The stock Samsung Galaxy Themes system leaves a lot to be desired with a strict and expensive theme pack. In the past, the gold standard for Android themes was the CyanogenMod Theme Engine. And even though it’s gone, successors have emerged to fill the void.
Hex Installer applies Substratrum-like themes using a single application. It works with all versions of One UI, so Samsung smartphones as old as the Galaxy S8 can take advantage of it.
With Hex Installer, you can change the look of your Samsung device in a way that previously was only possible with root. It doesn’t even require ADB commands – all this power is made possible through standard apps. Whether you prefer the TouchWiz look or want a more sophisticated Android design, Hex Installer has you covered and more.
- A Samsung phone running Android 9 (One UI 1.0) or higher
Step 1 Install Hex Installer
The Hex Installer app can be found on the Play Store. Its official price is $ 1.99, but at the time of writing, the developer is running the sale at a 50% discount. Don’t let the initial access status worry you. During our tests we found it stable with few or no issues.
Step 2 Apply Default Theme
Hex Installer works by modifying the themes available on Galaxy Themes. If this is your first time using the app, you have to apply the default theme first.
Go to Settings and select “Themes”. Go to the hamburger menu in the top left corner and select “My stuff”. Make sure you see a white check mark in “Default.” If not, choose to select “Apply”.
Step 3 Customize Your Theme
Open Hex Installer and follow the on-screen instructions, including granting the necessary permissions. Once you reach the main page, you can start customizing your theme. The top of the page will show you a live view of your changes, including how the various parts of the UI will appear.
- UI Mode: Plugins, on which your theme is based. Here, you’ll find ones based on stock Android and TouchWiz. Select “Find more plugins on Google Play” to add a new plugin (some have fees associated with it).
- Coloring: Adjust the color of various parts of the UI, including Quick Settings, text, and applications.
- Application: Select the application to which you want to apply the theme. By default, all supported applications are selected.
- Custom Font: Change the text style. This feature doesn’t work on Android 10 or higher.
- Preferences: Miscellaneous changes such as changing the status bar symbol, adjusting the transparency of the Quick Settings icon, and more.
Step 4 Build Your Theme
When you are done customizing, select “Build and install”. You will be directed to the Galaxy Theme and asked to download the High Contrast Theme: Black Sky. Once downloaded, don’t press apply.
Step 5 Apply Your Hex Theme
If this is your first time installing a theme using Hex Installer, reboot your phone now. Rebooting fixed an issue where the status bar icon color was incorrectly applied. After your phone reboots, go back to Galaxy Themes and select High_contrast_theme_II and select “Apply.” When it’s finished loading, you will see your new theme.
Step 6 Apply More Themes in the Future
After the first time, you no longer need to switch to the Default theme first. Instead, you only need to switch to Default after creating a new theme, but before switching back to High_contrast_theme_II to apply your changes. Also, you don’t have to reboot your phone before applying the future theme.