Android smartphones with Force Touch: available & upcoming

Android smartphones with Force Touch: available & upcoming
Well, folks, just a few months back, we were introduced to a brand new way we can interact with our smartphones. We are talking about pressure-sensitive screens and Apple's iPhone 6s, of course. Yes, technically, Huawei announced the Mate S with a Force Touch variant a week before Apple announced the 3D Touch-toting iPhones, but Huawei took its time before actually making the Force Touch Mate S available to the market.

But enough semantics, let's talk about the future. Analysts have been quoted saying that Force Touch, along with fingerprint sensors for companies that are playing catch-up, will be the popular new features in Android smartphones for 2016. So popular, in fact, that some expect 25% of this year's smartphones to have a pressure-sensitive screen. It seems like the Force Touch technology is going to be the QHD of 2016 — not all users will be convinced of its usefulness, but most manufacturers will race to get it for the sake of not falling behind.

All that being said, you may be thinking about getting yourself an Android handset with the new pressure sensing tech, just for the sake of experiencing and / or evaluating it for yourself. Well, currently available smartphones that have Force Touch are scarce indeed, but there are a couple more upcoming, and some rumors are pointing towards some serious Android flagships toting the technology to be launched in a couple of months. Check them out below!

Currently available:

Huawei Mate S

Not only did Huawei race to announce the Force Touch-toting Mate S before the 3D Touch-capable iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the company also took special care to gloat about how the Rose Gold Mate S model has more Rose Gold on it than the similarly-colored iPhone 6s. Yeah, it went there. That aside, if you want a Force Touch Mate S, you need to buy the 128 GB model, which is still a bit hard to track down. In any case – if you live in the US, you will be buying an import model, and it will cost you somewhere between $900 - $1050. Ouch.

In case this price-tag hasn't caused you to scroll down with haste, here's what this $1k can get you — a premium metal build, a 5.5-inch display with a 1080 x 1920 resolution, Huawei's home-brewed 64-bit Kirin 935 SoC, 3 GB of RAM, and a camera, which we didn't find to be exactly awe-inspiring. In fact, if you want to know our full thoughts on the Mate S – go ahead and read our review, linked below. Also, important note, if you intend to import a smartphone meant for a different market, please check if it supports the bands of your carrier.

ZTE Axon Mini

ZTE's Axon Pro was a pleasant surprise when we got to review it last year – a metal-clad, flagship-class handset, with nigh-stock Android on board, and generally impressive performance, specs, and price point. The Axon Mini is, surprisingly, not a miniature dish of that exact recipe. While the smaller smartphone is of the same series, it rocks a custom UI on top of Android 5 Lollipop, and has a couple of new features that its bigger siblings do not. These are a fingerprint scanner and — you guessed it — Force Touch.

The Axon Mini is another handset that is yet to be sold officially in the US. You can find it on eBay and Amazon for prices ranging from $300 to $500. Again – be careful with which bands your phone of choice supports, as it may not work in the US.

Rumored / upcoming:

Samsung Galaxy S7

Sammy's 2016 flagship (or should we say "flagships", with all the Edge and Plus variants that are being reported) is going to be announced somewhere between late February and mid March according to various rumors, and leaksters have been talking about Force Touch tech being a part of the new features. We've seen a Samsung-applied patent for a pressure-sensitive screen, and seeing as a major competitor such as Apple already has the tech on its smartphones, there's no reason to believe that Sammy would delay implementing it, unless there are technological issues involved.

As far as other details go – the Galaxy S7 and all its sister models are rumored to come with a magnesium body (here's why that is cool) and will be powered by an Exynos 8890 or Snapdragon 820, depending on variant and / or market. Check out all of the rumors we have gathered on the Galaxy S7 linked below.

Xiaomi Mi 5

If you consider yourself at least a bit of a smartphone geek, you most probably have heard of Xiaomi. An up-and-comer from China, the company is quite big in the Eastern markets, and is well-known among tech lovers in the West for its bang-for-buck smartphones, loaded with powerful hardware, pretty design (at least in the top-tier models), and the homemade MIUI Android skin. All that out of the way, it has been quite a while since the company released its Mi 4 flagship smartphone, and its successor has taken its time to get to the market.

So, according to most recent rumors, the Xiaomi Mi 5 should hit shelves sometime in the first half of 2016, Snapdragon 820 on board and, you guessed it, a pressure-sensitive screen. Well, at least that's what the rumors are saying. Check the rumor review linked below, in case you want to brush up on all we know about the elusive handset.

That's all for now, folks. Four smartphones, two of which are barely just rumored to have Force Touch  – the list is not as crowded as analysts promise it would be, but we're barely in the start of the new year. We expect to hear about more manufacturers adopting the technology soon and, as we do, we will keep you informed.



1. FluffyBled unregistered

Tried the 3D touch in the iPhone 6s and the screen feels a bit frail ... could be just me, don't know!

3. darkkjedii

Posts: 31664; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Did you just try it, like in a store, or experience it for a while?

4. FluffyBled unregistered

My sister has it actually, but yeah ... I didn't experience it a lot!

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 31664; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I does take some getting used to. I'm not blown away, but it has me on board. I can't wait to see what they do with it.

10. Awalker

Posts: 1986; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

I tried it out in a Best Buy for a few minutes. I didn't see the usefulness of it but manufacturers like Samsung like putting gimmicky stuff in their phones regardless if people are going to use it.

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 31664; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Samsung will take chances with it, that Aple won't. Imagine using force touch to activate multiwindow or floating window will pop up video, that would be pretty cool.

