Samsung unveils One UI, because phones got too big for our hands

Samsung is shaking up its smartphone user experience with the new One UI, largely designed to make its larger phones easier and more comfortable to use.

During its SDC 2018 keynote, the company showcased a much cleaner, less cluttered user interface that aims to deliver the most prevalent information to users in the most easily accessible ways.

The new Android skin will draw eyes to what matters, the company said, rather than users having to scan and reach around the length of the display to get whether they want to be.

For example, the new Focus Blocks in apps like the Gallery will show larger icons and are easier to interact with. The firm says the experience was “reengineered to reduce clutter and distractions, allowing the user to better focus and quickly navigate their phone.”

Menus will now pop-up at the bottom of the screen, rather than at the centre, making them easier to reach naturally, for example. The Google search bar has also shifted its position by default.

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One UI will also introduce a new way of viewing core apps that should reduce thumb strain when interacting with apps like messages. The message thread will appear in the lower two thirds of the display with easy to reach compose buttons and the ability to move between threads. The top third of the display becomes a viewing area.

Samsung is also promising a new night mode, with room for multiple alarms, along with quick and easy controls for each. Beyond that, there’s more rounded corners to everything, a little more colour here and there, and the redesigned app icons we’ve seen within the leaked Android Pie beta.

The One UI won’t be going straight out existing Samsung phones. The company plans a beta in Germany, the US and Korea on devices running Android 9 Pie, with the experience rolling out to all compatible devices in January next year. We can also expect this UI to arrive out-of-the-box within the Galaxy 10 smartphone launching early in 2019.

What do you make of Samsung’s new One UI? Is it a necessary step forward? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.