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Is there any way at all to upgrade my Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G (Snapdragon) to Android 13? It's stuck on Android 11, and I've been with Google Fi, and now US Mobile, with still no OTA updates ever available. It's:

  • Model: SM-G988U (SM-G988UZKEXAA)
  • CSC Country: USA/US
  • Active CSC Code: XAA
  • Bootloader/PDA/Baseband Version: G988USQS2DUE2
  • CSC Version: G988UOYN2DUE2

It was sold to me brand new 2 years ago as "Unlocked," but Samsung checked the IMEI for me and told me it's "Originally Carrier Locked to Sprint but now T-Mobile."

A custom ROM would be awesome, but I'm totally happy just to finally get to upgrade to Android 12 or 13. I've read all over XDA, Reddit, etc, that an unrooted phone can be flashed with a non-custom ROM, but I can't find any definitive answer regarding this thing's unlockable bootloader getting in the way of that.

Do I have any hope here, without paying to unlock the bootloader? If so, can someone tell me exactly which firmware I should download and flash?

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    When your carries says it's "unlocked", usually it is just that you can use SIM card from other providers, the bootloader is a totally different topic. Not sure if this possible at all (officially) with your branded phone. The problem of branded Android devices is that the carrier is responsible for releasing updates - and usually they do release way less updates that the non-branded devices get. For me it is the reason to never ever buy a branded phone.
    – Robert
    Oct 21, 2023 at 16:39
  • Yah--it's been super annoying. I gave up ages ago on unlocking the bootloader, rooting, etc...all I want now are the Android updates that were promised for this phone.
    – vh_dan
    Oct 22, 2023 at 18:32

2 Answers 2

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First, you might check to see if updates have been disabled through ADB first.

From a prompt with ADB installed on your PC:

  • adb shell pm enable-user --user 0 com.sec.android.soagent
  • adb shell pm enable-user --user 0 com.wssyncmldm
  • adb shell pm enable-user--user 0 com.samsung.sdm
  • adb shell pm enable-user --user 0 com.samsung.sdm.sdmviewer
  • adb shell pm enable-user --user 0 com.ws.dm

Some of these commands may not take, but may solve your issue.

Second, in the recovery partition there is an option to manually update via ADB or SD card. You should be able to download an official build (Sammobile or some other site) and sideload this in. You can search for the latest builds based your device model and current carrier.

Both of these options work without the need to root the device. I am not sure if the BL lock gets in the way of the sideload, but then why does the option exist in recovery otherwise. Provided the update is official, there should not be an issue with the BL lock.

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  • Thanks a ton! I was really excited to try these. But, none of them are recognized by my phone via ADB--they all return "Unknown command: enable-user." Any chance there's an alternate command to try for each of those? Also, Recovery Mode does show both the ADB and SD Card flash options, so that's exciting too! I admit that I'm cautious to try, but would SD Card flash be pretty foolproof/fixable if it doesn't work out? Any advice as to exactly which firmware to download and flash? Thanks!
    – vh_dan
    Oct 22, 2023 at 18:42
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Hello I've found the problem you have the CSC code set to *** which stopped receiving updates in 2021 you can change it to (TMB) which is T-Mobile or (USC) US Cellular if you don't use mobile data it's highly recommended to change CSC to receive the latest security updates, You can lookup online for Samsung secret dail codes which should bring up a factory menu and an option to change CSC codes and yes you'll start receiving OTA updates that will take you to Android 13 plus these steps don't require a computer.

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  • Thank you! I've seen many suggestions to try changing the CSC code. Sadly, no dialer codes work on my phone--no matter which ones I try, it just hits me with an error message. I've read in a few places now, that this is (of course!) an annoying Samsung thing.
    – vh_dan
    Oct 22, 2023 at 18:30

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