With Samsung’s Android 11 beta underway, we want to take you through everything you should know right now about the company’s plans for Galaxy phones and tablets.
In September, Google pushed its latest operating system, Android 11, to Pixel users. It was big news for the Pixel community and it was also big news for those who own Android-powered devices outside of the Pixel family. It means an official release is getting closer for those phones and tablets.
With Android 11 rolling out and Samsung’s Android 10 roll out slowing down, Galaxy smartphone and tablet users are starting to think about the future.
While some Android OEMs started talking about Android 11 many months ago, Samsung remained silent. That changed after the launch of the Galaxy Note 20.
Samsung’s confirmed some of its Android 11 plans. And thanks to that information, along with rumors and traditions, we can put together an overview for those of you curious about Android 11.
- Samsung Galaxy November Update
- Samsung Galaxy Android 11: What’s New
- These Devices Will Get Android 11
- These Devices Might Not Get Android 11
- Samsung Galaxy Android 11 Beta
- Samsung Galaxy Android 11 Release Date
In this guide we’re going to take you through what you should know about Android 11 if you currently own, or if you’re planning to buy a Galaxy S20, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note 8, or some other Galaxy device.
We’ll take you through what we know about Samsung’s version of Android 11. We’ll take you through what we know about the release date and we’ll outline which devices will get an upgrade to the new version of Android.
Let’s start with what’s rolling out before the official version of Android 11.
Samsung Galaxy December Update
In a bit of a surprise, Samsung’s released its December security update.
The update is rolling out to Galaxy S20 users enrolled in the company’s Android 11/One UI 3.0 beta program. We don’t expect it to hit devices outside the beta program until next month.
Samsung Galaxy November Updates
Samsung’s pushing its November update to Galaxy devices.
The update is currently rolling out to the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 Lite, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 10+, Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Z Fold 2, Galaxy Xcover Pro, Galaxy A50, Galaxy A50s, Galaxy A2 Core, Galaxy M31s, and the Galaxy M31.
The November update addresses five critical vulnerabilities, a ton of high and moderate vulnerabilities, and five Samsung Vulnerabilities and Exposures (SVE) items.
If you want to learn more about Samsung’s November security update, head on over to the company’s website.
As a reminder, here’s the current breakdown of Samsung’s current Android security update coverage:
Current Models for Monthly Security Updates
- Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Z Fold2, Galaxy Z Fold2 5G, Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Z Flip 5G
- Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 5G, Galaxy S10 Lite, Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 5G, Galaxy S20+, Galaxy S20+ 5G, Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, Galaxy S20 FE, Galaxy S20 FE 5G
- Galaxy Note9, Galaxy Note10, Galaxy Note10 5G, Galaxy Note10+, Galaxy Note10+ 5G, Galaxy Note10 Lite, Galaxy Note20, Galaxy Note20 5G, Galaxy Note20 Ultra, Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
- Enterprise Models: Galaxy A8 (2018), Galaxy A50, Galaxy XCover4s, Galaxy XCover FieldPro, Galaxy XCover Pro
Current Models for Quarterly Security Updates
- Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S8 Active
- Galaxy Note8
- Galaxy A2 Core, Galaxy A5 (2017), Galaxy A7 (2018), Galaxy A8s, Galaxy A9 (2018)
- Galaxy A10, Galaxy A10e, Galaxy A10s, Galaxy A20, Galaxy A20e, Galaxy A20s, Galaxy A30, Galaxy A30s, Galaxy A40, Galaxy A50s, Galaxy A60, Galaxy A70, Galaxy A70s, Galaxy A80, Galaxy A90 5G
