Keeping up to date with system updates is the most important thing you can do to keep your phone safe. A long time ago, installing these updates was an incredibly slow process. However, in 2016, Google tried to improve things with new “seamless updates” that made it a simple background process. You could even use your phone as it was installed. Since then, most phone manufacturers came up with the idea very big exception: for some reason Samsung refuses to give the function to its cell phones. Even the latest Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, valued at $ 1,400, uses decidedly non-ultra-outdated, super-slow updates that put your phone out of operation for a solid 3 to 15 minutes when installed.
The recent Galaxy S20 Ultra update, which is said to have repaired the mediocre camera, has taken my phone out of service for so long that it has become a noticeable obstacle to work and contact. In contrast, Google Pixel, Motorola, OnePlus, and even LG phones only require a relatively quick and normal restart – the only intrusive part of the update process.
It’s nice to get updates, but it’s annoying if the installation takes forever and you can’t use your phone.
This is because seamless updates take advantage of this A / B partition structure. Two separate system partitions allow one to be changed, even when the device is started and running, so that an update can be installed while you are actively using the phone – or at least while it is in your pocket and you are still there. Once installed, there is only a quick reboot to switch between partitions (and a fallback partition if something went wrong).
Samsung phones, on the other hand, are installed in the old-fashioned way, with a long wait after restarting in a dedicated mode. And although monthly patches can be quick and only take a few minutes (still longer than seamless updates), larger updates can take much longer. Since Samsung promises monthly updates for its flagships, the cumulative time lost adds up.
Support for seamless updates, as recognized by partition presence in the Treble Check app on the Galaxy S20 Ultra (left) and OnePlus 7 Pro (right)..
We should keep in mind that Samsung isn’t the only seamless update, it’s just the biggest. Huawei has not implemented the function in its latest P40 Pro either. However, we have tested a variety of phones for seamless updates and A / B partition support. Every OnePlus device since the 6th and every pixel has it, LG’s flagships have it, Nokia phones have it, Sony phones have it, Motorola’s devices have it, and tons of even low-end phones have it in recent years.
We contacted Samsung for more information on how to omit seamless updates and to find out if the company’s latest phones are unavailable. However, no explanation has been published.
Why is Samsung’s flagship “Ultra”, valued at $ 1,400 in 2020, lacking such a basic function? It wasn’t really okay in 2018, but it’s ridiculous now.