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Is Samsung giving the Galaxy S5 circular icons in revamped TouchWiz UI?

Samsung has just published another teaser for their Mobile World Congress 2014 event, dubbed Unpacked 5, where we’ve previously guessed they’ll unveil the Samsung Galaxy S5 among other devices. This latest promo takes things in a slightly different, unexpected direction, with the inclusion of 9 circular icons that have us somewhat stumped.

galaxy-s5-screenshot

Perhaps the most obvious of assumptions is that Samsung is set to overhaul their Galaxy S5 user interface, including a brand new rendition of TouchWiz that features circular icons. We must admit, it could be a bit strange, but there’s a large contingency who would openly welcome any update to the TouchWiz experience.

Let’s take a brief look at how these circular icons might look on a phone:

galaxy-s5-vs-galaxy-s4-picture

They might be circular, but the colors and orientation remind us a bit of Windows Phone, despite Windows Phone’s blocky live tile nature. It wouldn’t be the first time Samsung’s rumored UI changes are accused of being WP-ish. The only recent “circular icon” design standard we can recall are the profile pictures from Google+ icons, but the G+ android app icon is still square.

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 3.49.03 AM

Other possibilities certainly exist, but given the recent Samsung and Google confrontation about their massive customizations, we’re thinking these could be planned Galaxy S5 changes that added fuel to the fire. As we’ve learned through the years, don’t rule anything out until it’s official, from Bada and Tizen to Windows Phone or something completely different. We’re expecting a Galaxy S5 with massive UI changes, but that’s a guess at best.

It’s also interesting to note their selection of 9 icons:

  • Speed
  • Outdoor
  • Curiousity
  • Fun
  • Social
  • Style
  • Privacy
  • Fitness
  • Life

Samsung has a habit of creating new apps and experiences around certain lifestyles and ideas, so most likely they’re further extending this approach and will have even more proprietary apps and integrations to announced at Unpacked 5. Of course each of these words has a superscript “5″ at the top right, which we can only assume means is exclusive to the S5 experience.

We’ll let you continue the speculation in the comments. Stay tuned for our MWC 2014 coverage including reporting live from Unpacked 5. We haven’t reserved a seat from Samsung just yet, but we called fives, so we’re guessing that’ll do the trick. If they opt for Luniz “Got 5 on it” for the event’s theme song, it’ll really make our day.

Continue reading on the Samsung Galaxy S5 forums, see the specs, or find news and reviews.




  • josh nolan

    They just can’t help themselves when it comes to stealing

    • das

      stealing what ?

      • robjackson81

        STEALING THUNDER!

      • josh nolan

        Though round… Those look awfully “flat” just very ios 7 like…

        • Nathan Bryant

          Android has been flat for the longest.

          • ehndrew

            guys…you’re trying to win an argument with an apple-lover, they don’t know anything about anything lol, i bet you if Apple told them the world is actually flat, they would believe it…these guys are just jokes lmao

          • Herb_Eaversmells

            Yes but once Apple adopted the flat UI design last after both Android and WP, their fans automatically assume they were the first ones to do it and everyone else is copying. You can’t reason with these people.

        • das

          weird ,because like the other post says ,android had flat looking icons way before IOS ,besides ,they look more like samsungs tizen icons which were made WAY before any ios7 images were released

          • josh nolan

            Have u see the early Samsungs when iphone was the only game it town… Basically the same thing as far as looks

          • das

            samsung made phones before apple did ,so ? apple copied samsung as well using your logic ,and samsung made the f700 before iphone was released ,and ipad is a design copy of samsungs 2006 photoframe ,technology and design is evolutionary not innovative

        • Chris Martinelli

          “Those look awfully “flat” just very ios 7 like”
          So when Apple copied it from WP, its OK to you ? To me its all good, let the best product win, but if you are going to site Samsung for copying, you have to site Apple for it too.

        • Tony Lai

          Please explain why iPhone iOS7 now has the “slide down” notification center.

