Samsung is usually the first Android OEM to roll out the latest monthly security patch and it was no different this month. The company began the rollout yesterday before Google released the update for the Pixel lineup. The 5G models of the Galaxy Note 20 series earned the distinction of picking up the February security update ahead of all other smartphones. The initial rollout was limited to Europe but Samsung wasted no time in bringing the release to the US.
Factory-unlocked units of the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are getting Samsung’s February SMR (Security Maintenance Release) stateside. The update comes with the firmware build number N98*U1UES3GWA3 (via SamMobile). As of this writing, the update is available for users on Verizon, Xfinity Mobile, Bluegrass Cellular, Nextech, and Comcast networks. Samsung should soon cover devices on the remaining networks as well.
The February SMR should also be soon available for carrier-locked Galaxy Note 20 5G and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G (model numbers SM-N981U and N986U, respectively) in the US. Note that the 4G models of the last Note-branded Samsung flagships weren’t released stateside. Those phones are also getting the latest security update in international markets.
Samsung details the content of its February 2023 security update
When Samsung began seeding the February SMR to the Galaxy Note 20 series yesterday, it hadn’t published the content of the patch. That’s because Google hadn’t publicly shared this month’s ASB (Android Security Bulletin). We now have the content details from both companies. The latest SMR for Galaxy devices patches more than 50 vulnerabilities. Most of those are part of the new ASB, with Google labeling five patches as “critical”. Some of those allowed remote code execution without requiring additional privileges.
Apart from the ASB patches, Samsung also patched seven Galaxy-specific vulnerabilities this month. It eliminated issues of varying severity across several system apps, services, and components. These include WindowManagerService, Secure Folder, Phone, Contacts, and Fingerprint TA. All of these patches will be available to the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra globally over the next few days. Samsung will also soon seed these patches to other eligible Galaxy models, including the Galaxy S23 series.
If you’re using a Galaxy smartphone, you can navigate to Settings > Software update and tap on Download and install to check for updates. Since updates are released in batches, not everyone may get the latest rollout at the same time. Just wait a few days and check again if you don’t see any updates today.