03-18-2018 09:52 PM
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  1. torbach1's Avatar
    I recently sold my T-Mobile Note 8 because I wanted quicker security updates. Instead, I got the unlocked Note 8. I knew that Samsung was really bad at updating the unlocked S7s, but they had promised a better experience this year, and some folks initially said they were getting updates quickly.

    My T-Mo Note 8 was on January at this point (but they skipped a few months and have a poor track record on my wife's S8).

    After loading up and doing all the updated on the Unlocked Note 8, I found it was still on December 2017. I contacted Samsung support. They told me that the unlocked variants are the last ones to get updates. They said they don't have their own distribution servers for these updates, and they rely on carriers, who are naturally going to first focus on their branded devices.

    When I protested, they offered me a way to get the updated more quickly. Go to the nearest Best Buy Samsung Experience and the tech there will be able to update it early. When I told them that all of those Samsung Experiences in Best Buy's in the DC Metro areas were no longer staffed by Samsung employees, they acknowledged that the contract with BB ended 12/31/17. They then suggested I either send the phone in (2 week turnaround... Lol), or take it to a center in York PA, 61 miles away from my home.

    So let me get this straight. If I want my unlocked Note 8 to be on the latest updates, once a month I've got to either drive 61 miles to have a technician install the update, or send the phone to them for 2 weeks....

    This all sounds like a lot of crap to me, but I escalated, and the supervisor said the same thing. I returned the Unlocked Note to Best Buy, and they agreed to waive the $35 restocking fee because they acknowledged that there is no way to get quick security updates, and their advertising on this product is not forthcoming about that important fact.

    So if you're buying a Note 8, and updates are important to you, get one from the network that is pushing these out most frequently (afaik Verizon, then T-Mobile). As for me, I'm switching unfortunately to the Pixel XL 2. Samsung's days of being fairly behind on security updates are better than they were in the past, but still bad compared to even HTC, a tiny, almost broke phone manufacturer.
    01-30-2018 12:16 PM
  2. Ryano89's Avatar
    TMobile is still December as well.
    01-30-2018 12:23 PM
  3. torbach1's Avatar
    TMobile is still December as well.
    Hmm. Mine was on January when I sold it last week.
    01-30-2018 12:23 PM
  4. Gayle Lynn's Avatar
    Phones shipping with Oreo 8.0.0 and especially “P” will be supporting Project Treble = updates will be less complicated.
    01-30-2018 12:23 PM
  5. torbach1's Avatar
    Phones shipping with Oreo 8.0.0 and especially “P” will be supporting Project Treble = updates will be less complicated.
    Yes, I'm looking forward to that.
    01-30-2018 12:24 PM
  6. D13H4RD2L1V3's Avatar
    SM-N950F variant still on December here too.

    This is what I was talking about earlier. Samsung may have gotten better at pushing them out, but they are more inconsistent than I would have liked.

    Got it on the August patch. Waited until November for the November patch, and then December came quickly. And now, we wait again...

    Like, come on Samsung. I get the period before a major OS upgrade will result in delays, but surely, you can make sure unlocked units get them first, right? Right?

    To add insult to injury, my crappy backup phone got the January patch...
    01-30-2018 12:28 PM
  7. torbach1's Avatar
    SM-N950F variant still on December here too.

    This is what I was talking about earlier. Samsung may have gotten better at pushing them out, but they are more inconsistent than I would have liked.

    Got it on the August patch. Waited until November for the November patch, and then December came quickly. And now, we wait again...

    Like, come on Samsung. I get the period before a major OS upgrade will result in delays, but surely, you can make sure unlocked units get them first, right? Right?
    Unlocked get them last according to Samsung Tech support. Makes no sense. Also, I called them out for it on Twitter. No response whatsoever.
    01-30-2018 12:30 PM
  8. D13H4RD2L1V3's Avatar
    Unlocked get them last according to Samsung Tech support. Makes no sense. Also, I called them out for it on Twitter. No response whatsoever.
    Shouldn't be the case for international models since they run on an entirely different chipset.

    And seriously, if they're selling unlocked devices, they should be the ones shipping out updates.
    torbach1 likes this.
    01-30-2018 12:32 PM
  9. Ryano89's Avatar
    Hmm. Mine was on January when I sold it last week.
    Mine is on December with no update available. I RECEIVED it in January, but it is the December security patch.weird.
    01-30-2018 12:32 PM
  10. D13H4RD2L1V3's Avatar
    Mine is on December with no update available. I RECEIVED it in January, but it is the December security patch.weird.
    Most OEMs do that. They ship last month's patch when a new month's one comes.

