Samsung’s big One UI 6.1 update is rolling out soon – here are the 7 best new features

Samsung Galaxy S24 S24 Plus S24 Ultra hands on back angled camera closeup
(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Samsung’s big One UI 6.1 update has now rolled out on the new Samsung Galaxy S24 series – including the Galaxy S24 Plus, and Galaxy S24 Ultra – and older devices are in line to get it, too. The Galaxy S21, Galaxy S22, Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 FE, Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the Galaxy Z Fold 5 are all expected to get the update sometime during the first half of 2024.

When that update does come a lot of impressive new features will be heading to your Samsung handsets. So we’ve highlighted seven of our favorites below to let you know what to expect from the latest update.

Just note that the AI features on this list will require an internet connection, and are only coming to the S23, S23 FE, Z Fold 5, Z Flip 5 and Tab S9. Per Samsung itself, older phones like the S22 will miss out

Do go and take a look at our Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review for our full verdict on this large Android phone. 

1. Lock screen widgets 

Google’s Android might be exploring the return of widgets to your phone’s lock screen, but Samsung is diving straight back in with One UI 6.1. Currently supported widgets include the Calendar, Samsung Health, Weather, and Clock apps.

An image of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus in a hand

Widgets are coming to your lock screen (Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)

2. Quick Share with everyone 

Samsung’s Quick Share and Google’s Nearby Share are finally able to interact with each other. So when you try to use Quick Share in One UI 6.1 you’ll be able to beam your file to anyone using an Android phone, not just other Samsung phone owners.

3. Battery protection settings 

In One UI 6.1 you'll get three new Battery protection options in the Settings menu to keep your phone battery healthy when you charge it overnight. 

Basic will have your phone stop charging at 100% and only restart when it reaches 95%; Adaptive will pause charging at 80% and start charging again so it’s topped up in time for your first alarm of the day when you unplug it; and Maximum will cap your phone’s maximum charge at 80%.

With talk of phone contracts becoming four years long, you’ll want to keep your handset and the battery in good condition as you might have to wait longer between upgrades.

A sketch of the Samsung Galaxy S24

The Samsung cameras are getting some useful new features (Image credit: Samsung)

4. Custom Expert RAW camera widget 

This widget for the Expert RAW camera app – an improved version of the basic camera app that gives users more control and higher quality, less compressed images – will let you launch it with your favorite settings already applied.

You can choose for the widget to open the selfie or rear camera, and to jump straight into the Astrophoto, Multi-Exposure, or ND Filter modes. You can also choose a custom background for the widget – perhaps one of the snaps you’ve taken to remind you what the settings you’ve chosen are best for.

5. AI Photo edits 

Now for all of those AI features, which are only coming to the S23, S23 FE, Z Fold 5, Z Flip 5 and Tab S9. Firstly, there will be a lot of new AI-powered photo edits available with UI 6.1 – you can reposition objects in your image, erase them, and even get the AI to expand your snaps beyond their original borders, with the generative AI filling in any gaps.

If you used Google’s Magic Eraser and AI features on the Google Pixel 8 then you should have a pretty good idea of what you’re in for.

Woman enlarges an ice cream in real life using a pinch to zoom gesture

Impressive zoom and AI tools will help you take better snaps (Image credit: Samsung )

6. AI Generated Wallpapers 

Speaking of Google Pixel 8 phones, the AI wallpaper feature that first appeared on those handsets is coming to Samsung’s phones. You can pick from a wide variety of themes and topics and the generative AI produces an image to fit your prompt.

Interestingly, the one difference between this and the Google version is that Samsung will apply a small watermark at the bottom of the image. Perhaps this is to stop you from entering your fake pictures in an art contest.

7. Live translation during phone calls

The next time someone starts talking to you over the phone in another language you can rely on your device to provide real-time translation, thanks to the One UI 6.1 update. 

What's more, when you reply your Samsung phone will translate what you say – and only one of you will need a Samsung phone for this to work. 

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Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.