Samsung’s fastest-ever Android 10 update hits the US on T-Mobile, Sprint

Pictures of the Galaxy S10.

Enlarge / The back of the Galaxy S10.
Ron Amadeo

After shipping the big Android 10 update for international versions of the Galaxy S10 earlier this month, Samsung and carriers are now starting to roll out Android 10 for the US and Canadian users. SamMobile reports US carriers T-Mobile and Sprint have started shipping the update, and there are reports of unlocked Galaxy S10s getting the update, too.

Last year, US variants of the Galaxy S9 had to wait 40 days longer than the international versions for their major Android update, and unlocked versions had to wait 55 days. This year, Samsung has cut the delay down to 18 days.

One of the ways Samsung makes Android updates difficult on itself is that there are usually two versions of its major flagships. The Galaxy S10 in most European and Asian countries are made with Samsung’s own Exynos SoC, while devices in the Americas and China get Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoC. Snapdragon and Exynos Galaxy S10s might look the same on the outside, but on the inside, they are built around totally different chips, so Samsung has close to double the development and testing work needed to roll out Android 10 for a single device. In the US, Samsung also gives carriers a say as to when an update rolls out, which is why we haven’t seen AT&T and Verizon units get updated yet.

No matter what timeframe you use, Samsung has made a big improvement this year compared to last year. In the US, it only took the company three-and-a-half months to ship Android 10 to the Galaxy S10, while last year, Samsung took six months to ship Android 9 to the Galaxy S9. Google has been easing the work needed to update Android with Project Treble, which makes the OS more modular, and we’ve seen across-the-board update improvements as a result.

Of course, we are grading Samsung on a curve, here. Samsung devices still have the worst update time compared to any other smartphone company with a pulse. Apple and Google users get OS updates on day 1, and Google claims it is going to start quarterly feature updates for its Pixel line. OnePlus took only 18 days to ship Android 10 to its flagship device, and its devices cost hundreds less than the equivalents from Samsung.

If you have Samsung’s other big flagship, the Galaxy Note 10, know that Android 10 is on the way for that device, too. SamMobile reports that German Galaxy Note 10 users have recently started to see the update, and just like with the Galaxy S10, we can expect the update to slowly trickle out across the world’s countries and carriers over the next month.

Update: According to numerous reports in the comments and elsewhere, Verizon has gotten the update too. Thanks, everyone.

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