Samsung made a splash with its latest flagship, the Galaxy S6, not only in terms of the design and build quality, with its metal and glass unibody construction, but also with the lack of previously staple features like a removable battery and microSD expansion, caused by this shift in design. The changes aren’t limited to just its physical appearance either, with the software experience being more refined, and as a result snappier, albeit with a few new features in tow. We’ll be taking a look at two of these software and hardware features now, in this feature focus of the Samsung Galaxy S6 themes and fingerprint scanner!
It is definitely worth mentioning, and very noticeable, how fluid this version of the TouchWiz UI is. The general aesthetic mostly remains the same though, with a few elements of Android 5.0 Lollipop, such as the overhauled Recent Apps screen, making their way over. The transitions while opening, closing, and switching between applications are as smooth as ever, and scrolling through the various apps in the Overview screen is stutter-free. In fact, there have been very few, if any, noticeable instances of lag, which is certainly an improvement over previous iterations, and we can’t wait to put it through its paces in a full review.
One new addition on the software side of things is the Theme store, that allows you to change the look and feel of the user interface while keeping the general features of TouchWiz available. There are already a few themes pre-installed which can be accessed via the “My Themes” area, while more can be purchased from the store. Applying the theme, as you will see in the video above, is a quick and simple process, and once done, you’ll see that all of the different UI elements, such as the colors, icons, folders, and more, are now changed to reflect the theme you’ve selected. Theming hasn’t been a very big aspect of previous versions of TouchWiz, and it is a very pleasant surprise to see it included and featured this time around.
Another feature available with the Galaxy S6 isn’t necessarily new, but comes in a far better implementation this time, and that is the fingerprint scanner. The finger scanner is integrated into the tactile home button up front once again, but the type has been changed from the swipe version found with the Galaxy S5, to a much better touch iteration with the Galaxy S6. Currently, uses of the fingerprint scanner are limited to verifying your Samsung account, easy web sign-ins for sites that allow it, as well as to make payments via Paypal, with a future update allowing for use with the upcoming Samsung Pay as well.
To set up the scanner, all you have to do is place your finger on top of the button, lift it up, and place it on the button once again, repeatedly until the setup process is complete. The advantage with the touch type scanner, as opposed to the previous implementation, is that you can set it up with your finger placed at any angle, and depending on how you handle the device, there might a particular angle that is best suited for you to reach the scanner comfortably. This is marked improvement over the swipe type scanner of the Galaxy S5, which basically required you to use two hands every time you needed to unlock the device.
Now to unlock the device, all you have to do is press and hold the home button to get into the user interface. We’ve seen this touch type fingerprint scanner with a few other smartphones, and definitely prefer this version over the previous implementation that Samsung used.
So that’s it for a quick look at the Themes feature and the fingerprint scanner of the Samsung Galaxy S6, which we’ll be exploring in more detail in an upcoming comprehensive review. Until then, stay tuned with Android Authority as we continue to bring you more great coverage from MWC 2015!