The Galaxy S7 Edge is the latest Android based smartphone released by Samsung. So, this device will receive further OTAs and other dedicated custom ROMs as usually the OEM offers official support for at least two years – especially for its high end devices. Thus, you must know how to smartly manage these updates in order to receive and enjoy a stable and a smooth Android experience. Moreover, switching from stock ROMs to custom firmwares is also something that you might want to achieve as in this way you can easily get everything that’s new on the Android platform, not to mention that you can unlock the true potential of your smartphone.
Well, that’s exactly what you can learn if you decide to read all the guidelines from below: smartly manage all type of updates on your own Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Whether we talk about OTAs, downgrade procedures or custom ROMs, now you will know when and how to apply a certain firmware without dealing with further problems. So, what do you say, are you ready to enrich your Android experience? If you are, don’t hesitate and check it all out.
In order to make things easier, I will divide this step by step guide into several parts. Each section will detail one particular update process (with its advantages and risks), so you can read only what you want to learn at the moment. Also, you can bookmark this page as who knows when you will need other info that is detailed here. Good; so let’s see what it is all about.
Receiving and applying OTAs
An OTA is the classic Android update. First a new firmware is developed by Google. Then, this software is offered to the OEM, in our case Samsung. The company adds its own features and apps (the TouchWiz) and then delivers the software to each carrier. Finally, your provider will customize the update with particular factory and carrier restrictions. And, of course, the last step from this elaborate process implies in rolling out the final built of Android. So, as a result, on your Galaxy S7 Edge you will receive a notification which will prompt you through the update operation.
That’s an OTA roll out. Unfortunately, such updates are usually rolled out in phases and gradually and also on limited markets only (you can already figure it why). Therefore, not all the Galaxy S7 Edge users will be able to receive the new OTA at the same time.
Why can’t you receive the OTA on your phone?
By default an OTA can be received only if your Galaxy S7 Edge is already running on the stock Android firmware. Moreover, your device shouldn’t be rooted or unlocked. Thus, everything should be kept official if you want to get new updates by air. Otherwise, you will first have to revoke root access and to reinstall the stock Android firmware on your phone; or of course, you can choose to flash the official Android update manually, but that’s the next operation that will be detailed during this step by step guide.
This kind of update is official. The ROM comes straight from Google and Samsung, so you aren’t risking anything – no, the warranty of your Galaxy S7 Edge will not get void while flashing the OTA. Moreover, your data will remain intact, thus a backup isn’t implied by this update operation. However, you do have to charge your smartphone before resuming the update process as if during the OTA operation your S7 Edge gets turned off, software related problems might be issued – boot loops, lags, bugs, force close errors, battery drain, heating problems, screen freeze, total blackouts and so on. Finally, you should enable a WiFi connection or else you might be extra charger by your provider, if you have a limited data plan.
Force down an OTA
If your device is not rooted and the stock Android firmware is already there but you are still waiting for your notification, try to force down the OTA; here is what you need to follow:
- Power on your SGS7 Edge.
- Tap on Menu and then select Settings.
- Go towards About Phone.
- Select Software version.
- From there you will be able to search for a new update.
- Do so; wait while the scan is running.
- If an OTA is available for your phone you will be prompted with the same.
- Follow on screen prompts in order to resume the update operation.
Manually applying an Official Android update
As you noticed, receiving an OTA is possible only in certain situations. Thus, what if your phone is rooted or installed with a custom ROM? Well, in that case you can choose to manually update your Galaxy S7 Edge with the official / stock Android OS. In that case you won’t be able to use the OTA built. You will have to download the full Android firmware file, which is usually available on SamMobile or on Samsung’s official web site.
Now, if you choose to manually update your Galaxy S7 Edge with the official Android software, you will revoke root access and restore all the factory and default restrictions back to your phone: the stock recovery image will be installed, the bootloader will be relocked and all the bloatware re-flashed. However, you will still complete an official update operation so you won’t have to use complex or risky tools – no, the warranty of your device will not get void in this case either.
What can you resolve by manually updating your Galaxy S7 Edge
As mentioned, you can revoke root access and relock the internal system of your phone. But, that’s not all. You can also skip the OTA wait or speed things up in case only a leaked Android update is being available. And the most important, you can manually troubleshoot software related issues. How is that possible? Well, updating / downgrading to stock Android OS is a manually process through which your phone will be restored back to its initial state. Bottom line, all the problems (unresponsive processes, malware, inappropriate apps and so on) will be removed.
Review the risks
Well, since it is an official operation, there aren’t risks implied. But, you have to consider that your data might get corrupted or even wiped out during the update process. So, the best is to avoid unpleasant situations from taking place. In that respect, completing a backup is more than a good idea. Therefore, take your time and backup your Galaxy S7 Edge data: contacts, call logs, texts, images, videos, audio files, market apps, internet settings, EFS folder, calendar info, saved passwords, IMEI / NVRAM data and so on. On the backup process use only tested apps from Google Play, dedicated cloud storage platforms or just sync everything with your own account.
