The One X by HTC is still coming soon here in the States, but that hasn't stopped the reviews from cropping up around the 'net. And while the hardware obviously took plenty of the stage, as it rightfully should, no one can forget the software. Because while top-tier hardware is fantastic, we all know that new hardware is already on the way (and even in the same model phone across the pond). But, HTC is betting a huge part of the farm on their refreshed HTC Sense, and with Sense 4, it looks like they may have finally figured it all out.

But, that’s not all. Just recently, we saw what looks to be official videos of what a Motorola RAZR (and RAZR MAXX) look like running Android 4.0, with Motorola’s own proprietary skin atop it. While in both cases, from HTC and Motorola, you can definitely tell that there is a proprietary user interface there, both versions have been toned down quite a bit in their own specific ways.

While you can look at an HTC One X and still say, “Yes, there’s Sense on that device,” the changes are noticeable once you start using it. If you’ve used a Sense-based device in the past, then you know that there’s plenty of alterations made to just about everything within the phone, courtesy of HTC’s skin. And while it’s great at the start, the experience usually buckles down under its own weight, and everything goes south. While Sense literally launched Android to new heights when it first came out, the experience has gradually become worse as the years went on.

And, let’s face it, not many people were a fan of MOTOBLUR when it first launched, and that sentiment didn’t change too quickly (some might say it still hasn’t).

But things look to be changing for the better, and it’s definitely good timing. There’s no doubt in my mind that Sense needed a big change, and thankfully HTC finally realized that on their own end. The same can be said for Motoblur, or whatever Motorola doesn’t want to call it anymore. Obviously skins aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, but when they start to weaken the overall experience, changes need to be made.

We’re still basing this off the videos we saw earlier today of the Android 4.0-based operating system with Motorola’s skin atop, but it looks like Motorola has started listening to the crowds as well. Sure, things could change at some point before Motorola finally updates these devices, but for the moment it looks like they’re toning back BLUR (or not BLUR) as much as they can, but still making sure that people know you’ve got a Motorola handset in your hand, just by looking at the software.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, that’s exactly what they should be aiming for. Yes, you want to be able to tell your device apart from another based on hardware, but if you can’t, the software is the next step. But just being able to tell it apart from another piece of software is half the battle. It needs to be a worthwhile experience, and not just out of the box. But for the next two years (or for the length of your contract, or until you just decide to get a new phone). It has to last, while also being different.

And now it looks like the manufacturers are starting to figure that out. Now that we know HTC can make the necessary changes for Sense to stay relevant and user-friendly in 2012, and with Motorola seemingly making the same moves, it will be interesting to see how Samsung approaches their next version of TouchWiz on the successor to the Galaxy S II. Will it be loaded? Or will it be a trimmed, more versatile version of its former self?

Only time will tell. But, one thing is for sure: I’m excited.

Don't forget to VOTE! Each week, PhoneDog Fans vote for their #1 smartphone in the Official Smartphone Rankings. Vote now and contribute to the industry's most relevant weekly ranking charts

Related posts

Comments & discussions  

57 Reactions to this post

"Do you like manufacturer skins like HTC Sense and Samsung's TouchWiz?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

