Enlarge / The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Samsung’s most recent (non-exploding) flagship smartphones. (credit: Ron Amadeo)
According to a report from ZDNet, Samsung is finally bringing monthly Android security updates to one of its most neglected flagship smartphone variants: unlocked US devices.

An e-mail from the company says it has “resolved the challenges” with releasing monthly updates, and it is now “committed” to releasing updates every month for “unlocked Galaxy devices” in the US.
Unlocked devices are usually safe bets as the best models for updates because they are free from carrier interference.

This means there is one less stumbling block in the usual “Google ⇒ OEM ⇒ Carrier” software handoff.
In Samsung’s case though, remember there are two major versions of the Galaxy S7 (and most other Samsung flagships): the “international” version with a Samsung Exynos SoC and the “US” version with a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC.

For the “international” Exynos version, the conventional wisdom of “unlocked models get updates first” holds true.
In the US, Samsung is all-in on the carrier-driven business model.

The vast majority of the Snapdragon models are sold through carriers, so the unlocked Snapdragon models are the black sheep of the Samsung family. You usually can’t even buy an unlocked US Samsung device at launch—for the Galaxy S7, you had to wait three months for a carrier-free version to become available.
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