Stock vs. Sense vs. TouchWiz

Posted Dec 19, 2012 at 5:28 pm in Threads > Smartphones & Tablets

This christmas I’m looking at getting a new android phone but I’m stuck on what type to get, mainly because of manufacturer UIs. I wanted to see what everyone thought so I’m starting this thread to see what everyone else’s opinion is. So which one? Stock Android, HTC Sense, Samsung TouchWiz, or something else?

  • klcow92

    touchwiz is just horrible, lags but they provide tons of features which most of them you won’t use anyway

    sense is good, design is clean, simple and they seem to have trimmed down fat since sense 3x

    stock is for ppl who want total customisation on their device for a unique look

    • redraider133

      Touchwiz doesn’t really lag anymore. The s3 is one of the smoothest devices I’ve owned even up their with the galaxy nexus which is stock…

      • kelltrash14

        I thought I’d vomit at the sight of touchwiz, but it’s not bad at all on galaxy note II. I’d prefer stock but a lot of the features are useful and I don’t notice any performance hit.

      • JonJJon

        Agreed Touchwiz on my GS3 doesn’t lag any more intermittently than stock does on my mates Nexus 4. I am using Nova Launcher and it gives the perfect combination of stock feel to ultra feature packedness that touchwiz for the GS3 provides. I just got the latest 4.1.2 update here in the UK and the low light mode on the camera is brilliant and the multi window works really well; will be better when more apps are supported in it but it’s a great feature to have to copy and paste between gmail and chrome quickly.

    • OutofPlace

      I’m good with Touchwiz. Or perhaps it’s because the GS3 isn’t bogged down by it because its specs are so darn good.

  • TheStig

    Stock and only stock!

  • heynomi4u

    I agree with the above comment – Touchwiz is ugly and horrible. Sense is very clean and nice but I personally just love that HOLO interface!

    So STOCK for me!

  • mckeed

    having used all 3, stock is the best.

  • ndub21

    I’m completely with everyone else. Only stock will do for me. However, the other skins do add some smaller features. I had Touchwiz on a previous phone and it adds things like speed dial and swipe contact to message/call. Nothing you can’t do with 3rd party apps.

    I have been debating the same thing recently, except I know I love stock Android straight from Google with immediate updates. My debate was if I should get a new phone from AT&T so I could have LTE. I ultimately decided I would rather not have LTE than go with a skin.

    It’s all personal preference, obviously a lot of people like the manufacturer skins because they sell a lot of phones. Go try some out and see what you think. I think once you’ve had stock Android you’ll never be able to go back.

  • Bpear96

    I think Samsung should go with a more stock Holo theme, but with all there actually useful additional features, when you have so many features a themed UI isnt really needed to be unique

    Anyways stock is the best no doubt! I couldn’t handle sense for long, had it on my One X before i flashed CM10 and other AOSP roms.
    Things I hate about sense:
    1. RAM usage, though it is getting better is still high
    2. Unnecessary and some IMO ugly effects (there reach the end of page animation for example, stock holo blue glow is fine)
    3. flashy icons (in settings, power menu etc) all glossy with reflective textures
    4. I much prefer the holo theme vs Sense grayish brown and greayish green ui
    5. Its so intrusive, i can replace the launcher but theres still sense everywhere

    TouchWiz ok, its getting much lighter with every version, but it needs to get rid of the pastel colors or whatever they are IMO

    Sonys Xperia UI i actually kind of like, its lite and some things like the music player etc are actually nice

    MotoBlur – New version is ok, somewhat stock like

    LG UI – Sh*t, seems to be getting better however

  • kelltrash14

    2nd that on the colors. I deplore them! If it was normal colored I might just be able to even say I like touchwiz =o

  • sonicdeathmunky

    Haven’t used Sense since 2.3, so can’t comment on how it is now.
    Touchwiz is rubbish. I understand that they’re trying to make Android more friendly to the casual user, but it causes so many performance issues that I believe it pushes more people away, believing that Android phones are slow.

    ALL I want, is every manufacturer to give the option to switch to stock UI. Let them hide it in the developer options or whatever, so that the casual users can’t get to it, I don’t care. Just give us an option to use our Android handsets the way Google intended it!

    • A. Goundar

      I agree with you I would love it if samsung allowed me to switch to stock rom on my galaxy note 2 there’s just too many processes going on to run touchwiz. Only thing I’ll miss is the one note app that I appreciate using with the s pen.

  • Charlong666

    Back in the days of Anroid 1.0 – 2.2 I would’ve said Sense, but once Gingerbread rolled out the stock UI started looking a lot better, that plus Sense started getting a lot heavier.

  • gp126904

    Stock is the only way to go. Stock jb is too pretty to cover up

  • JC005

    I was all about vanilla, but now I’m hooked on touchwiz.

  • http://muddypa.ws/blog nportelli

    I like stock and Sense. I wish HTC would release Sense as a standalone launcher. Or all of their apps, I like their contact app way better than stock. I’ve not found a decent contact app that compares yet.

  • gavinb

    Stock. I try avoid using any part of Sense! It’s not that bad, but it can’t compare to the stock interface.

  • ATMOSF3AR

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  • Thomas Biard

    Touchwiz and Sense are counter intuitive to me. They label things so much differently in menu settings, and getting to those menus are harder than stock. I have only used Touchwiz when trying to “fix” friends’ phones, but I think that is the true test of how natural it is to use a skin: when you pick up a phone for the first time and will only be using it for 30 minutes or so and need to navigate around the settings and menus.
    Sense it too heavy and I don’t like how bulky it feels over the Android stock UI.