14. Unordinary unregistered

Force touching+swiping the side of the screen is nice to switch between apps. Doing it in one motion will bring you to the previous app, but force-sliding and releasing will open up the task switcher. Pretty small feature but smooth, fast, and seamless. My favorite(stock) is using my keyboard as a track pad for fast editing. Rooted force touch features: amazing. At least 10+ day by day useful practical features.

18. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Yep, Samsung would take more chances. Apple has kind of put themselves in that box for good or for worst. If they did the same and it didn't work perfect, they would get roasted. Apple has stumbled a few times out of the gate, but all in all, their products work great. It is fun to tinker around with stuff even if it's not perfect. I beleive this is why you carry both phones.

19. darkkjedii

Posts: 31664; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I got mad love for Apple and Samsung, always have. I've seen them copy each other, and it's shored up both phones. I just wish Apple was more of the risk taker that Samsung is, cause sammys risks have turned out some pretty useful features. I'm gonna continue to carry both, I love my iPhone, and my Note, both are top notch. Their approaches work well for their platforms.

22. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Hey activate mini floating window with FT seems like a good idea. I've heard many people complain cuz minimize the screen by reaching the top screen and drag it diagonally is kinda hard & pretty inconsistant. Samsung should consider this.

21. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Not only Samsung, i mean look at what huawei did with FT (i laugh so hard on these). But i kinda understand their situation, cuz it's hard for Android OEM to compete against each other so they trying to be unique and Samsung was pretty bold. If you love iOS there Apple device for ya, take it or leave it...

41. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Just like car manufacturers put gimmicky crap in your car, regardless if you use it or not. Is that a bad thing? I've had Samsung phones since the S3, yes they do put a lot. Some are more useful that others. But all of them are gone with exception of the most useful ones like "smart-stay" which keeps the display on as long as you are looking at it. The S6 doesn't have one useless feature. If it does, please name what it is. The Note 5 doesn't have any useless features, if it does please name one? Also a feature isn't useless just because YOU can't use it. Yes they have had some features you could call useless, but if someone found a use for them, then its not useless per se. Force Touch could be useful, if it was implemented in a useful manner. On the iPhone it wasn't. In order for a feature not to be useless, it needs to be applied to something that would make you use vs something that can just be on the side where you have alternatives for doing the same thing. So I would say maybe some Samsung features were a bit repetitious, but not useless.

16. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Ex user of bb storm & never tried 6S/6S+ (both not available yet in our retail shop). I'm afraid it'll get in the way to interact with your phone but with bb you'll need to click-touch everything from typing to browsing & somehow that's irritating. Lol... if rumoured S7 was true it'll probably my first experience with FT, i'm eager to see how games developer will take advantage over it.

23. FluffyBled unregistered

Trust me dude :p ... if FT ever gets to gaming, man OEMs better produce twice the amount of screens they do now xD, especially because of racing games!

25. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

The new Warhammer 40k game uses FT throughout.

27. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

They said press harder to drive faster LOL.

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 31664; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

It's the next stage in interaction. I'm glad it's here, and ready to see it on my Note 6...hopefully.

39. tedkord

Posts: 17482; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

If I had to choose, I'd take microsd support over FT on the Note 6. But I'll take both.

5. Khyron

Posts: 402; Member since: Sep 28, 2015

Gimmicky useless

7. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

there should be either long press or pressure touch IMO, these two can't co-exist without getting in the way of each other here and there.

9. prashant1707

Posts: 83; Member since: Nov 13, 2015

right now i can't see much of the functionality with this force touch display but lets see how the future responds to it.

11. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

I don't see why Huawei is getting so much credit here on the force touch tech just because it announced it's phone a week earlier. In the end, Apple already had the force touch tech on available devices long before Huawei announced their phone with this tech (several months before). These devices include the Apple Watch and Mac Book Pro, both had the same tech which Apple calls it "force touch" and then renamed it as "3D" for the iPhone 6s/6s plus. I'm only pointing out that Apple had the technology ready for quite a while now.

28. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

"Apple already had the force touch tech on available devices long before Huawei" apple didnt even own touch tech o.O all they do is buy pressure sensitive layer from chinese OEM, huawei also didnt own that tech, but the new one that coming is tech from synaptycs, and its gonna be great

36. KyleRiemen

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 29, 2014

Synaptics introduced Forcepad and ThinTouch in 2012. HP made use of the ForcePad in 2014. Huawei introduced it a week earlier, but they also had to develop it, right? Just pointing out, that the idea and technology already have been there, long before Apple came up with it. That is why Android had an "Force touch"-API for years. When Apple comes up with it, a meaningless gimmick suddenly becomes the visionary Killer-Feature, nobody ever thought of and can live without. Other manufacturers do not copy everything, they just put it in, so that some customers do not feel like falling behind on features.

12. KellenR

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 10, 2016

Just to keep this article honest and information accurate -- Android has always this functionality since the beginning. The coined 'Force Touch' feature simply means a pressure-sensitive screen, which many Android phones currently have and have had for years. If you want to test your own Android phone there's a free app in the Google Play Store called "Force Touch Demo".

15. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

The iPhone has had the long press since the 3G (I haven't had the 2G), which is what Android has. There is a difference between that and Force Touch/3D Touch. Long press just measures duration held, while Force Touch measures pressure.

29. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

did you even know what he mean? he talk abour force touch aka pressure sensitive, not long press -_-

34. AlikMalix unregistered

I think he's talking about measuring area on android vs measuring pressure on iOS. There's a lot of difference since fingers are different in size and the are they cover - compare thumb to index. With iOS force is measures regardless of size of the pointing device.

26. Ninetysix

Posts: 2966; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

App measures the surface area of the skin and not the amount of force used. That Google Dev is just jelly that Apple beat them to the punch. Read the reviews or pocketnow.

17. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Like Touch ID, we won't see the real use case for this until the next iPhone.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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