Your older Samsung phone just got a free AI upgrade with the most talked-about feature

Still using an older Samsung Galaxy device? Look out for this incredible update

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G review
(Image credit: Future)
Quick Summary

Older Samsung Galaxy phones are getting a nifty free AI upgrade.

One of the key features from the newer handsets is coming to users of generations old devices.

AI is the biggest buzzword in tech right now. You can't move for brands excitedly telling you about their latest AI-powered innovations at the moment.

Most notably, that's been seen in the Android phone world. The top releases this year have all included some kind of AI feature set, marking the next wave of innovation in the industry. 

As of now, that's been mostly limited to new handsets – but that's changing. Older Samsung phones have slowly been gaining some of these features, and it's now the turn of another generation.

The One UI 6.1 update is currently being added to devices from the Samsung Galaxy S21 series and foldable devices from the same era. That won't include the full suite of AI features which you'd find on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra – but it does get the most talked-about one.

Circle to Search is a technology which allows users to circle anything on their screen to search for that via Google. That could be an image, or even a passage of text. That's the feature which is headed to these older devices as part of this update.

It's a brilliant upgrade for users. Sure, there will be some grumbles about the lack of other features coming to these devices. That's to be expected, though.

These newer features are built on the hardware specifications of the newer handsets. Those include more powerful processors, which are able to run such intensive tasks. These older devices wont have the same horsepower inside, meaning the brands have to make a decision about what it can handle.

On the bright side, this is unquestionably the most useful feature from the Galaxy AI suite. It's a really simple idea, but well executed, enabling users to easily gather information.

If you own one of those devices, the roll out is starting right now. Don't panic if you don't have it right away, though – these things tend to roll out slowly. Just keep an eye out if you're eager to use the new features.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.