The February 2021 security update is here, and it’s already available for the Galaxy S20 and Note 20
It’s the first Monday of the month, which means it’s time for another security update. Google today published the February 2021 Android Security Bulletin, and with it, the February 2021 security update for Pixel phones. Google’s Pixel phones aren’t the only devices getting the update today, though, as Samsung followed Google’s announcement by pushing an update to its Snapdragon Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 20 series devices.
February 2021 Android Security Bulletin
In the latest Android Security Bulletin, Google disclosed multiple security vulnerabilities affecting the Android runtime, framework, system, and media framework. These vulnerabilities have been patched with the 2021-02-01 security patch level. Meanwhile, Google also disclosed multiple vulnerabilities in closed-source vendor components and the Linux kernel. These vulnerabilities are addressed with the 2021-02-05 security patch level. Patches for these vulnerabilities have been in the works for a few weeks or months now and are only now being disclosed. If you’re interested in learning more about the monthly Android security update process, then check out our explainer here.
Pixel Update Bulletin/Functional Update
Separately, Google disclosed the February 2021 security update specific to its Pixel devices. In the Pixel Update Bulletin for February 2021, Google disclosed a moderate-severity vulnerability affecting a closed-source Qualcomm component.
For users, the February 2021 security update also brings a couple of functional changes. The company says it has fixed the touch experience of the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5. As reported by The Verge last month, touchscreen issues were most prominent on the Pixel 4a 5G. Another tweak addresses an issue with sensor detection on startup affecting all Pixel devices. It’s unclear if the Pixel 2 is also affected by this issue since it’s also running Android 11, but Google stopped providing security updates for it back in December.
The update is rolling out now for Pixel devices with the following build numbers:
- Pixel 3 (XL): RQ1A.210205.004
- Pixel 3a (XL): RQ1A.210205.004
- Pixel 4 (XL): RQ1A.210205.004
- Pixel 4a: RQ1A.210205.004
- Pixel 4a (5G): RQ1A.210205.004
- Pixel 5: RQ1A.210205.004
- Pixel 3 (XL): RQ1D.210205.004
- Pixel 4a (5G): RQ1D.210205.004
- Pixel 5: RQ1D.210205.004
- Pixel 4a (5G): RQ1C.210205.006
- Pixel 5: RQ1C.210205.006
If you would rather not wait for the update (or can’t take the update since your phone is rooted), you can download the factory image or full OTA image from the links below.
Samsung Galaxy S20, Galaxy Note 20 February 2021 Security Update
Late last week, we reported that Samsung had begun rolling out a new update with the February 2021 security patch level to Galaxy S20 series devices in Europe. That same update is also rolling out for Snapdragon S20 devices, but Samsung is also pushing the update to the Snapdragon Galaxy Note 20 series. A user on our forums reported receiving the February 2021 security update on their US unlocked Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (SM-N986U1). The speed at which Samsung is delivering updates to its flagship devices is impressive, which is why many now consider the company to be one of the best at software updates.