Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Optus Galaxy S7 software update

Couple of weeks ago, I got the second over-the-air (OTA software update for my Optus branded Galaxy S7. I actually found out the availability of it on Whirlpool forums and before the phone automatically searched for the update manually and it showed up.

It updated from firmware G930FXXU1APF2 to G930FXXU1APGH. Everything went fine without a hiccup.

I noticed two things after the update though.

  1. The phone would fall back to 3G when the LTE signal strength is too low, much earlier than before. This was a problem for me with the previous firmware, where at work, it would stay in LTE despite having zero signal bars. The result of this was terribly slow internet speeds. So I had to keep the network in 3G forcefully. I still keep it that was however, because the best signal strength I would get in LTE is 2 bars. It’s mostly 1 bar, and this can hamper the battery life unnecessarily. And, although the Optus agent said that my 4G reception would improve after 23rd of July, nothing happened.
  2. There is a process called Media Server in the top battery consuming apps list, which I had not seen before. I still haven’t been able to figure out what is causing this process to run in the background. Some people had mentioned it was caused by Google Chrome, but I use Firefox; some say it was triggered by VoLTE, but disabling it did nothing. (I was briefly testing LTE speeds around where I live, and VoLTE was enabled.)

I still didn’t have time to see if the new firmware fixed the GPS issues the phone had been having with the old firmware when coupled with the My Optus app. But recently I heard someone say that Samsung knows there is a problem with Optus firmware and Samsung service centres were flashing unbranded (XSA) firmware for customers who brought their phone complaining about the issue. Anyways, it could have been the old firmware.

I have been thinking about flashing the XSA firmware to get rid of the Optus branding and get faster software updates. I would lose VoLTE but since I use the phone in the 3G network for the most part, I won’t be missing anything. But the problem is, would Optus service centres complain if I take the phone to them without having Optus branded firmware in it? What about Samsung? I need to research about this before going ahead with the flashing.

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