Galaxy S5 Explained: UX and Back Panel

May 5, 2014 | Comments | Tomorrow Works

According to one of the Senior Designers at Samsung Electronics who contributed in designing the Galaxy S5, the overall design concept of the Galaxy S5 was so-called “Modern Flash.” The ‘modern flash’ is a sophisticated and youthful urban style with emotion. Intrigued by this design concept of the Galaxy S5, with the help from the insiders, we dove inside the design of the UX visuals and the back cover of Galaxy S5.



UX – Key Visual


The Key Visuals of the Galaxy S Series


The key UX visual on the main lock screen of the Galaxy S5 has colorful diamond-like shapes that fill up the screen. Considering that the key UX visuals for previous Galaxy devices were image of nature,  Galaxy S5  was the first flagship which the colorful abstractive geometrical pattern was used for the Key UX visual..


In terms of color, the design team wanted to make the Galaxy S5 stand out among its competitors. They had to choose colors that could only be presented well in the FHD Super AMOLED display. After numerous tests, they finally selected several colors, including different shades of blue.


If you look at the abstractive pattern, you cannot help to think that it resembles something… Diamond. That is because the designers were actually inspired by diamonds. The ‘brilliant’ or diamond cut design is a design in which diamonds are cut in a distinct form with many facets, having exceptional brilliance. That’s why you can see diamond cuts on the main lock screen, which adds a sense of sophistication to the Galaxy S5 to make it fashionable and unique.


Talking about being unique, the team also included a unique touch feature that pumped bubbles in the extracted color the user pressed on the main lock screen. For instance, if a user presses orange, then orange bubbles appear on the key UX visual. These pumped colors harmonize with the remaining colors on the main lock screen. This special effect provides a unique experience of the Galaxy S5 to users..



UX – Icons & Interface


To make the Galaxy S5 more ‘Modern Flash’, the designers also designed the basic icons and UX icons in the settings to have a stylish look by creating them in a simpler fashion. For instance, the 12 short lines in the clock icon have disappeared, leaving just the hour hand, minute hand, and second hand. In case of the Gallery icon, the seeds in the yellow flower have been removed. Also, the play sign (triangle shape) has gone and a music note has been placed inside the blue circle for the music icon. In addition, the icons in the setting have become much clearer and rounder; in fact, all the icons listed in the setting now have round shapes.


Comparing the icons of the Galaxy S Series


Morever, while in previous Galaxy flagships, the features in the settings were only shown in a list, in the Galaxy S5, they can be seen in three types of views such as a grid, list, and tab (category). Thus, with an easy-to-see icons and interface, you can clearly say that the Galaxy S5 is a trendy smartphone.


In result, many users have been raving about the clean and neat tidy looking icons and UI compared to that of previous Galaxy products.



UX – # of Apps


However, there is another reason the UI of the Galaxy S5 looks so neat and simple.


The Galaxy S5 has 40 applications only, which is much reduced compared to, for example, the Galaxy Note 3 having 51 apps. 40 applications in the 2 pages. That's it. If wanted, other relatively less frequently used apps can be easily downloaded through Galaxy Essential and Galaxy Gift widget.


To find the most important features from the consumers' perspectives, Samsung used its collected data of VOCs (Voice of Customers) on the existing and previous devices. From the VOCs, it was found that most of the Galaxy users said some apps were not used as frequently as they anticipated. Therefore, Samsung decided to reduce the pre-installed app to 40.


UI of the Galaxy focusing on the basic yet essential functionalities has been getting many positive reactions from the users.


Galaxy S5 Design Concept


Back Cover – The Touch


Samsung wanted to make the Galaxy S5 have the softest and most comfortable grip, therefore, Samsung especially concentrated on the feeling of touch, as many apps like the S Health that users need to touch were included. Hence, the design team of the Galaxy S5 focused on the feeling of the handgrip of the Galaxy S5.


