Samsung Galaxy S20 Unlocked Gets A Fresh Security Patch

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Redditors are reportedly beginning to receive a new security patch via an update on their unlocked Samsung Galaxy S20-series devices. The update, perhaps surprisingly, brings the Android Security Patch level to July 2020. That follows Google's rollout of the firmware patch to its own Pixel-branded devices, which only recently started.

The security patch is hefty, weighing in at around 220MB on the unlocked Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. But this isn't necessarily going to be quite the same as the update found elsewhere in the world either. For starters, the included changelog doesn't mention anything about camera updates. And those were found, including zoom and video stabilization and improvements, when the patch landed in South Korea and Europe.

That doesn't mean those improvements aren't included. But Samsung certainly isn't listing them out for US users at any rate.

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What, exactly, is Samsung including in this Galaxy S20 Security update?

The exact nature of changes that are being made to the unlocked Samsung Galaxy S20-series devices with this update isn't well-defined in the changelog. Samsung says that it includes "Device stability improvements, bug fixes" and that there are new or enhanced features. Performance improvements are part of the build too.  But granular details are severely lacking.

The general Android Security Bulletin for July 2020 could shed some light on the matter though. In fact, that showcases a grand total of 24 security fixes in this patch. Of those, seven are noted as being high-severity security fixes for Qualcomm's components. And at least some of those are likely part of Samsung's release since its US devices typically use Qualcomm instead of Exynos chips.

Two additional Qualcomm fixes are rated at a 'critical' severity level and are related to connectivity. Critical fixes are also included in the general update for connectivity components and for the media framework. All of the remaining fixes are rated at a 'high' severity level.

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Now, not all of those will be applicable to the Samsung Galaxy S20-series flagships. And the number of patches is lower than it has been in the past. But it's going to be a good idea for users to ensure that their device is charged and the update installed immediately upon receipt all the same.

Here's how you can check for the update now

Updating to the latest firmware isn't a difficult process but does, as hinted above, rely on at least one prerequisite. Namely, this July 2020 security patch can only be applied to unlocked Samsung Galaxy S20 series handsets. Because carriers need to make their own adjustments to the firmware, those variants aren't receiving it just yet. That comes down to differences in the internal hardware.

In the interim, it is possible in some cases to get the update early. Users simply need to navigate to the Settings application and scroll all the way down to "Software Update."

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If an update is available, it can be checked there. If not, users will need to wait since, as is almost always the case, this rollout will happen in stages. So it may just not be available yet for any given users. Once updated, the build number should be bumped to G988U1UES1ATFB, G988U1OYM1ATFB, or G988U1UES1ATFB. That's for the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra, respectively.