This week, on our weekly firmware news roundup: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 users can now use ECG, Realme showcases their new Realme UI 2.0, and more!
What's New This Week?
- Android 11 for TVs just got announced
- Realme talks about Realme UI 2.0
- OxygenOS 11 Open Beta 2 is now here for the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro
- Galaxy Z Fold 2's latest update includes e-SIM functionality
- Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is going to get three years of Android updates
- Verizon's Galaxy Tab S4 is now receiving Android 10
- Galaxy S20 series September update is now rolling out to more regions and all of the S20 devices
- Latest update for the Galaxy Watch 3 enables ECG
- Galaxy Z Flip is now also receiving September's patch
- Galaxy S8 and S8+ are now receiving September's patch as well
Android 11 (For TVs)
Android 11 is already out for many smartphones while betas are basically everywhere. So, it's no surprise that Google now announced Android 11 for TVs as well.
Many features from the mobile version can be found on TVs as well, such as privacy features, memory management, and more under the hood improvements.
One of the most noteworthy additions, though, is definitely the extended support for more gamepads – which is especially important if you are interested in Google Stadia.
Both Google and TV manufacturers are working hard to bring the next version of Android to our TVs. But, it may obviously take a few months before we see the first Android 11-ready screens.
Realme UI 2.0
Realme recently announced 4 new devices: The Realme C17 along with three Narzo 20 devices. But, the one thing that we need to focus at right now is the Realme UI 2.0!
Realme mainly focuses on 3 aspects that they want to improve with the newer version:
- And Productivity
In real-world results, so far, this has resulted in:
- Always-On Display with five themes and a customization engine
- Dark Mode with different levels of depth and different shades of grey/black/brightness
- An improved notification bar
- Improved privacy
- Music Share (Not the exact same as Samsung's)
- Realme Share (Basically Wi-Fi share)
- Subtitle Stitching
- Harassment Call Blocking
- Pseudo Site Blocking
- System performance improvements/optimization
- AI Pre-launch for faster app launching speeds
- And it comes with most Android 11/10 features such as Digital Wellbeing, Focus Mode, and more
First roll out is going to come out on the Realme X50 Pro while Early Access started yesterday, Open Beta is going to come at the end of October, and the Stable Release is expected to be ready by the end of November.
OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro
Another open beta is here for the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. This is the second version and it brings mostly a few AOD (Always On Display) upgrades and options.
If you are already enrolled on the Oxygen OS 11 Open Beta program, the update should be readily available for you. However, do keep in mind that this is another incremental update. So, some of you may have to wait a little bit more.
As you can see in the changelog, the new update brings anything from UI improvements and additions all the way down to minor fixes and adjustments for certain parts of the OS.
The most noteworthy addition is possibly the Ambient display's new Canvas feature. All it does is that it can draw a wireframe picture based on your lock screen wallpaper – which isn't a huge deal by any means. But, a few small additions together can make a big difference at the end of the day.
You should be able to find the new AOD feature in:
As per usual, don't forget that this is a Beta. You can expect to have at least a few bugs.
Most people are already reporting various broken features such as the dialer not working, AOD not working, certain apps that can't be installed, and more.
Galaxy Z Fold 2
eSIM is quite possibly the future of cellular connectivity. However, at this point in time, even the devices that actually support it rarely get to use it at all.
Such was the case for the Galaxy Z Fold 2 that has both a physical SIM slot along with an eSIM module/chip. Thankfully, the latest update that's now rolling out to Z Fold 2 devices is enabling eSIM functionality.
So, after signing up for an eSIM, you can go ahead and activate it after installing the update through the SIM card manager by using the "Add mobile plan" option.
The update is currently rolling out in Europe and we expect that it'll soon become available for other regions as well.
That aside, the changelog also mentions that the camera app has been updated but without mentioning anything specifically.
