Android Version Debate: Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich vs Touchwiz vs HTC Sense


Last Updated: 2011-12-30 21:08:38
  1. chrlswltrs

    chrlswltrs Well-Known Member

    -I have a better lock screen than sense because I use WidgetLocker which I can customize any way I want. Even if I had sense I would have to use it, because Sense's lock screen still has no where near the options.

    -between BeautifulWidgets and LauncherPro+ I have all the widgets AND a more customizable launcher

    -All of my home screen icons can be changed because of LauncherPro

    -I don't use exchange so I can't say first hand but my wife does. She had a phone with sense and she still prefers the Touchdown app for exchange.

    So in conclusion, I spent $4 on apps on a $500+ phone to get the same visual enhancements and I have a smoother running, snappier, faster phone. Sounds like a no brainer to me. Even the MT4G with more RAM isn't enough to make Sense as smooth as stock Android!!

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  2. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    All apps you have to pay for and/or install after market. With Sense I don't have to pay anything for the same thing. That's a no brainer to me. The performance thing is a red herring IMO. The performance difference is insignificant at best when the trade off is a worse user experience.
  3. chrlswltrs

    chrlswltrs Well-Known Member

    That is what makes Android great, so many options.

    You like simple, I like more options, faster, and better looking.
  4. thedosbox

    thedosbox Guest

    Having sense does not stop anyone from installing whatever fugly widgets/apps they want. And "better looking" is highly subjective. At least with Sense everything has a consistent look to it.
  5. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Well-Known Member

    None of the above stuff matters to me, or I can get what I want using Vanilla. Vanilla, Sense, Touchwiz, Motoblur...just depends on what you want. Like I said, I work by the KISS rule. I use one widget, the stock weather widget. Not terribly concerned with appearance or impressing others, just want the phone to be totally stable and trouble-free, as fast and easy to use as possible and capable of everything I need it to do. For me OEM bloatware does nothing good regarding any of that, only bad.

    If someone wants to use Sense or whatever, fine. Go crazy with eyecandy and social networking widgets. I just think we should be able to go vanilla without having to root the phone. Like we can (mostly) choose what apps to install. IOW, this OEM bloatware should be an optional choice.
  6. Fire_Bird

    Fire_Bird Active Member

    i'm big in to social networking, so for me some of those functions could help me out a lot. thats actually one of the reasons windows phone 7 looks so cool! (not that I would get one - just think that they really did social networking in a nice way)
  7. zerocool79346

    zerocool79346 Well-Known Member

    A.

    You're being slightly obtuse man. No one is discounting or trying to change your opinion about Sense, they are merely telling you how they feel about it, you don't have to be argumentative. I, for one, cannot stand it. I try so hard to stick with Sense, but its just boring in my opinion. I will say this, with my past of root and ROM, its unlikely I will ever stick with a stock interface (unless ICS is mindblowing) so I am not the majority.
  8. Slug

    Slug Check six! Moderator

    Please, let's not turn this into a points-scoring (or e-peen-waving) contest.... the OP has no prior Android experience, and asked for advice. Personal preferences are just that.... personal. :)

    Here's a reminder of the OP's actual question:

  9. Fire_Bird

    Fire_Bird Active Member

    Slug, thanks for the thread direction, and i agree we could avoid maybe the direct attacks, but I'm really benefitting from everyone defending their preferred system. every little thing that gets brought up, i have been googling for more information (and to find out if i agree or disagree with the argument). this thread has been very helpful so far!

    So i pose another question: i'll flip this one around for everyone using sense or touchwiz (or vanilla, - but since we dont have experience with ics yet, is would be tough to answer) is there any one or two things or features that is on the other UI that you do like or wish was included in your UI choice. (If there is, then what was it, and did you find an acceptable workaround yet or are you still looking?)
  10. Sak01

    Sak01 Well-Known Member

    I ditched Sense a month after I got my phone. Although I don't miss anything about it, Sense does have a very polished look and feel to it comparable but not similar to iOS.
  11. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator

    I can't stand sense. It breaks some parts of Android that I'd rather it not break, and it slows down the phone considerably to boot.
  12. Fire_Bird

    Fire_Bird Active Member

    really? breaks it? like what? i only usually here it "breaks" it in terms of smoothness of operation.
  13. Slug

    Slug Check six! Moderator

    One Sense feature I loved were the Friendstream and Calendar widgets; they gave me exactly the information I wanted in a view that suited me. However they can be replicated with third-party apps/widgets.... I use Koxx's Pure series. The only limit with Android is your own imagination. :)
    chrlswltrs likes this.
  14. chrlswltrs

    chrlswltrs Well-Known Member

    One of the best things about LauncherPro Plus was the friends widget. I just tried out the Pure Messaging widget and it is even better! I love it! I had been looking for a widget like this because I am probably going to stick with the stock launcher in ICS now that I can replace the LPP widgets.
  15. jerofld

    jerofld Fixing stuff is not easy VIP Member

    Of all the Facebook/social messing widgets, I'd have to agree that Sense seems to have the best of the bunch. In my preferential order, it is:

    Sense (Friend Stream)
    Motoblur
    .
    .
    .
    Friend Caster
    Go Launcher Ex
    <widgets I've yet to try>
    Default Facebook widget.

