t even aware this shit existed. It’s too bad Verizon has the best coverage because they’re a truly shitty phone company.

  • name

    I cannot believe Verizon did this.

    • I can’ they are testing the waters to see what the backlash is and what effects it has on sales. No doubt they are also getting some cash from Microsoft for it.

      If they (their accountants) determine it makes business sense to do it on all their phones they will absolutely do so.

      Sadly I suspect that many Android consumers, especially those who are VZW customers are not savvy enough to know the difference. Sure plenty would be upset if they pulled Google Maps but I don’t think search is as near & dear to people’s hearts.

  • Eddie From Jersey

    Before I had an Android phone, I had a blackberry. Verizon forced Bing software onto my Blackberry with no ability to delete it. I was POed!

    I hate Bing – There I said it!

    I wonder what Verizon and Google are getting to allow this bastardization of a great Android Device?

    • Google isn’t getting anything. That’s the point of Android: it’s open. Nobody can stop Verizon from putting a crappy Bing search engine on their Android phone, and nobody can stop you from installing your own search app instead. Enjoy the freedom, and learn to be happy that some big corporation like Apple isn’t making all your decisions for you.

      • Rdx

        Nah, verizon stops you from changing the default search engine 🙁

  • Dianne

    “Apparently, Big Red would rather use a Microsoft search engine on a Google-powered device.”

    There’s your mistake. It pretty clearly isn’t a Google-powered device, is it? (And Verizon at this point has plenty of Android devices that are Google powered, so if you don’t like one that isn’t then take one that is.)

  • Ossia

    I’ve been a Verizon customer AND a retail sales associate. I’ve been holding out on switching to an Android based smartphone. When my coworkers all upgraded to the Droid, Droid Inc, and the X, Verizon felt bad for me and saught out RIM for help and GAVE me a BB Pearl Flip (blaahhh!)!! What a terrible compromise! The only good thing about that phone is the multi-colored LED which is app-customisable to act as a flashlight (oh-so-handy!). Btw, the phone still butt-dials…even when it is lying on a flat surface.

    Moral of the story: I had been waiting for two reasons. I noticed samsungs obvious absence and was waiting to see how the hardware-war played out- which I must point out it hasn’t even been a year since the orignal Droid was released to VZW customers on Nov. 16th, 2009. The second reason was I simply needed to justify having to pay 30 dollars extra on my bill every month for a smartphone. The Android made sense because you got free navigation through Google’s beta app, lots more apps overall, etc.

    The Samsung Facinate has amazing features such as: vibrant screen unrivaled by any other Androids (seriously, set this by the Inc and X: no comparison!), great screen size (I thought I was set with the X when it came out but then realized it was just…well too big…and thats not what she said.), and this phone has a nicely juiced 1ghz processor that really pushes the limits of its potential.

    Dealbraker: I’ll have to see how much I can reverse the dirty, dirty, dirt placed upon the screen with amazing vibrance. I’m 90% sure and 150% confused now that bing is included. I cannot ignore Microsoft and its search engine’s blatent and embarrassing failures in the past year with VZW. Remember when Bing was OTA ‘pushed’ to the BB Tour?? Utter failure. I had heard of some many times of it making the phone malfunction inexplicably- and sometimes even COMPLETE FAILURE (Blue screen anyone?). Hey, how about that KIN crap?? We’ve tried to, as a retailer, keep most phones in stock… Never even held a working model in my hand!!! Didn’t even have a single request from customers- and I work in TWO locations! Short lived little plastic piece of turd…sad.

    Microsoft seems to like to team up with people and try and rewrite the rule book in their favor to ultimately bully the opposition. They sometimes succeed (when they buy out the opposition- *Cough!* Bungie *Cough!*) but mostly they fail and seem to clean up the mess quickly and quietly…or maybe at that point, no one is paying attention.

    I got one last thing to say: BRICK!

  • RM

    Big Red back to Big Evil. Congratulations Verizon.

    This phone is absolutely dead to me.

