Even Samsung’s most affordable US 5G phone is getting Android 12 now

If you’re looking for the best budget phone available today, the 5G-enabled Galaxy A13… may not feel like the number one option from a hardware perspective. 

Priced very competitively, at least at first glance, the 6.5-inch mid-ranger is not as sharp and stylish as the similarly affordable OnePlus Nord N200 5G or as versatile (from more than one standpoint) as the slightly costlier Moto G Stylus 5G (2021).

But OnePlus and Motorola are light years behind Samsung when it comes to software support, as highlighted (for the umpteenth time in recent months) by the official Android 12 update currently rolling out to the aforementioned Galaxy A13 5G stateside.
According to the folks over at SamMobile, who are never wrong about these things, said over-the-air delivery is underway as far as the “carrier-locked version” of said low-cost 5G device is concerned. That’s certainly vague given that the Galaxy A13 5G is available from multiple US carriers, but if one such mobile network operator has indeed got the ball rolling, the rest are likely to follow suit very soon.
The same should also be true for the handset’s unlocked variant, which can be purchased from its manufacturer at $249.99 with no trade-in and no other strings attached. That’s an incredibly low price to pay for an Android 12andOne UI 4.1-supporting smartphone with an Android 13 update undoubtedly on the way next year as well.
While the Nord N200 5G, for instance, has miraculously managed to beat the Galaxy A13 5G to the stable Android 12 punch (by a few days), an Android 13 promotion is almost surely out of the question for that particular ultra-affordable 6.5-incher. 

Many other decent 5G mid-rangers from various brands, including Motorola, are still stuck with Android 11 and looking at Android 12 as the one and only major OS upgrade in the pipeline… someday.

Just in case you don’t know how big of a deal this update is for a budget-friendly handset, here is the absolutely huge One UI 4.1 changelog published on Samsung’s support website last week:


  • Add portrait effects (you can add background blur to any picture with a person in view);
  • Portrait relighting;
  • Convert unnecessary motion photos to still images;
  • Share albums as links;
  • All your invitations together;
  • Create time lapse videos.

AR Zone

  • More decorations for your emoji stickers;
  • Background colors in mask mode.

Google Duo

  • Do more during video calls (share another app’s screen, watch YouTube together, share photos, explore maps, and more);
  • Join video calls in presentation mode.

Samsung Health

  • Get insights about your body composition (set targets for your weight, body fat percentage, and skeletal muscle mass);
  • Build better sleep habits (get coaching based on your sleep patterns);
  • Enhanced exercise tracking (set interval training targets on your Galaxy Watch 4 before you start running or cycling).

Smart Switch

  • Get notified when you leave something behind;
  • Find a lost device together (share the location of your devices with others).


  • Share your Wi-Fi network with Quick Share;
  • Include editing history when you share pictures and videos;
  • Easily share tips with others using the Tips app.

More features and improvements

  • Color palette (customize your phone with unique colors based on your wallpaper);
  • Add emojis to your calendar;
  • Choose apps for text correction in Samsung Keyboard;
  • More widely available keyboard options (keyboard layouts, input methods, and features for specific languages are now available in more regions);
  • Customize your sound balance;
  • New actions for Bixby Routines;
  • Customize your virtual memory with RAM Plus in Device care;
  • Game optimizing service.

May 1 security patch level

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