        • DYNK

          Guys guys don’t feed the troll…lol there is always many many in forums, one per thread

        • Roaduardo

          “Are you Apple in disguise?”

    • DavidVarghese

      Stealing flat icons when Android ha a been doing flat icons since the release of 4.0? Not to mention Android themers doing flat icons well before now…

      Please…

      • josh nolan

        Samsung has always been crooks…but hey maybe it will help them sell some phones… I owned the s3,s4,note 2,note 3… Ok phones but not great… The s4 was a dud

        • josh nolan

          It was… Lackluster sales… Look at their numbers… The cool motion sensors like the one for watching video… Did not work in the dark…. Where one would most likely watch a video … 16 tv phone has about 8 gb left out of the box… Micro sd is nice but come on

          • Tony Lai

            I would choose a S4 over the iPhone only because it has micro SD, LOL~

        • DavidVarghese

          I’m just gonna address all your comments to me in this comment.

          I really doubt you would own a note 3, with you’re apparent bias towards Samsung it makes me question whether you ever owned a Samsung device. But I’m not you, and I won’t know for sure.

          64-bit was bound to come to the mobile industry, and I’ll give Apple the credit for bringing it in mobile phones. It moves progress and innovation. But if you give Apple credit for bringing 64-bit to the masses, then you’re wrong there. You should look to Windows and Intel for bringing 64-bit to the masses with laptops and PC’s.

          Samsung’s S4 sales, although lower than the S3′s, has been great. But that is to be expected since people are usually on contract. So once their S3 contracts are up, it’s likely to see those people looking to upgrade. This is when the S5 will shine in sales.

          I’m no Samsung fan here, but please… Don’t let others call you out on your bull anymore.

          • josh nolan

            I actually did own them all i work for verizon… Yes Samsung builds the chip… That apple designed… I am not all biased i am a phone guy… 5 lines all to my lonesome

      • josh nolan

        Apple brings the 64 bit… Bout an hour later Samsung says he we are gonna do that next … Blah they also have software that skews their geek bench scores

        • das

          apple did not invent ARM 64bit processors … and samsung makes them anyway

        • Megatron_Don

          you know samsung makes the 64bit chip in the iphone right? smh

        • mcl630

          64 bit was bound to come to smartphones sooner or later. Eventually they’ll all be 64 bit. And as das said, Apple didn’t invent 64-bit ARM, ARM Holdings did.

  • Tomáš Petrík

    Symbian, anyone?

    • Vimal Kaul

      You will have to go back in time to ask this question.

    • Guest

      Any negative reaction to a phone’s stock look and skin is so funny to me. Android promotes creativity. It’s meant to give users more freedom. And when it comes to Samsung devices it’s so easy to achieve supreme control over it’s OS that you can make it look any way you want. Custom icons, custom wallpaper, custom ROM, the list is long and wonderful.

      Android: Your in control.

    • Roaduardo

      Any negative reaction to a phone’s stock look and skin is so funny to me. Android promotes creativity. It’s meant to give users more freedom. And when it comes to Samsung devices it’s so easy to achieve supreme control over it’s OS that you can make it look any way you want. Custom icons, custom wallpaper, custom ROM, the list is long and wonderful.

      Android: Your in control.

      • No_Nickname90

        Why did you single out Samsung devices? This is an Android ability, not a Samsung one.

        Though I am liking them home screens. I guess it’s time for me change my homescreen up.

        • Roaduardo

          Of course we all know this is an Android ability. I was merely using Samsung devices as an example because it is the subject of this article. Cheers for the home screen praise. Yeah, it’s fun changing things around and I seem to do it quite often.

          • No_Nickname90

            You have me going through MyColorScreen right now. LoL!!

          • Roaduardo

            Fun isn’t it? I’ve got a couple layouts if you wanna check em out!

            http://mycolorscreen.com/roaduardo/

        • Roaduardo

          I would point out though that it is a bit easier to unlock and root certain Android devices than others. In my personal opinion Samsung devices have played nice with me when doing so. Just an opinion of course. I’m no shill. I just use what works best for me.

