In an effort to be unique, Samsung devices have their own keyboard–aptly dubbed “Samsung Keyboard”–pre-installed on every Samsung device. However, you may have made the transition from a stock Android device–one equipped with the Gboard–and found yourself wondering which was better.

Google’s Gboard comes with a wonderful set of features, and its minor features may have you reinstalling Gboard to your new Samsung device. But the question remains: which is better, Google’s Gboard or the Samsung Keyboard? Does the Samsung Keyboard have what it takes to topple Gboard?

Let’s see what each has going for it and you be the judge.

The UI

They’re both good, and they feel good to use. There’s not a whole lot you can screw up when developing a virtual keyboard (there does exist some really bad ones). What you’re looking for is a keyboard that actually responds to your touch, and both the Gboard and Samsung Keyboard are really responsive. This isn’t surprising since

Of course, the response time isn’t the only function a keyboard should have, though that is the most important aspect. What does it have other than that? Before Samsung Keyboard was updated, it was missing a dedicated button for searching for memes, gifs and stickers; you had to manually search for them yourself, but that’s no longer the case.

Gboard’s additional UI icons

You can access a library of stickers, emojis and gifs on both the Gboard and the Samsung Keyboard. Both are equipped with all the tiny symbols and such for typing, commas and the like. You also have text options like font size, underline, bold and even some alignment options–light text editing.

Predicting the Words You Type

Google is pretty good in the department of determining the words you’re typing, and it seems Gboard has adopted that same functionality when it comes to predicting your words. It can adopt your style of writing and even make suggestions when you’ve used it long enough for it to create an accurate profile.

Samsung Keyboard, while not having Google backing it, still has word prediction that learns, too. To be fair, it doesn’t matter which keyboard you use when it comes to word prediction, because most will eventually learn your style.

With that being said, it’s fair to say that Gboard has a single foot ahead in the race over Samsung Keyboard, but it’s every so slight victory is a moot point.

Swipe Controls

While both the Gboard and Samsung Keyboard support swipe controls and gesture typing–you slide your finger over letters to create a word–the execution is slightly different, but different enough that the end result could sway your vote from one to the other.

Gboard’s swipe gesture typing

In Gboard’s case, when you’re creating a word as you glide over the letters, it will show the word that’s being made. Should you make a mistake, you can simply Backspace and make changes.

In Samsung Keyboard’s case, when you’re creating a word, you won’t know what you typed until you’re finished typing. You could spread a few moments ‘typing’ a very long word or message, only to realize that it looks nothing like the word you had in your head.

Only seconds are lost, but those are precious seconds that people would like to avoid losing. Other than that, both keyboards have gesture typing and swipe controls that responsive excellently.

Gboard’s Dedicated Google Button

One of the key differences between Gboard and Samsung Keyboard is Gboard’s dedicated Google button. Pressing it will open Google’s search engine, providing search results without ever leaving your message and opening a web browser application.

Gboard’s built-in Google Search function

This is by far one of Gboard’s greatest features, one that the Samsung Keyboard doesn’t have an answer for. To be fair, it isn’t a hassle to minimize what you’re doing and search for something on your preferred web browser application, but people love convenience and the Google button can sate that hunger.

Themes

Gboard’s theme menu

Another strength that Gboard has over Samsung Keyboard are themes. People love personalization; it’s one of the key features that any smartphone should have, and have in abundance. When there’s personalization, you can bet that people spend quite an alarming amount of time fiddling with their options to make it as unique as possible.

Themes are one such feature, and Gboard has a nice library of different skins you can use, from simple colors to landscapes and gradients. There’s no shortage of themes.

Samsung Keyboard, on the other hand, is lacking themes. You have a light theme and a dark theme. That’s it. Sure, they function just fine, but it’s so bland. You can certainly make the argument that themes “don’t matter,” and on the surface they don’t, but people enjoy choices, even ones as small as changing the color of your keyboard.

And the Winner is…

Well, if you look at it on the surface, Google’s Gboard won by having a few more bells and whistles. While it’s convenient to have a whole button dedicated to the Google Search engine, it’s an extra two buttons for someone to press in order to open Google–like that’s hard. However, Gboard does come with far more themes; in fact, if you’re someone who loves personalizing their keyboard, Gboard takes the cake.

On the other hand, the Samsung Keyboard is nothing to scoff at. Sure, it only has a light and dark theme, and it does not come with a dedicated button for Google’s search engine, but is that really a deal breaker? Its function is identical to Gboard, minus the features mentioned before.

Quite frankly, you aren’t really missing anything substantial should you choose Samsung Keyboard over Google’s Gboard. In other words, it comes down to preference, and preference tends to be subjective. If you want some color, go with Gboard. If you want a keyboard that functions like a virtual keyboard should, then either will work just fine.

How to Change Your Keyboard

So, you’ve thought long and hard on which keyboard fits your needs and you’ve made a decision, but you don’t know how to change your keyboard. Regardless of the keyboard that was chosen, the steps are the same. Let’s begin!

1. Start by locating and opening the Settings app.

2. In the Settings menu, scroll down until you come to General Management. Select it with your finger.

3. In the General Management menu, choose Language and Input. You’ll find it at the top of the menu.

Default Keyboard

4. In the Language and Input menu, scroll down until you come to Default Keyboard. Select it and, when the window appears, choose the keyboard you would like to use.

5. If you by chance you do not have Gboard installed, you can download it from the Google Play Store.

Bottom Line

As you may have noticed, these two forces–Gboard and Samsung Keyboard–are nearly identical in function and features. Gboard does have a slight edge, but that edge walks a fine line of being unnecessary. With an update or two, Samsung Keyboard could be right in line with Gboard.