    I say stock. I do want to experience 4.1 stock and see what its like.

  • gmaninvan

    My problem with UI’s like sense and touchwhiz isn’t so much the UI but more so the replacing of stock apps. A good example is the sense calendar. Sure you can download the stock calendar but you now have two calendar apps on your device, one of which you cannot remove.

    So, in that sense, my biggest problem with OEM skins is the bloatware that cannot be removed. Yes, it can be disabled, but it is still there.

  • TheChez99

    Stock is the best by far i really don’t like touchwiz and sense has to much bloatware

  • mlynch01

    I have to add my vote for stock as well. Having used all 3 I must say Touchwiz has gotten a hell of alot better but still has its quirks. Sense is my favorite of the manufacturer skins but I admit that even with Sense 4.0 its still a little bloated and bogs down at times. But those features added in Sense and Touchwiz can make things easier for the average consumer to use their device. Stock Android after ICS has improved in leaps and bounds, it’s light, clean and intuitive and you can customize it as much as you want with no real restrictions. Stock no question the way to go for Android loyalists. For the average consumer some of the added features of the skins might suit them well.

  • da9el

    touchwiz has quite a lot of cool features (maybe too much!). htc is so proud of their ‘unique’ sense but it hasn’t really more special features compared to tw. stock is best. pure experience:)

  • awesomellamas57

    Thanks everyone for the great response to the thread! Could everyone please upvote me and everyone who commented on the thread. Thanks!

    • da9el

      done:)

  • Daniel Hakimi

    At this point in time, stock is the cleanest, safest, prettiest, most functional one of the lot. Sense is good-looking, but you lose some simplicity and some of the sweetness that comes from using the standard. TouchWiz is awful, and unless you’re going to customize it at least a little, I just wouldn’t recommend a Samsung/TouchWiz device. I say this, having owned two, and having eviscerated their software bowels.

  • thymeless

    All of my devices have come stock. I don’t see any value in the overlays/skins. They just bloat the OS and offer craplets. And slow down updates to the OS for people subject to them.

    I don’t see any pluses in the overlays and skins. They should offer these as apps in Google Play that users can install if it offers what they want.

  • A. Goundar

    I so wish I got the nexus 4 instead of the note 2 ….my galaxy nexus is running fine with jb and my brother is enjoying it. Only time I like my note 2 is while watching movies on it or when using the s pen for quick note.

  • Rob C

    STOCK is the way to go…if you wanna look like any manufacturer UI just download it as a theme and plus all the extra features like motion and stuff you can just install roms and hacks for that #RootedAndroid CM10.1 Android 4.2.1

  • jamal adam

    I am all for stock Android but I currently have CM 10.1 on my Nexus. Sense is getting better and better and less bloated and Touchwiz from the looks of it on the Galaxy SIII and Note II is just as good in terms of speed and performance but none of those two can compare to stock, that’s not to say that they have not improved because they are wonderful and it always depends on the user and what they like and how they use their smartphone or tablet.

  • Bryan Stoner

    I think at this point in time each skin or lack thereof comes down to preference. Every skin has advantages and disadvantages: Time taken to reach a certain setting, time saved because of a certain feature.

    Each manufacturer has done a good job at maintaining the core android UX architecture. Primary settings, launcher, and notification shade are relatively consistent in each skin.

    If extra features are hidden then how is that worse than stock? If a setting is in a different place than is x person’s assessment based on comparison to stock or comparison to logic? Just because x person labels x feature/software as useless or bloatware (respectively) doesn’t mean it won’t be awesome for you.

    Whatever skin you like and whatever skin you feel comfortable with is the way to go. Good luck choosing your favorite!

  • pliu.2014

    Sense is the cleanest

  • MC_Android

    I’ve been playing with a couple different ROMs and from my honest opinion, I actually LIKE the new TouchWiz Nature UX. Touchwiz for ICS was complete shit but Samsung made it enjoyable. Stock is always nice, safe and fast, but truth be told, after using several launchers (Go, Nova, Apex, etc) and ROMs, I think stock is lacking some features like organizing app drawers and such

    • kzlife

      Second that, my exact thoughts too.
      Love the organizing folders in the launcher on TouchWiz which is lacking on stock.. is there any third party-apps which has the ability to do the same thing on stock? Would really like to know! :)

  • hgmichna

    “Buy Nexus” says it all: http://winhlp.com/node/898

  • Luke Kallam

    For me, I prefer the look of Sense, especially Sense 5, but at the same time, Touchwiz provides a lot more features, ones that I know I won’t end up using, but some (Multiview) that I would absolutely love to have! I think Touchwiz is cartoony and not very aesthetically pleasing like Sense, and they both run smooth as all get out, but Sense has less features and some of them I wouldn’t really use (I probably wouldn’t use Zoe and I know I wouldn’t use BlinkFeed, and aside from that, Sense pretty much offers similar functionality to stock android, which I’ve had for a while, having a GNex, and it’s nice but it gets old after a while, and makes you wish you had something more. Overall, preference trumps all, if you want a buttload of features in a cartoony package with a solid phone, go with the S4. If you want a beautiful UI with minimal extra features, then the HTC One is probably for you. If you want stock, which is pretty, functional, and (This is true for all of the phones) easy to root if you want more, then I’d go with the Nexus 4.

  • Ray

    I would suggest stock Android only if you are not getting the note 2. Touchwiz adds lots of useful features like screen splits and s pen functions,etc

  • lou2cool88

    I love stock the best though I do like some of the touchwiz additions. However, I wish they’d make touchwiz a little nicer looking. That green that they use all over is pretty ugly.