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Samsung's Touchwiz Nature UX 2.0 vs. HTC Sense 5.0: Which is Better?

Steven Blum (translation)
7

We've compared their cameras, features, price, memory and hardware, but which UI wins: the Galaxy S4's Touchwiz Nature UX 2.0 or the HTC One's Sense 5? In this comparison, we'll take a look at the differences and similarities between HTC's newest interface and the latest from Samsung. After all, hardware is only half of the story, right?

htc one s4 homescreen
TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0 and Sense' 5s similarities are only skin deep. © AndroidPIT

Lock Screen

Whether you're staring at Sense or Touchwiz, both lockscreen designs are minimalist and request that you swipe-to-unlock. While the HTC One's screen shows the time as well as the weather, the Galaxy S4's screen just shows the time, although you can also add a weather widget quite easily to the lockscreen. Unfortunately, you can not add widgets to your HTC One's lockscreen, because it is still running Android 4.1, and this feature is only available via Android 4.2 

htc one s4 lockscreen
Both lockscreens utilize swiping gestures. HTC's includes the weather, but no widgets. © AndroidPIT

Homescreen

Samsung's Touchwiz follows the classic approach of Stock Android: you can simply add your own apps and widgets in any configuration you like. In Sense 5, on the other hand, HTC's Blink Feed displays a list of news stories and status updates from your Twitter, Facebook and any other account. 

htc one s4 homescreen
You can customize HTC's Blink Feed so that it isn't the first thing you see upon unlocking your phone.  © AndroidPIT

You can't disable Blink Feed but you can adjust Sense 5 so that, upon unlocking, the first screen you see is a a standard homescreen and then you can swipe to the right to see your Blink Feed.

Notification Bar / Quick Settings

HTC Sense 5's notification bar is spartan compared to the one offered by TouchWiz. With Sammy's software, you have quick access to a number of different settings, which you can quickly turn on and off (like WLAN, Bluetooth, etc.). However, HTC's notification bar offers lots more room for notifications, and you can easily click on the "gear" icon to adjust brightness, turn on Airplane Mode and sign into a new wireless network. 

htc one s4 notifications
Sense 5's notifications bar is pared-down, but less functional. © AndroidPIT

App Drawer

TouchWiz's app drawer is similar to stock Android 4.2, except Samsung has chosen a bright blue background instead of a black one. Sense 5.0 is completely different; here HTC has opted for a stark black background, another reminder of the weather outside and a vertical list of all of your apps. Both app drawers, however, offer various settings so you can customize the grid size, or add folders. 

htc one s4 app gallery
Sense 5's app drawer isn't nearly as bright and colorful as Touchwiz Nature UX 2.0. © AndroidPIT

Recently-Opened Apps

Sense 5 offers plenty of space to see your recently-opened apps. TouchWiz, on the other hand, offers larger thumbnails and additional buttons that offer more features, like closing all your apps at once or Google searching. Multitasking fiends will likely appreciate HTC's paired-down approach better.

htc one s4 recently opened apps
Sense 5 offers more room. © AndroidPIT

Settings

Sense 5 has a lot more in common with stock Android when it comes to settings. While Samsung has organized settings into several taps that can only be accessed by clicking on the top bar of the screen, Sense  5 makes much more…sense. 

htc one s4 settings
Touchwiz Nature UX 2.0's settings are a mess. © AndroidPIT

Additional Functions

As I'm sure you're by now aware, Samsung's Touchwiz is the undisputed king when it comes to extra functions. Here you can find a list of all the features baked into Touchwiz.

htcone sgs4
Which one will it be? © AndroidPIT

Conclusion

There isn't a clear winner here. While HTC's Sense 5 offers a clean and coherent overall look, Touchwiz offers numerous bells and whistles (whether or not they're of use to you is another question). HTC's look is generally more streamlined, but Samsung allows users to access a ton of features quickly and easily. 

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Comments

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  • Yusuf Fishir May 14, 2013 Link

    To be completely honest, I've never liked Sense lol although I do love HTC phones overall, most notably the thunderbolt since it was the only one I got my hands on for more than a week, but I'm one of those people that like the way samsung made Touchwiz. You might say it's "cartoony", I'll just say it looks more High Def and clean. Planning to get the S4 this month :D Just hope I can find the octa core here and not get ripped off :l

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  • Dvoraak May 15, 2013 Link

    I decided it was time for a new phone this week and bought the new HTC One. One feature left out of this comparison is the app menu soft key. Honestly its the most ridiculous thing I've seen in an Android device. Instead of having 3 capacitive keys to include home, menu and back, they've included 2. That means you lose valuable screen real estate whenever an app is open so they can put a large black bar at the bottom of the screen that serves as a menu key. The screen is already a little smaller than S4 and when apps are open, it gets smaller still. Between that and another problem or two I had with it (nothing major.... just annoying), I only kept the phone for a day and took it back for an S4 aaaand WOW! The S4 is simply awesome.

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  • Yusuf Fishir May 15, 2013 Link

    @Dvoraak I believe people are underestimating The GS4 just because of it's looks(which I honestly love a LOT more than my S3 AND any HTC device) and the no swipe left-right Settings screen. The Black Mist is gorgeous and I love the design all around and Settings isnt such a big deal. I admit I was surprised at not being able to swipe between tabs, but it isnt such a hard thing to do once you get used to it. Then I thought about how it was 4 tabs and how I would automatically tap on the 4th tab from the first tab instead of swiping to it.

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  • CJ Brown May 15, 2013 Link

    While I am still used to HTC's Sense - after finally getting a new LG - I notice you can actually download several Sense style themes for your Android Smart Phone even if you're not using an HTC .... I liked it, but I'm enjoying the LG's way of handling - Lock Screen - Homescreen - Notification Bar / Quick Settings - App Drawer .. etc - so how come no comparisons with an LG Android Smart Phone? (such as the LG Optimus G Pro)

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  • Dvoraak May 16, 2013 Link

    @Yusuf - I agree that people pay attention to looks. Hopefully Samsung will figure that out themselves. I've really got no problems with the S4s settings. The truth is this phone has more features than any previous phone EVER. That means many more settings than previously seen or needed. They tried to make sure we didn't drown in all the extra settings.

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  • Yusuf Fishir May 16, 2013 Link

    @Dvoraak I dont think they would have made the S4 the way it is if they didnt notice the design competition. Like I said, it's a gorgeous phone, especially the Black Mist, and I'm sure there are lots like me who think the same. And yes, I agree that Sammy made settings easier for us by categorizing it. Some people are too offended at not being able to swipe to notice that:P lol

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  • Shashi vydyula May 16, 2013 Link

    HTC Sense is my personal choice over Touchwiz. For some reason I don't like Samsung's Touchwiz.

    HTC sense impressed me a lot since the begining of it's launch I especially love the widgets, the lock screen personalization etc. I always found HTC to be quiet smooth and fast.

    So my personal vote for HTC Sense.

    http://pocketreviews.blogspot.com

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