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Samsung One UI 4.0 — 4 Unpleasant Things About It

Photo credit: David BergCrescent moon | Twitter: @davidberggg

It’s finally here: The Samsung One UI 4.0. It’s available in dozens of countries as a stable update for the Galaxy S21 series, and it’s currently being tested on other Galaxy flagships, including the company’s foldables and last year’s Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 20 lineups.

One UI 4.0, which is based on Android 12, adds a slew of minor but useful improvements as well as a few major new features, but it isn’t without flaws. We chose exactly four things that we dislike about One UI version 4.0.

The performance ranges from ridiculously fast to beta-like lag

If you tried the One UI 4.0 beta on your Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, or Galaxy S21 Ultra, you’ll know that stuttering and lag were a major issue throughout the testing period. That’s to be expected from beta software in general, but you’d expect it to be fixed before the stable, public release.

And the final version of One UI 4.0 does, or at least it does for the most part, fix it.

As you navigate the user interface and jump in and out of apps, the performance improvement over One UI 3.x is palpable.

Things, on the other hand, don’t always hold up. There are times when the phone’s performance lags, as if it’s still running beta software. For a few minutes, the phone’s performance drops before returning to normal.

Samsung needs to address this issue.

Virtual RAM feature cannot be turned off or customized

A few months ago, Samsung introduced RAM Plus, a virtual RAM feature, to its smartphones. RAM Plus dedicates 4GB of onboard storage for use as virtual random access memory when the device’s actual RAM runs out, and while it was initially added to Galaxy phones on a case-by-case basis, One UI 4.0 appears to make it a standard feature for all.

The issue is that RAM Plus in its current state is far too restrictive. To begin with, you are unable to turn it off. RAM Plus is turned on by default once you install One UI 4.0, and it will eat up 4GB of your phone’s internal storage. Second, there is no way to customize RAM Plus. As virtual RAM, you can only use 4GB of storage.

Wallpaper-based color themes aren’t applicable to Google apps

Samsung Galaxy phones have had system-wide theming support since before One UI existed, but One UI 4.0 continues to excite on this front thanks to Android 12’s wallpaper-based theming system, which allows you to change accents and app icons across the user interface based on colors selected from your wallpaper.

Samsung, on the other hand, hasn’t implemented it as well as we would have liked: those custom colors aren’t currently applicable to Google apps. For the time being, the feature only affects Samsung apps.

Video call effects do not work with still images, app support is still limited

When taking pictures inside apps like Instagram and WhatsApp, the One UI 4.0 betas improved the video call effects feature introduced in One UI 3.1 by allowing you to blur out the background or use other background effects. Unfortunately, the Galaxy S21 series’ final version of Android 12 and One UI 4.0 does not allow you to do so.

Video call effects can only be used with video calling apps and are not compatible with still images. However, One UI 4.0 does not add to the list of video calling apps that the feature supports. When making calls in WhatsApp, for example, you can’t use background effects.

We had hoped that by the time the final version of One UI 4.0 was released, these issues would have been resolved, but that was not the case. Let’s hope Samsung doesn’t take too long to make it happen.

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