Samsung sells a lot of different smartphones at many different prices, but the models all have one thing in common: the company’s One UI software.
Every Android phone manufacturer creates its own ‘skin’ than it layers over Android. This means each brand has a unique look and feel to their software that allows them to add features and design quirks that help differentiate.
As one of the most popular Android brands worldwide, Samsung is very much a tastemaker with its One UI software. Currently on version 4.1, we expect One UI 5 to launch along with Samsung’s flavour of Android 13.
Google, the creator of Android, usually releases the latest version of Android annually in the second half of the year, with its Pixel phones getting the release first.
But Samsung is never far behind, and you can bet the company has been working on One UI 5 for some time.
Here’s what we know so far about One UI 5, what its features could be, and when you can expect to be able to download it if you already own a Samsung phone or are planning on getting one.
When will One UI 5 be released?
One UI releases tend to depend on when Google makes its own version of Android ready for stable release. Samsung offers a beta program for keen customers who want to try out new release software early before it is officially pushed to compatible devices.
In 2021, Android 12 wasn’t ready for Pixel phones until October, meaning Samsung wasn’t able to get its One UI 4 beta out until September.
But according to Sammobile, the One UI 5 2022 public beta could be ready as early as July. This means if you have a relatively new Samsung phone, such as a model from the S22 or S21 series, you will be able to test out the new software early.
But beta software can be buggy because it exists to test for bugs! If you test it out, be prepared to be frustrated. For most people it’s best to wait until Samsung pushes a stable official release.
The actual release date of One UI 5 is more likely to be around September or October, when an official software update will be pushed out to Galaxy S, A, Flip, and Fold phones, around the time when Android 13 launches for Pixel phones.
Google usually drops its public beta for Pixels in May, to coincide with the company’s I/O conference – though the developer preview for Android 13 has been available since February.
Samsung might release One UI 5 along with its new Fold 4 and Flip 4 devices, which we expect around August 2022. But the company actually launched the Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 in August 2021 with Android 11 and One UI 3.1 before pushing the Android 12 update later in the year, so the new foldables might launch with Android 12 and have to wait.
That said, GSM Arena noticed the One UI 5 beta was made available in the US, Germany, and South Korea in early August for the Galaxy S22 series only. This points to Samsung lining up the full release to its S22 and foldable devices some time later this year, before the Galaxy S23 launch in early 2023.
What features will One UI 5 have?
We’re still a way off from One UI 5 – One UI 4.1 only recently rolled out to Samsung phones. It brought incremental improvements over 4.0, particularly to the imaging side of things with updates to Samsung’s photo and video editor, and the Gallery app.
Version 4.0 was more substantial, bringing Android 12 with colour palette options depending on the wallpaper, Samsung icon theming, and granular privacy controls that all phones with Android 12 get.
One UI 5.0 will introduce Android 13 to Samsung phones with the rumoured new features Google will bring to the latest version, and that Samsung can opt to include on its phone.
These include a universal photo picker UI for sharing photos to an app, the option to use customer tiles for Quick Settings, and new notification permissions for those who like to really control pings to a deep level.
One of the best visual updates will be if One UI 5 allows theming for all apps. In Android 12 and One UI 4, only Google and Samsung apps can adopt the colours chosen as part of the version’s Material You theming feature. It means third party apps don’t change colour, so developers are being asked to provide monochromatic app icons with their latest app submissions to ensure Android 13 can theme as many apps as possible.
If these are the main new updates, One UI 5 will be a more incremental update than with One UI 4 and Android 12, given Android 12 was a significant step change for the look and feel of Android and brought a raft of new features.
One UI 5 will probably also see Samsung make some visual tweaks to the interface to modernise it and give people a fresh feel. 9to5Google noticed subtle changes to the look of One UI 5 from a source, noting the change in dialog boxes and some tweaks to notification shapes.
Which phones will get One UI 5?
Samsung hasn’t officially confirmed which of its handsets will get updated to One UI 5, but the good news is that it will probably be coming to a lot of them – especially if they were released in 2020 or later.
While its cheaper A series phones may not see it, phones such as the Galaxy S20 and later from the S line are bound to get Android 13 and One UI 5.
But it’s the end of the line for 2019’s Galaxy S10, which launched with Android 9 Pie. It was promised three version updates, so will remain on Android 12.
Samsung has since confirmed many of its devices from 2020 and later will receive four Android version updates, including all its S20, S21, and S22 phones. The S10 Lite might also get a look in as it was released much later than the original S10 phones.
You should also expect every model of Z Flip to see One UI 5, as well as the Z Fold 2 and Z Fold 3.
The 2020 Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra will also get the update, as well as the Note 10 Lite released around the same time.
Galaxy A series phones released within the last couple of years should also see Android 13 and One UI too, including the A73, A53, A33, A52, and A52s. Even cheaper models like the A32 and A12 will likely pick it up too.
We’ll update this page as we get more One UI 5 news so be sure to check back for the latest.