Leaked images show Samsung is bringing divisive Marshmallow changes to Note 5

by: Bogdan PetrovanFebruary 10, 2016

samsung galaxy note 5 review aa (21 of 32)

Samsung isn’t known for consistency, but at least when it comes to the Marshmallow update for its high-end line, the Korean giant is sticking to its guns. Leaked images of the update running on the Galaxy Note 5 show the same divisive UI changes Samsung brought to the Galaxy S6.

When we reviewed the Marshmallow beta update, we praised the smooth operation and functionality improvements, but the design changes were not our cup of tea. As Nirave noted, the “squircle” icons and the white/light blue theme of the notifications drawer seem like a step backwards in terms of aesthetics, though that’s definitely a matter of taste. Still, many of our readers seem to dislike these changes, and the fact that the Galaxy S6’s battery life could take a hit due to the bright theme only makes them more questionable.

Android 6.0 marshmallow logo DSC_0126See also: Android 6.0 Marshmallow updates roundup – February 2, 2016157

Now the same changes have been spotted by a Sam Mobile reader on a Galaxy Note 5. A gallery of images shows the same notification drawer, while other sections of the user interface, including the Air Command menu, remain largely unchanged. The anonymous reader also reported smoother performance, though that could be thanks to the fresh installation.

While less publicized than the Galaxy S6 beta, Samsung is running a beta Marshmallow update program for versions of the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ sold in the US. As for the official update, only Galaxy S6 users in South Korea have got it so far.

How about you, do you like the UI changes in the Marshmallow update?

  • Octotron

    They aren’t dramatic enough to even register as a concern.

    • Andy Troyer

      Why the concern.. Can’t you just apply one of the darker Samsung themes if dark is your thing?

      • Juan

        That’s exactly what I was thinking PLUS I run a launcher anyway… Samsung can’t seem to produce a smooth experience… My Note 5 was only smooth for about a month after that, I started to experience lag… Give us a smooth experience, who gives a shit about scheme when it can be changed?

  • Choda Boy

    But why do they feel the need to mess with things every time? Heck, just implement full theming and let the user decide.

    • Chris

      That only nerds would care about then again I thought nerds jack off to the nexus phones.

      Plus it has a theme store



      • Choda Boy

        Themes are not available on my device.

  • Chris

    Dark themes are the best

    • Gabriel Baribeau

      yup. unfortunately not a lot of oems include them.

      • Brandon Patr!k

        There are great dark themes in Samsung theme store. I’m using one myself. I only hope it still works when I (finally) get the update.

      • Justin

        What the fuck, we are talking oem being samsung, which includes the theme store, which has thousands of themes available

    • Dominick Wheeler

      Doesn’t Samsung have support for third party themes? I distinctly remember having a dark theme on my s6 edge

  • rock1m1

    When I see stuff like this, makes me glad I have the Nexus 6p.

    • MrDerby01

      Did you pick up the 128gb or 64?

      • sonus

        The 6P with or without stylus and wireless charging? J/k

        • Name goes here

          Without OIS too. But timely updates.

      • rock1m1


    • Chris


    • Major Sceptic

      Really ? I own one, I miss my galaxy note.

    • Greg Bucker

      Hmm lets see, crappy bloated software or clean Android with timely once a month updates. Yea I’m glad I have a 6p. oh and I got my 128 for $200 less than the note 5 128 too, hurray for monies!

      OK 6p bragging aside, if I could get a note 5 Google play edition I would definitely be interested. Samsung, world class hardware manufacturer, ruins it with software

      • Kyle Lyles

        I had two S4s, both died of SIM card reader ribbons disconnecting from the motherboard through normal use. Went Nexus 6 & IPhone 6+. MUCH better HW IMHO.

        • R M

          iphone 6 better hardware? You are seriously kidding right? I have a 6s nplus and a note 5 I have a s7 egde ordered to replace the cheap ass iphone 6s plus. Its like a tin can with stripes and a crappy screen. I had a nexus 6 the 6″ one I agree it was an awsome device.

  • um whats so different? seems the same to me….this is why I love my 6P and use it as my daily driver. My Note 5 just sits there for VR purposes only at this point. Seems that will not change whenever it happens to get the upgrade to Marshmallow….AT&T will probably pass it along in 2020. F uc kers.

