Everyone knows the name of Samsung’s user interface that is heavily layered over Android… and it is TouchWiz. Before we get started, I just want to say that I am a longtime Samsung user, previously owning the Galaxy S3, S4, S5, Note 3, and most recently the Note 4. Everyone knows, that TouchWiz, while it looks somewhat visually appealing (in some cases), is not the best thing for performance. So the question is, if Samsung went the way of Motorola, minimized UI interference, put out updates as soon as possible, would Samsung become more appealing?
Motorola on their latest devices have all been near-stock Android. There isn’t any major design changes to the notification panel, settings, or skin overlays, and the only added features to the device, are Motorola apps. It’s relatively unnoticeable.
Profits have been falling for quite some time now for Samsung and this year, Samsung took a big step to try and reverse that trend. Samsung has always been stubborn about changing their devices to meet consumer demands, however they started making phones with what everyone wanted: metal frames. While the devices received praise for their design, it hasn’t changed their profit outlook so it’s time to continue making changes.
I have always had a love-hate relationship with the Galaxy line-up. On one hand, they always have the latest hardware such as processors, big batteries, and great cameras. On the other hand, fluidity of moving throughout the phone, switching between apps, going to the multitasking menu, or even pressing the home button to go to the homescreen has always been slightly sluggish.
For example, I thought the Note 4 was blazing fast after I picked it up. I had not the slightest problem with the performance due to the fact that the latest hardware picked up the slack of the TouchWiz UI. This to me, is the best performing device that Samsung has put out to date by a large margin. However, that all changed once I picked up a Nexus 5.
The Galaxy Note 4 has a Snapdragon 805 processor and 3 GB of RAM, whereas the Nexus 5 has a Snapdragon 800 processor with 2 GB of RAM, not to mention the device is year old. I installed the Android 5.0 Lollipop developer preview on my Nexus 5, and was blown away by the performance. Granted, Lollipop is designed to maximize performance and be faster than KitKat, I was still surprised by how drastic the difference was between the Nexus 5 and the Note 4.
This got me thinking. If Samsung were to minimize their UI’s footprint, would they be more successful? Would it encourage people to give Samsung’s products another chance? Let us know what you think and if Samsung should change their approach of software development when it comes to their phones.
I’m going to end with this: If they were to put out a Google Play Edition Galaxy Note 4, I would pick that up in a second!