Report: Samsung Galaxy S6 to feature Nexus-like toned-down TouchWiz


Talk about the Samsung Galaxy S6 at AndroidForums.com!

Samsung Galaxy S5 DSC05785

If there’s one thing we know about our readership and, well, anyone who has used a Samsung phone, it’s that they don’t like TouchWiz. You guys come out in full force with your opinions about how much it sucks and why Samsung should get rid of it. Luckily for you, they could be giving that a real consideration.

According to South Korean press, Samsung is looking to introduce a very toned down version of TouchWiz on the Samsung Galaxy S6, a phone which is rumored to be unveiled next month at Mobile World Congress. More than just being toned down, though, they’re saying Samsung could be looking to go as far as making the device’s firmware more “Nexus-like.”

This would infer that Samsung’s looking to go the Motorola route and implement features through apps, and let more of the natural shine of Android 5.0 Lollipop through. The motive for such a move would likely be to reduce the memory footprint of the Samsung Galaxy S6, which could in turn improve the common perception (reality, arguably) that the performance of Samsung’s phones tends to get worse over time.

So why haven’t we seen such a firmware for the Samsung Galaxy S5, which is currently receiving Android 5.0 Lollipop in Europe and South Korea? Well, those phones are currently receiving Android 5.0, and not the maintenance upgrades that have been released since the latest version of Android’s arrival.

Meanwhile, Samsung is reportedly testing those maintenance upgrades internally and are readying them for release once they’re ready. It’s possible they’ll bring said changes to existing Samsung devices in those upgrades, but there’s nothing definitive that suggests that’s what they’ll be looking to do.

But even if Samsung doesn’t bring the sort of changes we’re expecting to the Samsung Galaxy S6 or any of their older devices, it’s refreshing to hear that they’re taking the criticism about their bloated firmware to heart and that they aren’t looking to carry that trend far into the future. Fingers crossed that we see something drastically improved once Samsung hits Berlin next month.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

You can now buy the Nexus 9 in Sand color option on Google Play

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  1. Let’s hope this is true if it is I WIPO be saying bye bye to my galaxy s5 for good I need a new one anyways the software keeps crashing such as touchwiz

    1. I was using a relative’s Galaxy S5 with Kitkat Touchwiz on it. I will admit that using Cyanogenmod on my S3 and now Nexus 5 may colour my views on this topic. That being said I was on the brink of having an aneurism from the cartoony settings menu fonts, colours and layouts in general. Finding the setting I was looking for on it was a disturbing experience. I’ve never thought that Touchwiz needed changes more than I do now.

  2. Give the users permission to uninstall ALL bloatware and then you can start comparing it to Nexus. Till then, sorry but no. I love my Nexus 6 :)

    1. LOL… Totally true, but at least toning down a few notches is a step in the right direction. At the very least Samsung seems to have acknowledged the bloat problem and how it negatively affects speed and responsiveness.

    2. Hmm, my nexus 7 doesn’t give me the option to uninstall all Google Apps and services, some of which are useless to me.

    3. Yeah, can’t call it a Nexus anyways since Samsung focuses more on multi tasking. The Nexus 6 is just a bigger Moto X with more real estate that’s not maximized enough.

      1. The nexus 6 is just a weapon made to look like a phone that’s all.

  3. If true, and they drop the cheap plastic construction, I may consider buying a Samsung phone for the first time in years…

    1. I think there is zero doubt the plastic “S” body is going away. The A line have all been much nicer aluminum/metal bodies. I would fully expect the same for the S6. No way they will do mid-tier phones with the great new metal thin body – A7 for example – and not do it on the S6. No way.

  4. Now Touchwiz performance is almost close to stock android. It doesn’t lag like the old days. All Samsung needs to do, further optimise it and give it a cleaner look.

    I liked HTC Sense, but it’s becoming boring now. I missed Sense 4 on my old One X. Sense 6 is so boring. I hope Sense 7 could be interesting. If Samsung optimise Touchwiz, it would be a big win for them. There hardware department is already great.

    1. Even better if they just removed the bloatware altogether.

      1. Root then profit. Bye bye bloatware, bye bye Touchwiz.

        1. In that case,it doesn’t matter what Samsung does.

          1. True that. On THAT front – Touchwiz – as much as I no like it does not stop me from buying and using their phones as I can get out from under it. To me, it is all about hardware and specs – which you cannot change and are locked in – software I can tweak, hack, remove, change. So, as much as I think they are on the right path if they tone it down… I don’t care all that much because if they don’t, I will.

