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Samsung’s One UI 4 is here — how does it stack up?

Compared to similar options, One UI 4 falls behind in some areas, mostly in simplicity and readability, but remains a strong competitor.

samsung one ui 4 knowtechie
Image: KnowTechie

Samsung’s latest mobile operating system (OS) is here. One UI 4 launched on November 15 for the Galaxy S21 series and will soon come to the Galaxy Z, S, A, and Note series. So, how does One UI 4 stack up against its past version and similar systems? Here’s a closer look.

Main Features of One UI 4

One of the biggest features of the new OS is its expanded customization options. You can pick between multiple themes and color palettes to change how everything looks, from the home screen to app icons. You can also change how widgets look and have more emojis, GIFs, and stickers available from your keyboard.

The next big category that One UI 4 improves is privacy. A new privacy dashboard makes it easier to understand which apps are using what information and change those settings all from one place. One UI 4 will also notify you when an app is trying to access your camera or mic, and you can view permissions history for seven days, not just 24 hours.

samsung one ui privacy
Image: Samsung

One UI 4 brings plenty of quality-of-life improvements as well. The camera shows zoom levels as numbers now, a feature called RAM Plus can reserve RAM to improve performance, and the multi-window function is smoother. Overall, the interface is more streamlined, letting you access and change things more easily.

One UI 4 vs. Android 12

One UI 4 is based on Android 12, which launched on October 19 on Google phones before rolling out to other Android devices. So how do the two compare?

Many of the features between the two systems are the same, but Android 12’s customization goes further. One UI 4’s themes don’t apply to third-party apps, and there are fewer palette options. However, Samsung offers more widget options and bolder colors.

android 12 screenshots on green background
Image: Google

Android 12’s font may be easier for some users to read, and it’s generally less cluttered. Still, One UI 4’s customization options can make up for that. Generally speaking, Android 12 is also faster, though it can have issues with the 120 Hz refresh rate that One UI 4 may not.

One UI 4 vs. iOS 15

Some users have pointed out that One UI 4 includes several iPhone-like features. With that in mind, here’s a look at how it compares to the latest iOS version.

One UI 4’s widgets, emoji, and camera features make it feel more like an iPhone. The new privacy controls also let Samsung phones catch up to Apple in terms of security, which Samsung has struggled with multiple times in the past.

Considering brand rep and customer retention are two of the first things to go after a security breach, and Samsung just recently got itself into hot water with security flaws found in its mobile apps, it’s no wonder security was made such a priority this time around.

ios 15 logo on blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

While One UI 4 may look and function a lot like iOS 15, it exceeds it in terms of customization. Samsung offers far more options and control for changing layouts and settings to your liking than Apple’s latest OS.

The Final Verdict

Overall, One UI 4 is a solid improvement over the past iteration. It gives some needed security upgrades and more customization options and offers a faster, smoother user experience than previous versions.

Compared to similar options, One UI 4 falls behind in some areas, mostly in simplicity and readability, but remains a strong competitor. If you’re on the fence about embracing the new Samsung OS, fear not. One UI 4 is a welcome and exciting next step in mobile operating systems.

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Staff writer at ReHack Magazine with a passion for cybersecurity, AI, and all things tech. Offline, you'll find me cruising the neighborhood on my motorcycle or bingeing the latest true crime documentary.

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