Samsung track record when it comes to smartphone UI has been kind of missing. There was TouchWiz which was honestly bad then there was Experience UI which was better but not quite there. Well, now the Samsung One UI is here and it may be the one we were waiting.
We have the new Samsung One UI up and running on a Galaxy Note 9. So, let’s take a look at some of the best features that One UI brings.
New User Interface
Samsung brings a brand new UI that seems very intuitive. The new One UI brings an interface that makes one-handed usage better. So now there’s a viewing area at the top and an interaction area on the bottom half. With new UI everything is just cleaner and just easier to access. I especially like the fact that I can access the search button more easily now. The notification shade seems like the usual Android Pie notification shade.
Now with the new quick settings, it is easy to access everything and it’s a huge difference from Experience UI. The gallery now has all the important actions available at the bottom so you can access it pretty easily now. The same design language has been used in different areas of the OS and in different apps like messages, contacts, clock, Samsung notes and more.
Samsung One UI is still in beta so the new UI isn’t available in all apps or interfaces. For example, the browser app or the files app does not feature this UI. I would like this UI to come in the app drawer as well which still weirdly scroll horizontally. While Samsung might bring the new UI to these apps and pages I’m not sure if third-party apps will support this new UI.
Apart from the new UI, there are new icons which look way better now but still a little cartoonish. The new UI really embraces rounded corners and colors which is pretty cool.
Dark Mode in Samsung One UI
The Samsung One UI introduces a new Dark Theme to the Galaxy flagship. Samsung flagship which has these striking AMOLED displays have always deserved a dark theme. Well, it’s here and it looks gorgeous. It’s almost a totally black theme with some grey in there and that makes it look really great. especially on the beautiful display of the galaxy note 9. It also makes up for really comfortable viewing, especially at night.
Samsung One UI dark mode works on the settings page, the quick settings and all of Samsung apps. Dark Mode is definitely an amazing new feature of One UI.
Samsung One UI finally brings navigation gestures. If you’re expecting new out-of-the-box totally different gestures from One UI. Well, prepare to be slightly disappointed. The One UI gestures here are pretty simple so that’s good but they don’t seem as intuitive. So, now you can swipe up from the center to go home, swipe up from the left to open up the recent screen and swipe from the right to go back.
The gestures are nothing new here and I haven’t found a gesture to quickly switch between apps. The gesture hints at the bottom look a lot like the gesture hints in Vivo’s Fun Touch OS and RealMe colorOS. I was expecting Samsung to bring something new to the table. Samsung has also implemented Android Pie’s quick switch gesture. So, when you are using the navigation buttons so maybe you’ll find out handy.
Recycle Bin in Gallery
There are times when I accidentally delete photos and that’s where the trash feature in Google Photos comes in handy. Samsung One UI gallery app brings a new recycle bin feature which is very similar and very handy. The first time you delete a photo in this new gallery app, the app will prompt you to turn on recycle bin from the settings. Once you enable this, deleted images and videos will remain in the recycle bin for 15 days before they are deleted forever.
If you want to recover photos there is no album for the recycle bin. Instead, there is an option in the three-dot menu button which takes you to the recycle bin. It’s not a massive new feature but it’s definitely handy.
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Lift to Wake
You must be using the iris scanner or the face unlock on your galaxy phone. But right now you have to press the power button to turn the screen on and then the phone scans your eyes or face. One UI brings a simple yet handy lift to wake gesture that should make things faster. You can enable it in the motion and gestures option in advanced features.
Once enabled you can just pick up the Galaxy Note 9 and it just unlocks without having to press anything. What I like is most of the times the iris scanner starts scanning even before the screen is turned on.
Reset Settings at Midnight
Sometimes you turn off the screen auto-brightness and set the screen timeout to the maximum. So that the screen brightness does not change and the screen doesn’t go dim. we mostly forget to reset things which in turn drains the battery.
Well, there’s a new optimized settings option in One UI battery settings which when enabled will automatically reset the brightness, screen timeout, and media volume at midnight. While this seems like a customizable feature, I haven’t been able to change it on a Galaxy Note 9. So maybe it’s a bug anyway this is definitely going to be handy for a lot of people.
New Keyboard Features
The Samsung keyboard also gets some cool new features with one UI. First of all, there’s a new floating mode here in the modes page of the keyboard. As the name suggests it makes you keyboard float so that you can move it anywhere you want. You can even adjust the size of the keyboard in floating mode and the transparency.
There’s also a new adaptive theme option which automatically changes the theme of the keyboard to light or dark. It works and it’s a pretty neat addition to the Samsung One UI.
There are a lot of other minor yet important features sprinkled across in One UI. The camera app has gone through an overhaul with one UI and while it brings all the features. The camera app here is set to support HEIF image format. There’s now an option to start camera on the last mode you’re using.
There are new animations here as well they are subtle and nice. However, in One UI there’s now an option to reduce animations. It does not remove all the animations but it does tone them down making things seem a little faster. Then there are new clock styles in the always-on display settings which look really cool.
Well, those were the most of the new features at Samsung’s new One UI OS. The One UI is still in beta and is available for the Galaxy Note 9 the S9 and the S9 plus.