Samsung finally allows you to use your phone as a car key, with one big caveat


When the Galaxy S21 series was announced earlier this year, Samsung also announced that it would be making it possible to use your phone to unlock and start your car. Obviously, this is limited to the model of the car, along with needing the right Galaxy smartphone.

Today, Samsung has announced it is making it possible for you to “unlock a new experience” with select devices, provided that you own the recently-launched Genesis GV60 luxury EV. This is made possible thanks to the Samsung Digital Key, which uses both NFC and the Ultra-Wideband (UWB) chip built into the following devices:

  • Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
  • Galaxy Z Fold 2
  • Galaxy S21+
  • Galaxy S21 Ultra
  • Galaxy Z Fold 3

Samsung has started rolling out the update that enables the Digital Key for those devices in Korea, and plans to make this available in Korea “by the end of this year”. After the initial rollout is completed, we should begin seeing the update made available in more regions. However, it’s unclear as to what other car models will be able to take advantage of this technology.

The solution uses Samsung’s embedded Secure Element (eSE), designed to protect your most sensitive information and encryption keys, so you never have to worry about your keys falling into the wrong hands. The precision of UWB technology also potential relay attacks, where the radio signal is jammed or intercepted. Samsung’s digital key is fully compliant with the digital key standard as defined by the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), in which Samsung has been one of the driving members.

With Samsung Digital Key, your phone becomes your car key, allowing for passive entry into your car along with being able to start the engine. Samsung also states that you can share the digital key with someone else if they need to borrow your car, but you are also able to set a time limit for how long the Digital Key will be active. We’re hoping that this update makes its way to more users sooner rather than later, but we’ll also need support from more cars in order to actually take advantage of it.


Case renders back up claims that the Galaxy S22 Ultra will essentially be a Note without the name

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