  • Apple Braniac

    Circular icons were copyrighted by apple a long time ago

    • BloodKil

      Funny, I heard they just got awarded a copywrite for the word icon when used in conjunction with a device powered by electricity… better watch out or you’ll get sued for throwing that word around.

    • Tomáš Petrík

      Along with rectangular shapes.

  • PSarge

    Bleh

  • Danny Dodge

    I just hope that this new tw is far less of a resource hog, rewritten from scratch rather than on top of the froyo/gingerbread code like the current version.

  • HeatFan786

    Uh, us Samsung users will get this on their Note II’s?

    • Matthew Merrick

      Only via custom roms

      • HeatFan786

        Oh, I am not rooting, but thanks for the info.

    • No_Nickname90

      If they make a theme, you can just install the theme.

      • HeatFan786

        If I was a dev, I could, but I am just studying Political Science. Sorry, can’t help it.

  • Andork

    If I get it I’m throwing Nova Launcher on it anyway. As it stands I’m happy with the GN3 and will probably wait to see what the GN4 has to offer. However, I’m available to jump(TM) in April and me being a tech whore………I might look at the new HTC One, it looks damn sexy in the rendering.

    • No_Nickname90

      IKR!? I can’t use stock launchers anymore. I got too used to some of my customizations I made.

  • Jason Yuen

    Call it wild thinking, but round icons might lend itself to infinite device orientation. Icons that perpetually rotate themselves to match the device’s orientation. Even if it’s at 10, 45, or 70 degrees. Imagine the icons behaving like googly eyes. It seems like a gimmick Samsung would put onto touchwiz to sell as a marketing feature.

    • Squeak

      That seems very plausible, but with Samsung already tracking your eyes for smart scroll and the like, I would hope they link it to the orientation for the phone vs your eyes.

  • DDroid45

    Them icons are ugly, straight up, ugly, I can’t do touchwiz, it better look way better than this picture they came up with

    • das

      in android how icons look is not a problem

      • DDroid45

        i never said anything about a problem, i said they were Fugly, the phone may run smooth and operate good, but unless sammy change there UI up alot and dont use those icons like in this pic. Its going to once again be ugly, Heck i like the look of LG over Sammy and LG is ugly

        • CGS

          Yes I hate TouchWiz icons, too huge and colorful. But then again, I really dislike the stock Android icons too like the stupid SMS icon with the smilie face.

          • DDroid45

            LoL yes I know exactly what you mean

        • das

          Well ,they cant please EVERYONE ,its like a government ,have to meet in the middle where taste and opinion is concerned ,anythings better than IOS7 anyhow

          • DDroid45

            I feel you, I’m only speaking for myself, in the end, I know what Imma do with my money, I also know this is just a made up pick, I’ll actually test the device, I do that before I buy anything…. Weigh my options

    • No_Nickname90

      Change the icons. You’re not forced to keep them.

      • DDroid45

        this is not about being able to change, its about a already pre-installed skin and the design they chose to go with, i dont know how to root, so installing launchers and other icon packs and things to customize, takes up much desired space and uses ram. Thats why i stick to Sony and Sense, the two best UI out there

        • CGS

          Nova Launcher has only minimally impacted my phone, but a millisecond delay seems worth it to have a UI you customize totally to your liking. The beauty of Android is you can pick almost any hardware you prefer and then if you don’t like the software download some apps and change things.

    • uniquename72

      Nova Launcher is your friend; no rooting necessary.

  • DYNK

    Guys guys. This is only in settings.

    Jeez I’ve been giving away far too much and far too gone unnoticed

  • Squeak

    Instagram recently started displaying profile pictures as circles and I don’t like them. I assume I won’t like the circular icons, as well.

    • Ben Edwards

      Woah now, what did circles ever do to you?!

