Samsung has already updated its tablets with the new Magazine UX, and reports indicate that the South Korean manufacturer may release a new smartphone user interface, possibly on the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Samsung has long used its TouchWiz UI, which has received mixed reviews from consumers since its adoption in 2010. While some users don’t mind Samsung’s Android overlay, others often strip the interface from their devices through rooting or the installation of a custom ROM. But reports suggest that Samsung itself could possibly be doing away with TouchWiz, or at least drastically overhauling the interface. Tech informant @evleaks recently shared images of what could be new/and or improved TouchWiz. According to @evleaks, Samsung is currently exploring new options for its user interface; the pictured UI includes a lock screen and home screen with slight tweaks from Samsung’s well-known UI. Many have commented that the purported UI appears less cartoonish than TouchWiz, while others suggest that the design looks amateurish, which could indicate that the interface could be fabricated. At this point the validity of these UI images cannot be confirmed without word from Samsung.
Does Samsung’s Menu Button Suggest a New UI?
However, Samsung may have given a clue to its future plans where its smartphone interface is concerned. The manufacturer recently announced its new Galaxy Note Pro and Galaxy Tab Pro tablets, which are notably missing the capacitive menu button; a capacitive multitasking button has been implemented in its place. Google has long done away with the physical menu button from its device design, but Samsung has continued including the button as recently as the Galaxy Note 3, which was released in September 2013. Users often find the menu button cumbersome or don’t use it at all, as all of its listed options can be accessed in easier ways.
The new multitasking button likely helps with the tablets’ updated Multi-Window features, which allows users to open up to four windows at once, among others. The tablet specific Magazine UX is especially designed to be more user- friendly, and with the removal of the menu button on its latest tablets, we can only imagine that Samsung may be planning to incorporate a similar ease of use into future smartphones, such as the Galaxy S5. Again, Samsung has not yet made any indication as to its plans for future smartphones.
Samsung Galaxy S5: New Display To Match New UI?
Meanwhile, rumors about Samsung using an LCD display on the Galaxy S5 instead of an AMOLED continue to circulate. Several reports have come out previously, suggesting that Samsung may opt for LCD displays in order to cut production costs for the Galaxy S5. Now reports specifically indicate that Samsung may outfit the Galaxy S5 in a LTPS LCD display made by Sharp.
As we have previously reported, Samsung’s AMOLED displays are among the most expensive components on its devices. The manufacturer has been able to splurge with its displays by keeping the costs of other components, such as its polycarbonate device frames, low. Rumors have also suggested that Samsung has already begun producing 2560 x 1440 5.25-inch QHD AMOLED display panels for the Galaxy S5. However, amid suggestions of a metal Galaxy S5 variant or a new metal model called the Samsung Galaxy F, some consider the possibility that the manufacturer may use a less expensive LCD display with a more expensive metal exterior.
Recently, a Samsung executive reportedly revealed a Galaxy S5 launch date, and indicated that the manufacturer is considering a “new material” for the device. Many outlets have simply assumed the exec was referring to metal as the new material, but a chatty Samsung employee is far from a confirmation of Galaxy S5 features.
While many are expecting the Samsung Galaxy S5 to feature a high-end display and high-end exterior, IE: QHD AMOLED and metal, the combination featured on one device seems unlikely. Such a device would likely have much higher production costs, and could ultimately lead to much higher retail prices, which consumers would likely oppose regardless of the innovation. We also noted that other metal devices, such as the iPhone 5s, also use less expensive LCD displays, likely to offset the price of its aluminum casing. The most plausible situation is that the Samsung Galaxy S5 will feature either one special feature or the other, but not both.
Do you think the Samsung Galaxy S5 will feature a new user interface and an LCD display? Let us know in the comments below.
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Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.