Samsung started rolling out the Android 14 update to the Galaxy S21 series two months ago. However, back then, the update was available only to the global variant of the device. A few weeks later, the carrier-locked version of the Galaxy S21 started getting the update in the US. The update has now been released to the factory-unlocked models in the Galaxy S21 series in the US.
Factory-unlocked Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra get Android 14 (One UI 6.0) update in the USA
The Android 14 update for the factory-unlocked versions of the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra is now available in the US. The update comes with firmware version G99xU1OYM9FWL3 and has a download size of around 2GB. It also includes the December 2023 security patch instead of the January 2024 security patch, though, and it fixes over 65 security flaws that were found in the previous software version. The update is available across all the carriers in the US, including AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Cellular South, Comcast, DISH, Metro PCS, Sprint, Tracfone, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon, and Xfinity Mobile.
If you have a factory-unlocked version of a Galaxy S21 series phone, you can now check for the new update. To do that, open the Settings app on your phone, head over to Software update, and tap Download and install. The update should then start downloading on your smartphone. Alternatively, if you want a clean install of the new software, you have to download the appropriate firmware file from our database and flash it manually.
Android 14 (One UI 6.0) features for Galaxy S21
The Android 14-based One UI 6.0 update for the Galaxy S21 brings along several new features and design improvements. There is a brand-new Quick Panel layout, a new font, a new design language for all the emojis, a new media player widget in the lock screen and notifications area, and more font/placement options for the lock screen clock widget.
Samsung has improved all the stock apps in One UI 6.0. Most stock apps don’t mention the term ‘Samsung’ in their app labels. The built-in Gallery app shows Quick Edit suggestions in the detail view for each image. You can drag and drop multiple images and videos from one folder to another using the new two-hand gesture. You can save clipped objects/subjects from an image or a video to the Samsung Keyboard as a sticker. There is an enhanced view for Stories in the Gallery app. The built-in Photo Editor now has more prominent controls for editing images, new text and background styles, unlimited undo and redo options, and the ability to draw on custom stickers.
The built-in Video Editor has been renamed to Samsung Studio, and it now supports the timeline layout and drafts. The built-in Video Player has enhanced and easy-to-use controls and more playback speed options. There are two new widgets: Custom Camera and Weather Insights. The stock Camera app is now easier to use, thanks to its new layout. The Weather app now has a more unified look with more detailed weather condition information and additional weather metrics.
Samsung Health has a new design for the home screen and custom water cup size options. The Calendar app can now display reminders from the stock Reminder app. The new schedule view shows all your entries (events, reminders, and tasks) in chronological order. You can move events from one date/time to another using the new two-hand drag-and-drop gesture. You can create all-day reminders in the Reminder app.
Samsung Internet lets you play videos in the background. You can move multiple bookmarks from one folder to another using the new two-hand drag-and-drop gesture. You can switch to Bixby Text Call in the middle of a voice call. New actions (Samsung Keyboard settings) and conditions (playing media) are now available in the Routines app. The Smart Suggestions widget now has a new look and feel and more customization options.
Samsung Pass inside the Samsung Wallet app now supports passkeys for signing into apps and websites. The My Files app now shows integrated trash files from all the stock apps in One UI 6.0. You can use the two-hand drag-and-drop gesture to move multiple files from one place to another. The Airplane Mode is now smarter and remembers if you want to keep Bluetooth and Wi-Fi active while you turn on the Airplane Mode. The Digital Wellbeing app now shows more detailed reports and has a new look and feel. The Battery section is now easier to reach from the Settings app, as it now has a direct entry.
While older phones are still getting the One UI 6.0 update, Samsung has already released One UI 6.1 alongside the newly-announced Galaxy S24 series. This software should be available to many existing Samsung smartphones and tablets within the next few months, and you can watch its new features in our in-depth video above. If you want to experience One UI 6.1 and all its AI features, upgrade to the Galaxy S24 by clicking the button below.
Alex Mitchell is your go-to expert for all things mobile. With a passion for the latest smartphones, apps, and mobile innovations, Alex provides in-depth reviews, insightful analyses, and breaking news about the ever-evolving world of mobile technology. Stay connected with Alex to navigate the fast-paced realm of mobile devices.