The Galaxy S21 series joined the One UI 6.0 beta program in late September. At that time, beta firmware was available only for Galaxy S21 users in South Korea. Samsung is now expanding the One UI 6.0 beta program to include the Galaxy S21 series in the USA.
As usual, Samsung is sending invitations for One UI 6.0 beta through its Members app. Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra users in the USA should now be able to acquire One UI 6.0 beta firmware, if they so desire, by applying to join the program.
Before you sign up, here is everything you might want to know about the way Samsung's beta programs work, the risks involved, and how you may want to contribute to beta testing once you're in.
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Big update with the latest security patch included
The One UI 6.0 beta update for the Galaxy S21 series in the USA has firmware version ZWJ2. The package weighs almost 2.3GB and includes the October 2023 security patch.
Thanks for the tip, Andy!
This month's patch is already rolling out live, outside the beta program, for many Galaxy phones, including the Galaxy S21.
The Galaxy S21 is the oldest S-series flagship Samsung is planning to update with One UI 6.0. The Galaxy S20 lineup isn't as lucky and will never receive another big OS update.
Thankfully, S21 users are way better off. Android 14 and One UI 6.0 won't be the last update for the Galaxy S21. The 2021 flagships are eligible for four OS updates, which means they will receive Android 15 eventually before Samsung demotes them to security patches only.
But now is not the time to be thinking of Android 15. For the time being, everyone's hoping that the ongoing beta program will run smoothly and the Galaxy S21 series will get stable One UI 6.0 soon, preferably before the end of 2023.
Editor's note: Stable One UI 6.0 could go live for the Galaxy S21 series before the end of the year, considering that the Galaxy S20 received One UI 5.0 in November 2022.
However, there are a couple of things to consider. First, the US-unlocked Galaxy S20 received One UI 5.0 in January 2023, two months after the update went live in other regions. Second, Samsung began testing One UI 5.0 for the Galaxy S20 much sooner, in early August 2022. Whereas the S21 series joined the One UI 6.0 beta in late September 2023.
Considering these details, it's difficult to predict when the Galaxy S21 series will get stable One UI 6.0 and whether the roll-out will happen this year or the next.