Samsung is already getting ready to update the Galaxy S21 to Android 12

Android 12 Logo
Android 12 Logo (Image credit: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

Update, Sep 1 (3:15 a.m. ET): U.S. rollout details revealed

What you need to know

  • Samsung is beginning the One UI 4 beta program in September, starting with the Galaxy S21.
  • One UI is the name Samsung's themed version of Android and contains many features that stock Android does not.
  • The One UI 4 beta is built atop Android 12, likely bringing a slew of changes along with Android's biggest UI update yet.

Looks like Galaxy S21 owners won't have to wait too long to experience Android 12, as Samsung Korea's One UI 4 beta is beginning sometime in September. One UI 4 is the next major version of Samsung's themed version of Android, this time build atop Android 12, and is expected to be rolled out to more devices later in the year. For now, though, Galaxy S21 owners look to be in the elite group that gets the ability to sign up for the beta.

The Samsung Community forum Beta Operations Manager posted the news this morning, announcing that the One UI 4 beta would be available for testing soon. The original image for the announcement was in Korean, but we've run it through Google Translate so you can get an idea of what it says in English.

It's not yet known how much of Google's new Material You design language will be incorporated into One UI 4 but, given that Android 12 takes lots of inspiration from Samsung's One UI design language, it's not likely to be the drastic change that Pixel users are going to experience. It's worth noting that Dynamic Color — Google's name for the Pixel-exclusive automatic color-theming experience — will not be coming to other Android 12-powered phones in its current form.

Samsung recently started bringing One UI 3.1.1 to more Samsung phones, including Samsung's older Fold and Flip phones, adding in new multitasking features that take advantage of the foldable form factor. More than likely, Samsung has plenty of new ideas it's been cooking up and is ready to deliver with One UI 4. We'll just have to see what exactly is included in a few short days.

Update, Sep 1 (3:15 a.m. ET) ― Samsung's One UI 4 beta program will soon begin in the U.S. as well

Samsung has now confirmed in a post on its U.S. Community forums that the One UI 4.0 beta program will soon be available to Galaxy S21 series devices on Sprint and T-Mobile. The beta program will also be open to unlocked Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra phones in the U.S.

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Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu