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Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus and S21 Ultra now double as a digital car key

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Samsung has started rolling out the Digital Key feature to the Galaxy S21+ and S21 Ultra in South Korea.
  • The new capability allows users to unlock and start their vehicles using the flagship devices.
  • Samsung is expected to release the feature in the United States and European markets soon.

Samsung's Galaxy S21+ and S21 Ultra have now picked up a digital key control feature in South Korea as part of the latest October security patch for the flagship phones.

According to TizenHelp, the update allows users to add a support key to Samsung Pass so that they can unlock and start their car using those devices. You won't have to take your phone out of your pocket to unlock your vehicle: the feature detects when you're close to it and unlocks it. By placing your phone on a wireless charging pad, you can also start the engine.

Samsung Digital Car Key

Source: Samsung (Image credit: Source: Samsung)

In January, Samsung unveiled the Digital Key feature for smart homes and vehicles along with the launch of the Galaxy S21 series. It is similar to the digital key function that will make its way to many of the best Android phones once Android 12 becomes available.

It's the company's answer to Apple's Car Keys, allowing compatible Galaxy devices to unlock your car when you're close to it via ultra-wideband or NFC. Certain BMW, Audi, Genesis, and Ford models are supported, though there is no official list at this time.

In addition to the Galaxy S21+ and S21 Ultra, the feature is also set to arrive on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra and Samsung's foldable devices. The feature is currently available in South Korea, with plans to expand it to other markets in the future, including the U.S. and some European countries.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Render Navy Blue

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

With four impressive cameras, a stunning display, and S Pen support, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is one of the best Android phones available right now. It is set to receive Android 12 in the coming months, and it is now getting a digital car key functionality.

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.