- Galaxy A01, Galaxy A01 Core, Galaxy A11, Galaxy A21, Galaxy A21s, Galaxy A31, Galaxy A41, Galaxy A51, Galaxy A51 5G, Galaxy A71, Galaxy A71 5G
- Galaxy J4+, Galaxy J4 Core, Galaxy J6+
- Galaxy M10, Galaxy M10s, Galaxy M20, Galaxy M30, Galaxy M30s, Galaxy M40
- Galaxy M01, Galaxy M11, Galaxy M21, Galaxy M31, Galaxy M31s, Galaxy M51
- Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019), Galaxy Tab A 8 (2019), Galaxy Tab A 8 Plus (2019), Galaxy Tab A 8.4 (2020), Galaxy Tab A7, Galaxy Tab Active2, Galaxy Tab Active Pro, Galaxy Tab Active3
- Galaxy Tab S5e, Galaxy Tab S6, Galaxy Tab S6 5G, Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, Galaxy Tab S7, Galaxy Tab S7+, Galaxy View2
- W20 5G
Current Models for Other Regular Security Updates
- Galaxy S8 Lite, Galaxy Note FE
- Galaxy A3 (2017), Galaxy A6, Galaxy A6+, Galaxy A7 (2017), Galaxy A8+ (2018), Galaxy A8 Star
- Galaxy J2 Core, Galaxy J3 (2017), Galaxy J3 Pop, Galaxy J3 Top, Galaxy J4, Galaxy J5 (2017), Galaxy J5 Prime, Galaxy J6, Galaxy J7 (2017), Galaxy J7 Duo, Galaxy J7 Prime2, Galaxy J7 Pop, Galaxy J7 Top, Galaxy J7 Max, Galaxy J7 Neo, Galaxy J7+, Galaxy J8
- Galaxy Tab A (2017), Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018), Galaxy Tab S3, Galaxy Tab S4, Galaxy Tab E 8 Refresh
The company’s pushed One UI 2.1, the interface that arrived on board the Galaxy S20 series, to a number of devices including the Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Tab S6, Galaxy Tab S5e, Galaxy Tab S4, Galaxy A51, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy M01s, Galaxy M21, and Galaxy M31.
These updates brought a variety of changes including:
- Quick Share
- Music Share
- Single Take
- AR Zone
- Pro Video Recording
That said, the One UI 2.1 update for older devices was missing at least one feature that’s present on Galaxy S20 models: Bixby Routines.
The company’s also released another version of One UI, dubbed One UI 2.5, that brings a number of improvements to Galaxy devices. The software debuted on board the Galaxy Note 20.
Samsung is pushing One UI 2.5 to the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 10+, Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 Lite, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy Tab S6, Galaxy Tab S5e, Galaxy A71, Galaxy A70s, Galaxy A51, Galaxy A50s, Galaxy M31s, Galaxy M31, and Galaxy M21.
One UI 2.5 is a fairly minor update, but it does bring a few notable changes including the ability for your device to remember the angle you used for your last selfie.
The camera app will also remember the last shooting mode you used (video, etc). There’s also support for full-screen navigation gestures in third-party launchers.
Samsung Galaxy Android 11: What’s New
Samsung’s version of Android 11 looks different than Google’s version because it utilizes the company’s new One UI 3.0 user interface.
While we have some information, we don’t have the full picture because Samsung’s version of Android 11 is still in development.
As expected, the software is loaded up with changes. Here’s the first Galaxy Android 11/One UI 3.0 change log from the beta, courtesy of XDA-Developers:
- Touch and hold an app to add an associated widget.
- Turn the screen off by double-tapping on an empty are of the Home screen. You can turn this on in Settings > Advanced features > Motion and gestures.
- Dynamic Lock screen now has more categories,, and you can select more than one.
- Lock screen widgets are improved.
- See your conversations and media more conveniently in their own sections when you swipe down from the top of the screen.
- Always On Display widgets are improved.
- Get quick access to the most important accessibility settings during device setup.
- Get recommended accessibility features based on what you use.
- Set the Accessibility shortcut more easily in settings.
- Sound detectors now work with your SmartThings devices such as TVs and lights to give you more visible alerts when the doorbell rings or a baby is crying.
