Comparison of the two most popular Android launchers: Google Now Launcher and default Samsung launcher TouchWiz.
Are you an owner of a Samsung phone? Do you also like and use Google Now? Are you wondering which launcher will be the best for your phone and why? Read on!
A few years ago default phone launchers were usually of poor quality and offered limited settings (and absolutely no bells and whistles). What a new user of an Android phone usually did at first was to look for and install a custom launcher. This was especially true for Samsung phones whose default launchers were horrible back then.
A lot has changed since that time and now TouchWiz, the default launcher in Samsung devices, has improved a lot and is really good. Google also created its own launcher, Google Now, which features its intelligent personal assistant and bring “pure” Android experience to a phone.
The choice between Google Now Launcher (click to read my detailed review of it) and TouchWiz may be a bit tough. Anyway, I will try to help you decide which one will be better for you.
Google Now Launcher vs TouchWiz: Looks
The looks are a matter of taste. Both launchers look OK for me and I don’t see any discrepancy in this respect.
One thing that comes to my mind immediately is that Google Now Launcher is much more minimalist (especially the app grid). Take a look at how both launchers look on my Samsung Galaxy S7 (running Android 6.0.1).
This is Samsung TouchWiz:
And this is Google Now Launcher:
As you can see there aren’t many great differences between the two. Google Now Launcher simply looks more like the vanilla (pure) Android we know from Nexus devices.
Google Now Launcher vs TouchWiz: Brains (Features & Settings)
When it comes to the number of features and settings, Google Now Launcher is also an example of minimalism. The pure launcher features and options have been reduced to a bare minimum and the Google Now service is the feature that offers you the biggest number of settings.
Below you can see what features and settings Google Now Launcher offers:
And here are a bit more numerous features of Samsung TouchWiz:
As you can see TochWiz offers you far many more widgets, grid settings or even themes while Google Now Launcher keeps everything as simple as possible.
Google Now Launcher vs TouchWiz: Speed
When it comes to the speed of both launchers, I didn’t really notice any difference. That may be because I have a flagship phone model (Samsung Galaxy S7) which has 4 GB of RAM, so speed problems practically don’t exist for this phone model.
Anyway, speed will not probably be an issue for anyone because both launchers are well-optimized in that respect.
Google Now Launcher vs TouchWiz: Battery Drain
Google Now Launcher battery drain (click to read about my experiment) is probably the biggest issue of that launcher. I have run the test on two phones (Sony Xperia Z5 Compact and Samsung Galaxy S7) and on both of them battery life decreased by as much as 50% in comparison to the stock launcher. 🙁
That’s probably because the Google Now assistant is constantly working in the background and waiting for commands. It’s a pity that battery improvements of Android Marshmallow aren’t as effective as they could be for Google Now Launcher.
Of course, we have wireless charges and many new phones support speed charging so it shouldn’t be such a great problem for many people. Anyway, it is a problem for me, so I stick to TouchWiz on my phone.
Google Now Launcher or TouchWiz: Final Verdict
It’s not possible to definitely say which launcher is better. However, it’s relatively easy to choose the one based on your preferences and habits. My final recommendations are as follows:
Choose Google Now Launcher if
- you are a minimalist and like to keep things as simple as possible.
- battery life isn’t a top priority for you.
- you use Google Now often and are a “Google boy or girl”. 🙂
Choose TouchWiz if
- you want to have a bit more settings and features available (like themes).
- you want to save battery life of your Android phone.
- you prefer stock solutions which usually are better optimized for a given phone model.