Review: Samsung Sunburst
As I mentioned, the Samsung Sunburst uses Samsung's TouchWIZ interface design for the home screens. I am not a fan of TouchWIZ; it seems poorly designed for small screens like the three inch display on the Sunburst. TouchWIZ's main component is a drawer that pops out from the left side of the screen. The drawer contains small icons that represent widgets. You drag an icon out of the drawer, and it expands to offer some widget function. There's a music player widget, a Yahoo search widget, a shortcut to open the Facebook mobile Web site, and plenty more. The Sunburst offers 27 different widgets in all. Some of these are mostly useless, like the birthday widget, which it seems would only be useful a few times a year. Widgets don't take any action while they are stuck in the drawer, you have to drag them out to the home screen area to use their functions. This seems like a bad imitation of Android, where apps can be dragged in and out of the app drawer, but in Android you can also launch an app just by tapping it, no dragging required.
My problem with TouchWIZ isn't with its style. The interface never seems to function properly. Because of problems with the touchscreen, it's easy to scroll up and down the selection of widgets and accidentally drop one onto the home screen. Then, it's tough to put them away. You can't just drag them to a trash can, you have to open the drawer and put the widget back, like a child cleaning up his toys. For some reason, Samsung allows widgets to overlap and completely cover each other, so it's easy to make a mess on your screens and obscure the features you want. The Sunburst has a three paneled homescreen, but you can't drag widgets from one panel to another, you have to put them away, move to the next panel, then drag them out again. This is all very poor design. I like the idea of widgets on the homescreen. I think it adds a layer of utility and customization that most feature phones lack. But TouchWIZ executes this concept poorly.
At the bottom of the home screen is a row of buttons to activate the dialpad, open the address book or view the phone's main menu. The menu, separate from TouchWIZ, is a basic icon grid. Most of the best features get their own top level icon, so its easy to jump into the messaging functions, the music player or the GPS navigation. I would replace IM on the main menu with AT&T's Social Net app. Otherwise, Social Net is hard to find, buried two levels deep under the "My Stuff" menu item. Come to think of it, I'd like to be able to completely customize this menu, but there are no options to change the design or specific offering.
AD article continues below...
Samsung does a nice job with alerts on the lock screen. There's an alert bar, and it shows new calls, voice mail, text messages, IM chats and email. It even has a spot to show you if your designated Favorite people have tried to get in touch.
Review: BlackBerry Motion
The latest collaboration between BlackBerry Mobile and TCL is the Motion, a large slab that runs Android and boasts BlackBerry's powerful productivity tools. Mobile pros will be happy with features such as BlackBerry Hub and the Productivity Tab, while businesses that deploy the Motion will appreciate the DTEK security software.
OnePlus 3 Boasts Unibody Design, 6 GB of RAM
Jun 14, 2016
OnePlus today announced its third-generation flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 3. The 3 features a sleek, unibody design milled from a single block of aluminum and it measures 7.3mm thick.
Apple Reveals iOS 10 Features
Jun 13, 2016
Apple today showed off iOS 10, what it calls the biggest release of iOS ever for both end users and developers. To start, the platform changes up the lock screen, making it easier to access the camera, notifications, Control Center, and widgets.
LG Home 4.0 Brings App Drawer to G5
Apr 4, 2016
LG has made an alternate home screen experience available to G5 owners that brings back the app drawer. The G5 initially launched with LG's UX 5.0 home screen experience, which removed the app drawer and kept all apps on the home screen panels.
Google News & Weather to Show More News & Weather
Mar 21, 2017
Google today said it has added more stores to the home screen of its News & Weather app for mobile devices. Specifically, the home screen will list an additional 200 stories in a section called More Headlines.