Samsung always bakes new software features for its latest flagships, and this year's Galaxy S21 series is treated no differently. The smartphones were launched with One UI 3.1 that brought a bunch of new functionality, such as Google Discover on the homescreen and Director's View. There's another addition that's especially useful in a time where video calls have become the primary form of communication for a lot of us: custom video call effects.
The feature can be found in Settings > Advanced features > Video call effects. Once enabled, supported apps get a floating bubble that allows you to tinker with some video effects. You'll be able to choose between background blur, color, and image, all three of which are self-explanatory.
Video call effects overlay in supported apps.
While all of these technically work, the results are a little too janky and video-effect-amateur-hour'ish. You might want to try them on a friendly call to see how well they work before using them during your next professional meeting.
We've been able to confirm that these custom video effects are currently only available for four apps: Google Duo, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex. While all these apps already support some effects natively, the feature evens out the experience among them. We're hoping to see compatibility with more apps such as Telegram or Google Meet in the near future.