When it reached model 3, Samsung’s One UI turn out to be probably the greatest Android interfaces accessible, on account of its coherent design, customization choices, assorted options, and spectacular flip of velocity. I loved utilizing it greater than Android 11. Nevertheless, now Android 12 is right here, and it’s such an enormous step ahead, it immediately made One UI 3 really feel aged, a bit ugly, and barely ponderous by comparability.
Samsung’s OneUI 4 is predicated on Android 12 and has now began to reach on the Galaxy S21, the Galaxy S21 Plus, and the Galaxy S21 Extremely. With the replace put in on the Galaxy S21 Extremely, I’ve been utilizing it alongside the Pixel 6 Professional to see if Samsung’s new software program will help carry again the telephone’s luster, and hold it competing with Google’s newest smartphone.
What do I wish to see?
One UI 4 is rarely going to be an identical to Android 12 on the Google Pixel, and that’s nice. Not solely are there parts of the software program which can be unique to the Pixel, however Samsung will wish to preserve its individuality and promote its personal apps and companies via its personal interface. I don’t need it to be the identical both. What I would like is for Samsung to have chosen a number of the finest components of Android 12 and built-in them with OneUI 4, after which given the remainder a usually polished Samsung spin.
I’ve been largely evaluating the weather I exploit each day, together with the keyboard, customization, the browser, the Settings, and fast entry menus, and numerous apps. In flip, this implies I’ve been in a position to assess velocity and fluidity, and total reliability of the working methods. For clarification, I’ve been utilizing the S21 Extremely with One UI 4 as my principal telephone for 5 days, with the Pixel 6 Professional as a companion telephone.
The very first thing I observed utilizing One UI 4 on the S21 Extremely is how clean the scrolling is in comparison with the Pixel 6 Professional. I proceed to have points with the 120Hz refresh fee display on the Google telephone, and regardless of seeing studies of issues with the S21 Extremely with One UI 4 on the identical refresh fee, I haven’t skilled them personally.
It’s at its most noticeable when scrolling via Twitter or the Google Uncover web page, when the Pixel 6 Professional stutters and judders, leaving the S21 Extremely to easily scroll via textual content, images, and video. It’s not a systemwide downside because the Settings menu, and app menu on the Pixel 6 Professional is okay, and even scrolling via Instagram on each telephones is a similar expertise. Nevertheless, the Galaxy S21 Extremely is way extra constant.
One UI 4 has Android 12’s stretch animation, the place the display seems to stretch, or bounce, while you attain the top of a menu. It’s enjoyable and visually attention-grabbing and appears the identical on each telephones. Digging into the Settings menu I choose the bigger font and extra white area across the choices on Android 12, whereas Samsung’s fonts, by default, are smaller with much less white area. One UI 4 does have the power to alter the scale of the fonts, however menus are typically nonetheless busier than on the Pixel, making them rather less pleasant to navigate round.
I additionally choose the vertical record of apps on the Pixel 6 Professional relatively than Samsung’s multi-screen structure, because it feels quicker to work via. Whenever you put the 2 subsequent to one another, the Pixel 6 Professional is just a bit bit snappier, with faster animations and extra exact touchscreen inputs. One UI 4 is definitely not gradual, nevertheless it doesn’t really feel fairly so lightning quick as Android 12 on the Pixel. I simply want the scrolling points had been solved already.
Materials You, the title given to Android 12’s new look, has remodeled the Pixel 6 Professional, giving it extra model, extra customization, and extra personalization. Samsung has adopted a few of Materials You for One UI, so does the mashup of design work?
Below the Wallpaper and Model menu, you possibly can change the colour palette of the working system to match these of your chosen wallpaper on each telephones. The impact might be utilized to all of the app icons on the S21 Extremely, however not like the Pixel, it doesn’t apply to third-party apps, together with Google’s apps. This implies it seems simply as messy with or with out the setting energetic, and never as neat because it does on the Pixel.
There are extra widgets to make use of in One UI 4 and lots of have a model new look. Once more, whereas not the entire ones discovered on the Pixel can be found, there are loads to select from, and some with some very helpful options. I just like the quick entry widget for controlling the Galaxy Buds Dwell, for instance, and the dynamic climate widget too.