According to the, the small holes on the panel provide a tactile grip to the fingertips when users touch the back of the phone. The S5’s unique cushioning materials deliver a reassuring give when held in the user’s hands. Combined with the perforated exterior and a material soft as sheepskin, the S5 provides a truly optimal grip.


The team wanted to find a certain material that was close to nature and was most natural. To find that right material, they touched hundreds of fabrics in different colors, sizes, and types such as plastic, wood, textiles, glass, and adhesives. Among the samples, they believed that sheepskin leather had the softest touch and a comfortable grip. That material not only was natural but also was sophisticated for its usability in handbags or purses from famous designer brands. Thus, the sophisticated sheepskin leather like feeling was chosen for the back of the Galaxy S5. 




Back Cover – The Glam Look


Talking about the color, the back cover of Samsung’s previous Galaxy series were always “high glossy” or shiny. However, the back cover of the Galaxy S5 is not shiny but shimmery instead, aka the glam look. In fact, to make Galaxy S5 attractive especially to younger users, the designers researched day and night to find the right colors. After extensive research, they found out that the luster of the color that appeared softly was appealing to consumers in their twenties and thirties. 


Hence, the designers used metallic colors that softly brought out the glossiness of the colors. Also, they used a matte finish so that the gloss was slightly hidden. This led to producing a pearly and milky color, shimmery White, also creating the charcoal Black, electric Blue and copper Gold. Thus, the white models have a white face, the gold phones are accentuated by a golden frame, and the black devices add depth to their dark exteriors by adding hints of dark grey. 


Main Designers of the Galaxy S5


Now you have some idea of why Galaxy S5 looks and feels the way people have been talking about. From the overall design concept to the design of the UX visuals and Back cover, Samsung Tomorrow went inside the design of the Galaxy S5. We have a lot more exclusive information on the Galaxy S5 to come, so feel free to come visit the blog for more.

  • ToastyFlake

    Modern flash sounds like something somebody just made up.

    • Coinmanmat

      Lol besides the fancy name, its still TouchWiz

  • bobe21

    Nice job Galaxy s5 team…Nice product…Did you know whether you have a Apple, Samsung, Morotola, LG, HTC, ETC…A super large percentage of smartphone owners have covers on their phones….So WHAT is the big deal with alum,plastic or what ever. OH! I have a old Droid X.

    • IrelandJnr

      Your comment just manage to add nothing.

    • Atlas

      source needed

  • Nathan Handy

    Do not buy the Samsung Mobile USA Galaxy S5 on AT&T’s network. They are using Bait & Switch Tactics. At&t removed key features on the S5 (and Samsung Mobile even had commercials/videos on their website promoting these features). ATT removed “Download Booster” and “Car Mode” from the S5 and are FORCING you to download their At&t drive app which is NOTHING like Car mode. Car Mode allows you to control your phone with your voice so you never have to take your hands off the wheel, At&t’s app disables calls in or out from anyone out of your 5 picks and auto replies to texts that you are “driving right now”. I’ve done research (unfortunately after I purchased on att’s network by BAIT & SWITCH Tactics I feel) T-Mobile is the ONLY provider that has a TRUE Galaxy S5 experience. Nothing has been removed and T-mobile is paying Early Term Fee’s. Switch Now!

    • RedGeminiPA

      The beauty of Android’s “openness” isn’t intended for the consumer. It’s for cell carriers and OEMs to do what they please with it. Haven’t you figured that out yet?

      Apple was the first, and is still the ONLY one to kill at least 99.9% of that. Scamdung CAN’T copy that!

  • Tony Spumoni

    Making the icons more simple? Isn’t that what Apple did with iOS7? Hmmmm…

    • gt-01

      Windows 8…

      • Andre Richards

        I don’t know why people keep saying that. iOS 7 looks nothing like Windows 8.

  • Jack Salillas

    Please, transport this UI to the Note 3

    • IrelandJnr

      That’s a made up real name if I’ve ever seen one. Samesong isn’t paying you enough.

