Samsung promised a while back that it would pare down on its customization of Google’s Android—and it sort of delivered.
The new Galaxy S6 features the next iteration of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI—or TouchWiz Nature UX, or whatever it’s called nowadays. (I actually asked for clarification on the name of the overlay, and even Samsung couldn’t give me a straight answer.) It’s built on top of Android Lollipop and this time it’s been drastically scaled down, though Samsung still has a ways to go before it's no longer guilty of Blue-ing up the Android interface.
A lot less bloatware
I remember when I first fired up the Galaxy S4 and noticed its crowded application drawer. There were all sorts of apps in there I never planned to use, courtesy of Samsung and the carriers. What’s worse: I couldn’t actually delete them from storage, so all that extra space was taken up by apps I never intended to use.
The Galaxy S6 isn’t as bloated as its predecessors. There’s still a Samsung-made app for contacts and messaging, for instance, but any extra apps beyond the essential ones are tucked away in the Galaxy App store.
The Galaxy S6 also comes with a small suite of Microsoft apps, however, including Skype, OneNote, and OneDrive, which comes with 100GB of free storage because Samsung feels bad about taking away your expandable storage.
Faint taste of Lollipop
Samsung did a pretty good job porting over Lollipop. It sticks to the general idea of Material Design by utilizing bold colors and bright backgrounds. It even uses a Cards-style multitasking menu, though it added helpful features like a Close All button and a Multi-Window toggle atop compatible apps.
That Notification shade is still really blue, though, and Samsung opted not to go with Lollipop’s default drop-down. It’s nice to have the customizable Quick Settings, but I’d rather Samsung stick to what Google chose for Android, rather than what it assumes it users want.
We’ll have more on what Samsung’s done to Lollipop when we get the Galaxy S6 in for review in a few weeks. For now, check out our walkthrough in the video above, and tell us: Do you like what you see?