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Think twice before updating your Samsung phone to One UI 5.1

Samsung released the Android 13-based OneUI 5.1 update earlier this month, adding a bunch of new features and optimizing the software to a healthy extent. I’ve had a smooth experience so far on my Galaxy S23 Ultra, but there are a number of Samsung users who are having some nagging woes with the latest software update.

Notably, most of the bugs and quirks that we’ve spotted so far on the official Samsung Community forum, Twitter, and Reddit have been limited to Galaxy S22 series phones.

Samsung Galaxy S22 held in hand.
Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

The most common problem that Galaxy S22 users have been raising online is battery drain. Now, feature updates often end up disrupting the battery optimization algorithms, which leads to higher than usual battery consumption, even if the device is idle. One UI 5.1 is proving to be one such update, and so far, we haven’t heard of an official solution from Samsung.

Colour palette doesn’t work normally after the One UI 5.1 update on my Galaxy S22 Ultra

— Alvin (@sondesix) February 15, 2023

If your Samsung phone is aggressively sipping up the battery juice and giving you a headache, try some of the temporary solutions listed below until a corrective patch arrives:

  1. Enable dark mode. When your phone is a little too eager at battery consumption, every unit of power per pixel counts.
  2. It’s also a great idea to activate the auto-brightness mode. I know, I know. When you have one of the brightest OLED screens in your hands, why keep it dim? But from my own personal experience, I can confidently tell you that the auto-brightness mode really helps with saving battery juice.
  3. Turn on the power-saving mode. Samsung offers a healthy bunch of battery behavior adjustment tools in the Settings apps. In the Power Saving controls, you get granular controls over selectively enabling/disabling the always-on display mode, limiting the CPU usage to 70%, slightly decreasing the screen brightness output by 10%, and controlling app behavior.
  4. By enabling the Limit apps and Home Screen behavior toggle, background app activity is killed, edge panel activity is turned off, and theming automatically defaults to dark mode.
  5. Another tool that works is Adaptive battery, which automatically adjusts resource allocation and battery consumption based on your personal smartphone usage patterns. 

In addition to an uncharacteristically high battery drain after installing the One UI 5.1 update, some Galaxy S22 users are reporting issues with Material You theming on their phone, which appears to be non-synchronized in certain UI sections. For example, as you can see in the images shared by a user on Reddit, the volume slider isn’t themed in the same color tone as the rest of the UI elements.

Another worrying complaint that we have come across is a broken back gesture system. Usually, when users swipe inwards from either edge of the screen, it serves as a back gesture that takes them to the previous page in an app. One Galaxy S21 Plus user has even shared a video on Reddit highlighting the problem. 

A notable omission from the update is the subject selection tool in the gallery app, which Samsung has borrowed from Apple. One UI 5.1 was supposed to introduce the feature to Samsung phones, but that hasn’t arrived yet. The feature lets you select any object in an image, extract it with a clear edge crop, and paste it elsewhere.

There are a few other bugs, such as laggy lens switching in the camera app and general stutters. Finally, we’ve also noticed users complaining about Bixby routines causing problems. If you haven’t updated your Galaxy S22 to One UI 5.1 yet, we’d suggest avoiding it until Samsung recognizes these problems and releases a fix. However, if you’ve already installed it, try to avoid a software version rollback if you’ve never done that. 

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