Steve Ducey
Steve Ducey NO.NO.NO.NO!!!!!
CJ Jeffcoat
CJ Jeffcoat I personally like touchwiz because it is the only one that I have had experience with.
James Vincent
James Vincent Love the look of sense don't like the performance impact on most phones... hate touchwiz 3.0 (haven't seen 4.0 yet)... use cm7 with modded launcher pro and a sense theme
Jiawei Mao
Jiawei Mao Definitely not
Brandon Salyer
Brandon Salyer I prefer skin. Others wise all my internals just fall right out.
Eduardo Ordaz
Eduardo Ordaz Yes I love skins UI on android. U have choices to go either stock or use another UI or if u don't like skins u can root or get a new launcher. But what needs to b fixed is samsungs kies program it crashed on me and bricked my phone!
Omar Solis
Omar Solis Map from Motorola on my ATRIX 2 its pretty good if not touchwiz 4.0 then sense and LG
Preeda Chawaroj
Preeda Chawaroj Touchwiz is fine, a bit laggy . I prefer sense... but still not the best
Daniel Schmitt
Daniel Schmitt Skins can make ur phone slower but they are designed with Android in mind. I'm a big fan of touchwiz and I do like the look and feel of the new HTC sense. Never tried motto blur.
Nawf Side
Nawf Side TouchJizz 5.0
Marti Ruiz
Marti Ruiz old touchwiz
Neftali Hernandez Escareño
Neftali Hernandez Escareño HTC sense is one of the reasons I won't buy HTC phones, it's too heavy, I prefer touchwiz or stock.
Alberto Garcia Flores
Alberto Garcia Flores I used to prefer TouchWiz 4.0 over anything, but now I want to experience pure Android ICS 4.0
Dan Daniel
Dan Daniel prefer generic stock android then I create my own, as android was meant to do
Paul Alexandru
Paul Alexandru The only skins i like are TouchWiz and Sense
Rache Marie Pomol
Rache Marie Pomol I like em both
Nikolas Manuelides
Nikolas Manuelides bad article, unnecessarily long and repetitive :S
Mike Johnson
Mike Johnson Absolutely like different skins for different user experiences.
Curtis M. Cook
Curtis M. Cook Former G1, Nexus One and current Galaxy Nexus user...with that said no.
Carlos A Ferran
Carlos A Ferran For ics? Hell no
Kyle Desiderio
Kyle Desiderio Touchwiz is ok, I like sense and MAP
Jonathan Salazar
Jonathan Salazar Sense is best. Either you love it or completely hate it.
Anonymous I don't really mind, in fact I love some of touchwiz's shortcuts like notification brightness as well as swipe to call/sms. But I hate when it gets in the way of an update
Wendy Lindop
Wendy Lindop If android was good enough in the first place, skins wouldn't be needed.
Karl Wuscher
Karl Wuscher Stock Android or I have to root my phone for cyanogenmod. Sense really slows down the HTC sensation. Booting talks like 2 to 3 minutes with sense and about 20 sec with cyanogenmod.
Kyle Forest
Kyle Forest The HTC hub is kind of a waste, they have a small handful of skins and I've yet to see them update anything on it.
Michael Garrett
Michael Garrett No stock Android all the way...
Mi Dios Mi Vida
Mi Dios Mi Vida nOKia N9 & sG2 AlL D WAy ##
Justin White
Justin White I like the latest version of TouchWiz but not the previous versions.
Anthony Bailey
Anthony Bailey Stock is crap and looks beyond generic. I'm a fan of both Sense and TouchWiz.
Michael Gonzalez
Michael Gonzalez I like sense, touch wiz is decent but not my fav, and stock android is the shizznit... With all that said, I would hope the time comes when all android come vanilla and you can download a skin from the market
Jesus Salvador Delgado Martinez
Jesus Salvador Delgado Martinez Motoblur has always been my favorite
Steven Hair
Steven Hair Sense 3.0 is great on the Evo 3D, want 4.0
Nahtanoj Divad Htrab
Nahtanoj Divad Htrab Prefer stock android, but Sense is the only one I can stand to use.
Samuel Esparza
Samuel Esparza Yes, stock android sucks, except for ics, that's the only stock build I'll ever use. I like manufacturer skins, I like sense and touchwiz
Ivan Pineiro
Ivan Pineiro Stock ICS FTW
Wasis Waskito
Wasis Waskito Yes. It makes they different with others. Their soul. Their passport.
Eduardo Colon
Eduardo Colon I'm a fan of Sense. TW is ok but I'm more a sense fan now a days. I think it's slicker looking. :-)
Keith UnCool Nicholson
Keith UnCool Nicholson HTC SENSE
Asif Iqbal Shaik
Asif Iqbal Shaik I pure Android. 2nd comes Sony Ericsson's UI. It is very light and fluid.
Nick Chimento
Nick Chimento Even though Sense is like super Ram heavy on my phone. I still like it
Kevin Tan
Kevin Tan If they wanna do skinning, keep it at the minimal, just like how Asus did it.
Nick Chimento
Nick Chimento I do. I love the polished look of Sense but i love the ease of use with Touch Wiz 4.0
Mike Infinger
Mike Infinger Sense is nice because it create consistency for my users (EVO Shifts), but we can't use the EVO 3D because that version of Sense causes conflicts with the Exchange Server. :(
George Millhouse
George Millhouse skins are a waste of space
Ammar Mansour
Ammar Mansour No noo, just stock android.
Tony Abiama
Tony Abiama Sense has always been a favorite of mine
Gavin Rozzi
Fonzy Paniagua
Fonzy Paniagua Stock Android
Soua Yang
Soua Yang htc sense is cool.
Taylor Braney
Taylor Braney Yes except MotoBlur on my Atrix. But I would still prefer stock Android.
Kevin Tan
Kevin Tan HELL NO!
Corey Brown
Corey Brown No they suck
Ryan Warner
Ryan Warner No! That's why I bought a nexus s 4g
Tonio Johnson
Tonio Johnson Touchwiz is OK but I don't stick with it. I prefer a different launcher. Haven't really had a taste of sense yet.
Soua Yang
Soua Yang I do I do!!!!
Ian Slade
Ian Slade No. I'd love pure android!

Most popular Videos
Most popular Videos
Most popular Videos

Most popular Reactions
Most popular Reactions
Most popular Reactions

This weeks "People's Choice Rankings" best smartphones
People's Choice Rankings

See all hot devices