In early 2007 Samsung launched the F700. Not its first touchscreen telephone, nevertheless it was the primary the place the corporate put concentrated effort into crafting a horny, practical contact UI. Effectively, a minimum of in comparison with the dreary PocketPCs of the interval.

The end result was Croix, French for “cross”. Wanting on the UI grid, you’ll instantly see why it’s known as that. The interface gained an IF design award, a 12 months after the LG Prada gained the identical award (as you might bear in mind, the Prada was the first telephone with a capacitive touchscreen).


Samsung F700 running the Croix user interface
Samsung F700 running the Croix user interface


Samsung F700 running the Croix user interface
Samsung F700 running the Croix user interface

Samsung F700 working the Croix consumer interface

Sure, the mid-2000s noticed a Cambrian explosion of contact interfaces. Croix reminds us of Sony’s XrossMediaBar that was first featured on the PS2 and later grew to become the default on the PS3, PSP and several other of Sony’s telephones. However this type of grid based mostly, up-down, left-right UI at all times felt prefer it was designed with a D-pad in thoughts.

Croix was additionally used on the trendy Samsung P520 Armani, which was launched at Giorgio Armani’s present at Milan Vogue Week. If you wish to study extra about Samsung’s collaborations with trend manufacturers prior to now you may, however at this time’s focus is on contact interfaces.

Regardless of the glamor and early acclaim gained by Croix, this is kind of the place its story ends. Samsung had ready one thing much more bold to interchange it.

This got here in mid-2008 with the arrival of the Samsung F480, generally referred to as Tocco, however you might acknowledge its different title higher – TouchWiz. Certainly, this telephone had the primary incarnation of the contact UI that might adorn Samsung telephones throughout many platforms and a few years.


Samsung F480, aka Tocco, aka TouchWiz
Samsung F480, aka Tocco, aka TouchWiz
Samsung F480, aka Tocco, aka TouchWiz
Samsung F480, aka Tocco, aka TouchWiz

Samsung F480, aka Tocco, aka TouchWiz

The F480 had a 2.8” resistive touchscreen with 240 x 320 px decision. It was fashionable with a again panel textured to appear like brushed metallic and a pretend leather-based flip.

For those who insisted on a trend label, Samsung collaborated with Hugo Boss to create a particular version of the telephone that got here with a Bluetooth headset. That’s 2007 trend for you.


Samsung F480 Hugo Boss edition
Samsung F480 Hugo Boss edition

Samsung F480 Hugo Boss version

TouchWiz obtained one factor proper from the beginning – widgets are an effective way to permit customers to customise the look and performance of their telephones. There have been widgets on non-touch telephones too, in fact, they usually did a nice job displaying info however not such a nice job at letting the consumer interacting with them.

With a touchscreen, a music participant widget might present Play, Cease, Subsequent and Earlier buttons and you’d instinctively know find out how to use them. A gallery widget might allow you to flick through pictures simply and so forth.


TouchWiz had widgets from the start
TouchWiz had widgets from the start
TouchWiz had widgets from the start
TouchWiz had widgets from the start
TouchWiz had widgets from the start
TouchWiz had widgets from the start
TouchWiz had widgets from the start
TouchWiz had widgets from the start

TouchWiz had widgets from the beginning

The F480 was a function telephone – neither touchscreens nor widgets make a telephone “good”. And TouchWiz continued for use on different function telephones all through 2009 with the likes of the hybrid Samsung S8300 UltraTOUCH. It had a 2.8” AMOLED touchscreen (with Gorilla Glass no much less), but additionally had a slide-out keypad. A succesful 8 MP digicam and different cool options, this one is worthy of its personal article. There was additionally the Samsung S5230 Star, aka “Tocco Lite”, which funnily sufficient had a bigger 3.0” show.


Samsung S8300 UltraTOUCH
Samsung S8300 UltraTOUCH
Samsung S5230 Star
Samsung S5230 Star

Samsung S8300 UltraTOUCH • Samsung S5230 Star

TouchWiz wasn’t completely a function telephone interface, nevertheless. It tried to make Home windows Cell 6.1 Skilled extra contact pleasant for the Samsung i900 Omnia in 2008 and it tried to do the identical for Symbian S60 rel. 5 for the Samsung i8910 Omnia HD in 2009. The native interfaces of each OSes had been at all times higher with a stylus than with a finger, so there was good cause to attempt to enhance on them.


Samsung i900 Omnia
Samsung i900 Omnia
Samsung i8910 Omnia HD
Samsung i8910 Omnia HD

Samsung i900 Omnia • Samsung i8910 Omnia HD

The venerable Samsung S8000 Jet was a telephone with an AMOLED show and a strong 800 MHz processor that intimidated the smartphones of the day (we’ve lined it in a earlier Flashback). The additional energy of its Qualcomm chipset allowed it to run TouchWiz 2.0, similar because the Omnia HD (whereas the S8300 UltraTOUCH ran model 1).


Samsung S8000 Jet
Samsung S8000 Jet

Samsung S8000 Jet

If your Samsung historical past, you’ll know that the corporate’s first Android telephone arrived across the similar time in 2009. You’ll assume that it put TouchWiz on high of Android’s UI as many Galaxys did after it, however that wasn’t the case – the I7500 Galaxy truly ran pure Android.

It wouldn’t be till TouchWiz 3.0 that Samsung’s customized UI would make its approach to Android and it did so with a splash – the unique Galaxy S was the primary Android to run TouchWiz. It was an ideal telephone with a long-lasting legacy, recounted in a earlier installment.

However simply because it occurred with SuperAMOLED, the Galaxy S wasn’t the primary TouchWiz 3.0 telephone – the Bada-powered Samsung S8500 Wave beat it to the punch each occasions. TouchWiz was additionally a part of Bada’s successor, Tizen.


Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
Samsung S8500 Wave
Samsung S8500 Wave

Samsung I9000 Galaxy S • Samsung S8500 Wave

For those who’re protecting depend, TouchWiz appeared on six completely different platforms. It tried to unify the expertise throughout Samsung choices at a time when it was juggling a number of OSes. After all, today TouchWiz is most remembered as Samsung’s Android pores and skin and whereas it was nicely favored at first, opinions began to show towards it within the later years.

Samsung would lastly substitute TouchWiz with One UI, first unveiled in late 2018. Whereas One UI is a lot better, we will’t assist however admire what TouchWiz achieved – few UIs have lasted 10 years earlier than.

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