It is no news that Samsung has managed to sell more than 10 million Galaxy S II variations around the world since it first released the device almost a year ago, but there are still a couple of unknowns regarding just how many of those device have received the all important Android 4.0.3 ICS update. While most unlocked and unbloated Galaxy S II’s out there have made the turn to the newest version of Android, the carrier locked versions have been a little behind. Nonetheless it is not time for the Vodafone Galaxy S II to receive the much awaited update, that is if the users has bought the device from one of the following countries: Spain, United Kingdom, Romania, Ireland and Germany.
A little advice before we move on any further: You should only apply the update if you have not received the OTA one yet, or if you plan on going back to the stock firmware for warranty or other purposes. There are still some devices out there that have yet to receive the ICS update so if you own one of them feel free to follow this guide.
Updating your Android device usually implies some risks, even if the update is made by the actual manufacturer of the aforementioned device. In order to avoid any complications you should read our disclaimer notice and only go on with the guide if you agree with it: This software is not our creation so we must warn you that you cannot hold us responsible for any damage that might occur to your device by following the procedures in this guide. However, we will try to help you sort out any glitches or problems that might arise by following the steps in this guide to the extent our knowledge limits us.
This ICS update for Vodafone users bears the codename of BULPC and comes with a relatively minor drawback. If you choose to apply it you will lose all of your personal data stored on your Galaxy S II. In order to avoid this we have come up with some third-party apps and procedures that will help you both backup and restore your data once the update is complete. Of course, you can also use the official Samsung KIES application to do this, but there have been cases where the official app didn’t recognize the new software, so we will we going with the alternative:
- Text messages – We will back them up with the following application : SMS Backup & Restore
- Phone Contacts – You can simply synchronize them to your Gmail account or export them to the micro SD card as a .vcf file
- Call Log – We will use the following application to backup your call log : Call Log Backup and Restore
- Pictures, Music, Videos, and other files – Simply copy them to your microSD card.
- Internet & MMS Settings – Write down all the settings from this path “Applications > Settings > Wireless and Network > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names”
It is worth pointing out that the BULPC Android 4.0.3 ICS update comes with quite a lot of features, and once it is applied, it will almost be like a free hardware update for your Galaxy S II. This update also comes in a form that can only be flashed via Odin software from a Windows running PC, and for this to work you must also take into consideration the following minimum safety requirements:
- You must charge your Samsung Galaxy S II to at least 80% or even to full battery in order to prevent it from accidentally powering off during the procedure.
- You need to disable any antivirus or other security related software on your computer because these tools tend to interfere with the updating program, and might cause it to misbehave, which could in turn result in a bricked device.
- You will need to enable the USB Debugging setting that you can find by going to Settings -> Applications -> Development -> USB debugging. Be sure you have this option enabled or otherwise the Odin application will not recognize your smartphone.
Now we will be moving on to the last part of our guide, which will guide you through all the steps that need to be taken in order to successfully update your Samsung Galaxy S II branded by Vodafone to the BULPC Android 4.0.3 ICS firmware. Please make sure you follow the steps below carefully, as the updating procedure is not explicitly easy, and that you do not skip any of them:
- We will start with downloading the correct version of the BULPC update for your device:
Download for the users in Spain
Download for the users in the United Kingdom
Download for the users in Romania
Download for the users in Ireland
- In the second step you will have to extract the downloaded ZIP archive to an easily reachable folder (we recommend the Destkop). Each of the archives above contains the Odin program and the actual update in the form of a .tar file. If you want to find out more about the Odin software please read this article.
- The next step is very short and all you will only have to start the Odin program from the downloaded and extracted files and then power off your Vodafone Samsung Galaxy S II.
- In step number four you will have to start your Galaxy S II into Download mode. You can do this on your Galaxy S II by pressing the Volume Down Key and the Center Key simultaneously and then pressing the Power Key after the device has been shut down. You will be able to check if you are in the right mode by looking at the image on the screen, so if this image is a green working droid you are in the right place.
- Next up, you will have to connect your Vodafone Samsung Galaxy S II already in Download mode to your computer which is already running the Odin software we downloaded earlier, and wait a couple of seconds/minutes for it to recognize the device. You can check whether the Odin application has recognized your device by looking at the color of the ID: COM box. If the box turns yellow all in order but if it does not you will have to check the following two aspects:
- The USB drivers for your Vodafone Samsung Galaxy S II have been properly installed on your PC.
- The Samsung KIES option from Settings -> Wireless & Network -> USB Settings has been selected. To check this last option you will have to restart your Galaxy S II in the normal way.
- In this step you will have to select which files you want Odin to flash on your device, so click the PDA button located on the right side of Odin and select the .tar file in the folder where you extracted the corresponding country archive you downloaded earlier. It is very important that you select the correct file so please double check before proceeding further.
- In the last step your ownly job is to press the Start button in Odin and wait a 5 to 10 minutes for the program to do its job. After it has finished, your Samsung Galaxy S II should automatically reboot and start in the standard way, but take note this first boot after applying the BULPC Android 4.0.3 ICS update may take a little bit longer than usual so do not panic if your Galaxy S II fails to start in under 10 minutes.
If the start-up screen stays on our Galaxy S II display for more than 30 minutes you should restart your device into Download mode and retry the steps in the guide above. If you still can’t get it to work please write us a line below and we will try our best to help you.
If on the other hand everything has gone smoothly and you Galaxy S II is showing the normal home screen the update has been successfully applied and you can now start to enjoy all the new features and overall improvements Android 4.0.3 comes with. You should also check that the new firmware has been correctly installed by looking at Settings -> About phone -> Software information and checking to see if the BULPC codename appears there. If you have any more questions please let us know in the comments section below.