Two years ago, Samsung announced support for UWB and Digital Car Keys on Galaxy smartphones. Since then, some car manufacturers have been slowly bringing support for that feature on their cars and compatibility with Samsung phones. BMW has now announced Digital Car Key support (via 9To5Google) for various Galaxy smartphones.
List of Samsung Galaxy phones supporting BMW Digital Car Key Plus feature via UWB
BMW will bring ‘Digital Car Key Plus' support to Android, starting with a few Google and Samsung smartphones. This feature would let users lock/unlock their compatible BMW car. Supported Galaxy smartphones include the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy S21+, Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy S22+, Galaxy S22 Ultra, Galaxy S23+, Galaxy S23 Ultra, Galaxy Z Fold 3, and Galaxy Z Fold 4. Note that these phones need to be running Android 13 and have the Samsung Wallet app installed for the feature to work. Users can share their BMW Digital Car Key Plus with up to five people, granted that they have a supported Android or iOS phone.
For the time being, BMW is supporting the Digital Car Key Plus feature on its cars produced after November 2022. The company will release a software update to bring the feature to some older cars. Depending on the car, a Digital Car Key can automatically unlock a BMW car when the user approaches their car. Moreover, orchestrated welcome light display and light carpet will also work, similar to a physical key fob.
BMW Digital Car Key Plus works for up to five hours even after Galaxy phone's battery is completely drained
BWM also states that Digital Car Key Plus can be configured using the My BMW app. Moreover, the Express Mode designed by the carmaker brings the convenience of locking/unlocking and starting a supported BMW vehicle without the need to unlock a phone, even up to five hours after the phone’s battery has completely drained.
Some BMW cars supported Digital Car Keys previously via Samsung smartphones. However, back then, the feature worked via NFC rather than UWB. So, a user would need to bring their phone in physical contact with their car. UWB, on the other hand, allows the feature to work in close proximity, and the user wouldn't need to touch their BWM car with their Galaxy phone.