Samsung Galaxy S23 gets the great free upgrade we've been waiting for

This update brings a whole lot to the table

Samsung Galaxy S23 series
(Image credit: Samsung)
Quick Summary

Samsung's Galaxy AI suite of tools should start to roll out to older handsets in the next few days.

Samsung Galaxy S23 owners are starting to see notifications pop up telling them that it's coming on 28 March.

Samsung has announced when it'll start to roll out its Samsung One UI 6.1 update, after a few months of buildup. 

After launching the Samsung Galaxy S24 range with a fair few artificial intelligence (AI) features built-in, Samsung promised that some of these would come to older devices in 2024, something it's now making good on. 

The update will begin to deploy on 28 March, according to notifications sent to some users, and it looks like it's destined for the Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra at first.

So far, only users in China have had this confirmation come through, although we'd expect it to be a worldwide release, even if it takes a few days to become globally available. 

This leaves open an interesting question about which other devices will get the update down the line. Whether the Galaxy S22 lineup is going to be offered the same upgrade has been under debate recently, and the same goes for the newest folding phones, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5. 

Still, what we do know is what One UI 6.1 brings to the table – a list of Galaxy AI features that will be familiar to Galaxy S24 owners.

These include Chat Assist, which will help you to adjust the tone of messages to fit with your aims, and Interpreter and Live Translate, which both harness some AI power to upgrade how quickly your phone can translate text and audio. 

Circle to Search with Google has been a popular feature because of how visually impressive it is, letting you circle anything on your phone's display while holding down the phone's home button to get Google Lens results about whatever you selected. 

There are a whole host of other "Assist" functions, from one that'll summarise a web page you're on for you, to another that can transcribe speech in real-time, or make summaries or new documents from your notes.

Finally, image and video editing gets some nice upgrades, including the ability to expand an image by generating content outside of its boundaries. You can also watch normal videos in slow-mo with generated frames making it smoother, a nice touch.

So, this is a pretty major update for phones that have been on the market for well over a year – if you're a Galaxy S23 owner, be sure to keep an eye out for that notification to let you know when it's coming. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.