Galaxy S22 One UI 5.0 first impressions: Optimization is king!
We got to use the public One UI 5.0 update for the Galaxy S22 series throughout the day, and we’re ready to give you a summary of our first impressions with the latest firmware. It won’t be an in-depth review of One UI 5.0 on the Galaxy S22, but we got enough of a taste on our first day to share our thoughts on Samsung’s latest release. Without further ado, here’s what we think of One UI 5.0 so far.
Minimal visual changes but a much more pleasant user experience
You’d be forgiven if you were to mistake One UI 5.0 for One UI 4.1 at first glance. The new version looks almost the same as the previous one, with a few minor exceptions. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, but we didn’t get that wave of excitement the moment our phones finished updating. Instead, we slowly began appreciating One UI 5.0 more and more while using it throughout our first day.
The reason for this is simple. One UI 5.0 feels quite a bit faster and more responsive than One UI 4.1. It’s almost as if the Galaxy S22 is a brand-new phone. And mind you, our One UI 5.0 experience, so far, is limited to the Exynos Galaxy S22 variants for the most part, so our expectations regarding stability were already set relatively low.
The whole UI feels more stable and responsive, and so does the Camera app. Apps, in general, seem to launch faster, and the experience of using the Galaxy S22 with One UI 5.0 is much more pleasant overall.
The audio-video syncing issues appear to be gone (albeit it’s too early to confirm this with certainty). Everything feels better optimized. And the multitasking/multi-window gestures added with One UI 4.1.1 are still fantastic.
On the visual side, changes are few and far between. Quick toggles are smaller, and the Edge panel seems slightly wider. The new lock screen customization options are a welcomed addition.
One final note: don’t expect to make use of the new Bixby text call feature unless you use the Galaxy S22 in Korea. This feature may arrive in other markets at a later date, but it’s limited to Samsung’s home country for now.
Mixed feelings about the new Modes and Routines
With One UI 5.0, Samsung renamed Bixby Routines to Modes and Routines. The new branding reflects a few changes, such as the addition of Modes. We haven’t had a lot of time to use them, but they could be described as automated groups of routines.
The most striking change is the removal of the Routines quick toggle. With Modes and Routines, One UI 5.0 users no longer have the option of enabling or disabling all the routines at once. They can go through a few hoops and loops to disable them individually directly from the Modes and Routines app, but there’s no longer an option to turn off the entire Routines element.
Thankfully, routines will work as intended and turn themselves on or off according to how they were set up by the user. And, they can be disabled individually, once they are active, via the notification area.
This new change may grow on us in time, but for a first impression, we wish Samsung hadn’t removed the Routines quick toggle and kept it as an option.
One UI 5.0 day-one wrap-up
The first day of One UI 5.0 left a positive mark on us. There’s something here for customers who enjoy eye-candy UI elements, and there’s definitely value here for Galaxy S22 users who want more performance and stability out of their phones. This is true for both the One UI 5.0 experience and Samsung DeX, the latter of which has become incredibly fast thanks to this new update.
Visually, One UI 5.0 hasn’t changed the formula too much or nearly at all. But it became clear throughout our first day using One UI 5.0 that Samsung focused on performance and optimization, and that’s not at all a bad thing! Perhaps we may change our views in time, but for now, we’re quite happy with what we got.
The high level of stability and performance seems to be a fair excuse for the lengthy beta period. Samsung wanted to get this update right after the GOS controversy, and so far, it seems to have done exactly that. If you have a Galaxy S22, S22+, or S22 Ultra, we recommend upgrading as soon as you can.
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