One UI 5 public beta hands-on: here's what's new - PhoneArena

One UI 5 public beta hands-on: here's what's new

4
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase from the links on this page.
One UI 5 public beta hands-on - see what's new
Recently, Samsung released the public beta of the One UI 5, which is its first overlay of Android 13. Sadly, the program is still limited only to users in Germany, South Korea, and the US, and you can download Samsung's latest One UI only if you have a phone from the Galaxy S22 lineup.

However, if you can't get your hands on the One UI 5 public beta, don't feel sad about it. We have downloaded Samsung's latest One UI on an S22 Ultra and tinkered with it, so we can show you exactly what new features your phone could get once Samsung releases the stable version of One UI 5 to the public. So, without further ado, let's dive in!

Get the 512GB Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 at up to $1560 off!

The cutting-edge Galaxy Z Fold 4 is available at Samsung.com with a $450 instant credit! In addition, you get a free case and 256GB-to-512GB memory upgrade, and can trade in an eligible device like the S22 Ultra or Z Fold 3 and slash the price further by $900.
$360
$1919 99
Buy at Samsung

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 can be yours for $300 at Samsung

The brand new Galaxy Z Flip 4 is available now at Samsung.com with $60 in free memory upgrade. You can also trade in an eligible device and slash the price by up to $700, too, not to mention the bundle deals at 30% off.
$239 99
$999 99
Buy at Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 (40mm)

Samsung's new Galaxy Watch 5 is available in 40mm and 44mm size options. You can choose from a bunch of bands, as well as design yours. For a limited time you get $75 of Samsung Credit with your purchase. Get up to $125 of trade-in credit.
$204 99
$279 99
Buy at Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Samsung's new Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is available with a bunch of bands, as well as design yours. A limited-time offer gives you $75 in Samsung Credit with your purchase. Get up to $125 of trade-in credit.
$374 99
$449 99
Pre-order at Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

The latest Galaxy Buds are here and you can get $50 of Samsung Credit as a limited-time offer. Get up $75 of trade-in value for your old audio device too.
$179 99
$229 99
Buy at Samsung

Personalize your home screen like never before


More colors for your icons and quick panels


With Android 12, Google added a lot of options to personalize your home screen. And if your Galaxy phone runs on One UI 4 — which is based on Android 12 — you can go to the "Wallpaper and Style" settings menu and choose a color palette, which will customize the look of your icons and quick panels. The colors are derived from your wallpaper, so your phone's icons and panels will always match the picture on your home screen.

However, in Android 13, Google added more palette options. And since One UI 5 is based on Android's latest version, the maximum number of color palettes is now sixteen, not five. Also, Android 13 introduces basic color presets, which can be used instead of palettes. There are a maximum of twelve colors, but the number of palettes and preset colors will vary based on the color scheme of your wallpaper.


Stacking widgets in one location


If you are a fan of widgets, they probably take up a good portion of your home screen. That is probably why Samsung introduced Smart Widgets with One UI 4.1. With this feature, you can stack up to seven widgets in one place and switch between them by swiping left or right, thus having a more organized home screen and more free space for more icons. And in One UI 5, Samsung has tweaked the way you stack and arrange widgets, making it easier for you to personalize your home screen.

Now, when you tap and hold a widget with a minimum size of 2 x 1, you will see a new button named "Add widget," which, when pressed, will open a selection menu and let you choose another widget that will appear in the same place as the previous one, creating a stack. And to remove widgets and customize their order of appearance, you just need to long press the stack and choose the Edit option. To remove a widget from the stack, just tap on the "-" button, and to rearrange the widget order, just long press on one and move it left or right.

To be honest, Samsung's stacked widgets look a lot like Apple's. The difference is that in One UI, you swipe horizontally, whereas in iOS, you swipe vertically. But hey, at the end of the day, we, the ordinary users, benefit from companies “getting inspiration” from one another.

Choose a separate language for each app


With Android 13, Google also introduced a new feature that allows you to select a language for each app without changing the system's language. In One UI 5, this feature is called App languages and is located in the General management tab in the Settings app. When you tap on App languages, it will list all the supported apps.

If the app was running in the background while choosing the new language, just restart it for the changes to take effect.

However, we have to make a quick note here. During our tests, we noticed that the language of the chosen app did not always change. We presume that this is due to One UI 5 being in beta, and most likely, the stable version won't have this issue. But it was worth mentioning.


Extract text from an image


On One UI 4, if you need to copy text from a photo, you can use the built-in text extract feature in the Gallery app. You just take a picture with the Camera app and open it in the Gallery application, and then use the Bixby Vision icon.

In One UI 5, however, this process is extremely simplified. Every time the Camera app detects written text, it will display a new yellow icon with a "T" on it, which, when pressed, will take a picture and let you copy the text directly from the viewfinder.


New help icon in Pro mode


The Camera app's Pro mode lets you manually adjust the settings of your phone's camera. But if you don’t know what they do, it could be somewhat challenging to take that perfect shot using Pro mode. This is why One UI 5 also comes with a new help icon for Pro mode, which explains what each option does and how it contributes to the perfect shot.