  • gt-01

    Samsung is indeed heading towards the right direction, but they need to refine the design even further, and please make all of the pre-installed apps & features optional DLC in the future.

    • mark

      hahahaha.. no. they get paid to ship the bloatware.

      • shm224

        @mark: I guess their products won’t be able affordable without them.

  • Bork

    I traded in my iPhone and got a Galaxy S5 a few weeks ago. OMG…so many wonderful choices, not pre-determined for you. It’s amazing!

    • Spacebat

      You have come over from the dark side!

      • Bork

        Well…yesterday was May the 4th be with you…it was about time.

    • John R

      Sure you had an iPhone. LOL. Well, I just returned my Galaxy S5 and went back to iPhone 4. I will get the new larger iPhone in a few months.

    • Herding_sheep

      Wonderful Shamesung propaganda. Are you a paid Samsung troll, or just some schmuck that actually works inside this shameless/classless company?

      • androidreally?

        Could be both. ASk him how the patent trial is going against samsung.

    • androidreally?

      The first choice is deciding which carrier will print their logo on your phone. Wonder why that is?

    • Douglas

      OMG Really???

      O.M.G. that’s so believable, amazing!!

    • Andre Richards

      “OMG…so many wonderful choices, not pre-determined for you.”

      Did you already choose how Android will start deteriorating on you? Give it about 3 months before it starts. I chose “random reboots” and my wife went with “mysterious rapidly draining battery,” but you should look over all the options and decide which Android clusterf**k best fits your busy lifestyle.

      • Dom N. Attion

        Sure we believe you iTroll. Keep on iTrolling.

        • hill60

          Root it and void the warranty, unauthorised binaries detected is what Samsung call it when they don’t fix your phone.

    • GregGaj

      Name one. One.

    • IrelandJnr

      Reading from the scrip, are we Bork?

    • Atlas

      Like… the choice of having a laggy phone with an ugly OS and ugly hardware?

      To each its own.

      • Dom N. Attion

        Thanks for your opinion, because that’s all it is. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and they all stink.

        • hill60

          Laggy and not 64 bit with an old fashioned yellow flower for the photo’s.

          How iPhone 2007.

        • Atlas

          http://youtu DOT be/q0G9yasVKyo

  • EW Parris

    Wow. Samsung even stole iOS7!

    • John R

      Is anyone surprised by this?? What’s amazing is that Samsung is just shameless about this. They just don’t care how obvious the copying is(like the fingerprint reader).

    • Dom N. Attion

      Wow, and crApple stole Notifications from Android and Multitasking UI from WebOS, along with other features that have been stolen from Android and Windows Phone. Everyone copies off each other in the mobile industry. You iSheep are so dumb it’s not even funny. You believe everything crApple throws at you. They are just as ruthless as their competition, if you knew anything about Steve Jobs.

      • Ry L

        The fact that in almost every comment you’ve made, you say things like “iSheep” and “crApple” does little to add to your credibility. It does nothing but make you look like a little boy who has anger issues.

        • Dom N. Attion

          Cry me a freaking river dude.

  • Chelli

    Samsung is such a pathetic, shameless company. They have to copy everything, from vacuum cleaners (Dyson) to smartphones (Apple) and now even the redesign of iOS 7.

  • Fire for your feet

    This article throws around “UX” and other jargon that belies a general lack of understanding of the terms. Good ol’ inject meaning into something afterwards.

  • Fire for your feet

    ALSO, ONLY CRAP DESIGNERS USE DESCRIPTORS LIKE “CLEAN”. “Clean” = I have nothing more meaningful to justify my design decisions with other than saying “it’s pretty”.

  • font9a

    “Key UX Visuals” what the hell does this mean? These are icons. Visual metaphors for launching apps. Not “Key UX Visuals.”

  • Paolo


    • IrelandJnr


      Pick one.

      • RedGeminiPA

        Don’t forget Scamdung.

        • Info Dave

          @IrelandJnr:disqus … and also add a text box to allow additional choices.

