The Galaxy S20 line came preinstalled with the Android 10-based One UI 2.1 packing a whole bunch of exclusive features. These are now trickling down to older Galaxy flagships as they get their own One UI 2.1 updates. The OS version landed on the Galaxy Note9 about a week ago, and it’s now time for the S9 to get the latest build, which also bumps its security patch level to June 2020.
Outside Google’s Pixel range, the June security update had only reached a few recent flagships before now. Among other major additions, the latest One UI build brings a bunch of camera modes, such as Single Take, My Filters, and Pro video, along with a feature called AR Zone that consolidates everything AR-based in one place. Speaking of which, Samsung has also improved the AR Emoji capabilities with better facial recognition and an option for manual editing.
Left: Korean Galaxy S9. Center, Right: German Galaxy S9.
After this update, you’ll notice a cleaner and more organized Gallery view, thanks to enhanced auto-grouping of photos and albums. Samsung is also adding an AirDrop-like file sharing feature called Quick Share, which works with compatible Galaxy phones over short-range networks like Bluetooth. Lastly, you’ll now be able to do multilingual translations with the preinstalled keyboard itself; useful if you prefer the stock solution over something like Gboard.
This is a big update, weighing between 1.12GB and 2GB depending on your S9 variant and region. So far, only those in Germany (G96xFXXU9ETF5) and South Korea (G96xNKSU3ETF4) have received the One UI 2.1 build, as per several user reports, but there is no word yet on other markets. The wait could be even longer for those with carrier-locked models. One UI 2.1 could potentially be the last major feature update to hit the 2018 Galaxy flagship, marking an end to its two-year update cycle.