I own a Samsung Galaxy S-10+ purchased back in November, 2019. I purchased this phone FROM A THIRD-PARTY RESELLER THROUGH Best Buy Canada (wherein I live). The price on the phone at the time was ‘Really Good’ – roughly $500 off the Current Retail Asking Price and/so that though I didn’t really NEED a new phone, I decided to ‘pick one up’ during the Black Friday sales that were in effect at the time. ANYWAY – to the point: the phone in question was an Open Box unit or something like that BUT I didn’t really care as long as cosmetically it looked like new AND ‘worked’ which it did when I activated it with a Canadian carrier and all has been just fine. No problems whatsoever. Functionally… Except for one irritation:
Ever since I got it, the phone has never, EVER been able to ‘take’ an Android update from Samsung or my carrier and/or wherever it is I am supposed to get an update from. It is still ‘back on’ Android 9.0 (I think it is).
NOW, I THINK I might have ‘some idea’ WHY but (a) I am not 100% sure that ‘that’ is the cause AND (b) How I might be able to work around and get up to the most current release available.
As far as I know, since Samsung typically – if I recall correctly – will provide you with three Android versions of Basic OS Operating Systems support, I believe that most likely most ‘normal’ Samsung Galaxy S-10s should be up and running on Android 12.0.
Here is where I think the source of the problem might be: it becomes obvious when Android on the system ‘boots’ or ‘cold restarts’ – THAT THE PHONE had previously been (what term to use) last/originally used/activated with a US network – AT&T – because can see the AT&T logo when it boots up. (I, on the other hand, am currently using ‘Fido’ (‘Rogers’) in Canada as my cellular services provider AND I suspect that for/because of that reason – for UNDERLYING reasons I do not fully understand, somehow or other that fact is preventing my phone from receiving updates from ‘Fido’ (‘Rogers’) WHICH I BELIEVE IS THE WAY PHONES NORMALLY SEE THEIR UPDATES ‘allocated out’…
IN ANY EVENT – I would appreciate any help anyone might be able to provide as to how I might go about getting my S-10+ Android version up to – at least – Android 12.0. Ideally, though I don’t really care that much, it would be nice to have the phone boot up either as a ‘No-name brand’ or with Fido Rogers showing during the boot process.
But in any event, I would really like to finally try to get this thing up to Android 12.0 if possible, AS GENTLY AS POSSIBLE – AT THE LEAST POSSIBLE RISK OF ‘BRICKING THE PHONE’ – somehow or rather in the process?
Some technical details: the precise model number of the phone is: SM-G975U.
AND – I just double checked: it is running Android 9.0 One UI version 1.1
Suggestions (Are Most Welcome), anyone?
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Welcome to the community!
You are correct in that the reason your device is unable to update is likely because it is the Galaxy S10+ variant from AT&T. Samsung makes their devices with slight variations depending on the region they are intended on being used. Some of those differences might include differing bands/frequencies and/or different chipsets, etc. To differentiate the different versions, or variants, Samsung adds a specific letter to the end of the model version to designate the region. For example, the Canadian variant is SM-G975W while the AT&T (USA) variant is SM-G975U (see here).
The Canadian providers are not able to provide an over-the-air update for devices which are not the Canadian version. In order to obtain the update, the device would generally need to be connected to the variant's provider network (see here).
That said, it is generally possible to flash a firmware update to devices, though you would need to obtain the correct firmware. For some reason, that AT&T link only lists Android 11 as the latest update. However, there does appear to be additional updates with Android 12 (see here). You would also need to research the proper process of flashing firmware. It is usually not recommended to flash device firmware unless you are familiar with the process as it can result in a bricked device. If you are uncomfortable with the process, there may be third-party vendors which provide the service.
Hope this helps 😀
Thanks for the information/advice. Much appreciated, and SO FAST. Indeed, maybe a year or so ago somebody mentioned that I would probably have to somehow or other purchase some sort of AT&T Sim and somehow or other wind up connecting up to the AT&T network in the United States at which time I would be offered the updates. However, that’s an awful lot of trouble to go through just to try to get up to a later version of android. Other than the annoyance of being way back on version 9, the phone works perfectly in all other respects. I can recall when trying to decide whether or not to buy a/any particular S 10 on the Internet/Amazon – it quickly became very confusing and a bit scary, BECAUSE THERE WERE SO MANY DIFFERENT FREQUENCIES/SPECIFICATIONS THAT SEEM TO VARY BY COUNTRY. My general impression was that the phones themselves were pretty much ‘standard’ by ‘model number’ from a Frequency Capability perspective and so, as long as the particular cellular provider wanted to use utilized a particular frequency, you should be okay. But it was confusing and a bit worrisome. In the end I figured that, since I was buying it through Best Buy, I could always return it if I couldn’t activate it or something and again, all in all, I have been extremely happy with it.
I THINK what I will do is first phone around to a few cell phone repair shops in Winnipeg to see if they might be able to help me out and what it might cost me. If that doesn’t pan out, I would either just continue to live with the phone the way it is or maybe if I feel like living dangerously, I will try to figure out how to attempt an upgrade myself. I have an IT/PC extensive background and I could probably manage it myself if I really had to. But I would rather be able to blame someone else and get them to make it good if it didn’t work!
For what it’s worth, somewhere rather ‘on Fido’ – just an hour or so ago – it looked like ‘they’ provided upgrades to Android 12.0 for the S10 series just a few months ago.
Again, thanks for the information and UNBELIEVABLY FAST RESPONSE.