Samsung is “exploring” a new phone UI, says @evleaks, with screenshots to prove it

by: Bogdan PetrovanJanuary 7, 2014

samsung new ui

Screenshots of what’s claimed to be a new smartphone UI that Samsung is currently “exploring” have surfaced online.

The source of the alleged leak is noted purveyor of inside information @evleaks, who recently tweeted the image above. If the screenshots are authentic, it may mean that Samsung is planning a major redesign of TouchWiz, at a time when the feature-laden overlay is becoming long in the tooth.

Assuming the screenshots are real, we can note that Samsung is aligning the esthetics of TouchWiz with the more modern look of stock Android, iOS, WP, and some competing Android overlays. The design has a generally flatter look, with fewer shadows, and is generally less skeuomorphic than the current TouchWiz. The adoption of a thinner font face is another trend in modern UI design. The Magazine icon in the dock could refer to the new widget-based interface that Samsung introduced on the NotePRO and TabPRO series.

Will we see this new design in a product in the future? There are several possibilities:

  • The screenshots are real and represent Samsung’s next revision of TouchWiz
  • The screenshots are real but they are of a concept, draft, or design proposal
  • The screenshots are fake or they represent something else altogether

We’re just a few months away from the launch of the Galaxy S5, but this is the first report that suggests Samsung is doing a major UI redesign. However, Samsung has been doing a great job at keeping its software products under wrap in the past, so it may be that security was simply too tight for any leaks to transpire.

One thing is for sure – TouchWiz is in need of a refresh, and Samsung knows it. After all, the Korean company’s longtime chairman Lee Kun-hee recently urged his employees to focus more on software, and less on hardware.

[poll id=”440″]

  • MasterMuffin

    I’d like to see a possibility to choose between light version and full version of TW (and maybe even stock, but that’s what GPE is for (Google, please start selling them internationally)). Light version would have the same look, but they’d take all the bloat apps and (for some) useless features out. And the full version would be the full pack.

    • Android Developer

      that’s why you have custom ROMs that are based on Samsung’s ROMs …
      An example is Omega ROM, but there are others too.

      • MasterMuffin

        So you think everybody will rather root than have what they want out of the box?…

        • Android Developer

 i don’t say your idea is bad. i’ve only offered an alternative for you .
 don’t have to have root in order to install custom ROMs…
          3.not sure the common user is ready for this change. nobody likes too many steps in preparation to start the device, and that’s actually true on any OS. I remember Windows 98 had a very customizable installation , and now all you can do is just do “next” a few times and that’s it. you can’t choose while installing what you don’t want to have. not anymore. you get everything installed, and if you wish you can search the internet on how to remove the junk and make windows take a bit less storage (it already got to be enormous, for no apparent reason).

          • MasterMuffin

            1. It sounded like you did, my mistake
            2. Flash a custom recovery whatever
            3. Not like that. You should have the option before getting the phone!

          • Android Developer

            1. sorry. i think i didn’t write it well enough. english isn’t my main language.
            2. :)
            3. but that would mean the manufacturers would need to provide even more models of each type : galaxy S5 TW, lite and GPE … wouldn’t it be better if you could do it all on the same exact device, yet the manufacturer would update them all? I think it’s better to let it be the same for the common people, yet allow others to change it via a nice app that the manufacturer would release. just look at ROM manager, CM installer, and others… if this could be easy,safe, and supported well enough , maybe it could succeed…

          • MasterMuffin

            Well I like that app idea!

          • Android Developer

            yes, and for now, they could even put it on the kies app on the PC if they are afraid of security concerns.
            If that’s a once in a lifetime thing, I don’t care to install this PC app and uninstall it soon after…

          • MasterMuffin

            The only problem is that they don’t want you to be able to get rid of their “great” software :/

          • Android Developer

            you mean touchwiz as the UI , or the real apps that come with it?
            Some of the apps they’ve included can’t even work for me (not supported in Israel). I don’t get why they put them if they can’t even work.
            Anyway, soon after I got my SGS3, I’ve rooted it and changed the ROM. I’ve searched a lot of alternative ROMs, and decided to use Omega ROM.
            I will only consider using AOSP ROMs when Samsung will stop updating the device, since I still like many things on touchwiz, including some of the apps.