    It's weird and silly.

    On a side note, a couple of unlocked Note8s received the January patch. Pretty late though.
    01-30-2018 12:35 PM
  11. torbach1's Avatar
    Most OEMs do that. They ship last month's patch when a new month's one comes.

    It's weird and silly.

    On a side note, a couple of unlocked Note8s received the January patch. Pretty late though.
    Seems so random.
    01-30-2018 12:36 PM
  12. D13H4RD2L1V3's Avatar
    Seems so random.
    It's part of the reason why both the Pixel and Nokias are tempting to me.

    They can't match the Note spec-by-spec and especially feature-by-feature, but they're among the best when it comes to security patches.

    Obviously, the Pixel gets them day 1 but HMD is doing a stellar job keeping up. Heck, the Nokia 8 is probably going to be the first non-Google phone to get an 8.1 update, or even at all.
    01-30-2018 12:38 PM
  13. evohicks's Avatar
    I bought the UK unlocked model at launch, I still had August security patch until the end of December, but then 2 updates in quick succession brought the Jan 1st patch about a week ago.
    01-30-2018 05:24 PM
  14. PaulQ's Avatar
    There's also the fact that if you travel, it is much better to have the unlocked model. I guess I could have bought the AT&T branded model, paid it off, then asked AT&T for an unlock. They did that on my S4..S5? I don't even rememember now becasue I have only used unlocked phones since then and when I needed to use them in strange, far away places, they took the SIM.
    01-30-2018 06:30 PM
  15. digitalbreak's Avatar
    Not to derail the intent of this thread OP, but if you really care about monthly security updates, the only guaranteed way to get those in the Android world is Pixel. There is just no other way. Many manufactures release updates in a quarterly fashion too. The ones that use almost stock Android like the Essential try pushing in a week or two but that's about it.
    01-30-2018 09:42 PM
  16. torbach1's Avatar
    Not to derail the intent of this thread OP, but if you really care about monthly security updates, the only guaranteed way to get those in the Android world is Pixel. There is just no other way. Many manufactures release updates in a quarterly fashion too. The ones that use almost stock Android like the Essential try pushing in a week or two but that's about it.
    I know. I keep hoping Samsung will get better, and for a while it looked like they were. I'm ok with occasionally waiting 2 months. I'm not ok with doing that every time. I am writing this from a Pixel XL 2. I just far prefer the Note 8 as a phone outside of the camera. Google has a long way to go to catch up with Samsung's construction quality, overall feel of the phone, haptic feedback/vibration motor, and obviously the screen. These are all things that at this price $950 for the XL 2 with 128GB, which is the same price give or take as the Note, should not be after thoughts.
    01-30-2018 09:47 PM
  17. Tim1954's Avatar
    Mmmm Samsung seems to do this every year. There's a growing discontent in the forums everywhere about this. Their flagships languish on October security patches while the cheap models are on January patch in some backward third world country...
    01-30-2018 10:56 PM
  18. Centerman66's Avatar
    Mmmm Samsung seems to do this every year. There's a growing discontent in the forums everywhere about this. Their flagships languish on October security patches while the cheap models are on January patch in some backward third world country...
    Do consumers in third world countries deserve less favorable treatment just by virtue of the fact that they live in what you deem a "third world country" ? Does the first world deserve more?

    Maybe the third world is a bigger market for samsung ...
    01-30-2018 11:36 PM
  19. Tim1954's Avatar
    It's not about deserving, it's about wealth. First world countries have more disposable cash to afford flagship devices. This is how the world is.
    But as you say, Samsung would have a good reason for doing so and it would certainly be about profits.
    01-30-2018 11:48 PM
  20. Ry's Avatar
    Not to derail the intent of this thread OP, but if you really care about monthly security updates, the only guaranteed way to get those in the Android world is Pixel. There is just no other way. Many manufactures release updates in a quarterly fashion too. The ones that use almost stock Android like the Essential try pushing in a week or two but that's about it.
    Or BlackBerry.
    torbach1 likes this.
    01-30-2018 11:49 PM
  21. Ryano89's Avatar
    Delete
    01-31-2018 05:49 AM
  22. galaxyfive's Avatar
    Or BlackBerry.
    That was the case years ago. The most recent security patch for the Dtek60 (a one year old device) needs a "workaround" to install, and as far as I know BlackBerry still hasn't addressed a fix. As a Dtek60 owner I found out the hard way that I need to forget all about the BlackBerry I once knew and loved.

