With the Galaxy S8's unveiling yesterday
, we got to take a good look at Samsung's latest UI refresh. Even though most of what we've seen so far is pretty good-looking, one particular problem sticks out like a sore thumb – the emoji are still abhorrent.
These are simply terrible – they feature the very same faux-3D effect that was so prevalent in mid-00's graphic design, even though the rest of Samsung Experience, formerly known as TouchWiz, moved to flat, more stylish design a long time ago. But it's not just that – while we wouldn't go as far as saying any specific emoji implementation looks good (they don't), Samsung's is by far the worst one of the Android bunch.
Granted, keeping the current style, even though it's inconsistent with the rest of the UI, is understandable – there's a ton of already existing emoji, and redesigning them all will certainly take considerable time and effort. On the other hand, there's 646 new Samsung emoji debuting with the S8, and the Unicode standard has many other in the works, so the more the company waits, the worse he problem will become.
There's another explanation, however – what if Samsung's graphic designers actually like
the current emoji? This might actually be the scariest proposition, as it means users will keep on being subjected to monstrosities like Samsung's "Grimacing Face", or the six-fingered "Hand With Index and Middle Fingers Crossed".
Really, the problems with emoji run deeper than just the ugly designs, as just the sheer amount of them is getting a little out of hand. While we're all for diversity, adding six different versions of the same emoji, rather than just use a much simpler raceless, genderless blob, is, frankly, ridiculous. But to each their own – if there wasn't a demand for them, the Unicode Consortium wouldn't be making more and more of them. Regardless, it would be nice if companies like Samsung stopped treating emoji design like an afterthought, as, like it or not, they're widely used everywhere, and we'd prefer not wanting to gouge our eyes out every time we look at one.