Samsung Galaxy S21 just got Android 12 in One UI 4 update — how to download now

Samsung Galaxy S21 OneUI 4 Android 12
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Android 12 just landed for Google Pixels a couple of weeks ago, but Samsung is already rolling out the update for the Galaxy S21 family. One UI 4 brings the Android 12 goodness we've talked about already, but with a Samsung coat of paint on top. Galaxy S21 users have a lot to look forward to.

While One UI 4 tones back some of the Material You design language that Google talked up when it announced Android 12, you still get access to the Color Palette theming options and privacy features, plus tighter integration with the Samsung ecosystem.

One UI 4 is a big visual update, so be ready for things to look different once your phone gets it. Widgets got some love, too, allowing for deeper customization and more useful info. And the Samsung Keyboard received an animated emoji mashup, letting you send two emojis at once, plus additional GIFs and stickers.

We are committed to giving everyone access to the best mobile experiences possible, as soon as possible. One UI 4 delivers on that promise.

Janghyun Yoon, EVP of Mobile Software

Samsung is bringing over some of Android 12's privacy features, like alerting you to when an app is accessing your camera or microphone. The Privacy Dashboard shows you what apps used the camera, microphone, and location permissions and for how long, just so that you can stay apprised of what your apps are doing in the background.

One UI 4 comes out of its beta phase and the stable build is rolling out to the Galaxy S21 right now, though some regions might be behind others. Other Samsung phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3, and Galaxy S20 series will see the update in the coming weeks. Reportedly, the Galaxy S21 FE will ship with One UI 4 and Android 12 preinstalled, when that phone debuts in January 2022. Let's hope that Samsung has squashed some of the Android 12 bugs that have popped up recently.

To check for the update, head into Settings > Software Update. If the update has rolled out in your area, you should have a notification telling you that One UI 4 is waiting for you. If not, you can hit Download and install to manually check for and download the update.

Jordan Palmer
Phones Editor

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over six years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.