- You can find the keyboard in settings more easily under General management in Settings, and the settings have been reorganized to put the most important ones first.
- You can now connect to supported TVs wirelessly.
- New touchpad multi-gestures let you change screen zoom and font size more easily.
- Added ability to block websites from redirecting you when you tap the Back button.
- Added warnings and blocking options for websites that shot too many pop-ups or notifications.
- Rearranged menus to make things easier to find.
- Added several new add-ons, including one that translates websites.
- Added option hide the status bar for a more immersive browsing experience.
- Increased maximum number of open tabs to 99.
- Added ability to lock and reorder tabs.
- Improved design for tab bar which is now supported on all devices.
- Ended support for Samsung Internet edge panel.
Contacts & Phone
- Added the ability to edit multiple linked contacts at one time.
- Added an option to help you quickly delete duplicate contacts.
- Enhanced the search experience.
- Extended the storage period of the Trash bin from 15 to 30 days.
- Added the ability to customize the call screen with your own pictures and videos.
- Created a Trash bin to store recently deleted messages.
Call & Text on other devices
- Added the ability to turn Call & text on other devices on or off with Bixby Routines.
- Events with the same start time are now shown together in month and agenda view.
- Reorganized options for adding and editing events.
- Improved layout for full screen alerts.
- Improved layout for full screen alerts
Digital wellbeing and Parental controls
- Added trends to your weekly report. You can see how your usage has changed since the previous week and check your usage time for each feature.
- Added phone usage time while driving to the weekly report.
- Added a lock screen widget so you can check your screen time without unlocking your phone.
- Added separate profiles for personal and work modes so you can track your screen time separately.
- Improved auto-focus and auto exposure functionality and usability.
- Improved stabilization when taking pictures of the moon at high zoom levels.
- Added the ability to revert edited pictures back to their original versions.
- Grouped preset routines help you get started quickly and learn how to build your own routines easily.
- You can now see what actions are reversed when a routine ends.
- New conditions have been added, such as a specific start time, the disconnection of a Bluetooth device or Wi-Fi network, a call from a specific number, and more.
- New actions have been added, including talking to Bixby and accessibility actions.
- You can add a customized icon for each routine and add routines to the Lock screen for quick access.
The software is a work in progress and there’s always a chance Samsung adds, or subtracts, features from this list as the beta progresses.
The Galaxy S21 series will reportedly run a new version of One UI, dubbed One UI 3.1, out of the box. This doesn’t come as a surprise given that Samsung typically releases a new version of the software on board its new flagships.
Samsung will reportedly announce the Galaxy S21 series in mid-January with a release coming in late January.
We expect older Galaxy devices to get One UI 3.1 in the weeks following the Galaxy S21’s release.
These Galaxy Devices Will Get Android 11
Samsung typically keeps devices updated with major Android software updates for two years. Fortunately, it looks like the company will change this policy for Android 11.
The company says it’s committed to providing three years of major software upgrades going forward. This is obviously a huge development.
Initially it looked like this might only apply to higher profile devices, but according to Samsung, lengthier support will also be extended to other devices.
Here’s the full list:
- Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy S20+ 5G, Galaxy S20+, Galaxy S20 5G, Galaxy S20, Galaxy S10 5G, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 Lite, and upcoming S series devices.
- Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy Note 20 5G, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, Galaxy Note 10+, Galaxy Note 10 5G, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 10 Lite, and upcoming Note series devices.
- Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G, Galaxy Z Fold 2, Galaxy Z Flip 5G, Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Fold 5G, Galaxy Fold, and upcoming Z series devices
- Galaxy A71 5G, Galaxy A71, Galaxy A51 5G, Galaxy A51, Galaxy A90 5G, and select upcoming A series devices.
- Galaxy Tab S7+ 5G, Galaxy Tab S7+, Galaxy Tab S7 5G, Galaxy Tab S7, Galaxy Tab S6 5G, Galaxy Tab S6, Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, and upcoming Tab S series devices.
