opinion, firmware, android 13, galaxy z flip 4, galaxy z fold 4, one ui 5.0, android

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 4 might not bring too big a list of upgrades over the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Z Flip 3, but still, the overall package you’re getting for the asking prices is pretty compelling.

Sadly, as we’ve complained before, one thing we would have liked to see on these phones is the latest version of Android — Android 13 — out of the box. The two phones do come with a new version of One UI (version 4.1.1), but despite launching soon after Google’s release of Android 13 for Pixel smartphones, the Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 run Android 12.

It’s not surprising – Samsung’s been launching flagship phones in the second half with a year-old version of Android for many years, and the company simply didn’t do anything to fix that in 2022. And for most users, that’s fine, especially when combined with Samsung’s new policy of providing four major OS upgrades to all of its flagships (and some mid-range phones).

But for those who want the latest software as quickly as possible, it’s becoming a little frustrating that Samsung has yet to even start public beta testing Android 13 and One UI 5.0 for the Z Fold 4 or the Z Flip 4.

Beta or final software, I don’t care just as long as I get to test Android 13 on my Z Flip 4

There’s plenty of time left before 2023 arrives (our sources tell us all of Samsung’s 2022 flagships will have the stable Android 13 update before then) so it’s not like Samsung has to rush anything. But when you’re pushing your foldables as the next big thing, it might be a good idea to put them ahead of everything else in your smartphone lineup in every category, new software updates included.

I do recognize the fact that the considerably higher number of Galaxy S22 series — or Galaxy S21 series, or even Galaxy A series — customers out there makes it more sensible for Samsung to use them for beta testing before moving ahead with its foldables. But it’s not like I’m asking Samsung to release a stable update – I’m completely fine using beta software, as well, as it tends to be pretty stable these years even on the initial builds.

Even if stability is an issue and there are noticeable bugs present, everyone knows that’s expected in unfinished software, so it should be no excuse for Samsung to be taking as long as it is to bring the Android 13-based One UI 5.0 beta program to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4. The Galaxy S22’s beta program started two months back and has received four beta updates since then, and it’s high time Samsung’s other 2022 flagships got in on the action.

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