    • Chris

      Wouldn’t your 6p be the same?

    • Svnjay

      Should’ve gotten a Z5 Premium over the Note 5 :)

      • i only got this thing for my VR….and I got a $250 dollar gift card for BestBuy and a free tablet haha. It was….sort of worth it.

        • Svnjay

          Yes, it really does sound like a good deal :)

  • Roberto Tomás

    The only concern that sounds legitimate to me is if the brightness of the theme really does impact an already battery-limited design.

    • le_lutin

      The battery impact of having a bright theme is negligible.

  • ak47ftw


  • Luka Mlinar

    I hope they finally resolved the phone freezing problem when unlocking the screen.

  • veritas_ad_infinitum

    I’ll let you know about Marshmallow for the S6 edge. Hopefully by 2017.

    • WorldStarrrrr

      2017? A bit optimistic.

  • Omar Đz

    terrible as fu** … that’s why I’m going for Sony Xperia Z5

    • TheWay2005

      You are the only one! S7 is gonna destroy the iPhone 6s in sales..because the majority of people are not stupid

      • Chris

        Can’t really destroy sales that are already made. Let alone am almost year old device

        • Alrightythen

          How exactly is 5 months old almost a year???

      • Svnjay

        Lol, sure it will

    • Major Sceptic

      My brother has a experia, , he dumped the stock skin for a launcher so fast, the device didn’t have time to warm up, good luck with that…

  • moew

    Those squircles are horrible!

  • TheWay2005

    Love it! Glad they got rid of that fugly Google search bar, why white? Obviously because it will have dark theme also. It looks like iOS 8 and that’s a compliment! Just hope it doesn’t perform like iOS 8 lol

  • tonkemaskin

    People writing for these Android sites are aware, that there is a whole Samsung store full of themes to change the entire look of the phone, right? I mean: most of them are terrible, aimed at Korean tweens, but there are some that are flat and pretty close to stock android in appearance. They come in both light and dark shades.

    • Chris

      Many of those themes remind me of myspace. (no kids not the myspace you know, the myspace that was around likely when you were still in diapers)

      Loving the dark professional style themes though. Material dark is the best

  • yankeesusa

    Why is this even a concern? Seems to me like another article from android authority with almost no real information. Just fluff.

  • Shiba Kirito

    Its all a matter of taste, IMO the white looks elegant =D Im happy as long as battery does not take a huge hit. But again there are launchers so.. whatever ^_^

  • Kody

    I think the main thing is not that I like the changes, the main thing is that I don’t dislike them.

  • WorldStarrrrr

    So Samsung providing a theme engine…………….
    Why is this an issue?

  • Anixo Alexander

    It’s seems like an IPhone white theme :( . But it’s cool

  • BleedingPurist

    If it isn’t already clear to the authors of the article and commentors with posts like, “This is why I have a *insert name of non-Samsung device*,” the UI appearance from colors to icons can be easily customized using the built-in Theme Store under settings. In other words, this article and too many of the comments are just fluff and ignorance. Gone are the days of “what you see is what you get.”

  • Hans Pedersen

    “Ermahgerd! If I stay on the settings menu for hours, the white background there drains the battery so fast!”
    Said no real person ever.

  • teomor

    WHAT? “Galaxy S6’s battery life could take a hit due to the bright theme” – Are you f*cking kidding me?! How much time do you spend on the settings menu?

  • Ettercap

    Do they not realize that with themes from Samsungs theme store you can change the color of literally just about any piece of the interface to your liking by just applying a theme?

    I didn’t like the original colors of cyan and green of the status bar my current colors are black and grey, how do people not realize this possibility especially coming from a knowledgeable source like Android Authority.

  • ajleight

    Do a lot of people use the default launcher these days? I’m genuinely asking, as the first thing I’ve done on every new device I’ve gotten in the last decade is to download nova launcher. Guess it had more to do with the extra desktop options of resizing, overlapping and customizing icons – but I just figured everyone did this. That’s why camera, battery life and added functions are way more important to me than any aesthetical updates.

    • mcdonsco

      If it wasn’t for novas lack of ability to Google now with a swipe to the right I would be using it too (I bought it after all)…using gn for the moment because of that entirely.

      • ajleight

        Swipe to the right where? I guess I’ve been using Nova so long that I’m not even aware of things like that, that I’m missing out on.