Create a link to share files with everyone using Quick Share


There are a lot of ways in which you can share and transfer files. For example, you can send files to a friend via a messaging app or Bluetooth. Or you can hook up your phone to your PC via a USB cable and transfer the files you want. But with One UI 5, you can also share files via a link using Quick Share.

On One UI 5, when you try to share a file or files using Quick Share, you will see that there is now a new option called "Copy link." If you choose this option, your phone will upload the file/files you want to share on a Samsung cloud and generate a link to them, which will then be copied into your phone's clipboard. From there, all you need to do is send that link to the person with whom you want to share the chosen files.

When the person in question receives your link and taps on it, they will be redirected to a page from which they can download your shared files. This method is also extremely useful if you want to transfer files from your phone to your computer. However, you should know that the generated link and the uploaded files will be available only for two days, and there is also a daily upload limit of 5GB.

Previously, Samsung offered the same experience, but it was called Link Sharing. It appears that the tech giant has decided to make Link Sharing part of Quick Share. This is no surprise. After all, it is better for all sharing options to be in one place.


New security dashboard


With Android 13, Google completely changed the look of the security and privacy settings. There is now a new security dashboard with a scanning feature, which should detect if there are some security issues with your phone, like outdated updates, for example. Also, the dashboard links to most security and privacy menus, so you can jump between them easily.

On One UI 5, the dashboard works like a charm, and we may say that with Samsung's skin on top, it looks much better than the leaked pictures.

Better multitasking


If you often need to use apps in split screen, you probably know that One UI 4 lets you save split screen layouts on the Edge panel. When you open two apps in split-screen mode and tap on the divider — the three dots between the two windows — you see an icon with a little plus sign and a side panel on it. When tapped, the it saves the current split screen layout on your Edge panel.

In One UI 5, however, you can save your desired split screen layouts on your home screen, in addition to the Edge panel. And instead of an icon with a plus and a side panel, you just have a new star icon. For all intents and purposes, it works in the same manner.

Furthermore, One UI 5 also lets you enter into multi-window mode with just a swipe. All you need to do is enable the feature from the "Labs" option, located in the Advanced features, open an app that supports split screen, and swipe up with two fingers from the bottom to the top.

There is also a new gesture that allows you to switch an app to a pop-up view. Just open an app, and from any top corner, swipe to the middle. A brilliant feature, which used to be on Samsung phones before and is now making a comeback.


Take notes during calls


How many times have you had to write something down during a call? When you are in such a situation, you are probably searching for a pen, but it always takes ages to find one. Or, if you use an app for taking notes, you first need to minimize the call, find the app in question, open it, and then create a new note. What a hassle! But, with One UI 5, this annoyance will also be a thing of the past.

If you press the three dots located in the top right corner during a call, you will see a new option called "Take notes." When you tap on it, your Galaxy phone will create a note in Samsung Notes and open a field in which you can write that important piece of information.

A fun fact is that many years ago, on Android 4.3, there was an option to take a note during a call on your Galaxy phone. Back then, it was called "Memo," but it worked the same way. Samsung probably saw that no one was using this feature and removed it at some point. However, it looks like the tech giant is giving it a second chance now. Let's hope that this time, more people will use this super useful feature.


New accessibility features

One UI 5 adds a separate Magnifier setting to your Galaxy phone


One UI 4 has this widget called "Magnifier," which you can add to your home screen. When you tap on it, it will activate your camera in a zoomed mode and turn your phone into a huge magnifying glass. In addition, the widget lets you adjust the picture's brightness and contrast and turn on or off your phone's flashlight. There are even a few color filters to choose from.

But in One UI 5, this same Magnifier has been made part of your Galaxy phone's Accessibility features and now has its own settings menu. In addition to the home screen widget, there are now three other ways to activate your phone's Magnifier. You can use a floating button, which will appear on top of your apps, or two button combinations: the first one is to press and hold the volume up and down keys for 3 seconds, and the other one is to press the side and volume up buttons simultaneously.

 

The magnification field now moves with the cursor


If you use the Magnification feature on your Galaxy phone, you know how frustrating it is to constantly move the magnification field while typing. However, with One UI 5, this frustration will disappear. Finally, the magnification box moves when the cursor reaches the edge of the magnifying field. You just need to go to Magnification's settings and enable the "Move with cursor while typing" option, and you are good to go.

One UI 5 introduces spoken assistance


With Android 13, Google introduced two new accessibility features, which in One UI 5, can be found under a new option called "Spoken assistance" in the Accessibility settings. One of the features is for a voice to speak aloud every input you make on your keyboard, and the other feature is called "Audio description," which should automatically select the audio description soundtrack while watching videos, if, of course, the videos have one.


Final thoughts


One UI 5 has a few new features compared to its predecessor, but it's not that different from it. However, in its press release for the public beta, Samsung stated that the One UI 5 beta will continue to receive updates and new features. So, stay tuned to PhoneArena to see what other new things Samsung will add to your Galaxy phone soon.
Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless