Samsung’s recently announced Galaxy S24 series comes packed with some interesting AI-enabled software features, but there’s something quite interesting that the brand left out at launch and we have a good idea why it did so. Samsung has quietly included a new always-on lockscreen wallpaper feature, which takes advantage of their new LTPO displays. If you think that this new One UI 6.1 feature sounds familiar, that’s because it appears very similar to Apple’s always-on Lock screen wallpaper feature, which is available on recent iPhone Pro models. But Samsung seems to have added its own twist to it.
According to SamMobile, the feature builds on the previously available always-on display (AOD) which has been available on several smartphones from various brands. The standard Android AOD feature basically shows the time, date, and weather along with some icons from the notifications tray to keep users updated about what’s happening on their devices. This glanceable data is almost always displayed over a black background (to save power) and users can choose to keep it on all the time, have it scheduled or on a ‘tap to show’ basis.
Samsung basically adds another layer to it by allowing the lockscreen wallpaper to shine through, taking advantage of the new and reportedly more power-efficient LTPO panels, which can refresh at 1Hz, while sipping on as little power as possible. Samsung also lets users erase the background of its lockscreen wallpaper, keeping only the subject visible, which should in theory consume less power compared to having the whole screen lit up (albeit in a dimmed mode) all the time.
While it appears to be similar in function to Apple’s always-on lock screen feature, it’s quite different in principle because Samsung will only show the same set of notification icons along with time, date and weather, while Apple’s implementation actually shows a very dimmed version of the lock screen itself when in this mode, which also lets you glance at details in the notifications and more.
The source also confirmed that the new feature (although a part of One UI 6.1) will not be arriving on the older Galaxy S23 series. The reason for the same is said to be the new and more power efficient AMOLED panels which are said to be superior to the older models. So, for now, it will only be available on the Galaxy S24 Ultra, Galaxy S24+, and the Galaxy S24 and are switched on by default on these models.
Apple introduced its always-on lock screen wallpaper feature with the iPhone 14 Pro models back in 2022. Initially it was not well-received as it appeared to drain a reasonable amount of power when activated. Apple then came up with a workaround giving users the option to hide the wallpaper in the background and only show the time, date and lockscreen notifications. Things seem to have improved with the iPhone 15 Pro Max when we reviewed it, as it had little impact on its battery life. It remains to be seen how well Samsung’s implementation of the same turns out.