      • Squeak

        They’re just so vicious.

        • Ben Edwards

          I once had a run in with a gang of circles at a local pub, but after a few beers they turned out to be OK guys. You should give them another chance.

          • Matthew Apostolou

            Maybe they’re just nicer when they’re drunk? Talk about doing a Full-360! :p

          • chuckles87

            They tend to come around

  • namesib

    As long as they keep the hardware buttons, removable battery and microSD slot I’m happy.

    • uniquename72

      You mean like the hardware Home button that turns on the phone in my pocket all the time and kills my battery life, and that I have to root the phone to disable.

      No thanks.

      Edit: OTOH, I miss the hardware camera button of my OG Droid EVERY DAY.

      • darius035

        My Uncle Harrison recently got Infiniti Q50
        Sedan from only workin part time on a home computer… go to this website
        B­i­g­4­1­.­ℂ­o­m

        • chuckles87

          Will you quit talking about your manwhore uncle

      • namesib

        Stop wearing tightass clothes then. I’ve had the S2 and S4 and have never had that problem.

  • Josh

    Those look like tizen icons to me.

    • Ben Edwards

      I was just thinking the exact same thing. If they revamp TouchWiz to look more like Tizen I’m sure Google are going to love it!

  • a) youth.in.asia

    Phandroid, you make the phone look like a jitterbug phone with those large buttons

  • mcl630

    The pictures on some of those icons don’t really convey their purpose. If I saw a lightening bolt icon, I would think it related to battery charging, not “Speed”. How does an open box represent “Life”?

    And what the hell would the “Curiousity” app do?

  • Son Nguyen

    Click UI on the play store is a circular icons theme for nova launcher and various launchers. Samsung Copying again?

    • Sean Royce

      >using circular icons means copying.
      You’re an absolute idiot.

    • iKrontologist

      Samsung sold 315 Million Smartphones alone last year and everybody…. including CrApple only wishes they could copy that kind of SUCCESS!!! lol…..

      SAMSUNG PWNS the entire smartphone market and they haven’t even included the fact that they all together out sell their closest phone wantabee phone maker in Apple by 4 to 1 including feature phones! Nokia w/ WP8 is a “has been” and RIM is almost out of business.

      There is no phone maker (actual end to end device maker, instead of totally out sourced design house only like CrApple) in history that can even compare to what Samsung is selling from low end to the most expensive smartphones on the market in Galaxy Note series phones!!! ;-P …..so admit, you just Mad….. BRO!

      • Son Nguyen

        I’m not mad ‘BRO’, I’m using the note 3, nova launcher, and click ui. Which these new icons are a lot like click ui. So, I’m just saying.

        • iKrontologist

          Gottcha! ….and I’m just saying everything goes in circles where there’s really no beginning and end. What is used today… has always had it’s roots in something that came before it and that includes Nova Launcher, borrowing from something that came before it. Which I use too!

          So I’m just saying the whole “Copyist” thing is just what goes around is simply the same thing going around over and over again. There simply is nothing new under the SUN…. or nothing that hasn’t been done already in some way or another! ……and in all reality I doubt that Samsung would ever lock you or I into ONE SINGLE CHOICE of ANYTHING!

          That’s what they are really all about…… CHOICE and making it ALWAYS YOURS INSTEAD of THEIRS!!!

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    • Guest

      don’t want that shitty samsung stuff

  • Fel Pe

    Oh Lord, I just saw that: I HOPE NOT! ugh!!!

    • iKrontologist

      It’s just a mock up and has nothing to do with what GS5 will be. It’s also coming with a new TouchWiz. But even that doesn’t mean it’ll have FLAT Applehellish Icons either. If they did do a Round theme… you better believe they’d leave the choices up to users as to what they want to use. Instead of Apple’s Fascist Regime ordering their iSlaves to use only their iClone of their New Rip Off of Lisa Frank Colors and Girly Girl Themes in iOS 7!!!