Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy S9 receive updates with December 2020 security patches
For long, Samsung has had to face criticism for its sluggish approach in rolling out software updates, especially for older devices. That has changed to a fair bit in 2020, as nowadays the company frequently outperforms Google when it comes to delivering monthly security patch updates. For example, the Galaxy S20 lineup was the first to receive the December 2020 Android security patches nearly three weeks ago as part of the One UI 3.0 public beta program. Now, Samsung has brought the December 2020 patchset to the stable channel of One UI, starting with the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S20 FE.
Tagged with the version number G96xFXXSCFTK2, the new firmware for the Galaxy S9 series is intended for the Exynos 9810-powered global variants of the regular S9 (model number SM-G960F) and the S9+ (model number SM-G965F). The FOTA is available in the DBT region, which is the Korean OEM’s internal code for Germany. For the Galaxy S20 FE, it’s the 5G variant (model number SM-G781B) that’s getting the update in the form of software version G781BXXS1ATL1 in the United Kingdom, Spain, and Germany.
We have yet to locate the official changelog for these builds, but the software version numbers are sufficient to conclude that there is no new feature apart from the obvious bump in the Android security patch level. The bootloader version also remains unchanged in both cases, which means software-based downgrading is possible in theory.
You can always skip the waiting queue and download the updated firmware package directly from the Samsung update server right now using tools like Samloader. Unless you’re rocking the Snapdragon Galaxy S9 or the 4G variant of the Galaxy S20 FE, you can take the path of installation using Odin, but only do so if you’re comfortable with manual flashing.
At the time of writing this article, Samsung’s Mobile Security portal has not been updated with the details of the December 2020 security bulletin.