Samsung’s Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10+ are easily the company’s most exciting new flagship smartphones in years. Samsung’s devastating decline in sales last year was due in large part to the release of three of the most boring new smartphones the South Korean giant has ever made. The Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, and Galaxy Note 9 all looked almost identical to their predecessors, and they offered no novel new features whatsoever. There was absolutely no reason to buy one to upgrade from an earlier Samsung phone, and so most people chose to skip them. The company’s earnings plummeted as a result, so it was clear that Samsung would really have to up its game in 2019 if it hoped to reverse course.
Thankfully, the company came through big time right out of the gate in 2019. The Galaxy S10 series features a bold new design that people love. It ditches the big bezels from Samsung’s earlier smartphones and replaces them with an all-screen design that places the front-facing cameras inside the display itself. This new “hole-punch” design instantly won over fans, and sales have reportedly been terrific so far, which could be due in part to the fact that Samsung’s biggest rival Apple pulled a “Galaxy S9” of its own this year. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max offer no compelling new features whatsoever compared to the iPhone X from 2017, so Apple fans haven’t exactly been knocking down doors to upgrade. While it’s not exactly an Earth-shattering addition, smartphone shoppers who opted for a Galaxy phone over Apple’s latest iPhones now have another reason to be happy thanks to a very clever hidden feature the company just introduced.
Samsung isn’t exactly the most innovative company when it comes to smartphones. In fact, it often falls on its face when it tries to get creative — just look at the disaster that is the Galaxy Fold, Samsung’s first smartphone with a foldable display. It has a hideous design with a giant notch and big fat bezels around both of its screens. On top of that, it was a piece of junk so Samsung had to postpone the phone’s release in order to fix some preposterous design issues.
The South Korean smartphone giant is indeed much better at refinement than it is at innovation. Just look at the evolution of the Galaxy S smartphone line, which started as a plasticky iPhone copycat and has since become the standard by which premium smartphones are measured. With innovation generally isn’t Samsung’s strong suit, the company does come up with some pretty cool features from time to time. Now, a new one has just been introduced that really is quite clever. Sadly though, it’s currently only available in one region.
Head to Bill’s, The Breakfast Club, Patty & Bun, or Pizza Pilgrims location in the United Kingdom and you’ll now find a tiny QR code on the menu. If you’re an iPhone user or you have a smartphone from any other phone vendor, that QR code means nothing to you. But if you have a Samsung phone, scanning the QR code unlocks secret menu items that only you can order.
“Bill’s, The Breakfast Club, Patty & Bun, and Pizza Pilgrims have been secretly creating some exciting dishes that only Samsung owners can get their teeth into,” Samsung wrote on the Secret Menu page on its website. “All you need to do is pop in to your favourite restaurant (or all of them if you prefer), find a Secret Menu, and look for an AR code. Then it’s just a case of unlocking the exclusive dishes using a Samsung phone.”
It’s unclear when or even if the feature will be made available at other restaurants or in other regions, but we hope it expands. Secret Menu is a smart and fun feature, and it’s a great way to create some buzz around Samsung phones.