          2. Project Ara.

        2. Knox sucks to work around though. Would be nice if they pitched that too seeing as how we spend 500+ of our own money, we should be free to do as we like. Just my 2Cents.

    2. This isn’t a good test because of the Nexus 6 Device Encryption issue. The honestly feels slower than my day to day S5 from work, blame the 2K display.

    3. Wow did that guy say Apple uses a duel core?…that’s keeping pace whith an octa!

  5. Arguably my ass. Every Samsung with TW I’ve ever had started crawling after a few weeks use. Factory reboot fixed. I used to be a Samsung fanboy from before the Galaxy S1 to the Galaxy S4.

  6. It takes a lot of work to keep 4 different UI variations mashed into one. Samsung phones often lag and run less snappy when being compared to devices with similar specs from other OEMs. I’ve often said that Samsung’s hardware is top of the line, but their software and user interface just cripple the entire experience for myself and many other users. I don’t know what to think about this rumor. Samsung’s UI definitely need some work, but going as far as ‘Nexus-like’ well, that’s a bit hard for this guy to believe.

    Android Silver, is that you?

    1. I thought Silver was facing challenges from OEMs

      As for Nexus-like, maybe it would be like that visually, but I don’t see that really happening app wise.

      1. I don’t see it happening app wise either, they’re too invested in their additional features that allow them to differentiate themselves from other OEMs.

        As for Silver, we really don’t know much about it. The last I head about Silver was in October from someone that works for a company that was supposedly getting a Silver device. He said he thought it was still a go… Phandroid hasn’t reported that because it’s all hearsay at this point and not news worthy.

        1. At least they’ve slowly been killing off their services in other parts of the world (shame they are naive with regards to the US).

    2. If you’re referring to the S Line, I agree. If you are going to throw the Note Line with the rest of the mobile devices Samsung makes, then that’s not fair. The Note is the best line they have.

  7. Are they really making $ off of all that bloatwear? If the answer is yes, then don’t expect to see too much of a change on the GS 6. What they should do is release something better than the 5 but don’t call it the 6 and put nothing but pure Android on it. I think they would find it welcomed by reviewers and it might turn around sales for them.

    1. The whole point of TouchWiz is differentiation. They want to offer things like S-Share and Multi-Window that the others don’t to give them a competitive edge.

      Imagine 90% of the cars out there all running on the same engine. Everyone would be touting their design and their features to gain a selling advantage. It’s EXACTLY that scenario with phones these days.

  8. All you need for a custom skin, in my opinion is different icons, wallpapers and different transitions/animations

    Plus a few good features like multi window

    That’s it. Job done

    1. Multi Window, the camera, S Share…these are the areas that TouchWiz REALLY shines. I also prefer a more colorful setting menu, as I find that I search for things visually by their color, and less by their text, once I get used to the color scheme.

      1. Actually, multi window is slower than just using the recent apps to go back and forth. That is, as long as you don’t have to long press a home button every time you want to switch. In all my personal tests. Setting up and maneuvering the smaller screen space makes it take longer than just tapping between the two apps. In my experience. Test yourself.

        1. Uh no. You can’t see two apps on your screen at the same time with recent apps. I enjoy being able to watch a video while I post this comment. Or being able to text message at the same time as I have Evernote open. I really miss this functionality on my nexus 7 and all the third party solutions suck.

        2. I disagree, because I do a lot of things in one window using data from the other. For instance, I use the calculator on one half of the screen while having my bank account in the other. Or, I look up a subject online while having my Bible app open in the other window. Worksheet while I text…It doesn’t take a lot of creativity to benefit from multi-window.

          1. Yes, but do you just disagree or did you actually test it out. Because I thought the same as you, and did the exact same things. I switched to this Google Play Edition rom and thought “Darn, now doing my bank budget and bills will be much harder, without having my calculator/bank app/budget app all open together.” Except in the real world, it wasn’t. Switching between my calculator and bank app using recents was quicker than multiwindowing the whole thing. Same with the rest of my multitasking. You should try it and see.

