Since all Android smartphone manufacturers run the exact same OS (and the vast majority of the apps as well) on their devices, the people in charge of the marketing departments of such manufacturers often seem to believe that the only way to differentiate their products from those of other manufacturers is by creating custom UIs that they slam on top of Android’s standard (also known as vanilla) user interface. But although they’ve got the “differentiating” part just about right, I’m not sure exactly how many smartphone users go for a specific manufacturer over the other because the custom UI is better. In fact, if anything, Android users usually go for the less awful proprietary UI, not to mention that there are many who specifically customize their Android smartphone to revert back to the vanilla Android UI.
This is why I’m reporting with a degree of sadness that Huawei have recently announced the upcoming unveiling of their first proprietary Android User Interface, called the Emotion UI. Although not mentioned specifically, it’s highly unlikely that the Emotion UI will work on any other version than Ice Cream Sandwich. Obviously enough, Huawei’s announcement is quick to praise the new skin as emotional, simple and smart. They wouldn’t say it’s awful now would they? On June 9, when the official unveiling will take place, we’ll be able to tell for sure if Huawei’s decision to come up with a direct competitor for HTC’s Sense UI and Samsung’s TouchWiz will actually make for better devices, or if it’s all just a marketing move that bears no regard for us, the end users.
At the moment, there is no way of knowing if the Huawei Emotion UI will come as an upgrade for already shipped Android 4.0 Huawei smartphones or not. You can be assured that their flagship Android smartphones of 2012, the quad-core Ascend D Quad and Ascend D Quad XL will not be released without it. In fact, there are even some that suggest that the Huawei Ascend D Quad was delayed until July so that it will ship with the Emotion UI out of the box, but I’d advise for the proverbial grain of salt regarding this matter.
We’ll get back to you on June 9 with our first impressions of the Huawei Emotion UI. Until then, I’m keeping my fingers crossed while hoping Huawei were not kidding about the “simple”part of their Emotion UI. Keeping everything simple will get Huawei a long way towards becoming a true competitor for other Android smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC and LG.
What is your take on this? Are you the kind of Android smartphone user that favors a particular custom UI? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!