          • MasterMuffin

            I mean everything, they don’t want you to get rid of anything!
            Soon after I got my S3 I got ORD back from S2 days and it wasn’t pretty (Google ORD xda if you don’t know what it is) :)

          • Android Developer

            You like updating your ROM ?
            If so, you can install CM delta. it will update your ROM daily, using the nightly version, and change only the difference of the ROM.
            I’ve tried it in the past. seems promising:

          • MasterMuffin

            Omni has that same built-in and it keeps my obsession controlled, but always not for a long time :)

          • Android Developer

            it really gets the nightlies and updates only the difference between them? Cool.
            Wonder which other ROMs have this feature.

            I’m thinking of giving Pac-ROM a try in the future. have you tried it out too?

          • MasterMuffin

            Oh I’ve tried them all :D Just waiting for devs to start making more ROMs for Nexus 5 so that my obsession can take control x)

          • Android Developer

            What do you do when you are on a vacation? :)
            I have missed so much when I had draft (army stuff once every year or two). Didn’t even have Internet (very poor connectivity) to pass the time.

          • MasterMuffin

            I’m on computer and flash ROMs duh :D
            BTW talking about army, doesn’t the first draft (or whatever it’s called in English) last like an absurd amount in Israel (like 2 years or something)??

          • Android Developer

            Yes, for women it’s 2 years. for men it’s 3 years. it’s not considered draft since it’s the whole 3 years and not a small part of them…
            The draft after those amount of years is about 20-30 days every year or two, depending on many factors. some have less, some have more, some don’t have any.

          • MasterMuffin

            :O I guess it’s necessary but, again, “:O”

          • Android Developer

            some take the draft as an alternative vacation – you are out of work,family and studying. you just guard (or whatever your role there is) and sleep.
            you will get paid just as if you worked (if you didn’t work, you get the minimal wage), and you will even get a nice bonus (depends on how many days you were there throughout the year).
            there are also rules for all employers, to never fire people that go to draft, and all universities help you catch up and have an extra exam in case you couldn’t prepare for the normal ones.

            the 2-3 years though, that’s a totally different thing – it’s more like a voluntary thing, but it’s not. the reason I say it is the tiny payment you get for being so long at the army. it’s about 500 Shekels (about 120 dollars) , depends on what you do. it’s way below the minimal wage, which is 4,300 Shekels today.

          • MasterMuffin

            Well good that you are okay with it :)

          • Chennai Sam

            Yo yo Gusta

          • Andhra Sam

            Gus Gus Gus Gusta

    • jeff

      Good call !!!

    • mikegonzalez2k

      I’ve been saying that for years now.
      Manufacturers need to offer less heavy mods to vanilla.
      Most people want a basic interface, they don’t care about the optional features, they want something fast that works. That’s why Nexus is so popular. They need to offer that for ALL manufacturers.

      Samsung, HTC, Sony.. they can all learn from this.

    • Mike Sam

      Masta… my Gusta! !!

    • k

      This is samsungs way of trying to sweeten the next GS5, the same way apple did with ios7 for ip5s. But i am glad samsung is doing it.

  • João Grácio

    They need to bring a new version of touchwiz that won´t be as heavy as the current one which lags on every corner.

    • Michael Muyunda

      I’ve had the note 3 since release and it doesn’t lag and I’m sure thats the case with the S4.

      • tech4life

        Well I have tried them both in stores and they have both lagged on me, but maybe that was some crazy coincidence.

        • smokebomb

          Make sure you turn off all the BS the stores turn on for their display models. 9/10 times WiFi, bluetooth will be on, screen brightness will be maxed out, every app on the phone will be sitting in memory from the other people that have played around with it etc. When you use a display model to make a purchasing decision, restart the phone and turn everything off. Then you’re more likely to get closer to real world use.

          • ihatehipsternerds

            Well said and some people here try to pass themselves as geeks when they don’t even know that the first thing when trying those display models is to clear the memory.

          • tech4life

            Oh I cleared everything trust me, but still I guess a store model is not the best demonstration of how a phone performs.

          • jbrandonf

            You shouldn’t have to. RAM is designed to be used and the system does a good job of managing itself.

          • jbrandonf

            That could actually be real world usage though. Bluetooth/WiFi on will not cause lag, and RAM is designed to be used. Unless the store has demo software running none of what you said would be a factor.

      • Xavier_NYC

        I’d hope it doesn’t lag with 3GB of Ram.

      • jeff

        S4 no lag at all. Best phone ive owned so far !!

    • Guilherme Ameijide

      havent expirienced any lags on my Galaxy S4 or Note3. Sorry thats not why touchwiz sucks anymore… touchwiz sucks because is an uglyass launcher that is left behind the competition,

      • ortiz

        Touchwiz is more than just a launcher…

        • Michael Muyunda

          but he has a point its ugly not slow.