        • moew

          You can download the Google launcher and try for yourself. Swipe home screen to the right.

          • ajleight

            Oh, gotcha. Was thinking stock launcher, not Google. I can’t do Google Launcher – not for me. Maybe Nova will add the feature.

          • Richard Riker

            if Google ever adds an API for that. Otherwise that won’t be possible ever. But yes, it would be nice

      • ajleight

        Just thought of a very easy solution if you ever did want to go back to Nova. You can set up gestures which perform various actions. So instead of swiping to the right on your left-most page, you could double tap or whatever you wanted and open Now from any screen. Just a thought

        • mcdonsco

          Did that originally with gestures from the base icons I could just swipe up on any of them and get to Google now but it just wasn’t the same, somehow swiping to the right anywhere on the screen just feels right

          • ajleight

            Obviously up to you, but it doesn’t have to be on an icon in case you weren’t aware. You could be on any home page and just swipe up or use two fingers in a circle or double tap and it’ll perform any action you want. Again, if GN is better for you than that’s the way to go. I just couldn’t do without all the icon and desktop customization. But I’m OCD like that, lol.

  • Biga173rd

    Sprint user here anyone know when the Note 4 will be getting the update?

  • Robin George

    Wallpaper anyone has?

  • Mero Mero

    That’s lollipop with white and blue notifications drawer,the settings are the same apps are the same everything looks the same ,no new app or features that will add some new experience this is so stupid people need to to let their opinion be heard the marshmallow has been out for 4 months and Samsung is keeping us waiting all this time for this redeculious update , don’t tell me to use a theme i don’t like all the themes that samsung is providing they are all stupid because they don’t effect non samsung apps ,please stop defending Samsung you and i and everybody knows this is a big update but what samsung is giving us is not that big of a change so stop defending them and let our opinion be heard I’m sick of this.

  • Mero Mero

    For all people who are saying you can use a theme please stop this madness not everyone likes using themes and we never aske for new colours or apps icons we want a change we want new features that when we get the update we’ll spend some time trying to figure them out.

  • Lucky Armpit

    TouchWiz needs to die. Kill it with fire. Then I’ll buy a Samsung phone.

  • sgtguthrie

    Ummm… There’s a theme engine built into the phone. Who cares what the stock theme looks like?

  • john

    I dont know why people keep buying Samsung’s diarrhealaxy phones. Its the second worst phone ever exist next to iTrash. Overpriced, never updated its software, lagged just to name a few. Released thousands different models like uncontrolled diarrhea every 2months and u want to wait for sammdung to update the software? You will be better luck to see Hillary and Donald in the hot wings eating contest.

    • Major Sceptic

      I wouldn’t say that mate, I’ve had 2 note phones and I loved both of them, I only tried this cheap 6p because I thought I should try something else, and its an ok device but overall I wish I had the new note, a mistake which I can rectify.

  • JD

    The Marshmallow theme sucks you say?
    Great can you tell Google that. I’m tired of this white bright kindergarten style crap.

    • Major Sceptic

      Yes they are a bit slow to take the hint aren’t they, despite our protestations.

  • Major Sceptic

    My nexus 6p has plenty of white in marshmallow , ii don’t see your point, and as an ex touchwiz user from 2 galaxy notes, personally I thought there was a lot to like about TW, my main complaint was the lack of a working delete key for unwanted programs , like Facebook/flipboard, etc,
    I find stock marshmallow as stiff as ever when it comes to customizing the standard screen and icons, .
    To me marshmallows best features are doze and a working delete key.
    As for the marsallow icons, I don’t care for them much.

  • Mark Z

    As long as you have the theme store, you can change the background scheme. Moot point in my opinion regarding the blue and white background.

  • James Benedict Matthews

    Looks a bit like ASUS ZenUI

  • KRS

    I just don’t get the big deal over an update. my note is running great so when it updates it updates I am happy for now.

  • Richard Riker

    Would be great, when they would leave the PRO layers in. So not only Samsung Themes would run but every already available from the playstore. But as long as especially gallery and recent apps run smooth, battery life is great and RAM management works as it should I don’t really care. But HURRY YOUR ASSES UP SAMSUNG! Android N is near and you haven’t even managed to update all your latest devices.