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Samsung One UI 2.5: Features, eligible phones, and everything you need to know

Here's everything we know about One UI 2.5.

Published onMarch 1, 2021

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra informal
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

One UI is Samsung’s custom Android skin that’s currently on its third iteration. One UI 2.5 is a version of Samsung’s smartphone software that debuted with the Galaxy Note 20 series. It’s based on Android 10 just like One UI 2.0 and One UI 2.1 that came before it. However, the version added a whole host of features to Galaxy phones.

Below, we break down everything that Samsung One UI 2.5 brought with it. If you’re a Samsung user, you should also check out information about One UI 3.0 and One UI 3.1 as those updates succeed One UI 2.5.

Samsung One UI 2.5 features

Wireless DeX support

An image of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra with wireless Dex mode in One UI 2.5
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

One of the most significant features of One UI 2.5 is Wireless DeX support. It lets you mirror your phone screen to a supported TV and use it as a touchpad to control the TV with multi-finger gestures. You can access this feature by tapping on the Samsung DeX icon in the quick panel.

Samsung says that the Wireless DeX mode works best with its own TVs launched in 2019 or later. However, you can also use it with other smart TVs if they support phone mirroring.

Related: Best TV deals from Samsung and more

To control inputs on the TV screen, you can swipe up with three fingers to see recently opened apps, swipe down to return to the home screen, or swipe left or right to switch between apps.

You also get some screen zoom and font size options to allow customizations for various display sizes.

Smarter Wi-Fi connectivity

Note 20 Ultra network quality
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

One UI 2.5 also brings some connectivity smarts with it. With the software, you get alerts for the quality of Wi-Fi connections from nearby Wi-Fi routers. The information appears as Very fast, Fast, Normal, or Slow.

You also get the ability to share Wi-Fi passwords with nearby Galaxy devices that are on your contact list. So, if you’re attempting to connect to a Wi-Fi network, you can request the password from a Galaxy user nearby who is already connected to it. The request password button will appear on the Wi-Fi password input screen.

New camera features

Image of a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra showing 21:9 shooting pro mode on One UI 2.5
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

In the camera department, the One UI 2.5 update brought several enhancements to the Pro video mode. When in Pro video mode, you’ll see a button on the top right corner to quickly record Full HD videos in 30fps. This button can also be configured to record 4K videos at 60fps. You also get a button to change the autofocus area from the center to multi-focus.

Also read: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy Note 10 series: Should you upgrade?

Besides these new options, Pro Video mode on One UI 2.5 also gives you the ability to control your smartphone’s mic direction. You can pick up specific sounds while shooting videos by selecting Front, Rear, or Omni direction sound options. When paired with the Galaxy Buds, you can use the earbuds as a pro-style lavalier microphone to minimize background noise and record better quality audio.

Image of a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra's audio options in pro video mode with One UI 2.5
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Elsewhere, you have an option to record footage in a wider 21:9 aspect ratio in any video mode. Videos recorded in this aspect ratio are designed to fill the entire screen of your phone, leaving no black bars on the side.

Samsung Keyboard improvements

An image showing YouTube option in keyboard of Galaxy Note 20 running One UI 2.5
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

One UI 2.5 also made some minor improvements to the native keyboard on Samsung phones. It introduced a new YouTube option in the settings of your keyboard — the three-dot menu on the far right. One UI 2.1 didn’t have this option.

By tapping the YouTube shortcut in the Samsung Keyboard settings, users are able to quickly browse popular videos, and even search for a video from within an app. So if you’re messaging someone, you don’t have to leave that app and open YouTube to look for a video. You can simply search for it from the keyboard and share it within your chat.

Related: The best Samsung phones you can get

New options in Messages

The default Samsung messaging app also got some new tricks thanks to One UI 2.5. It allowed users to add, remove, and rename message categories. There’s also a feature that lets users send SOS location-sharing messages every 30 minutes for 24 hours to a contact of their choice.

Navigation gestures with third-party launchers

The One UI 2.5 update also made it possible for users to use Android 10’s full-screen navigation gestures with third-party launchers like the Nova launcher, Action Launcher, and others.

Samsung One UI 2.5 release date and update list for eligible phones

Image of the settings page of a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra showing One UI 2.5 software version
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

One UI 2.5 is available on many Samsung phones, including flagship lineups like the Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy S20, and the Galaxy Z Flip. However, most of those phones are now getting the One UI 3.1 update.

When it released, One UI 2.5 was about 1GB in size. It also carried some device stability improvements as well as bug fixes. You can see the full list of Samsung phones that got the update below.

  • Entire Galaxy S20 series
  • Entire Galaxy Note 20 series
  • All Galaxy S10 devices, including S10e and S10 Lite
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus
  • All Galaxy Note 10 devices, including Note 10 Lite and 5G models
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9
  • Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Flip 5G
  • All Samsung Galaxy Fold models
  • Galaxy A50, A51, A71, A70s, A90, A30, A31
  • Galaxy M21, M31
  • Galaxy Tab S6 and Tab S6 Lite
  • Galaxy Tab S5e

Samsung has also promised three years of Android updates for several Galaxy devices and four years of security updates for devices that launched after 2019.

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