Samsung One UI vs One UI Core: What’s the Difference

Samsung has the knack for picking confusing names for its smartphones, which also trickles down to the software. Lately, many get confused between the Samsung One UI and One UI Core. As frustrating it sounds, both iterations of One UI are different. We shall compare both to explain how One UI Core is different from One UI in this post.

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We shall cover differences between One UI and One UI Core and supported devices. Finally, we shall leave you with whether it is a good idea for you to buy the One UI Core phone.

Let’s get started.

What Is Samsung One UI Core

One UI is the customized Android skin installed on Samsung Galaxy smartphones. It comes in two variants – regular One UI and One UI Core.

For starters, One UI Core isn’t a beta version of One UI. It’s a stripped-down and stable version of the main One UI meant for the low-budget and mid-range Samsung Galaxy phones. That means it has fewer features compared to the One UI which is mostly found running on other Galaxy phones.

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Which Samsung Phones Have One UI Core

As mentioned above, Samsung uses One UI Core version for its entry-level and mid-range phones. So that includes the phones from Galaxy M series and some entry-level Galaxy A series phones.

Some phones running One UI Core are Samsung Galaxy A11, A21s, A10s, M10, M11, and M51. You can check the full list on official Samsung website.

What Features Are Missing in One UI Core

One UI Core is a stripped-down version and that doesn’t mean Samsung removes the major features. Truth be told, you wouldn’t even notice the difference as such. Contrary to popular belief, Samsung retains features such as dark mode, gestures, focus mode, digital well-being, ability to hide apps, one hand mode, etc., in One UI Core. To top it all, the overall user interface and experience is nearly the same.

Recently, Samsung announced that most Galaxy smartphones released after 2019 will receive 4 years of security updates. Both M and A series are included in the list.

So what’s left out in One UI Core? Let’s check that out.

Good Lock App

Good Lock is an add-on app from Samsung that lets you customize and add functionalities to your Galaxy phone using various modules. You can customize the appearance of the navigation bar, the clock on the lock screen, filter notifications, and much more. Sadly, this app and its modules do not work on One UI Core.

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Samsung’s digital voice assistant, Bixby is also missing in One UI Core. While you cannot use Bixby Routines, Bixby Vision (Samsung’s version of Google Lens) is available on select One UI Core supporting devices such as Galaxy M51.

Easy Mode

Easy Mode offers a simpler home screen view along with bigger items. It’s quite useful for people with bad eyesight and elderly folks. Earlier, Easy mode was available on all Samsung Galaxy smartphones. If you intend to use it, you should buy a regular One UI running phone and not the one with One UI Core.

Samsung Pay/Pay Mini

Select One UI Core phones do not support Samsung Pay/Pay Mini. While the other phones that support Samsung Pay or Pay Mini are limited to select regions only.

Knox and Secure Folder

Some phones running One UI Core lack the full security features offered by Samsung Knox, especially the hardware-based features. You will not notice anything in the frontend, but devices not offering full Knox security aren’t ideal for enterprise deployments.

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Similarly, the popular Secure folder is also missing in low-budget One UI Core devices. However, it’s available on mid-range phones.

Link to Windows

Microsoft’s Your Phone app helps you in connecting your Android phone and Windows 10 PC. With the app, you can view your phone’s messages, notifications, and photos on your PC. You can even make and receive calls on PC. Those features work on all Android phones even the ones running One UI Core. But if you have a One UI device, you can open and run the Android apps on your PC. That’s one feature you won’t be able to use in One UI Core phones.

Tip: Learn the difference between Microsoft Your Phone and Samsung Flow.

How to Check One UI Variant

To know the One UI variant and version present on your phone, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open Settings on your Samsung Galaxy phone.

Step 2: Go to About phone. Tap on Software information.

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Step 3: At the top, you will either have One UI version or One UI Core version. If it’s the latter, that means your phone has One UI Core. The version number appears below the One UI title.

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Tip: Check out 9 tips to fix the Samsung One UI Battery drain problem.

Future of One UI

In the previous One UI 2 version, there were major differences between One UI and One UI Core. But the latest version, i.e., One UI 3, added most features to One UI Core. In the future, Samsung may add those missing features in One UI Core as well. Which are your favorite One UI features? Share them in the comments below.

Last updated on 13 July, 2021

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