          • Abdel Aziz Farhi

            Its not that ugly, TW is a classic Android UI with colorful and clean icons. Its not the best looking out there but it does offer much more features then any other Custom UI. I would rather have TW with all the features that Samsung offers and use a 3rd party launcher such as Apex or Nova than having a good launcher and nothing but a stock Android along with it.

        • Shark Bait

          finally some one who realises that!

        • MSmith79

          Which is actually the unfortunate piece of it. If it was just a launcher, then I could just use Nova launcher and be back to a good experience. But instead I still have to deal with an awful notification panel and a terrible settings screen. Not to mention the horrible dialer and horrible lock screen (which unfortunately gave me issues when I tried to replace them).

          • Abdel Aziz Farhi

            The only reason i’m buying Samsung devices is Samsung’s premium suit of features that comes out with every new flag ship device such as the Note or Galaxy S series. If Samsung dumps this for a stock Android or light modified version why not get a Nexus for a cheaper price and enjoy instant updates and longer official support from Google.

          • MSmith79

            It’s a love it or hate it kind of thing. Everyone’s different.

          • jeff

            Agree hard to please everyone !!

          • Anton Nym

            But its easy to piss everyone off, and Samsung is good at that

          • mobilemann

            You are crazy man, i would love it if i could have my note 3 closer to AOSP, personally even at the expense of my stylus, although i think i would be in the minority there.

            I buy samsung products quite frequently because:

            •i like AMOLED screens, which is native turf for them, and they’ve been getting really bright and accurate in recent times
            •they shove the most cutting edge SoC’s in with a range of popular screen sizes
            •have consistently delivered devices with SD card slots and Removable batteries

            I do not buy them for build quality, or for touchwiz though. gross.

          • Abdel Aziz Farhi

            You don’t need to call me crazy buddy. You’re telling me that you’re buying Samsung phones just to flash custom unstable not fully functional ROMs. instead of getting a stable functional phone with an AOSP ROM. Last time i checked CyanogenMod which is the closest to being a stable ROM. it wasn’t as stable as TW. Radio is still not working unless you have an internet connection. Camera doesn’t take full advantage of the hardware. Battery issues. the list can go longer. That makes no sens.. The only reason i would flash a custom ROM and sacrifice stability is when i’m out of date.

          • mobilemann

            if you take offense to being called crazy online, then you shouldn’t even comment, it’s a very common english phrase, and I didn’t mean it with any offense. Also, who says the rom’s aren’t stable or functional? I rocked CM10.2 on my GS3 for years (well cm10.1 to 10.2 but you get the idea)

            I’m sorry, but I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. Just because you didn’t have a good experience with CM, doesn’t mean that no one else will. Please kid.

      • Plinky

        Try an LG G2, HTC One or a Nexus5. You’ll be able to see touchwiz lag after that.

        • Michael Muyunda

          I’ve tried the nexus 5…no difference. Most phones these days don’t have lag, even the mid range ones.

      • patrick

        it might not be the prettiest but more phones have it then any other launcher Samsung outsells every other android phone maker that says something about Samsung.

      • mikegonzalez2k

        People need to stop ignorantly calling TouchWiz a launcher.
        The software Samsung has added to Android is MORE than just a skin. It adds additional functionality (subroutines in the code which didn’t exist before which other libraries can draw from)

      • Guest

        Do expect a program to lag on one of the most advanced phones in the world.
        Touchwiz might not lag on S4 or Note3 but lags on lower models of Samsung

  • D’Ander McSullivan

    I like the general concept, but the icons are just awful.

    • Android Developer

      true, the icons (at the bottom) don’t look well at all, and I don’t get what is “magazines” there, and why should it be one of the main apps…

  • Amine Elouakil

    TouchSense 6 Wiz da fuck is this rip off, come on Samsung you outsource this shit but can’t a company to make an original UI or it the requirement set by samsung that always take a benchmark and then rip of from there

  • Joshhud

    Might be just me but im looking at my Note 2 and i dont see much of a difference…. just less shadows which rent too noticeable.

  • RahulMacwan

    I think when this new touchwiz launches they should get the girls from i love it song and tell them to present it then mess up their tellyprompter and they will walk out just like michel gay

  • Mike Bastable

    Looks body awful… Like Sony timescape from days gone by….

  • Fievel

    Doesn’t the word “samsung” directly translate to “root and install custom ROM” anyways?

    • RahulMacwan

      Lol true

    • Azeem

      Sadly, cuz there are many others phones that can do this.

