HTC claims the UI in the HTC 10 is “slimmed down”. Let's compare it to the competition!

HTC claims the UI in the HTC 10 is “slimmed down”. Let's compare it to the competition!
When HTC was launching the HTC 10, one of the main things it took pride in was the fact that its interface is rid of duplicate apps — the bane of every Android smartphone. If you are curious what it is we are talking about – here's a quick rundown:

Google allows manufacturers to use its Android OS for free, but obliges them to keep certain Google apps on their handsets as a part of the deal. These are your usual Gmail, Drive, Google Photos, Google Play, and a few more. Some manufacturers, however, like to customize user experience fully to their own style and want to create their own app equivalents of the Google apps. Even worse, some might just go overboard and create apps that overlap in function, effectively ending up with a confusing mess of duplicate apps on their smartphone.

HTC said it worked closely with Google in order to get rid of most duplicates on the HTC 10. The company promised a slim and streamlined interface right out of the box. Many were happy at the news and quickly started drawing comparisons to competitors like Samsung and LG, pointing at their interfaces, allegedly full of bloat. So, we decided to take a closer look and really see if anyone is still a serious offender in the duplicate apps game.

In all fairness, most of the time, these "bloat apps" or duplicates can be uninstalled, or, at the absolute least, disabled. But, let's be honest — nobody likes to open a brand-new smartphone only to start deleting stuff off of it. And many non-power users out there have absolutely no idea what they are looking at, feeling confused and overwhelmed when attacked by an army of colorful icons.

We grabbed the current giants — the Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, Sony Xperia Z5, and, of course, the HTC 10 — performed a Factory Reset on each of the phones, and counted the apps in every one upon a fresh launch. Here's what we found out:

The worst offender


HTC claims the UI in the HTC 10 is “slimmed down”. Let's compare it to the competition!
It didn't take us long to notice that Sony's Xperia Z5 is the worst offender in terms of having a bit too many apps in its utility belt. For example, we have Google's Photos app, which serves as a gallery browser and video player. However, Sony also has the separate apps Album – for photo viewing – and Video, for clip playback. Additionally, the Xperia has its own Music app, then the obligatory Google Play Music, and Spotify to top it off. We've got File Commander for our file exploring needs, but then have a separate Downloads app, which lets us view our recently downloaded files, despite the fact that File Commander already has such a tab. You can check out all our notes in the table below.

LG and Samsung are not as bad as believed


HTC claims the UI in the HTC 10 is “slimmed down”. Let's compare it to the competition!
Samsung's TouchWiz UI has garnered the reputation of being heavy and bloated, and sure – it has had a fairly long period when it deserved these adjectives. However, for the past year or so, Samsung has been working on streamlining the experience and cutting off the excess bloat. Checking for duplicates, we didn't find many offenders.

Samsung does have its own Email app, next to Google's Gmail, which serves the same purposes; there's a proprietary Internet browser, doubling Google's Chrome. Sammy also continues to install S Voice on its smartphones, effectively doubling the Google Now voice-activated assistant. Finally, there's Samsung's proprietary Gallery app, co-existing right along Google's Photos. Arguably, Sammy's Gallery is a pretty useful tool, so it may have won its right to be a duplicate app.

To top it off, we also have some extra Microsoft productivity apps pre-installed, such as Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive. Not necesarrily bad, as many users may actually be using these apps, and Sammy does make up for this sin by offering users 100 GB of free OneDrive storage bundled with every Galaxy S7, so it's kinda hard to be too mad about these.

HTC claims the UI in the HTC 10 is “slimmed down”. Let's compare it to the competition!
LG's G5 goes even lighter on the bloat – we've got the duplicate Email app, a Music app, Gallery, and the ever-confusing combo between separate Downloads and File Manager icons. We don't understand why – when you open the File Manager, you have access to your recently downloaded files right at the top of the app.

So, those duplicates aside, LG's only sin is the fact that it offers 4 icons, which open specific menus that can otherwise be found in Settings. We are talking about “Battery saver”, “Memory”, “Battery usage”, “Storage & USB”. All that these icons do is open Settings and navigate us straight to the respective tab. We would've preferred an easier-to-navigate Settings menu than a bunch of shortcuts on our homescreen, really.

Truly the slimmest of them all

(except for Nexus devices)

The HTC 10 proved itself to be the slimmest in this competition. Of course, Google's Nexus devices will have an even slimmer interface, due to the fact that there is no 3rd party input in them. On the HTC 10, we only have 1 duplicate – HTC's Email app, next to Google's Gmail. Interestingly, there is a Downloads browser, but absolutely no file manager out of the box. We have a feeling that HTC should've went the other way around with this decision, but oh well.

HTC claims the UI in the HTC 10 is “slimmed down”. Let's compare it to the competition!


Here's the full table of doubles we discovered!

Google duplicates
Google
apps
GmailChromePhotosPlay StoreGoogle NowPlay Music
Sony
duplicates
Email
-
Album
-
-
Music
VideoSpotify
Samsung
duplicates
EmailInternetGalleryGalaxy AppsS Voice-
LG
duplicates
Email-Gallery--Music
HTC
duplicates
Email-----
Extra bloat
Sony
duplicates
PlayStationAmazon ShopAVG ProtectLoungeWhat's NewSketch
PSN
Samsung
duplicates
File Manager
Downloads
LG
duplicates
File ManagerSettingsSettingsSettingsSettings
DownloadsBattery SaverMemoryBattery UsageStorage

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42 Comments

1. Feanor

Posts: 1276; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Well, hmm... The worst offender (Sony Xperia Z5) is also the one with its interface closest to stock Android. And honestly speaking having double apps that clutter my app drawer is for me not nearly as bad as the custom skins. I can ignore these double apps (anyway we all put our main apps on the desktop) but there is no getting away from the e.g. completely different notification shade of an S7 in comparison to stock Android.

