How can I update the Android OS on a phone from abroad?
June 23, 2013 5:41 PM   Subscribe

I have an unlocked(?) Samsung Galaxy S2 that was originally purchased in Saudi Arabia. I'm in the US and can't get it to update the Android OS from Jellybean to Ice Cream Sandwich. Please help.

Every month, I get a message on my phone asking if I want to download updates to the OS. I've clicked 'yes' and downloaded the update, only to be told that the update is incompatible with my phone.

I've researched the issues with my phone online and am getting very different answers. Some say I need to change the country code. Others say i need to root the phone. Are there any easy how to's for someone with a little technical know how, but no extensive experience in reprogramming phones? Any help is much appreciated.
posted by reenum to Technology (5 answers total)
Keeping in mind I don't have a Galaxy S2, presumably for some reason you are getting the over the air update for the US version of the phone (perhaps the special version for your carrier?) you could absolutely tackle unlocking your phone and flashing something, or try changing the country code, but as a first step try doing the update through the official Samsung Kies desktop software, hopefully it is smart enough to get the right version (but then the OTA stuff should be too).

It looks like someone has down a walk through of that on youtube here.
posted by markr at 8:07 PM on June 23, 2013

Jellybean is newer than Ice Cream Sandwich.
posted by grouse at 8:40 PM on June 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I checked, and am actually running Gingerbread. Sorry for the confusion.
posted by reenum at 5:08 AM on June 24, 2013

So the thing to understand about the samsung galaxy s phones, is the various versions for different countries are actually often completely different hardware.

It's probably an i9100, but could be a i9100g or a bunch of other submodels - you should be able to find out from your about phone. Once you've done this, your options are:

1) get a copy of the stock rom for that combination of phone+country, and apply it

2) as usual, the answer for your dodgy international phone is probably cyanogenmod - in particular, beware that the superbrick issues apply also to applying a samsung official firmware (it's a bug in the updater), so heed those warnings!
posted by jaymzjulian at 7:43 PM on June 24, 2013

this should get you to stock ICS, assuing you do, in fact, hvae an i9100
posted by jaymzjulian at 7:47 PM on June 24, 2013

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