Register for your free ZDNet membership or if you are already a member, sign in using your preferred method below.
In early November, Samsung revealed One UI, the company's refined approach to its proprietary Android skin.
The new look features more whitespace and tweaks throughout the entire design.
Naturally, curious about all of the new changes, we enrolled a Galaxy S9 of our own into the beta program. What follows are some of One UI's changes and new features.
The moment you turn on a One UI device, you're greeted with Bixby's voice, welcoming you to your new device, and asking if you want to get started on the setup process.
As you can see in the top-right corner of each screenshot, you can silence Bixby with a tap on the speaker.
The entire process feels very similar to the Windows 10 setup process with Cortana.
As you can see, whitespace and big, bold, text are prominent throughout the setup process. Even the fingerprint registration screen makes sure you can see everything.
Most everything on One UI now has a rounded feel to it. From the notification dropdown, to the new navigation bar icons, to the new app icons -- rounded corners on everything.
The multitasking button in the navigation bar is now made up of three vertical lines. That's because One UI displays open apps on a horizontal line, displaying each app's preview with a swipe to the left.
It's the same approach Apple uses with iOS, and what Google uses in Android Pie 9.0.
That's because the One UI update also brings Android Pie 9.0 with it. This is the Android Pie Easter Egg found in settings on the Galaxy S9.
Part of Samsung's apporach to One UI is to make interacting with content on the screen easier, even when the phone is being used with one hand.
In order to do that, One UI displays various elements down lower on the screen, as you can see here with the quick settings tile that now takes up the entire screen.
The same approach was also taken within various Samsung apps, such as Messages and Settings.
The top of the interface features the same big font, while the lower portion puts the interface within reach of your thumb.
For those curious, even the screenshot tool has been redesigned.
In apps like Phone and Gallery options that previously had been located along the top of the interface have been moved to the bottom of the screen.
Again, making them easier to reach.
Samsung's own app icons have been redesigned. The Gallery app, for example, is now red and has the outline of a flower inside it.
The Always-On Display now features a large area for the time and date, with app notification icons just below it.
Tap on the notificaitons to expand and see the full alert.
A new Night Mode can be manually turned on. When on, the system interface turns black, including Samsung's own apps.
The black interface saves on battery as well as makes it easier on your eyes to look at the display in a dark environment.
The setting indicates there's an option to have Night Mode turn on based on the time of day and your location, but the setting doesn't appear to work yet.
This is a beta, after all.
Android Pie introduced gesture-based navigation to Android.
Samsung is giving users the option to use gestures for navigation, or use the standard navigation bar with a home and back button.
A new Scene Optimizer mode in the camera app is included in the One UI update.
The feature claims to improve photos by adjusting the color to match the subject of the photo.