Materials You’s At all times-on display on the Pixel 6 Professional is superb, with its large clock and great fade-in to the wallpaper while you faucet the display, plus the bigger multi-option buttons within the Fast Entry menu are simpler to press and establish than Samsung’s many smaller spherical buttons. Samsung has additionally added a bigger brightness slider and new gadget controls, although, which makes including and utilizing Bluetooth headphones faster than earlier than.
One UI 4’s total design has not modified that a lot over One UI 3, nevertheless it’s nonetheless extremely customizable, so you possibly can work to make it your individual. I discover it takes some effort to do that, whereas Android 12 on the Pixel 6 Professional is shut to precisely how I would like my software program to appear and feel immediately, and solely wants my selection of wallpaper to finish the look.
Browser and keyboard
By default, One UI 4 makes use of Samsung’s personal keyboard and browser, and prior to now, I’ve shortly moved over to Chrome and Gboard. Each these options have been up to date with One UI 4, so would I stick to utilizing them this time round? I exploit the Swipe typing function, which was traditionally what let the Samsung keyboard down, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly improved right here.
I may swipe sort at virtually the identical velocity as I do on Gboard, and with virtually the identical stage of accuracy from the predictive system too. I’m pretty certain that with prolonged use and letting it be taught the way in which I sort and phrases I generally use, it might be equally as quick as Gboard. It’s a major enchancment.
Samsung’s Web browser isn’t so profitable. The structure is simply too busy, the management icons are on the backside of the display and are too small, and it doesn’t appear as quick as Chrome. I wouldn’t swap to it completely, however I’ll use Samsung’s keyboard extra typically. I’m particularly eager to strive the improved keyboard on the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the place I’ve needed to work round utilizing it on the outer display prior to now. The ultimate launch of One UI 4 has not been made accessible on Samsung’s newest folding telephones but.
What else does One UI 4 provide?
Elsewhere in One UI 4, Samsung has added an enhanced Privateness dashboard, an alert indicator when an app is utilizing the digicam or microphone, and a helpful record displaying which apps have requested for what permissions lately. It’s very straightforward to navigate and offers a really clear overview of the deeper workings of your telephone’s software program. An identical system is current in Android 12.
The digicam app has additionally been handled to a couple adjustments, with essentially the most smart being a number-based zoom system, relatively than the summary tree icons used earlier than. It was very fairly, however not significantly logical. The app reveals a 3x and a 10x zoom by default, matching the S21 Extremely’s optical zoom ranges, and while you faucet both, a scale seems under to tweak the zoom additional. Within the Gallery app, there’s a Tales part, very like the For You part in iOS 15, and I actually like the way in which you possibly can roll again any edits made to images even after they’ve been saved. Questioning about digicam efficiency? I’ve beforehand in contrast the Galaxy S21 Extremely’s digicam to the Pixel 6 Professional.
The One UI 4 replace is intensive, with loads extra small adjustments and new options hidden deeper within the software program, which you’ll steadily uncover the extra time you spend with it. Samsung says One UI 4 will likely be accessible on all Galaxy S21 collection telephones ranging from November 15, however actual arrival dates will virtually definitely range. Galaxy Z folding smartphones, Galaxy A collection telephones, and Samsung’s pill vary may even get the replace within the close to future.
One UI 4 or Android 12?
One UI 4 is a welcome replace, particularly with its Android 12 design customizations, higher keyboard, extra assorted widgets, and the informative Privateness dashboard. It has helped the Galaxy S21 Extremely keep aggressive and really feel recent once more because it nears its one-year anniversary, and though there are studies of some bugs, any that do exist haven’t affected my use.
What it might probably’t do is match Android 12 on the Pixel 6 Professional for sheer velocity and slickness — 120Hz issues apart — every day. The entire Materials You design is implausible, and though there are parts of it in One UI 4, it’s nonetheless can’t examine to the visible pleasure of the complete expertise. I actually like One UI 4, and I’m eager to see the way it feels on the Galaxy Z Fold 3, however Google has moved forward of it and the remainder of the competitors, with the beautiful, splendidly intuitive Android 12 on the Pixel 6 Professional.