Skip to main content

Samsung's digital car key can now unlock certain Kia, BMW and Genesis models

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra burgundy colorway
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Samsung's digital car key has added support for more vehicles from BMW, Genesis, and Kia.
  • The Genesis vehicles support both NFC and UWB on compatible smartphones.
  • However, BMW and Kia's cars only work with NFC.

Samsung's digital car key has arrived on selected Genesis, BMW, and Kia vehicles. As spotted by TizenHelp (opens in new tab), the tech giant has expanded the list of supported cars that are compatible with the feature.

The list mentions the BMW 1 to 8 Series, Z4, X5 to X7, iX3, iX, and i4. It has also added support for the Kia Niro and Genesis G90.

It should be noted that the Genesis GV60 has already had the feature for quite some time. This means the digital key is seeing quite an expansion with this latest change.

However, the feature is not available to everyone just yet. Unless you own any of Samsung's best Android phones (opens in new tab), including the Galaxy S21 series, Galaxy S22 (opens in new tab) series, Galaxy Z Fold 3 (opens in new tab), Galaxy Z Flip 3 (opens in new tab), or Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, you won't be able to unlock your vehicle using your handset.

For the uninitiated, the feature detects when you're close to a compatible car and unlocks it via UWB or NFC. That said, only the Genesis models are compatible with both UWB and NFC. The Kia and BMW vehicles only support NFC.

There's another limitation, though. Samsung’s digital key is only available to customers in South Korea (opens in new tab).

Nonetheless, the feature is expected to make its way to the United States and European markets soon. Samsung first unveiled its digital key for smart homes and vehicles along with the launch of the Galaxy S21 series earlier last year.

But it's not the only option for Android users. Google launched a similar feature (opens in new tab) with Android 12 (opens in new tab) last year, and it's compatible with certain 2020 and 2021 BMW models sold in the U.S., UK, and a few European countries.

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He is a tech journalist based in the Philippines who has been writing about consumer tech for the past six years and has been using various Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. When he's not writing, he likes to spend time outside, stealing scenes with his phone camera.