Samsung OneUI Impressions

Whilst most people concentrate on the hardware side of a smartphone with their key set of specifications and unique selling points, the software experience fen be just as important as that is the part you use to control everything on your phone.

Samsung had a rough couple of years with their transition to what was called TouchWiz, and it was the strange mixture of menu after menu as well as that horrible bloop noise every time you tapped something that made people look elsewhere for a better software experience.

As phones have got larger, software has needed to adapt to allow for single handed use even in the largest of screens, and finally Samsung may just have the answer with their biggest change in years.

Going under the name One UI, Samsung hopefully have managed to get things right and attract a lot of people back to their high end smartphones who looked elsewhere.

The whole idea is to have the top half of the display to show you important information, and the bottom half to be where you interact with the content which on a large screen device should be much easier.

Samsung also built a new Night Mode for the whole system so if you prefer a black background to help save battery life then this can be switched on in the settings menu.

The other big change is in the design of the notifications, before now, your nice curved screen device would have rectangle windows for notifications which did not look the best, Samsung have updated this and rounded the corners so now your notifications match the design of modern smartphones.

All these improvements are built on top of the latest version of Android, Pie or Android 9 as some will call it, this brings added features and security updates which are important.

Whilst the One UI update might make your existing phone feel like a whole new one, there are some bits that still need work to polish out to get to the finished article.

The biggest change needed for me is moving the Search bar to the bottom of the screen so it is easier to press and search for content, in all menus I found, the search bar was still right up top which made it very awkward to use on a large phone such as the Note 9.

It’s nice to see Samsung taking a serious look at their large screen devices and adapt the software to make it better for everyone, with a few tweaks here and there, this will be an even better experience on their new devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 range.

The One UI update is rolling out now for devices in different markets and anyone with a Galaxy S8, S9 (or the Plus version) and the Note 9 should check for the update in the settings menu.

Big thanks to Vodafone UK who provided the device to try out OneUI.