We’re less than 10 days away from the Samsung Galaxy S21 launch, and you’d think that there’d be nothing left to tell about the upcoming phones, given all the leaks we’ve already seen. But hardware will be only some of the story told at the Jan. 14 Unpacked event — there’s also the matter of software features for Samsung’s new phone.
We’re now getting a pretty good idea of what to expect there, thanks to a new video from Jimmy Is Promo (opens in new tab). That video showcases Samsung’s One UI 3.1 interface, and what that software tells us about features headed to the Galaxy S21.
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We already knew that S Pen support was slated for the Galaxy S21 — or at least for the 6.8-inch Ultra model of the phone, and the video of One UI 3.1-supported features confirms that. Watching the video, we can see how the S21 Ultra will offer S Pen features like Air View, Air Command, and more.
As we learned previously, there’s even a special case to hold the optional S Pen since there isn’t built-in storage inside the phone a la the Galaxy Note line. The S Pen itself has changed a bit, but the functionality you know is still there.
But there’s more to the S21’s software features than just S Pen compatibility. The video also shows off a way to continue using apps from your Galaxy S21 on other devices when they're using the same Samsung account. Much like Apple's Continuity feature, you could feasibly open up a photo for edits on your phone and then work on it on your tablet with this feature.
Another interesting feature One UI 3.1 introduces involves call background videos that play while you're receiving a call, ranging from colorful shapes to more muted designs. You can add dancing emoji characters for a more silly tone as well.
While emoji are cool and all, perhaps nothing in the One UI 3.1 interface is as interesting as Director's View, which was a originally slated to appear with the Galaxy S20. With Director’s View, you can swap between different cameras on the S21 while taking a photo, with a multi-camera view when looking at the screen as a viewfinder. It isn't clear if this will allow simultaneous recordings from different shots, but it's still pretty interesting.
Other features appearing in the Galaxy S21 video include video resolution options appearing on the recording screen, the ability to choose either Samsung Free or Google Discover as your feed, an enabled focus enhancer for photos and portrait video capabilities.
Of course, that's all in addition to what we've already uncovered about the Samsung’s Galaxy S21 plans. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is expected to feature a second telephoto lens along with the usual array of wide, ultrawide and telephoto cameras. All three S21 models are likely to retain the S20’s 120Hz refresh rate, though only the Ultra’s display will be able to change refresh speeds dynamically.
Throw in specs about the Galaxy S21’s size, battery capacity, pricing, and more and we could hold our own Unpacked event. That’s if the new leaks are to be believed, of curse. For clarification and additional information on what all there is to, well, unpack, we’ll have to wait until Jan. 14.