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Hands-on: Galaxy S6 Edge gets stock Android-like theme

We go hands on with Material - the first third-party design to bring a stock feel to Samsung's flagship dual-curved Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone.

Published onJune 25, 2015


One of the best things about the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge is the new Theme store, which finally brings a long-awaited easy way to change the look and feel of your handset without needing to use a custom ROM or launcher. The Theme store launched with just a handful of themes, including the exclusive Avengers’ themes but a couple of months later, we’re starting to see great third-party themes introduced.

Recently, Samsung accepted many theme producers from XDA Developers for its Theme store which has led to several excellent themes introduced into the store in the past week. Samsung has already rejected two Material Design inspired themes due to licensing issues but finally a new Material Design theme – called Material and published by developer Samer Zayer – is available to download.

I installed it on my Galaxy S6 Edge and here’s my hands-on look and impressions of the theme.

The theme is heavily inspired by Google’s Material Design and the developer has done an exceptional job in replicating the look and feel of Google’s interface. From custom icons to the striped Material wallpaper, the theme is perfect for those who enjoy stock Android but want the additional options added to Android in TouchWiz.

An interesting thing that I’ve found is that the drop down notification menu is pure black dark greyish, which can be quite jarring at first but becomes very familiar after a few minutes of use. The shortcuts menu is black dark grey with white icons and provides a nice contrast to the white notification and black text used with notifications. When in an application, the status bar and notification dock take up the same colour for consistency and overall, the theme is polished and very well made.

One problem with themes is that they often slow your handset down with large graphics and bad code, but the Material theme is far from this; in fact, it feels somewhat faster than TouchWiz as standard. Material Design was meant to bring a standardised design to Android and the Material theme accomplishes this with great effect. As someone who’s not a massive fan of stock Android (but strangely I like Material Design), this theme is perfect as it provides a clean alternative to Samsung’s own interface.

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