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Do the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 support seamless updates?

Samsung announced the the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 on July 10, and using Android’s developer tools, we discovered that the new foldables do not support seamless updates.

It’s been almost a decade since Google introduced the seamless update feature for Android and its Pixel phones. In 2024, Samsung finally brought this feature to one of its handsets.

Surprisingly, it was the Galaxy A55, and the A-series phone remained the only one on the market for many months to take advantage of seamless updates. And it appears that isn’t changing with the Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6.

What are seamless updates and how do they work?

Phones that support the seamless update feature have two system/boot partitions. While they install new updates on one partition, you can continue to use your phone on the other partition without interruptions.

For regular (non-seamless) updates, the installation process requires users to reboot their phones and wait for the update to complete, which locks them out from using the phone for anything, even emergency calls, for a few minutes.

With seamless updates, new firmware can be installed in the background without interrupting the user. Once new firmware is applied this way, users only need to reboot their phones once, and they’re not required to wait for lengthy progress bars.

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Depending on how often you install updates on your phones, seamless updates may or may not seem like an important feature. Nevertheless, it is a quality-of-life improvement, especially for devices that get monthly security updates, which is true for most new mid-range and high-end Galaxy smartphones.

Fold 6 and Flip 6 don’t appear to support seamless updates

Unfortunately, the Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 do not support seamless updates, at least based on our initial testing. However, the methods to test if seamless updates are supported are apparently a little undependable, so the only way we will know for sure is when the new foldables get their first software update.

The Galaxy A55, which supports seamless updates, shows a split progress bar when an update is downloading and installing. Devices that don’t support it, on the other hand, have a single progress bar. You can see the two compared in the image below – the one on the left is seamless, the one on the right is traditional.

If the Fold 6 and Flip 6 don’t support seamless updates out of the box, it won’t change later. This system of installing updates requires two system partitions, and adding support to a phone that doesn’t support seamless updates requires repartitioning the existing system partition, which can introduce a slew of issues that Samsung just won’t risk.

Seven years of Fold 6 and Flip 6 updates will likely install the old-fashioned way

Samsung may have skipped seamless updates for its new flagships because the software that runs on flagship Galaxy smartphones and tablets tends to take up a lot of space—nearly double—compared to mid-range and budget devices.

For example, full-sized Galaxy A55 firmware is around 8GB in size, while Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy S24 Ultra firmware are roughly 14GB and 16GB downloads respectively.

Still, with the Fold 6 and Flip 6 eligible for seven years of OS and security upgrades, it’s a little disappointing all those upgrades will install in the old-fashioned way.

Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 go on sale July 24

The new foldables ship with Android 14 and One UI 6.1.1, along with new Galaxy AI features. They go on sale on July 24, but pre-ordering them early can earn you bonuses.

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