    You might be like: "Wha??? Motoblur?!?" Yes, Motoblur's Social Networking widget. In fact, it's the only reason why I never installed an AOSP ROM on my DX. It's not as pretty or fluid as Friend Stream, but it's simple and straight forward. You can resize it (default is 1x4 - at least on my old DX). It displays only the updates you haven't seen (you can tap it to see previous ones). But, like I said, it's just not as pretty as Sense. But beats the pants off of the default one. Sometimes I miss it.

    Friend Caster is just a slightly prettier and more useful version of the default Facebook widget. I think you can put Twitter accounts into it, too. But I'm not sure about that (Twitter can go tweet itself for all I care). But it's far from Sense/Blur. Never seen TouchWiz's social widget. I didn't care for the one in Go Launcher Ex. Haven't seen LPP's. But I'm thinking about trying LPP one day.
  16. mrsbelpit

    mrsbelpit Well-Known Member

    I honestly love Touchwiz, but hate the look. Add Launcherpro and the functionality is still there with more of a stock look.

    That said, I can't wait for vanilla ICS. There's quite a few functions seemingly borrowed from TW on ICS - swipe to call/message, reject call with message, panoramic camera built in.

    We'll see how ICS deals with codec support. Touchwiz is second to none in this area.
  17. OfTheDamned

    OfTheDamned The Friendly Undead VIP Member

    If it were me and I was deciding on a new phone (which I am) then I would be looking at the hardware more than anything else right now. Figure out which phone will be the right size for you and go from there. The UI is pretty insignificant if the phone is too big/small for you or doesn't have enough memory, long enough battery life or fast enough processor to be useful to you. Custom UIs are secondary these days to good hardware. UIs can be duplicated or modified, but bad hardware is just bad hardware.

    After using phones with Sense, TouchWiz, Blur and just plain stock I am an advocate for Vanilla Android over any of the other "enhanced" UIs. The important thing to remember is that while people refer to Sense and TouchWiz as launchers or skins they actually go much deeper on the phone. They actually affect the entire user experience. With Sense you are talking about a different calendar, phone, contact list, settings menu, etc. TouchWiz alters many of these things as well in a similar fashion. While some of these changes can be considered purely cosmetic, others will actually change the way certain parts of the phone function which can be good or bad. As others have said, the additional UIs will also cause OS updates to be delayed.

    The beautiful thing about Android is that you don't have to buy a phone based on the widgets it has or a couple specific features that it includes. More likely than not, that same feature, widget or app will be available in the market for free or at a reasonable cost. Take Sense and some of its features as an example. Like the big flip clock that comes with Sense? You can use Beautiful Widgets, Fancy Widgets or Weather & Toggle Widget to get the same thing only these are skinable to make them even more personal. Like the scrollable widgets with Sense? You can use Android Pro Widgets or Colorize Widgets to give you something very similar. If you wake up one day and decide that you want a different user experience then you can also add a custom launcher like Launcher Pro, Launcher Pro Plus (adds Sense like widgets), ADW, ADW EX, Regina 3D Launcher, Go Launcher EX or Launcher 7 (If you feel like having Windows Phone 7). An additional feature for each of these launchers is the option/ability to skin them and give your phone an entirely new look in just a few minutes. As Slug mentioned, the sky is the limit and you really are only limited by your imagination. Keep in mind though, that you can add a launcher to any phone, but the manufacturer installed custom UIs can't be removed without rooting the phone and installing a new rom.

    Good luck, I hope you find the phone that is perfect for you and your needs. Let us know what you decide to go with.
    Slug and Fire_Bird like this.
  18. King_Bean

    King_Bean Well-Known Member

    I had a D1 (vanilla Android phone) for 1.5. years and I tried to find third party widgets to replicate Sense and nothing came close to me (Beautiful Widgets has a nice weather clock though). The Go! Team has some nice FB and calander widgets but even they aren't as nice and seamless as Sense's in my opinion. And I tried every calendar widget from every app developer and I still prefer the Sense one over them all. Plus, Sense widgets work perfectly on my DINC2 while third-party widgets had more of a tendency to be buggy (of course, that varied depending on the developer).