5. Jason2k13

Posts: 1440; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

No getting away? maybe do some research about touchwiz special themes and Good Lock Ui before trying to sound smart on here?

24. Feanor

Posts: 1276; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

You think that adding a theme on top of a heavily skinned theme to remove the skin sounds like a good idea? The point is to have n original skin that doesn't stray too far from stock Android.

31. ToastedBacon21

Posts: 47; Member since: Oct 18, 2015

Then Samsung isn't definitely for you. There are many options out there. I personally don't like the way stock android looks. But i don't like the bloat that samsung comes with either. I like miui or meizu's skin.

34. Jason2k13

Posts: 1440; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

Then you obviously have never tried a Samsung phone from 2015 and 2016 because the theme doesn't affect the phones performance, but the point was changing the shades and looks of it to look like a nexus correct?

10. DnB925Art

Posts: 1167; Member since: May 23, 2013

No, but you can theme the Notification Shade on an S7 to look just like a Nexus with Good Lock.

21. Kumar123 unregistered

Samsung device is the most bloated device in the world. Just take a look at the bloat list of the S7. The bloat samsung device includes - From Third parties apps like - 1) Amazon 2) Amazon Music 3) Facebook Amazingly this article didn't mentioned these bloat. Weird. Samsung own apps like - 1) Memo 2) My Files 3) Samsung Gear 4) Samsung Milk Music 5) S Health Then there is various carrier bloatware like verizon crapwares - 1) Message+ 2) NFL Mobile 3)Slacker 4) Caller Name ID 5) My Verizon Mobile 6) Voicemail 7) VZ Protect 8) VZ Navigator 9) Cloud 10) Go90 Let's not forget that verizon also pushed a update recently that will add even more crapwares. And Samsung despite being the largest android phone manufacturer and one of the most big tech company Failed to prevent it. Utter failure.

29. Xperia14

Posts: 1197; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

Samsungarena. They ignored it on purpose.

33. sebbellic01

Posts: 305; Member since: May 03, 2016

Thats if you get a sh*tty carrier model. Unlocked model doesn't have a lot of those apps

35. Jason2k13

Posts: 1440; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

This article is about duplicate apps, so you and Xperia guy just look soo stupid right now.

36. Kumar123 unregistered

No, this article is not just about duplicate apps you idiotic samsung fanboi. This articles is also about the number of bloat and which company has the lowest number of bloat. If this article was only about duplicate apps then they wouldn't add the "Extra bloat" table in the article. Even if you don't consider the number of carrier apps the number of Samsung owns apps is highest. So, next time read the full article then comment OK idiotic Samsung fanboy because now you looks like an total jacka**.

28. Xperia14

Posts: 1197; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

And most important, Sony's apps are much much better than Google's apps. And besides apps, Sony's UI on the X-line is by far the best UI I've ever seen. It looks very good and it's very responsive.

2. Mercedes-Benz

Posts: 403; Member since: Jan 18, 2015

Well i am still upset that HTC did not include their fantastic gallery app . Google photos sucks

14. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Enjoy you can download it from any HTC smartphone from google play :https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.htc.album

23. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

Sorry, it is not compatible with the HTC 10

3. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

Counting apps included is one thing actual performance in another. I have owned several Sony phones and several Samsung phones and the Sonys always perform better in battery life and responsiveness.

9. Jason2k13

Posts: 1440; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

So why keep buying Samsung phones when apparently Sony always performed better?

15. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

design and features i guess but i would not get a samsung anymore personally.

26. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

Actually the last 2 Samsung I bought were Note and Note 4 for my wife. I stopped buying Samsung after the Note and switched to Sony for myself. The only reason I bought Samsung from my wife is she needs removable/extended battery to make it through a work day.

4. 444777

Posts: 399; Member since: May 02, 2016

Wtf would you slim down features, instead adding more Ram. 6gb Ram. Dumbass idiots.

6. hafini_27

Posts: 943; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

Sony's UI is close to stock and I like it. However, there are quite a lot of apps that I can't uninstalled completely on my Z3.

7. submar

Posts: 713; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Extra features can also counted as bloat, not only those excessive apps.

8. newbey123

Posts: 696; Member since: Mar 19, 2012

HTC has always had the best UI next to stock android.

11. DnB925Art

Posts: 1167; Member since: May 23, 2013

Touchwiz + Google (or Nova) launcher + Material theme + Good Lock even looks closer to stock than HTC Sense. And you can keep some of the better elements of Touchwiz such as Multiwindow and Smart Stay (for example).

12. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

Seriously? Obviously you never owned a HTC from a few years back when Sense totally hid most of Android. It was inefficient and a battery eater.

16. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Big lie. Used M7 M8 and M9 and sense was near perfection. As for looking like nexus any phone can do what DnB925Art said..

18. Jason2k13

Posts: 1440; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

His talking about settings and notifications to look like stock aswell, which only Samsung can do.

42. g2a5b0e unregistered

Definitely not a lie. Do you ever think before you speak? Before the M7, Sense was known to be the heaviest Android skin.

13. Bankz

Posts: 2464; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

HTC! Probably the most boring phone of 2016...

17. 444777

Posts: 399; Member since: May 02, 2016

Agree. And it's fugly. Looks like the LgG5, fugly. The M7 with a slight face lift should've been the M10. I believe yet another fail by HTC,... Q1-2 will be red ink. And there's no Ufs2 SSD. No ip67.

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