      • Info Dave

        You should replace the radio buttons with checkboxes to allow for multiple choices.

      • Atlas

        I like Scamsung.
        It’s simpler.

        Oh wait simple doesn’t fit with them.

        Scamscumshum feels right.

      • Joseph Nguyen

        How about SamSuck?

      • Paolo

        “Crapsung” faithfully describes the company.

      • Paolo

        ‘Crapsung’ describes the company faithfully.

  • Atlas

    Nuff’ said.

  • Atlas

    “One day in March 2011, cars carrying investigators from Korea’s anti-trust regulator pulled up outside a Samsung facility in Suwon, about 25 miles south of Seoul. They were there ready to raid the building, looking for evidence of possible collusion between the company and wireless operators to fix the prices of mobile phones.

    Before the investigators could get inside, security guards approached and refused to let them through the door. A standoff ensued, and the investigators called the police, who finally got them inside after a 30-minute delay. Curious about what had been happening in the plant as they cooled their heels outside, the officials seized video from internal security cameras. What they saw was almost beyond belief.

    Upon getting word that investigators were outside, employees at the plant began destroying documents and switching computers, replacing the ones that were being used — and might have damaging material on them — with others.”

    Interesting story.

  • SockRolid

    “Back Cover – The Glam Look”

    Looks like fake naugahyde.
    But hey, maybe that passes for “glam” in Korea.
    Gangnam Style forever?

  • Karl

    Samsung copied Sharp, and lost that lawsuit in 2009.

    Samsung copied Pioneer, and lost that lawsuit in 2009.

    Samsung copied Apple, and lost that lawsuit again in 2014 after the first round in 2013.

    Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee was convicted of tax evasion in 2008.

    –> Samsung is a bunch of criminals and copycats, abusing patents and dragging on lawsuits to bleed out opponents.

    Fuck you, Samsung! I will never buy any product from you again, not even a vacuum cleaner or CD-Rom.

    Boycott Samsung!

    • SomePeopleNeverUnderstand

      buy an apple…
      oh wait…
      it has a samsung display… and that’s a product :)

      • RedGeminiPA

        Being subcontracted to build another company’s component design is quite different. That’s also a different division of Samsung.

        Regardless, there are very few Samsung products I’ll actually pay money for. The only one I own that I actually paid money for is a camera, and it’s not all that great. But hey, it was on clearance at Walmart and does what I needed a standalone camera to do… for now. It just completely froze up on me yesterday, so we’ll see how long it lasts. I’m starting to think I should’ve taken out the extended warranty on it.

      • Atlas

        No always. A lot of displays are made by Sharp for the iPad.

        Soon there won’t be a single chip from Samsung in any Apple product.

      • Anatole Manniste

        …And you are WRONG. Most Apple products use LG Display displays. LG is not Samsung (although I can see the confusion, both are indeed Korean.)

  • Michael M. Maslowski

    Guys, are you seriously proud of this?

    Speechless /s

  • Sam Davis

    Yeah Samsung, keep up the shadowy illegal behavior and flooding forums with garbage. We prefer companies with ethics.

    • Dom N. Attion

      Yeah, because crApple is the most ethical company on the planet. Ask all the workers at FoxConn that have committed suicide or want to as I type this. You glamorize a company that takes advantage of people. These massive corporations are all the same, you iSheep just have the wool pulled over your eyes. I never understood why everyone said iSheep were so dumb and gullible, now I truly know why.

  • albertkinng

    It feels like yesterday when Steve Jobs Announced the iPhone! “An iPod… A Phone… an Internet communicator device… get it?” Samsung CEO and Google CEO were like: What? and Bill Ballmer was: LMAO!!! (drying my laughing tears now..) what a good day for technology! right guys?

