Android 12 on Samsung is a stark difference from Pixel

Android 12 is the biggest update to Android in years, and it’s one that’s highly anticipated by many. However, as suspected, it seems like a lot of the update’s best features and biggest changes might not go beyond Google. That’s shown pretty clearly by Samsung’s take on Android 12, which just debuted in beta this week.

Samsung released the One UI 4.0 beta on the Galaxy S21 this week, showing off what the company has in store for Android 12. And, well, it’s pretty boring overall.

What’s new in One UI 4.0?

One UI 4.0 just isn’t a big overhaul to Samsung’s skin, where Material You is a huge change to Android’s design language. Picking up a Galaxy S21 with One UI 4.0 installed looks and feels virtually identical to one running One UI 3.0/3.1. The animations on Android 12 are slightly tweaked, but you wouldn’t notice the change in day-to-day use. In fact, I’d argue the changes are pretty tough to notice, even if you’re directly looking for them.

Visually, there are only a few notable changes.

In the quick settings menu, Samsung has adopted a rounded, thicker slider bar for brightness. Notifications also have a condensed design by default that removes the “alerting notifications” and other section titles, but doesn’t remove the functionality. The widget picker also gets a new look reminiscent of what Google has added to the Pixel Launcher in Android 12 previews. The “Device Care” dashboard also gets a minor redesign, as did the camera app.