Forget Galaxy Note 20 — the Galaxy S20 just got some of its best features

Samsung Galaxy S20
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

You might expect Samsung to hold back Galaxy Note 20 features to tempt S20 owners into upgrading, but apparently not. Today, Samsung has started pushing out its One UI 2.5 Android skin on to S20 devices, and rather than being purely cosmetic upgrades, the new version of the OS brings previously Note 20-exclusive features with it.

The most potentially game changing of these is Wireless DeX. Introduced with the Galaxy S8 back in 2017, DeX — or ‘Desktop Experience’ — allows compatible handsets to behave like a computer by outputting to a screen, and letting you use a mouse and keyboard to navigate its big screen desktop mode. As the name suggests, Wireless DeX lets you do this to supported televisions, using the phone itself as a touchpad. Suffice it to say, it’s come a long way since the first iteration that required owners to spend $150 on a dedicated dock.

Amateur filmmakers will be delighted by improvements to Pro Video Mode, which now lets S20 owners pick which microphone source they want to record sound from, and includes support for 8K video recording — albeit only at 24fps. You can also experiment with a 21:9 aspect ratio, to get a bit more scenery in shot (though obviously this means it might look a bit odd when played back on screens of more common aspect ratios.) 

Other nice-to-have extras include the ability to import PDF files for scribbling on, sync audio recordings with written notes, and the option to share Wi-Fi details between Samsung Galaxy devices. 

Samsung says that the rollout has already begun across compatible devices, and SamMobile reports that this is starting with Italy, Hungary, Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands for 5G variants of the S20 family. More regions and versions will follow in the coming weeks.

And it’s not just S20 owners who will benefit from One UI 2.5, either. Samsung says that other handsets will get the update, namely the Note 10, S10 and S9 families, as well as all of its foldable phones. Don’t get too excited though: Samsung highlights in the small print that “supported features may vary by device.” In other words, don’t be surprised if your creaky old S9 doesn’t let you crank out 8K movies on the camera.

The update will come over the air with a notification telling you when it’s ready. But if you want to manually check if a new version is available, pop into your Samsung phone’s settings, scroll all the way to the bottom and then tap “Software update.”

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.