It's that time of the year again; Samsung is rolling out the first beta of One UI 6, with the build now available in the U.S., India, China, Germany, Poland, and Korea. The beta program is available to customers using the Galaxy S23 series at the moment, and will be rolling out to the Galaxy A54/A34 shortly, with a stable build due before the end of the year.
One of the biggest talking points in One UI 6 is a redesigned UI with a new notification pane, new system font, and visual tweaks throughout the interface. If you're using a Galaxy phone and are interested in knowing more about the Android 14-based One UI 6 and when your phone will pick up the stable build, you've come to the right place.
Samsung One UI 6: Release date
Samsung is known to roll out beta builds of One UI in select countries several months ahead of the stable release, and that's no different this time around. The One UI 6 beta is set to roll out to Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra customers in the U.S., India, China, Germany, Poland, and Korea right now, and it will be available for the Galaxy A54 and A34 shortly thereafter.
Samsung initially meant to make the build available on August 2, but the beta has been delayed due to more-than-usual bugs found during testing. Nevertheless, the Korean brand started the rollout starting August 10.
I got started with the One UI 6 beta in India at the end of August, and it's available on my Galaxy S23 Ultra and S23+. Samsung rolled out a second beta build with new features and stability tweaks at around the same time.
As for a release date, it's entirely likely Samsung will follow the same cadence as previous years. That means we'll get a few beta builds over the course of the Q3, with the stable One UI 6 release rolling out sometime in the month of November. Again, this is a tentative timeline, and it could change if there are any unforeseen issues with the beta builds. That shouldn't be the case considering Android 14 doesn't have too many new UI-facing features, but it is a possibility. Anyway, I'll update this post once I have more information on this front.
Samsung One UI 6: Eligible devices
Samsung is the brand to beat when it comes to timely software updates, and the South Korean manufacturer has done an incredible job in this area over the last three years. It is also the only brand other than Google that rolls out monthly security updates, and what's particularly great is that Samsung lavishes the same level of attention on its mid-range Galaxy A series as its flagship Galaxy S and Galaxy Z portfolio.
With Samsung guaranteeing four Android OS updates to its flagships and Galaxy A devices, the best Samsung phones over the last three years are eligible to receive the stable One UI 6 update.
Like last year, the stable build will roll out to the Galaxy S23 series, followed by the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5, and then make its way to last year's flagships and then the Galaxy A series. Here's the full breakdown of Samsung phones that will make the switch to the Android 14-based One UI 6:
Galaxy Z series
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- Galaxy Z Fold 5
- Galaxy Z Flip 5
- Galaxy Z Fold 4
- Galaxy Z Flip 4
- Galaxy Z Fold 3
- Galaxy Z Flip 3
Galaxy S series
- Galaxy S23 Ultra
- Galaxy S23+
- Galaxy S23
- Galaxy S22 Ultra
- Galaxy S22+
- Galaxy S22
- Galaxy S21 Ultra
- Galaxy S21+
- Galaxy S21
- Galaxy S21 FE
Galaxy A series
- Galaxy A54
- Galaxy A34
- Galaxy A24
- Galaxy A14
- Galaxy A04s
- Galaxy A53
- Galaxy A73
- Galaxy A33
- Galaxy A23
- Galaxy A13
- Galaxy A72
- Galaxy A52s
- Galaxy A52 5G
- Galaxy A52 4G
Galaxy M series
- Galaxy M54
- Galaxy M34 5G
- Galaxy M53 5G
- Galaxy M33 5G
- Galaxy M23
Galaxy F series
- Galaxy F54
- Galaxy F34
- Galaxy F23
- Galaxy F14 5G
Galaxy Tab series
- Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra
- Galaxy Tab S9+
- Galaxy Tab S9
- Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
- Galaxy Tab S8+
- Galaxy Tab S8
Samsung One UI 6: New features
The One UI 6 beta is slowly going out to more users, so if you're interested in trying out the latest features before they're officially released, now is the time to do so. That said, the beta is still rough around the edges, and I ran into a lot of bugs and crashes in the week I used it. So if you're thinking of using it on your primary phone, you should hold off until Samsung rolls out a few updates.
As for the new features, there's a lot to talk about, with Samsung making several changes to the visual design. The most noticeable is the notification pane, which now has two large toggles for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that sit above the rest of the quick toggles. This makes it easy to access those two radios, and while they have large tiles, they're not as massive as the Pixel.
I like the change, and the best part is that a single pull-down still surfaces the six toggles — you only see the larger tiles with the shade fully down.
Here's what Samsung has to say about it:
"One UI 6 makes a compelling first impression with its beautiful simplicity. Many elements have been tweaked to create a more modern look and feel, such as the impactful new default font and the new emojis on Samsung Keyboard. The Quick Panel has been revamped with an updated layout that makes it effortless for users to access their most used features."
"It is easier than ever to adjust screen visibility on the go as the brightness control bar is available by default in the compact Quick Panel. Furthermore, there is also a new instant access option to the full Quick Panel, providing faster access to settings with a single downward swipe at the upper right corner of the screen."
Another key change is the ability to customize the lock screen based on Modes and Routines, so you can set up different lock screens according to time and day. There's more customizability to the lock screen itself when it comes to styles and fonts.
One UI 6 also gets a new camera widget that lets you launch a particular mode with just a press of a button. So if you like to take portraits, just create a widget, put it on your home screen, and press that to launch the camera in that mode:
"One UI 6 is loaded with great new ways for users to customize the Galaxy experience based on their own habits and preferences, so it feels even more like an extension of themselves. For instance, it is now possible to set different lock screens according to specific Modes and Routines, such as a calming photo of a forest in Sleep Mode. There is also a new custom camera widget, which lets users preselect a camera mode and a storage location — like portrait mode and a folder just for headshots."
There's also a new system-wide font that looks cleaner than its predecessor. The settings page still looks the same, but the battery section has been moved into its own sub-menu.
On the subject of visual changes, there's a large media player card that sits in the notification shade, and like the Pixels, it has a squiggly seek bar along with large album art.
These are just some of the changes that are live in One UI 6 right now; Samsung is sure to add more features to the Android 14-based build over the coming weeks.
Samsung One UI 6: When will your phone get the update?
Predicting when your phone will get the One UI 6 update is down to a few factors, like the duration of the beta program. Traditionally, Samsung has offered beta builds for just over two months before rolling out the stable update, but with One UI 6, it's still too early to talk about the stable release.
What we know is that Samsung tends to roll out the stable update to its Galaxy S and Galaxy Z phones before the end of the year, so you won't have to wait too long to switch to the Android 14-based One UI 6 on your phone. I'll share further details once Samsung confirms plans for the One UI 6 stable build, but for now, if you've got an eligible device, the best way to take a look at all the new features is by installing the One UI 6 beta.
The Galaxy A54 builds on the strengths of its predecessors, offering one of the best all-round packages in the mid-range category. With the phone set to be among the first to pick up the One UI 6 beta, now is as good a time as any to switch from an older Galaxy device.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.