          2. You’re right…I didn’t try it because I’m neither insane or on drugs. My browser shows about 6 lines of my bank statement on the half screen. I’m typing REAL TIME…not read, memorize a couple, switch apps, then type. Memorizing tangibly takes time. Switching apps tangibly takes time. And memorization leaves you open to errors, which can be avoided by simply typing what you see. A decade ago, I was a bank teller, and I know first hand how easy it is to cross numbers when you’re not actively reading them. So, if I were forced to do the app swap thing you do, I’d also be adding in a double check to find errors. C’mon, try a little logic here.

  9. Thank Jesus! My prayers have been half way answered!

  10. Theres nothing wrong with touchWiz. everyone who criticzed touchwiz are the same who critizied a phone that is made of plastic.

    1. Well I prefer plastic phones, but I cannot use Touchwiz after using stock Android. Written from my GS4 running 4.4.4 Google Play Edition rom(with 5.0.1 rom saved on my ad card; it’s not ready for prime time, imo). So not everyone. Question for you: what’s the last stock Android device you have used?

    2. Nope, I don’t care about plastic. A phone with the best hardware having frame rate stuttering because of the huge memory foot print… yeah I got a problem with that.

    3. Get your head out of your butt, even Samsung knows TouchWiz needs a change

    4. No I hate TW in general but I actually dont care what the phone is made out of as long as it doesn’t break or bend easily. N4/iPhone6+

  11. Would be nice, as my GS4 running the Google Play Edition Rom is the best phone I have ever used.

  12. This is why I buy Samsung, they actually listen to their consumer base unlike HTC.

    1. If this is listening to complaints about TW, they’ve taken a long time to hear them ;)

  13. If they are going to do away with the GPE devices then please at least pull a “Motorola” and release Developer Editions of the future Galaxy S devices and i may come back after i am finished with my Nexus 6.

  14. As cool as this would be, I just don’t believe it. Maybe this has something to do with all those “theme” rumors we’ve been hearing about. Perhaps Samsung has a “stock Lollipop” theme that will be available?

    1. Money talks, chief. After the disappointment from the S5 sales, good old Sammy doesn’t want to go the route of HTC, at least with the mobile division.

    2. Or they could be actually listening to us consumers for a change. Also, seeing the success of Moto and HTC with their slimmed down UI could be the incentive Samsung has been looking for. I remember reading a few weeks back they said that they were looking to “Completely” redesign their S6.

  15. @the first paragraph: is that why they were the highest-ranked OEM in the Consumer Satisfaction Index? Oh.

    1. No.. Only because of marketing and people don’t know any different.. A lot of people first smartphone are Samsung ones.

      1. You can’t market satisfaction. Samsung was the highest ranked OEM for customer satisfaction; i.e., the amount of people who were happy with their purchase. Stop trying to attribute every bit of Samsung’s success to marketing.

        1. Well if most of Samsung’s success wasn’t due to marketing, we wouldn’t

          1. marketing?? i tried sony ,htc, never liked moto designs…
            and samsung has been the best android overall…..

        2. When you are more than likely comnig from a shitty phone into a flagship phone like alot if not most of Samsung customers any experience will be much better than the previous one if you dont know of anything else in this world.

      2. Exactly. Most people think galaxy phones are the only android phones in existence.
        Samsung’s marketing is almost as good as that of apple.

  16. Cool, get the benefits of touchwiz features with a little more natural Android look. I’m down

    1. Im really excited as this was the only reason I would not touch Samsung phones but I will still skip on the S6 since I love my N6 but I will probably switch if the new Note 5 has this “Nexus-like” UI

  17. Actual quote… “We are aiming to get rid of unnecessary functions and simplify our UI at the level of Google’s Nexus 6”

  18. I alao come out in “full force” saying that people can always download a launcher, whether it’s Go Launcher, Apex, or Nova, there are choices & alternatives out there people.

    1. i liked launchers at the start but they seem to use more battery than samsungs own….

      1. Can also download Google’s Now launcher from Play Store.

  19. I’d like to see them do the same thing to the next NOTE

  20. Doubt it!

  21. Hmm if they do this, I could see myself trying out the S6. I love the hardware minus that dedicated button they dont seem to ever want to get rid of. This could be a hit if Samsung does it right. Their name is still as strong as it has been before and with this new refreshed look with all of the software tweaks through apps would make this a really hard phone/brand to skip on. IMO

  22. Samsung needs to follow Motorola. Stay close to stock as possible but add you bonus software futures that set the phone apart from other phones.

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