As for Android 11, Popular phones like the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Note 10 are shoo-ins. The Galaxy Note 20 will make the move to Android 11 as well.
Mid-range phones and tablets from 2019 should also move from Android 10 to Android 11.
Here is a preliminary list of device we think will get upgraded to Android 11 in 2020 and 2021:
- Galaxy S20
- Galaxy S20+
- Galaxy S20 Ultra
- Galaxy Note 20
- Galaxy S10
- Galaxy S10 5G
- Galaxy S10+
- Galaxy S10e
- Galaxy S10 Lite
- Galaxy Note 10
- Galaxy Note 10 Lite
- Galaxy Fold
- Galaxy Z Flip
- Galaxy Z Fold 2
- Galaxy A10
- Galaxy A10e
- Galaxy A10s
- Galaxy A11
- Galaxy A20
- Galaxy A20e
- Galaxy A20s
- Galaxy A21
- Galaxy A21s
- Galaxy A30
- Galaxy A30s
- Galaxy A31
- Galaxy A40
- Galaxy A41
- Galaxy A50
- Galaxy A50s
- Galaxy A51
- Galaxy A60
- Galaxy A70
- Galaxy A70s
- Galaxy A71
- Galaxy A80
- Galaxy A8s
- Galaxy M01
- Galaxy M11
- Galaxy M21
- Galaxy M30s
- Galaxy M31
- Galaxy M40
- Galaxy Tab S7
- Galaxy Tab S6
- Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
- Galaxy Tab S5e
- Galaxy Tab Active Pro
- Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019)
- Galaxy Tab A 8 (2019)
- Galaxy Tab A 8 Plus (2019)
- Stunning 13.3-inch Retina display with True Tone technology
- Backlit Magic Keyboard and Touch ID
- Tenth-generation Intel Core i3 processor
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics
- Fast SSD storage
These Galaxy Devices Might Not Get Android 11
Any Galaxy device that’s not on that list is currently on the fence when it comes to Android 11. That means popular devices like the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy S9 series are very much in danger of getting left behind on Android 10.
Here are a few Samsung Galaxy devices that could stick around on Android 10:
- Galaxy S9
- Galaxy S9+
- Galaxy Note 9
- Galaxy A9 (2018)
- Galaxy A8 (2018)
- Galaxy A8+ (2018)
- Galaxy A7 (2018)
- Galaxy A6 (2018)
- Galaxy A6+ (2018)
- Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy Android 11 Beta
Google’s Android 11 beta included the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, and the Pixel 4a.
Other companies taking part in the Android 11 beta included OnePlus (OnePlus 8 series), Xiomi (Mi 10, Mi 10 Pro, and the POCO F2 Pro), and OPPO (Find X2 and Find X2 Pro).
As for Samsung, it’s hosting its own Android 11 beta for Galaxy devices.
Samsung’s Android 11 beta program started in the pre-release phase, but the company has fired up the public beta in South Korea, the United States, India, China, Poland, the UK, and Germany.
Galaxy S20 users in those regions can now join the Android 11 beta for free through the Samsung Members app.
If you plan to join the Android 11/One UI 3.0 beta, note that the software requires a large download. The operating system is over 2GB in size.
Samsung used to keep its Android betas exclusive to its Galaxy S flagship models. In 2016, the Android Nougat beta was exclusive to Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge users. In 2017, Samsung limited the Android Oreo beta to the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.
It took a different approach with Android Pie. Instead of keeping it limited to Galaxy S flagships, Samsung expanded the Android Pie/One UI beta to former flagships and mid-range devices. The Android 10 beta reverted back to the old days with a far more limited release.
Unsurprisingly, Samsung recently confirmed plans to release an Android 11 beta for the Galaxy Note 20 series in a number of regions around the world including the United States.