    • Abdel Aziz Farhi

      Not necessarily, I’ve had my Galaxy Note 2 for over a year and the only time i flashed a custom ROM was out of curiosity, I had CyanogenMod on it for like 3 hours then i switched back to stock. And now that i got my Note 3 i started to flash custom ROMs on it again, TW was more stable and had way more features. If Samsung really means custom ROMs to you guys, Get your selves a Nexus, Faster updates, Cheaper and larger dev support.

      • mobilemann

        some people want custom ROMs with a large display, Snapdragon 800 SoC, 3gb of RAM, removable battery and SD card slot.

        • Abdel Aziz Farhi

          I didn’t say they can’t ^^. You pay for the phone, You get to do what ever you want to do with it. I’m just saying that this is no reason for anyone to decide whether a UI is good or not, Its a matter of personal choice.

    • patrick

      if people bought Samsung devices just to put custom roms on them then why buy them?! it contradicts the point in even looking at a Samsung device int he first place. i bought my S3 because i liked the design i like the UI and i love the features yes sometimes there is more bloatware then other manufacturers but to a lot of people they are useful.

    • TechnoFunky

      Not everybody roots.

  • KillEmAllx

    Touchwiz, ladies and gentlemen, lags, A LOT. It may not lag on EVERY samsung device, but let’s face it, there’s no Samsung tablet, NOT A SINGLE ONE, that doesn’t lag. I’ve seen and played with different Sammy tabs and all of them lag like shit, it’s awful. And for the phones, man I’m glad I use Nova Launcher on my S3 LTE, cuz the stock launcher is horrible. All S3’s lag like hell with touchwiz stock-everything, and my girlfriends S4 isn’t lagfree, it isn’t bad though, but things like scrolling through pages and that kind of stuff should be lagfree, but hey it just isn’t.

    • jeff

      Sounds like the s4 may be a lemon. My s4 with lte is like a viper out of the gate !!!!!! STOCK

  • Samsung needs to remove “double apps” like their video, music, and photos app!

  • Anthonydotcom

    By the looks of it from the poll, there are 14 people in denial.

  • John-Phillip Saayman

    I like samsung features. I know many don’t. But yes, I am in agreement to lighten up the heavy touchwiz and just have a different look. Hope the s5 has the revamped look.

  • Willonne Lewis

    Just as there are people who love iOS for some reason or the other, there are people who like Touchwiz…if you dont…buy the Google Play Edition….what’s all the fuss?

  • ihatehipsternerds

    Hate for touchwiz was started by the haters, spread by the fools and accepted by the idiots

  • asd

    Looks good just wish the transparent bar is actually 100% transparent

  • Motaz Alqaqa

    Decent UI.

  • Storm Blu

    Flat UI looks boring and reminds me of old people.

  • Memphis May [S]unjay

    I don’t like the UI.

  • MSmith79

    Think it’s interesting that only 19 out of 630 people through in a vote for liking the current UI. That says a lot.

  • Groud Frank

    I saw a demo of the Magazine UX that is present on the NotePro 12.2 and I like it so I hope they can do something decent with TW for smaller devices. I’m not too impressed with these photos but if these photos are authentic then it is a welcome change over the current TW. My biggest problem with TW now is how ugly it is. I don’t care if they steal ideas from other Android OEMs or other platforms, just do something visually pleasing that gives a good user experience.

  • Cal Rankin

    If it’s not as system-intensive, I’m all for it. It looks a lot better than Touchwiz now. If this debuts on the Galaxy S5 I will have found love.

  • Jayfeather787

    Looks a little like blinkfeed.

  • patrick

    i prefer if they get rid of the bloatware along with the shit services from AT&T, Verizon and sprint and also t mobile. that alone will make android phones so much better if they just let us download this stuff instead of ruining phones with this crap. my s3 has a lot of apps i put on and my htc one but AT&T ruins it and the same with the crap from Samsung. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!

  • penisvaldo

    went to bestbuy tried LG G2 and Galaxy S4, G2’s screen quality is unbelievable but I hate that back button thing and the touchless buttons like all other androids. Gonna stick with sammy again, GS4 has SD slot, removable batteries and physical buttons for menu and stuff which I love. Touchwiz is not a problem for me, just need some adjustments and the lags become quite rare to occur.

  • Guest

    TouchWiz sucks. Its ugly. Laggy. And its not worth putting on a Flagship Phone

  • Avinash Kumar

    still looks like shit

  • John

    Still looks ugly

  • Leo Matija

    I have galaxy s1 and i’m fucking lagged more than anyone because i don’t have money to buy other phones…be happy people (sorry for bad english)