  • ari-free

    I have no real problem with Microsoft but if you’re going to give us something from Microsoft, then give us something that people actually want. People like Microsoft Office and xbox games. There is no demand for Bing so stop fooling around with it.

  • hazydave

    Here’s the thing.. Google search is so tightly integrated into Android, I do wonder just what the role of Bing! is. For example, all of the speech recognition is done using using Google’s search engine — that’s why it works so well. And that’s integrated back to the phone. When I speak “Call Lizzie Home” into the phone, it’s doing the search decode, then calling my wife at home.

    If this is just a Bing! Widget on the home screen by default, it’s no big deal. And I’d be kind of shocked if the Google Widget wasn’t included somewhere. But if this is an attempt to replace all of Google search with Bing!, it’s going to be a pretty lousy Android experience.

    But hey, Freedom includes the freedom to do stupid things. It’s a shame they chose a flagship phone for this bad idea, though. It would keep me away from the device, at least until I knew how to fully restore the Google search facility.

  • Really good news that now our samsung mobile to organize …

  • jdog


  • D$

    Laaaaaaame. I’m guessing someone will figure out a way to change that really soon though. Bing search sucks compared to Google…

  • Jack

    Bing?!?!?! Seriously, Verizon…what were you thinking? Even if you have a “deal” with Microsoft, why would you go such an extra length to “bloat” a perfect phone, supported with Google technology, why would you do this? Bing is a terrible search engine…pages are slow to be indexed correctly, and ever try using their maps? absolutely it gives incorrect positioning quite a bit. This is a true disappointment. Google is king…enough said.

  • Jason

    Bing! Awesome! At least there is one bright spot in the crappy android os.

  • I don’t think most of the commenters have tried Bing lately. The name microsoft is the BIG hang up for most of them! Actually, I find google (as of late) to be slower in loading and giving a lot of irrelevant (ad induced results) serps. Google is also famous for dropping homepages from their search results and then you play hell correcting a problem that really doesn’t exist. Google searchs give very little “actual true relevant website” results in first several pages, mostly junky spam sites that no one wants to see in serps.

  • MrsWJS

    For all of you complainers… just to clarify, Verizon has confirmed that you can add Google to the current OS with a little bit of work.. but if you be patient, the 2.2 upgrade that is coming out will put Google back on the Fascinate. Just like with any first release, there are always some upgrades and bugs to work out. For all you iPhone fans.. I recall them having some issues too.. so ease up and give Verizon the chance to fix the mistake. The fascinate is an awesome phone.. and I will take the broad coverage of Verizon anyday over the over-inflated image of AT&T!!

  • Adam

    Does Verizon disable Google GPS or Bing GPS to force you to buy there VZ GPS? if they do this is a deal breaker because Sprint doesnt force you to buy anything you can use google gps which me having Dyslexia and a huge problem with Spatial problems, I have a bad sense of directions no sense of buying a 150 dollar tom tom when I can get a gps that comes with my phone for free..

    so is it true does verizon force you to pay for GPS? that seems shady if it is true!

  • Joe O
  • Zila

    You should check this samsung fascinate review it has cool video and that update of bing search. I like the car cradle on that thing.

  • Shawn

    Wow. That makes sense why I say a Bing app on an android phone (this phone) in an ad I received in the mail. I did a double-take because I thought, “Surely Verizon/Samsung wouldn’t allow such a horrible pairing as to put Bing on an Android (Google OS) phone?” Obviously though, upon further research, they did! Why would they put an inferior search engine on a superior OS that is made by the same company with the best search engine available? Oh, wait. Duh. Microsoft paid very good money for that deal. Hey Microsoft, stick to making crappy OS for PCs, and leave the wonderful world of Google alone. They didn’t do anything to you…oh, well, they stole market share from your search engine, and are now taking over your OS market share with their new netbooks/laptops, but no worries.

    • Bing is NOT an inferior search engine.. wtf are you talking about?

    • Bing is NOT an inferior search engine… wtf are you talking about?

  • Shannon

    Um how do you go back one page if im on bing with out going all the way back to the server thing before?