As we reported earlier, the Galaxy S4 is receiving a new software update with build number I9505XXUBMEA (Android 4.2.2), which adds the ability to move apps to the external storage and many other changes and features. The update is currently available only in Germany, but chances are you’ve not yet received it on your phone, in which case you can install the update manually using its firmware file.
The guide below will walk you through all the steps required for manually upgrading, and while the update is only for Germany, you can install it on any Galaxy S4 as long as it is unlocked and not tied to any carrier. However, do note that you might need to factory reset the phone if you’re flashing the firmware on a Galaxy S4 outside Germany.
The firmware is pretty big at 1.5GB, so make sure you set aside some time for the procedure before attempting anything. Also, this update is only for the quad-core Snapdragon-powered LTE variant of the Galaxy S4, model number GT-I9505, so unless you want to end up with a non-working phone, don’t flash it on the octa-core Exynos non-LTE variant.
Enough talk, let’s take a look at the upgrade procedure.
- First and foremost, make sure you have the quad-core Snapdragon-powered LTE variant of the Galaxy S4, which has the model number GT-I9505, and that it is unlocked and not tied to a carrier. Confirm the model number in the Settings » About phone menu on the phone. This will NOT work on the I9500 model, which has an Exynos processor.
- Download and install the drivers for the phone. Best way to get the drivers is to install Kies, though you can also download the separate driver package from here.
- Take a backup of your installed apps and other data, such as SMS or Contacts. This is doubly important if you’re attempting to install the update on a Galaxy S4 outside Germany, as you might need to perform a factory reset in order to make the phone boot up. If you’re rooted, you can use apps like Titanium Backup and MyBackup Root, and if not, use apps like Helium or Super Backup. Your internal and external storage will not be touched, though you can still back it all up if you wish.
- Download the firmware from either link below (the alternate link is much faster). Extract the downloaded file once to get a file named “I9505XXUBMEA_I9505OXABMEA_I9505XXUBMEA_HOME.tar.md5″ (if the file name ends at .tar, don’t fret, Windows hides the actual extension by default.)
Download Link | Alternate Link (I9505XXUBMEA_I9505OXABMEA_DBT.zip, 1.5GB)
- Download Odin, which is the flashing tool that we’re going to use to flash the firmware on to the phone. Extract the file you download once to get around 4 files inside a folder named “Odin_v3.07.”
Download Link (Odin_v3.07.zip)
- Once you’ve gone through the above steps and downloaded the necessary files, turn off your phone and disconnect it from your PC.
- Press and hold down the Volume Down + Home + Power buttons until the screen shows you a “Warning!” screen. Here, press the Volume Up button to continue to enter download mode, also called Odin mode.
- Open Odin by double-clicking the Odin3_v3.07 file.
- Connect your phone to the computer (while it is in download mode.) Wait for the necessary drivers to finish installing, after which Odin will detect the phone and the ID:COM box will turn yellow (or blue) confirming successful detection of the phone. If you’re using a desktop computer, try to use the USB ports on the back.
- Now, hit the PDA button in Odin and select the firmware file you extracted, the one named I9505XXUBMEA_I9505OXABMEA_I9505XXUBMEA_HOME.tar.md5.
- Make sure you don’t touch or change any other option in Odin, and that the Re-partition option is NOT checked.
- Go through the above steps once again and make sure you’ve followed them to the letter, then click the Start button to start the upgrade procedure. Make sure you don’t interrupt the phone’s connection to the PC, or you’ll end up with a bricked device and need to reflash the firmware and possibly lose data.
NOTE: If Odin somehow failed or doesn’t seem to be progressing for more than 4-5 minutes, simply disconnect the phone, close Odin, then repeat the procedure from the beginning. Also try using a different USB port if possible.
- Once the installation is complete, the phone will automatically reboot, at which point you can disconnect it from the PC and close Odin. The first boot will take a bit longer than usual, after which you’ll be running the latest firmware.
My Phone Doesn’t Boot after Updating, Help!
This is common when you flash an official firmware on a device that’s not from the same region or on a custom ROM, and the fix is pretty simple, though you’ll lose your installed apps and app data (but not your storage contents.) Here’s how you can make your phone boot up if it’s stuck on the boot screen:
- If your phone is currently powered on, remove its battery and then re-insert it, but don’t turn it on again. Now, press and hold the Volume Up + Home + Power buttons till the screen turns on, after which it will boot into recovery mode.
- Using the volume buttons to scroll and the home/power button to select, select the “wipe data/factory reset” option and confirm the data wipe on the next step.
- Once the data wipe is complete, select the “reboot system now” option to reboot. The phone will now successfully boot up into the OS, after which you can restore any backups you took before flashing the firmware.
The update is now installed on your Galaxy S4, and you can enjoy that new HDR camera mode and also move some apps off the internal storage. Drop a comment below if you need help with anything.
Root: Want to root your Galaxy S4 after the update? Don’t forget to check out our Galaxy S4 Root guide here.
Firmware Credit: Sammobile