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Samsung’s cheap Galaxy A55 has a feature the Galaxy S24 will never get

Published Mar 22nd, 2024 10:28AM EDT
Samsung Galaxy S24 Front
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Samsung just launched two mid-range devices that not only look better than any of their predecessors, but they’re also much better phones. Of course, 2024 budget Android phones will be better than the models Samsung released last year. But the Galaxy A55 and Galaxy A35 are truly attention-worthy. So much so that the Galaxy A55 isn’t even available in the US, as it’ll likely disrupt the momentum of the Galaxy S24 series.

To further prove that point, early Galaxy A55 users have just discovered that the Galaxy A55 packs an Android feature the Galaxy S24 doesn’t have and probably can’t ever get. It’s a feature that Google added to Android some eight years ago, yet Samsung never embraced it. If you guessed seamless Android updates, you’re right. People were shocked to learn that the Galaxy A55 supports them.

Google added the Seamless Updates (A/B updates) feature to Android via Android Nougat in 2016. The feature makes update installations easier by performing the actual download and installation in the background. Once all of that is done, the update will be applied the next time you restart the handset.

The benefit of the feature is more stability and usability. You get to use the Android device while that update does its thing in the background. Also, if there’s an issue with the newer software, you can easily go back to the previous version.

Galaxy A55 and Galaxy A35 will be available in a shade of yellow.
Galaxy A55 and Galaxy A35 will be available in a shade of yellow. Image source: Samsung

The downside to that is that the update will use more storage. Since you’re also using the device while the software update runs in the background, it can also be somewhat slower. But I still think that’s the way to go here. Especially in 2024, when 128GB of storage is the standard for most phones, including mid-rangers.

Considering how tight its partnership with Google is, it’s unclear why Samsung avoided Seamless Updates all these years. Also, it’s unclear why Samsung chose to quietly add the feature instead of announcing it, and why it chose the Galaxy A55 to debut the feature.

Rumors last month said that Google might remove support for non-seamless updates in the future. Therefore, Samsung would have to comply eventually.

But, as 9to5Google points out, several people have noticed the new feature, starting with The Mobile Indian.

The software screen will now feature a “downloading and installing” progress bar and a “verification” step. A “restart now” button appears once the update has been installed.

Does the Galaxy A35 also support seamless updates? That’s still unclear. But Samsung bringing it to the Galaxy A55 means it might soon come to other handsets. I’d expect the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Flip 6 that Samsung will unveil in July to support seamless updates. But that’s just speculation.

What seems to be clear is that the Galaxy S24 series won’t be getting the feature. Or, at least, not the ones that have been sold so far. The feature has to be configured before the device ships to users. That’s Google’s standing recommendation for A/B updates.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.