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What Samsung Has Done With TouchWiz Nature UX

Posted by Moverick on December 29, 2012  /   Posted in Reviews, Tips

Jelly Bean versus TouchWiz

I have had a Samsung Galaxy Nexus with me for the purpose of comparing vanilla Android Jelly Bean UI with the latest version of Samsung’s custom interface, TouchWiz Nature UX. The Galaxy Nexus runs Android 4.2.1 and is the pure Android experience. I must say that what Samsung has done with TouchWiz Nature UX is brilliant. The beauty of having the two user interfaces side by side for comparison is that I get to see how really ugly stock Android still is. I’m sorry, but Android remains ugly. Cripes! TouchWiz Nature UX, on the other hand, is beautiful, and more user-friendly. I will go into the details below.

Similar Layout

The first thing that I noticed is that the layout of TouchWiz Nature UX is largely no different from that of stock Android. Samsung did not go all out to change how things work, so the two are similar in many respects. For example, if you have used HTC’s Sense UI, you will agree that HTC went all out to hide the ugly stock Android interface. Not so Samsung. Here, we see neat refinements and enhancements, but not an entire over-riding of the stock interface.

Icons And Graphics

TouchWiz Graphical Icons
With TouchWiz Nature UX, icons and graphics have been touched up and some of the hideous ones on stock Android changed totally to something much nicer. The icons for Messaging and Contacts are good examples.

Eye Candy & Effects

This new TouchWiz has really subtle and nice animated touches like ripple effects when you touch the display. There is nothing heavy implemented. It is all about smoothness and fluidity here.

Fonts

TouchWiz fonts
Everywhere you go in TouchWiz Nature UX, text is larger and more readable than obtains in the stock Android UI. That is a huge plus for usability too, so it isn’t just about the looks.

Usability

drop-down Menu
Take the drop-down menu on stock Jelly Bean for starters. Dragging it down reveals a blank slate, with an icon at the top right corner. When you tap that icon, you are presented with options for Owner, Brightness, Settings, Wi-Fi, Network, Battery, Airplane Mode and Bluetooth. Why hide those functions away under that extra layer? On TouchWiz Nature UX, all those functions and more are available directly on the drop-down menu. Very accessible and more user-friendly.

Dropdown menu

Performance

Using the new TouchWiz Nature UX is a joy. Everything is fast, smooth and fluid, and everything looks better than the stock Android Jelly Bean user interface. I will add here that all the extra features and improved user interface have not impacted negatively on battery performance either. You can see the details of the battery test that I conducted on the Samsung Galaxy Note II.

Conclusions

Before this, I was not a fan of TouchWiz. The previous iterations just never did it for me. I have always found stock Android to be ugly too, and having compared TouchWiz nature UX to Jelly Bean’s stock interface, that opinion still holds firm. Android is ugly. TouchWiz Nature UX makes Android look much better without altering it significantly. This is different from HTC’s approach of radically altering things via Sense UI such that the device is almost unrecognisable as Android until you dig deep into the Settings menu. Both approaches have their merits and their fans.

Finally, TouchWiz has earned my love. It makes Android OS more usable and more beautiful without impacting on performance. I really do like what Samsung has done with TouchWiz Nature UX.

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About Moverick

Webmaster and Content Creator. Owned over 120 mobiles. Founder of Mobility Arena, HouseOfMo.com, and MobiNaija.com. Follow him on Twitter @Moverick, on LinkedIn at YomiAdegboye, and circle him on Google+.

About Moverick

Webmaster and Content Creator. Owned over 120 mobiles. Founder of Mobility Arena, HouseOfMo.com, and MobiNaija.com. Follow him on Twitter @Moverick, on LinkedIn at YomiAdegboye, and circle him on Google+.

6 Comments

  1. Belushi December 29, 2012 4:26 am / Reply

    This is exactly how I now feel about touchwiz. In the past, I always use launchers to cover up the samsung touchwiz on my former Samsung smartphones (the galaxy s, s2 and the Note). But since getting the note2, touchwiz has since been refined and better looking. I wouldnt even want to install any launcher on this one. Dont want to mess anything up. The touchwiz interface with performance is marriage in heaven. Loving it.

  2. koweiszki December 29, 2012 7:16 am / Reply

    am for d pure android ui tho… prefer its icons to d ugly samsung’s. & d absence of those big ugly icons in d drop down menu is awesome + d settings icon is lovely. VANILLA ANDROID it is

  3. fortespy December 29, 2012 6:26 pm / Reply

    Mr Mo, I find it fascinating to see you chant praises to Android by Samsung this way.GT-N7100 must have really blown ur heart away.

  4. Belushi December 29, 2012 8:04 pm / Reply

    @koweiszki, come on…touchwiz is nothing ugly. You may prefer the vanilla android UI, BUT that doesnt make samsung touchwiz ugly. I do use the vanilla android too but right now prefer the touchwiz on my Note2.

  5. Ifeanyi aka Spacyzuma December 30, 2012 1:31 pm / Reply

    Well, I still prefer using launchers to TouchWiz and stock android.

  6. bosun99uk December 30, 2012 2:06 pm / Reply

    Before this, I was not a fan of TouchWiz. M2.

    But using it makes me feel as if i don’t have access to really customize my home screen like i do on Nokia 808PV

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