Galaxy S20 FE
The Galaxy S20 FE just got announced (3 days ahead for the future you). And it's basically the same technique that iPhone followed with the iPhone SE. It's a full-fledged Galaxy flagship when it comes to its core. But, certain shortcuts have been taken for it to be priced at the relatively low price of $699.
It still comes with the superb 6.5-inch AMOLED 120Hz display. However, as per usual, there are two variants: the 4G version which comes with the Exynos 990, and the 5G version that comes with the superior Snapdragon 865. And there is also a triple camera setup along with a 4,500 mAh battery.
Not to mention that we are looking at 6 gigs of RAM with up to 256 gigabytes of storage. So no matter how you look at it, this isn't that far from a flagship device as far as raw specs are concerned.
One of the main differences is in the build. Instead of the curved display you get a flat screen with slightly bigger bezels and we assume that the overall build quality is generally going to be inferior compared to the much more expensive flagships.
As far as firmware concerned, just like Samsung promised, the Galaxy S20 FE is going to be receiving 3 years of Android updates. Not just security updates. Android updates. Major updates. So, we are looking forward to that.
Galaxy Tab S4 (Verizon)
It may have been 3 months since the Android 10 update started rolling out for Galaxy Tab S4 owners. But, as per usual, certain US carriers are yet to deliver it.
Thankfully, you should now start receiving the very same update with One UI 2.1 as well along with all the features that it brings with it.
You can look forward to things such as Focus Mode, Google's new gesture-based navigation system (only supported in 3rd party launchers), Quick Share, Music Share, along with a lot of under the hood improvements and August's security patch.
We're not sure if this is an incremental rollout or not. But if you haven't received a notification yet after reading this, there is a good chance it is. So, you're just going to have to wait a bit longer until you get your turn.
Septemeber's update for the Galaxy S20 series started rolling out a couple of weeks or so and now another one is here that's reaching all S20 models. It's currently being delivered in Germany and we assume that more regions are going to see it soon enough now.
Just like the previous update, it delivers September's patch along with camera improvements. The changelog doesn't go into any specifics, but, judging by the size of the update, which is 350 megabytes, we can safely assume that there are no massive additions here.
As per usual, chances are that this is another incremental update. So, some of you are probably gonna have to wait a bit more before you get your turn.
Galaxy Watch 3
Another update is here for the Galaxy Watch 3, but, this time, we probably can't call it a minor one. That's due to the fact that it finally enables ECG!
The smartwatch always had ECG hardware since its launch but it just wasn't enabled. You should now be able to use it in supported countries after the update which doesn't seem to introduce any other features. That's probably also why it only weighs 47 megabytes.
ECG can help you find heart-related problems by measuring the electric "signals" that the heart muscles produce as they contract. However, there are two things to keep in mind here:
- This is still "just" a smartwatch
- You can only use the feature if you have a Galaxy smartphone that's running at least Android 7
You should now also be able to use the blood oxygen monitor. However, we can safely assume that just like ECG, it's only going to be available in specific countries due to regulations.
Galaxy Z Flip
Samsung is known as one of the companies that push security updates more often and to more devices than their competitors. But, surprisingly enough, some of their most expensive variants are the ones that are often left behind in the queue. In this case, we're talking about both the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Galaxy Z Flip.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 got it just a couple of days ago with its eSIM update while the Galaxy Z Flip is also taking its turn now. However, as expected, no other additions are included.
Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+
One more thing we love about Samsung is the fact that not only they deliver security updates and other minor updates to their devices all the time, but that they also don't forget about some of their older models. In this case, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are both receiving another monthly security patch. And the latest one at that.
But, as expected, no other additions are to be found. One thing to keep in mind is that the Galaxy S8 is on the quarterly schedule – which means that you probably won't see another update for the next 3 months. At least not unless something urgent comes up like a big security hole that needs to be patched ASAP.
That's all for now. Feel like we forgot to mention something important? Got anything wrong? Then let us and everyone else know about it in the comments section down below!