Android 13 And Samsung One UI 5.0 Are Now Headed To All Galaxy S21 Phones In The US
In the vein of holiday giving, Samsung is rolling its much-anticipated Android 13-based One UI 5.0 to unlocked Galaxy S21 series in the United States, bringing with it new features (some not found on stock Android) and numerous tweaks and improvements over One UI 4.1.
A week before Thanksgiving, Samsung dropped the Android 13 UI update to carrier-locked Samsung Galaxy S21 models. Owners of unlocked S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra can now join in the fun of upgrading their devices. The new firmware, G99xU1UEU5DVK3, brings One UI 5.0, although it must be noted that it comes with the older October security patch.
Some of the changes in the One UI 5.0 update include several new features and improvements. There is an improved dynamic theming engine with up to 16 preset colors based on the wallpaper plus expanded app icon theming to third-party apps. Similarly, Samsung has improved Material You integration, where color palette changes are applied system-wide. Samsung has also improved its pretty slick widget stacking capability (from One UI 4.1) with a simplified widget creator. Multi-user support is also a thing now with One UI 5.0, something Google has had in stock Android since 4.3 Jelly Bean.
If you haven't already received the Android 13 update notification on your S21, you can install it on your own by heading to Settings > Software update, then tap Download and install. It's possible that the roll-out might not be available for your device just yet, so if you want, you could download the firmware file and manually flash it via Odin.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 series were launched in 2021 with One UI 3.1-skinned Android 11 on board. Since then, the phones have gotten Android 12 and now Android 13. Based on their promised update life cycle, you can expect at least another major Android OS update, for four years of OS updates and five years of security updates.