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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Any REALLY useful features you miss from Touchwiz?

    Genuine question as I'm looking at trying out Android, initially as a second device that I don't want to spend a wad of $$$ on just in case it's not for me. I'm in SE Asia and here, we don't get the subsidised prices from Google Play for Nexus devices. As such, the Nexus 5 here is $627, Nexus 4 $342, SGS4 $526 and SGS3 $326.

    I know the Nexus devices have had rave reviews but clearly ONE of the significant plus points is their pricing (at least in the USA, Europe and Aus), I'm just trying to weed that specific criterion out from the reviews to see if, absent the much cheaper price, do the Nexus devices still stack up against the opposition. Generally it seems clear that they still do, albeit perhaps by not such a big margin. I'm torn at the moment between the N4 and the S3 and I'm leaning towards the N4. I am concerned about the fragility of that glass back though and three other things bother me a little, battery life, lack of SD and the fixed battery. Currently I still favour the N4 over the S3 though.

    Just one thing I'm trying to fathom before I pull the trigger is are there any REALLY useful features from Touchwiz that stock Android doesn't have (or that can't be got via one or more apps)? I'm not talking about gimmicky stuff (mixing up the S4 here as well) such as Smart Stay and Air Gestures etc. etc. But having read DOZENS of reviews and vs articles I've seen the odd mention of things that do actually seem useful that stock seems to miss out on, such as swipe to call and, IIRC, if you view a SMS on a S3/4, you can raise the phone to your ear to just call the person. Trouble is I've lost track of these snippets of info and can't find them now. I've tried to search many ways to search with benefits of TW, features, stock vs TW etc etc but mostly it seems to bring up the gimmicky stuff.

    So I'm just asking are there any really useful features from TW that stock doesn't get and that people miss from their S3/S4 when switching to an N4? Also, is the LED noticeably dimmer than the Samsung phones? Notification LED is one of the things I really miss on a device and this is why I rule out the mini S3 / S4.
  2. #2  
    ohyeahar's Avatar

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    Default Re: Any REALLY useful features you miss from Touchwiz?

    Before I get into TW features, I want to talk a bit about the pricing issue youíre facing. Just like you, Iím in a location where I canít purchase devices directly from Google Play. When the N4 was released, the 16GB was $350 from Google Play. Locally where I lived, the retail price was about $570. All I did was use a VPN to purchase the N4 from Google Play, have it ship to a mail forwarder, pay an international courier fee, and had it shipped to me. I ended up paying about $400 for the phone which was still a steal. So you may want to look into mail forwarders since this greatly affects the price and would definitely impact your decision.

    Now, about TWÖ

    You mentioned the swipe-to-call/message feature. I donít miss this feature at all. Itís one of those things where, youíd use it if it was there. But if it wasnít, meh.

    I happen to think thereís not much I miss from TW. And the reason you were not able to find anything other than gimmicky stuff is probably because thatís all there is: gimmicky stuff.

    Iím struggling to come up with features but hereís what I got:

    One thing I think is useful in TW (and HTC Sense) thatís not in stock Android is Smart-dialing. The stock dialer doesnít have this feature. Itís possible to install a 3rd party dialer that has this feature. Or some custom ROMs baked this feature into the dialer (eg, CM has this feature).

    TW shows the battery level as a percentage in the status bar. Stock Android shows the battery level as just a vague graphical icon. Itís near impossible to tell whether you have 40% or 30% left. Itís possible to install an app that would leave a persistent item in your notification area to show the percentage or you can just use a battery widget on your homescreen. You can also flash a mod but youíll need root access. Custom ROMs often have this feature.

    The camera app in TW is much better than the stock camera app. But there are alternative camera apps in the Play Store.

    The notification LED on the N4 is dimmer than the one on the S4. But I donít think itís an issue. The one on the N4 (and N5) is different in that it has a ďpulsingĒ effect whereas the one on the S4 just blinks.

    At this point in time, pass on the S3 and N4 in favor of the N5 or S4.
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  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: Any REALLY useful features you miss from Touchwiz?

    Hi. Thanks for that. Useful. Yah I'd considered the shipping option BUT I'm concerned about warranty issues. As yet I've never had a problem with a device but Sod's law if I shipped one I will have LOL.

    I'm thinking same as you spec wise, I'd likely go S4 rather than N5. Samsung bloat is a concern but SD, better camera and removable battery are positives. I'd be happy to use Nova on a device but I've not got the time or inclination to flash ROMs so if I can't get simple things like battery % (which I consider essential) without major hassle I'd likely pass on stock.

    Despite thinking as you re specs I'm also mindful of keeping costs down in case Android doesn't suit. I don't do gaming or movies on phones, just What's Ap, LINE, mail, occasional surfing and stuff like Flipboard and forums so my spec needs are not really high-end.
  4. #4  
    trivor's Avatar

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    Default Re: Any REALLY useful features you miss from Touchwiz?

    Based on the prices you quoted ($326) I think you would be very happy with the S3 if you don't like TW a lot of things can be fixed with an alternate launcher and you can always root/Rom. I was happy with my S3 although I must admit I love my new G2 it is a killer piece of equipment. The S3 has a nice screen, micro SD up to 64 GB,decent battery life and runs smoothly (I hear it has less lag than the S4. Good luck with your search for the best value.

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  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: Any REALLY useful features you miss from Touchwiz?

    Thanks. I'm leaning towards the Galaxy series now LOL. Given that I may just try Android as a daily driver to see if I really get on with it I figure I may stump us the extra $ and go for the S4 LTE. That way, if it does suit me I'm good for a couple of years, if it doesn't I'd likely lose less on an S4 than the other two devices. Much as I do like the clean looks and feel of the N4, that glass back scares the hell out of me, not only dropping it but I've seen dozens of accounts of the back just shattering even on charge or whatever.

    I'm not going for flashing or whatever, maybe just a launcher like Nova so I can change the dock icons and get app badge counts. I'm sure the N4 is fine, but TW does seem to add things that work well and work for the user, even if I'd turn off a lot of the gimmicks stuff I suspect. If I have to install a bunch of apps to get the benefits of what TW does do (and even then maybe not as well) there seems little point in cutting costs a little AND having to put up with lack of SD and a sealed battery.
  6. #6  

    Default Re: Any REALLY useful features you miss from Touchwiz?

    Quote Originally Posted by ohyeahar View Post

    One thing I think is useful in TW (and HTC Sense) thatís not in stock Android is Smart-dialing. The stock dialer doesnít have this feature. Itís possible to install a 3rd party dialer that has this feature. Or some custom ROMs baked this feature into the dialer (eg, CM has this feature).
    This was addressed in 4.3 I believe. I have had a smart dialer since last update (or maybe one before that)

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