Signups for the Galaxy Note 20 Android 11 beta are currently live in the United States, India, and Germany. We expect it to hit other regions in the near future.
If you want to try Android 11 and Samsung’s One UI 3.0 on your Galaxy Note 20 or Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and you live in one of those regions, you can signup via the Members app.
Samsung has also confirmed beta access for the following devices:
- Galaxy S10e
- Galaxy S10
- Galaxy S10+
- Galaxy S10 5G
- Galaxy Note 10
- Galaxy Note 10+
- Galaxy Z Flip 5G
- Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G
Samsung recently pushed the Galaxy Note 10+ Android 11/One UI 3.0 beta to testers in South Korea and the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, the roll out has been halted due to unforeseen issues.
The company has also delayed the roll out for the remaining devices due to severe battery drain problems.
Samsung Galaxy Android 11 Release Date
So when will Samsung release its first Android 11 update? Let’s start with what we know.
Now that the Galaxy Android 11 beta program is live, we know that the company is hard at work on updates for the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy Note 20, and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
The company is reportedly testing Android 11 on the Galaxy S10+. The device showed up in a Geekbench benchmark with Android 11 on board earlier this year.
The company says Android 11 will stay in beta into November which means the first stable release will come sometime before the end of the year.
Samsung Malaysia says it expects to release the stable version of the update to arrive in November. The specific release date remains unknown.
The company says the Galaxy S20 series will be the first to Android 11 and we expect the Galaxy Note 20 series to follow closely behind. These devices will be followed by older models like the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10.
While we don’t have a date we do know that the base Galaxy S20 model with Android 11 on board has been approved by the Wi-Fi Alliance which is a necessary step toward the final release.
Some Galaxy models will get Android 11 in late 2020, but many others will have to wait until 2021. Samsung’s Android roll outs typically span across several months.
We’ll continue to update this post with new information as the year goes on so make sure to check back in with us.
Wait for Even Better Performance
You can expect the Galaxy S21 series to build on the foundation left by the Galaxy S20 series and the Galaxy Note 20 series.
A sketchy report out of China claims Samsung will utilize the Snapdragon 865 inside the Galaxy S21 to keep the price down.
That said, there's also a chance the Galaxy S21 makes the jump to Qualcomm's rumored Snapdragon 875 processor. If true, that should lead to notable improvements in overall speed, multitasking, and battery life.
91Mobiles has released potential information about Qualcomm's new processor. It will supposedly include a new X60 5G modem and an Adreno 660 graphics processor.
Unfortunately, the report doesn't shed any light on how much it'll improve upon the Snapdragon 865. We probably won't get those details until much later this year.
Qualcomm will reportedly announce the Snapdragon 875 in December.
Leaker Ice Universe says the new Exynos processor will still "lose" to the Snapdragon 875, he says power consumption should be improved.
The Galaxy S20's 120Hz screens are extremely smooth, but they can drain battery life and the hope is that Samsung's improvements to next year's models will help tone that down. The Galaxy S20 represents Samsung's first stab at the technology.
The Galaxy S20's 5G connectivity can also have a heavy impact on battery life and bringing a new modem aboard the Galaxy S21 could help counteract that.
As for the size of the Galaxy S21's battery, Samsung-centric blog Galaxy Club has spotted information about its size.
The information points to a 4,660mAh capacity battery. The Galaxy S20's battery is rated at 4,370mAh so this would represent a small bump.
The same site has also leaked the Galaxy S20 Ultra's battery capacity. According to Galaxy Club, the Galaxy S21 Ultra battery is rated at 4,885 mAh which means it could be marketed as 5,000 mAh.
This has been confirmed by a certification at the Chinese telecom authority 3C which lists the Galaxy S21 Ultra battery capacity as 4855mAh.
So if you want a high-end Galaxy phone, but think you might want a little more polish, consider hanging around for next year's flagships.
Last update on 2020-11-17. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API
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