  • Phil

    OMG such design genius… “12 short lines in the clock icon have disappeared, leaving just the hour hand, minute hand, and second hand. In case of the Gallery icon, the seeds in the yellow flower have been removed. Also, the play sign (triangle shape) has gone and a music note has been placed inside the blue circle for the music icon.” I wish i was as clever…

  • robdk

    What badly written rubbish! It has poor sentence construction and is full of grammatical errors. Probably badly translated from Korean by Google Translate…

  • evilapa

    I just love The Onion articles

  • MysteriousRacerX

    ~We are to creating the most happy experience with UX~


    Hahaha, the _printed_ design* studies using what looks like Power Point is all I need to see. :D

    * by design, I mean “design”

  • Anthony

    I use iPhone myself but I think having Android ecosystem on the marketplace is good for competition. However, the fact that Samsung created a software overlay that mimics iOS – even iOS 7 for that matter on top of Android is just shameful. I would rather support other Android manufacturers such as HTC & Sony Ericsson – these companies actually compete fairly in the market, rather than rip Apple off. HTC for one, is honest enough to actually license some patents from Apple – hats off to them.
    Samsung – please stop disparaging the word ‘design’ in your need to justify how Galaxy S5 looks like – it’s an ugly brick infused with work that you’ve stolen from other companies’ designers and engineers who really sweated over the details. Come up with your own stuff or just focus on refrigerators.

    • Dom N. Attion

      Yeah because we all know that crApple really cares about it’s consumers. They have never lied, cheated or copied anyone ever. You iSheep really are as dumb as advertised. You believe all the garbage that your master spews at you. Keep helping Apple make record profits year after year, I’m sure it’s really helping you out in your mom’s basement. SMH and LMFAO.

      • Anthony

        Your language used highlights the difference between users who vote for originality & true innovation vs users who support a company with questionable ethics. Thank you for strengthening my point.

  • HH

    the s5 finger print sencer is the WORST

  • darngooddesign

    Imagine that, a camera shortcut icon on the bottom right of the lock screen. LOL

    • Anthony

      That’s what I was talking about. I have used Android before, and you can actually tap and slide the lock icon on Android’s lock screen. I believe Sony’s, HTC’s, LG’s phones stay true to this. It’s shameful since iOS 7 implemented the camera shortcut icon on the bottom right, Samsung has to copy that. And they come up with all these nonsense articles – as if they have actually ‘designed’ anything. It’s sad that Samsung can become a major Android manufacturer this way.

  • Andre Richards

    Simplified, streamlined icons and design. Gee… I wonder where they got the idea to do that.

    Samsung is such a joke.

    • Anthony

      It’s a sad period for innovation my friend. I wish people will realise this.

  • AngryNerd

    It’s a good thing Samsung has lots of companies to steal from. Imagine how they’d do if they had to create everything themselves.

  • Hrunga Zmuda

    Holy smokes, what an incoherent mess. This was done by the Onion, right? Did they use Google Translate? Bad choice.

    This comment, having been designed with the intent to have diamond cut sharpness of the sarcasm is a colorful explosion of sophisticated three stoogedness. Only with the joke design team from Onion could we have pulled off such a diamond-like bubble brained interface description of a user interface that inspires sophisticated diamondness cutnessness.

  • Matthew

    Samsung couldn’t make a decent phone, even if they ripped the iPhone off completely. I had a Galaxy S3 for two months and hated every second of it. Begged my brother for my iPhone 4S back. He then used the S3 for a month before trading it in for an iPhone 5.

    Oh and the fingerprint scanner on the S5 is abysmal. Touch ID is innovation!

    • Brandon Power

      lol how much is apple paying you and how can i get in on it

      • rattyuk

        You’ve not seen the video over at Business Insider then?

      • colormedisappointed

        Probably not as much as samsung is paying you.

        • Brandon Power

          to bad they need to pay all there trolls

          • Werd

            Ok, if you’re going to represent Samsung on here, you need to work on your spelling/grammar… and capitalization… and punctuation…

            You’re just making that iOS guy look like a genius.

