Manufacturers of mobile devices have made great strides in their approach to managing Android upgrades, with some, like Samsung, now being on par with Google in terms of release frequency and timeliness. For all the praise that Samsung’s update method deserves, one major flaw has persisted: the absence of A/B update support. Unfortunately, we can officially confirm that the Galaxy S23 series will not defy the trend and finally adopt seamless upgrades, despite our optimism last autumn.
The goal of seamless support is to reduce the period between software updates on your phone. Seamless updates allow you to continue using your phone while the software is being installed in the background on a separate disc. Then, after the transition to the new operating system is smooth, you may boot to it.
Mishaal Rahman saw that Google was going to require support for virtual A/B partitions when they were wrapping up Android 13 last year. The use of such virtual partitions has become the best method for achieving smooth updates while minimising storage needs. It seemed plausible that Samsung’s phones would be able to receive upgrades invisibly if the company was compelled to implement virtual A/B testing partitions.
However, sadly, that is not the situation. Having obtained a Galaxy S23 Ultra and putting it through Treble Info, we can confirm that Samsung is not doing a U-turn; the phone once again does not enable seamless upgrades. Considering Samsung’s track record of resisting change (not to mention its cosy connection with Google, which likely shields it from additional pressure), this is hardly surprising, but it is nevertheless disappointing.
This would leave Samsung with even less reasons to cooperate with seamless upgrades, so perhaps next year we’ll see the elimination of 128GB.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the pinnacle of Android smartphones in 2023. It’s the only S23 model with a 5,000mAh battery, the only model with storage that can go up to 1TB, and the only one with the company’s top-of-the-line 200MP ISOCELL HP2 camera sensor. Everything on the 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x display (the only one in the series with adjustable refresh rates between 1 and 120Hz) should operate quickly and easily on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy. Also, the S Pen’s note-taking capabilities and other perks are hard to overlook. Samsung has gone all out with the Galaxy S brand.
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