    Support = EOL for anything but the model du jour.
    01-31-2018 06:33 AM
  23. torbach1's Avatar
    So bottom line is probably something most of us knew. If monthly security updates are important to you, and you love Android, you've got one option - Google Pixel/Nexus, etc. I still find it hard to believe that if Samsung wanted to solve this problem, they couldn't. But I suspect that it will take a catastrophic malware event of some kind to change their behavior. The fact that many smaller vendors do a better job at this is annoying. Prior to vulnerabilities like Blueborne and KRACK, I was willing to live with the risk of delayed security updates. Being in cyber-security now, and with those, I'm no longer willing to do that. So unfortunately I have to not get my preferred phone - the Samsung, and get the Pixel XL 2 instead. Definitely a first world problem, and not the end of the world. Still unfortunate.
    01-31-2018 08:27 AM
  24. monil's Avatar
    So bottom line is probably something most of us knew. If monthly security updates are important to you, and you love Android, you've got one option - Google Pixel/Nexus, etc. I still find it hard to believe that if Samsung wanted to solve this problem, they couldn't. But I suspect that it will take a catastrophic malware event of some kind to change their behavior. The fact that many smaller vendors do a better job at this is annoying. Prior to vulnerabilities like Blueborne and KRACK, I was willing to live with the risk of delayed security updates. Being in cyber-security now, and with those, I'm no longer willing to do that. So unfortunately I have to not get my preferred phone - the Samsung, and get the Pixel XL 2 instead. Definitely a first world problem, and not the end of the world. Still unfortunate.
    Android is built on fragmentation and in US, the device manufacturer usually relies on the carriers to push the updates. Samsung is NOT delaying the updates, its the carriers. It does not want your phones to be infected with malware. Its not that Samsung cannot do anything. Its how the US cellular markets have been all throughout. Numerous people have come and gone saying "This is my last XXXXX phone". And what? Nothing changes.

    Samsung even gave you an option to send in your phone / go to the service center to get the latest update. If you need the best Samsung experience and security updates, this was a viable solution, you choose to ignore it.

    You have already discovered that moving to Pixel2 line is the best for you, go ahead. Its is a great phone no doubt.

    Stop labeling this as a PSA.

    You are not contributing anything apart from the age old information that Carriers hold the keys to push device updates. If you really care about instant updates, Use Apple/ Google.
    Ry likes this.
    01-31-2018 09:36 AM
  25. torbach1's Avatar
    Android is built on fragmentation and in US, the device manufacturer usually relies on the carriers to push the updates. Samsung is NOT delaying the updates, its the carriers. It does not want your phones to be infected with malware. Its not that Samsung cannot do anything. Its how the US cellular markets have been all throughout. Numerous people have come and gone saying "This is my last XXXXX phone". And what? Nothing changes.

    Samsung even gave you an option to send in your phone / go to the service center to get the latest update. If you need the best Samsung experience and security updates, this was a viable solution, you choose to ignore it.

    You have already discovered that moving to Pixel2 line is the best for you, go ahead. Its is a great phone no doubt.

    Stop labeling this as a PSA.

    You are not contributing anything apart from the age old information that Carriers hold the keys to push device updates. If you really care about instant updates, Use Apple/ Google.
    I chose the title when I posted the original post. I'm just a regular member of the community like anyone else, and if I think it should be a PSA, I'll label it as such.

    The reason I believe it is, is that there was a lot of discussion early on about whether this time, Samsung's unlocked phones would receive updates earlier and on time, and initially it looked that way, and people were posting that fact.

    That's why I purchased one. So this is a PSA for others who were hoping that this year Samsung improved the update story for their US unlocked phones. If you don't like that, complain about it to the moderators, or if you are one, go ahead and delete it or change the title. I'm trying to help others avoid the mistake I made. Whether you think my mistake is because I'm ignorant or stupid really doesn't change anything. FWIW, I'm a huge Samsung fan. I'm extremely disappointed with them, and I completely disagree with you that they can't do better. HTC is doing better despite the fragmentation as is OnePlus. Both companies that are tiny.
    01-31-2018 10:11 AM
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