          • Brandon Power

            spelling, grammar,capitalization punctuation on the internet? IDGAF

          • rattyuk

            Neither do Samsung based on the original post.

    • Dom N. Attion

      Yeah Touch ID is great when it actually works. No one on here actually believes that you owned a Galaxy S3, which was a really good phone. Keep iTrolling iSheep.

      • Ry L

        “when it actually works”
        Yeah, that’s the point.

      • Spikes

        Dom, I have an idea. You should find a way to incorporate the word iSheep into every single one of your comments.

        • Dom N. Attion

          Great Idea! Thanks mate!

  • groucho

    That shit is but-fuckin-ugly!!!

    • The Pfhor


      • Dom N. Attion

        More iSheep trolling like usual.

  • Bobik

    Health notice: Samsung’s aestethics and marketing could harm your health!

  • Perry Maskell

    Can I update my S4 with the latest OS?

    • RedGeminiPA

      It’s Android… good luck with that.

      • Dom N. Attion

        Your just a little jealous iSheep trolling on a Samsung site. Go home and cry to mommy, because no one cares what you have to say on here. Samsung 4 Life!!!

        • Ry L

          Seriously, you jump straight to calling him an “iSheep”? Even after he mentions he owns a Samsung device? If anyone is a blind, overly-biased “sheep” it’s you.

          • Dom N. Attion

            Yeah because I trust everyone on the internet to tell the truth, NOT!!! iSheep are some of the biggest deceivers on the planet.

          • hill60

            Poor misguided foolishness misled by Samsung marketing, your bleating whines are becoming rather pathetic,

  • AMP2020

    LOL This looks way more like iOS7 than Android!!!!! What a stupid blog post.

  • Phreon

    That was the most incoherent, marketeer driven, hipster speak laden product description I’ve ever had the misfortune to read. “Sophisticated and youthful urban style with emotion”? It’s a freeking phone!

  • Michael

    This is hilarious. Out of touch in a surreal way.

    • Info Dave

      Seeing as this is the only Disqus site I’ve come across that doesn’t update automatically, I would agree.

  • Fxk Smsung

    Samsung’s trolls aren’t even original… Oh, well–at least they’re easy to spot.

    And as for these “designs”–the mind boggles. Clearly, obviously shamelessly copied from iPhone and iOS 7–except poorly.

    Samsung–a pathetic, criminal company headed by a pathetic, convicted criminal.

  • Macayabella

    I would really like to see into the psyche of Samsung’s executives if they believe there is anyone left on planet earth who believes a word that they say – because it is all such patent nonsense, and often, lies.

  • Mambo

    If you want to achieve a glam look, the frame should not be that shiny. I’d suggest the dull metallic look found on the HTC One or Microsoft Surface tablet. The same goes for the camera lens rim. Make it less shiny.

    Also, I know Samsung wants to provide the ‘best experience’ out of the box, but this is the era where ‘less is more’. Customers appreciate minimalist efficiency. We don’t need a lot of pre-installed software.

  • TL1210

    It would be great if we could customise our phones more internally. I would like to get rid of a lot of the pre-installed apps. It is annoying when I disactivate them but they still want updates.
    It is also very frustrating that I cant use my SD card properly. Why cant I install games? Says I have no memory but I have 64GB!
    Also, please include more memory as standard.. 16GB is more like 8GB once all the pre-installed software is duducted.
    Finally. I would like to have an option to go with alternative skins.. not toutch wizz, can you put a setting so we can change to a more google experience.
    I think customisation is king… look at the OnePlusOne as a great example

  • abcqwerty

    It would be great if you can release an OTA update to remove all Samsung’s bloatware. Otherwise there’s no difference between the S5 and iPhone. You people still haven’t figured out why your consumers love Android and why they hate iOS. Its because Android let’s users use the phone the way they want it, while Apple wants people to use the phone the way Apple wants it. Just keep adding more useless crap then you might as well give up because I am never buying Samsung phones ever again and similarly I am going to heavily criticize your company whenever I can.