Samsung top user interface available on non-flagship phones
Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets will get the One UI 4.1 user interface. The premium UI for the company's flagship phones offers screen sharing while on video calls.
Samsung has rolled out its latest mobile user interface to mid- and low-priced smartphones and tablets. The software update, One UI 4.1, comes with editing software to help with grammar and style in documents and an option to screen-share applications while video conferencing.
One UI 4.1 is the user interface and feature set Samsung included with its flagship Galaxy S22 and Tab S8 series earlier this year. One UI is based on Google's open source Material You, which Google introduced in May.
The new update lets people use the writing app Grammarly to improve document grammar and Google Duo screen-share to collaborate on notes without resorting to a PC.
One UI 4.1 is now available on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 and will come to the Galaxy S21, Galaxy A and Tab S7 FE, S20, Z Fold, Z Flip, Note, S10 and Tab S series later this year, Samsung said last week.
"They are … expanding the capacity that workers have on their mobile devices for content production," said Raul Castanon, an analyst at 451 Research. "If you combine the new capabilities with a cheaper device, it does make it more attractive."
The features will appeal to hospitals and manufacturing firms looking for cheaper smartphone and tablet alternatives to the Galaxy S22 and Tab S8 for workers who need to write clearly and share files over video calls.
Samsung integrated the Grammarly software into the Samsung keyboard so people can see suggestions as they type. Galaxy owners will also have access to Grammarly Premium for 90 days but don't need to pay for the basic features.
Grammarly, made by a California-based vendor of the same name, checks writing samples for spelling and common grammatical errors, performs scans for instances of plagiarism and offers synonym suggestions.
The Google Duo live sharing feature will let people share their screens on smartphones. Groups of people can view the same photos and browser screen and collaborate on Samsung Notes during a video conference.
In addition to Google Duo screen sharing and Grammarly, One UI 4.1 includes the Expert RAW photo editing app for editing RAW files and saving them in JPG or DNG formats. The UI also has the Object Eraser for removing parts of an image from the background.
Last week, Samsung also added a new smartphone to its Galaxy A series of budget devices with One UI 4.1 installed.
The Galaxy A53 5G has a 6.5-inch super AMOLED 120 Hz display and costs $450. Samsung claims the battery on the new model can last up to two days. In previous years, the company released three A-series models at a time.
The cost of the A53 5G is roughly the same as Apple's upcoming iPhone SE model, which costs $430. But a battery life of two days trumps the 15 hours Apple promises on the SE, and the SE's display, at 4.7 inches, is much smaller than the A53's.
Maxim Tamarov is a news writer covering mobile and end-user computing. He previously wrote for The Daily News in Jacksonville, N.C., and the Sun Transcript in Winthrop, Mass. He can be found on Twitter at @MaximTamarov.