    Like I said before, I don't have any interest in rooting and rom'ing...if I did, my opinion could possibly be different. I just want the best out-of-the-box experience and I feel that Sense is the best in that regard, by far.

  19. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator


    Launcher pro+ replicates the sense widgets pretty well minus the clock. The thing i like about LP+ is that the widgets are actually themeable quite easily. Ill post some screenies later.
  20. Droidtothemax

    Droidtothemax Well-Known Member

    I liked sense at 1st, still enjoy it and is so easy going back to it.

    I currently rock launcher pro of go launcher and the options seem to be endless. I dont even have the need to root yet. Maybe in time, but I just make a folder and put the useless crap in there, done! I know it would free up more memory and what not, but I have plenty and my phone dont lag, so really is it needed? I dont think so right now.

    I will say, it would be nice if I wanted to delete the crap instead of hide it. That is cool if they apply that without having to root.

    Really like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Seems hit or miss with the masses, but I really am ready for a bigger phone. I never thought I would say that, but seems 4.3" and up is the sweet spot.

    Wish I could upgrade as soon as this beast comes out, but no funds to do so till Feb. Hurry up Feb!
  21. Fire_Bird

    Fire_Bird Active Member

    That absolutely what I will be doing. No matter what, i'll get the best phone available when the time comes. but usually these two companies (htc and samsung) have similar flagship models.

    i like the galaxy nexus, but it isn't really any better than the galaxy s2 as far as i can tell. the only difference is the screen, and having ice cream sandwich. so the technology in it i don't think is groundbreaking (someone correct me if i'm wrong).

    That being said, if a quad core android (with decent battery) came out, i'd jump on it. haha. i definitely want the power, and a large screen is cool with me. as i said before, i could do up to 5" i think for a phone (but i haven't seen a 4.7 in person so idk)

    But you guys brought up a good point. google phones get the updates fastest. (do they also get more support a couple years down the road compared to other phones? ie - is it more likely to be getting updates, say, 2 years from now, for an HTC/Samsung or for a Google phone?)
  22. thedosbox

    thedosbox Guest

    That's a double-edged sword - 2.3.6 broke tethering, and it wasn't the only update that messed something up. On the other hand, manufacturer customized phones are updated less frequently.
  23. Fire_Bird

    Fire_Bird Active Member

    just looked up that whole breaking of tethering thing, very interesting.

    i just hope to see a revolution in hardware at some point this coming year.

    not gonna lie, i would have liked to see a little bit more of a revolutionary google phone. (but i ultimately cant complain because i still am sucking wind with the iphone 3gs haha)
  24. OfTheDamned

    OfTheDamned The Friendly Undead VIP Member

    Typically a pure Google phone will continue to get updates as long as the hardware allows. The Galaxy Nexus will get Jelly Bean when it comes out along with Key Lime Pie (making that one up) if the hardware hasn't advanced too much. I'm not sure if Google ever intended for Ice Cream Sandwich to be on the Nexus One or not, but developers are already putting it on there. There aren't any future proof phones, but there are phones that get support for a long long time and Nexus phones tend to fit that category. In two years you will probably want an upgrade anyway for some new impressive feature that only the latest and greatest offers.

    HTC phones will typically get at least one upgrade in their lifetime and they have been pretty good about getting those updates out quickly. Samsung on the other hand is notoriously bad about getting updates out for non-Nexus US phones. I know my original Galaxy S is still waiting on Gingerbread even now.

    There are going to be trade offs with anything you get though. With HTC you will typically get a solid phone with a nice looking interface, but they can be slow at times and the battery life is pretty sub-par. Samsung will make you wait forever to get updates, but they have the best screens and have top notch build quality (I've dropped my phone dozens of times, but it still works really well and hardly has a scratch on it). IMHO, the Nexus devices offer a chance to be up to date all the time and currently that same Samsung build quality. Also, as thedosbox was saying, the updates you get could hurt a feature you like.
    Fire_Bird likes this.
  25. Fire_Bird

    Fire_Bird Active Member

    yummmm key lime pie!!!! haha
    that is a good summary of the compromise that is made in each of the manufacturers!
    in my, admittedly limited, experience, samsung has the best screen, which is a VERY appealing feature, cuz no matter what UI, widgets, and other crap you have on your phone, you're always looking at that screen.

    as you may have figured out by now, I am a HUGE overthinker :p
    every product i plan to buy I do hours and hours, and sometimes months of research, before I make a decision. happened with my laptop, TV, Bike, DSLR, Speakers, even frying pans... and now phones!

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