Samsung One UI 5 takes inspiration from iPhone, but with one cool extra feature

Samsung One UI 5 will roll out in the coming weeks, bringing all new features with it

Samsung One UI 5 marketing image
(Image credit: Samsung)

If you're looking at images from Samsung's One UI 5 update and thinking "hmm, that looks familiar" you're right – it's called iOS 16, and it's been on the iPhone 14 for just over a month now.

Samsung's take on the Android 13 update, One UI 5 bridges the gap between Samsung and Apple's software, implementing a smattering of features borrowed from Apple's flagship, while also bringing something new to the market.

Beyond that, though, the whole thing does have a very iPhone-y air about it – there's certainly less of a visual difference between them than previous iterations. That's not a bad thing though.

Samsung One UI 5 new features

First, let's look at Routines. Similar to Apple's Focus mode, Routines allows you to set different profiles for different activities, to limit what your phone offers and help you focus. For example, in work mode, you might disable shortcuts for social media apps and games, to limit your distractions. 

You can even set dark or light mode for different Routines, and select which of your contacts are allowed through.

The latest update also brings the ability to copy and paste text directly from images. This means you can snap a photo of a flyer or a shop window to have quick and easy access to the website or phone number.

To enhance the level of customisation you can have, One UI 5 offers unparalleled options for personalising your home screen, including the use of video wallpapers. You can also adjust the style of the clock and the notification pop-ups, to make your phone feel your own.

Stacked Widgets also allow for greater customisation and decluttering. Widgets of the same size can be stacked on top of one another, to save taking up multiple areas on your home screen. Then, simply swipe between them to access each individually.

Samsung One UI 5: Bixby Text Call

By far the most intriguing new feature, though, is Bixby Text Call. An extension of text-to-speech software, Text Call allows you to take part in a phone call by typing your responses in text format. The software will convert your words to sound and play it back to the caller, while also translating their words into text for you to read.

Samsung say this is perfect for environments where you couldn't usually take a call, such as a concert or a loud train. I can also see it being popular for taking calls when you're at work, where glancing down to type a text occasionally is preferable to taking time out for a full conversation.

What I can't see is how this is any better than just texting someone. I'm envisioning a painful phone call experience, with long pauses between responses while you type out what you want to say. It has all the hallmarks of something cool, but generally useless. I'm happy to be proven wrong once we see the new feature in use, but I remain unconvinced for now.

Sam Cross
Trainee Online Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism. With a passion for all things digital, he specialises in mobile phones, wearable technology, smart homes and TVs. Sam is an expert on Apple products, including iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and MacBook's. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, golfer and watch lover.