Today at Unpacked Samsung officially announced the Galaxy S21 series devices, and among all of the things it will be capable of doing, acting as your car keys is probably not something most people expected.
Samsung confirmed that one of the features of the phone will be to unlock your car door. It'll act as a touchless entry method. Which means you can simply walk up to the car and pull on the handle and hop in.
But, only if you have a Samsung Galaxy S21 series device. This will surely be a very useful feature for some users. However there are a few things to mention about the functionality.
The Galaxy S21 can't act as your car keys at launch
The first thing worth mentioning is that this feature won't be available right away. Samsung's Galaxy S21 series devices will launch at the end of this month.
Although they are available for pre-order today. Once the phones have been released officially, users will still be waiting on this feature to arrive. When will it arrive? Soon. According to Samsung.
All it has confirmed in regards to release timing is that in the near future, you will be able to use your Galaxy S21 to unlock your car door. This is a feature that will be added to the device as part of an update rollout. So it's something that Samsung will have to patch into the device.
It'll be a proximity-based unlock as well. So all you have to do is get close enough to your vehicle and the door will unlock automatically. No tapping any buttons of any kind.
You will need a compatible vehicle
The other important detail about this feature is that you will need a compatible vehicle. Obviously, it won't work with every car on the road.
Samsung is working with specific car brands to make this feature available. Including BMW, Ford, Audi, and Genesis. Although there may be more car brands added to the list at some point, these are the four that will offer compatible vehicles to start.
Samsung doesn't mention which car models from these brands will work though. Or what year they need to be. Presumably older models from 2019 and 2020 would work alongside 2021 models. But there's no confirmation for now so it could just as likely be 2021 model vehicles and newer only.
In addition to the touchless car entry, the Galaxy S21 is getting other vehicle-related innovations. Like Android Auto integration with SmartThings.