Apply the pre requisites
In order to avoid further problems, you first have to take care of some tasks; so: make sure you can use a Windows powered computer, from which temporarily disable the antivirus protection (do that only if you can’t manage to download the files from below); your phone and its USB cable must be there too; on your smartphone navigate towards “menu – settings – about phone” and tap several times on Built Number until you become a developer; next, from “menu – settings – developer options” enable the USB Debugging option; finally, charge your S7 Edge if the power left is currently lower than 50% - otherwise, your phone can get turned off, and possible bricked, in the middle of the update operation.
Apply the update
- On your computer download Odin. Unzip the file and install the program by following on screen prompts.
- Use Samsung KIES and install Galaxy S7 Edge USB drivers on your computer.
- Download the update file on your PC – from SamMobile or from Samsung’s official webpage.
- Run Odin on your computer and then put your device into download mode.
- For getting into download mode: power off your phone; wait while the shut down process is completed; press and hold Power, Volume Down and Home buttons at the same time.
- Connect your smartphone with your computer via USB cable – the “added” message must be displayed on Odin and the ID:COM field should be yellow or blue (if not, unplug the USB cord and reinstall the USB drivers before repeating the steps from above).
- Tap on the PA option from Odin and select the firmware file from your computer.
- Don’t check the Re Partition and the Auto Reboot options.
- Click on Start and wait while the process is being completed.
- When done (the “pass” message will be displayed and the ID:COM field will be green) remove the USB cable and reboot your phone.
- In case a boot loop is issued, access recovery and from there select “wipe data factory reset” and “wipe cache partition”.
- Also, if Odin gets stuck while completing the steps from above, close it; then remove the USB connection, force restart your S7 Edge and reinstall its USB drivers on your computer; then repeat the steps from above from the beginning.
Updating with a custom ROM firmware
If you are a more experienced Android user and if you want to obtain more power and improved performances out from your Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, then you must consider in using a custom ROM firmware. This is an unofficial update, developed by third party devs – it actually represents a free aftermarket distribution of the Android system, so it is only based on the stock Android OS. So, this particular update has nothing to do with Samsung or with Google, which means you have to complete an unofficial operation.
Here are the advantages
As mentioned, using a custom ROM can bump the speeds of your S7 Edge. What’s even greater is that once you perform this update operation your device will actually run better than before. The ROM is usually pre loaded with useful features and settings which cannot be found on the default version of the Android system. Through these capabilities you can unleash the full potential of your smartphone as you can: optimize the RAM usage, customize the UI, install complex apps, remove bloatware, add custom kernels, overclock or undervolt your Android device, upgrade the battery life and lot more.
Consider the risks
As stated, a custom ROM, such as CyanogenMod, AOKP or Paranoid Android, has nothing to do with your OEM. Bottom line, you are now about to complete an unofficial operation. Because of that you will lose your phone’s warranty – starting from now, you won’t be able to reclaim the warranty of your Galaxy S7 Edge even if you take your phone back to service (actually, then you will have to pay for the technical assistance). Thus, the best is to learn how to unbrick the Galaxy S7 manually.
A custom ROM can run only if you perform a clean install. Well, that implies in clearing everything from your phone. Thus, you can and will lose all of your personal data, info, accounts and files. Therefore, a backup is no longer an option for you as you have to save everything before doing anything else.
A custom ROM is not always stable and smooth – you must choose wisely or else you might end up with an OS that can’t be used on a daily basis. So, for avoiding such situations you should first complete a Nandroid backup. Through such process you can safely save the current Android OS that powers your Galaxy S7 Edge and restore it afterwards if that will be necessarily.
Apply the pre requisites
Similar with the previous manual update process, you have to take care of some general stuffs before being able to flash the custom ROM firmware: a computer must be near you (temporarily deactivate the security protection if you can’t download the files indicated below); your phone and its USB cable will be required; on your smartphone you have to become a Developer and to check the USB Debugging option (check the lines from above for further info); you must charge your phone before completing the update operation.
Finally, consider that this custom update operation can be applied only in certain conditions; in that respect, before resuming the guidelines from below root your Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and then install a custom recovery image, such as CWM or TWRP recovery on your phone.
Complete the update
- On your computer download the custom ROM file – you can get this update from any source your prefere, such as xda-developers.com.
- Optional: download compatible Google Apps package if that’s required.
- Save both files on your computer, preferable on desktop if that’s possible.
- Connect your smartphone with your PC via USB cable.
- Transfer the downloaded files from your desktop to your galaxy S7 Edge.
- Unplug the USB cord – the computer is no longer required.
- Power off your smartphone and wait while the shut down process is completed.
- Enter recovery mode on your Android device: press Power, Volume Up and Home buttons at the same time and for a few seconds.
- From recovery, first wipe everything – select “wipe data factory reset”, “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvik cache”.
- From main menu of recovery then pick “install zip from SD card” followed by “choose zip from SD card”.
- Load the update file and the Google Apps package and resume the installation process by following on screen prompts.
- When done, go back to main menu of recovery and from there select “reboot system now”.
Well, that’s all. You should now be able to smartly update your own Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, whether we talk about official or unofficial ROMs. So, how things worked for you? Do share your experience with us and with other users by using the comments field from down below.