If you find yourself looking at the Samsung TouchWiz user interface, you can expect to find the Gingerbread 2.3 release of Android hiding behind the scenes. But how good is the Samsung UI?
One thing you will notice straightaway is the unusual unlock screen on the Samsung devices that use TouchWiz. Rather than featuring a slide-to-unlock system, the UI employs a “drag the wallpaper off the screen to unlock", which is pretty refreshing.
Unlike other Android phones, the TouchWiz user interface on Samsung offers a pleasing enhancement to the notifications area. When the menu is pulled down, rather than having a couple of buttons for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, you will instead find additional buttons for enabling and disabling GPS, Sound and Auto rotation. These are of course styled to blend into TouchWiz, and look pretty cool.
On the downside, while there are plenty of nice enhancements (device-specific wallpapers, for instance) the widget-adding system has been streamlined in such a way that you can only view four of the available widgets at any time without scrolling, which is a shame. However Samsung's clever unifying of phones running their proprietary mobile OS and Android by overlaying the TouchWiz user interface is impressive.
While there are fewer home screens to play with in TouchWiz than in HTC Sense (this can of course be altered with a well-placed root hack, of course) a useful method of switching between the various home screens is included. Simply tap and hold your display and the main contents of the Home screen you are viewing (typically a widget) will fall away slightly, allowing you to then drag your finger to skip to another screen. It looks and feels good, and works really well!