Samsung has begun rolling out the latest Android security update for December 2021, and, for some Galaxy phones, the update is arriving as part of the update to One UI 4.0 and Android 12.

Samsung December 2021 security update — what’s new

As usual, the rollout of the December 2021 update for Samsung Galaxy devices began just before the new month even arrived, on November 30, a full week before Google released notes on the Android update. According to Google’s original bulletin, there are 5 critical, 21 high-priority, and 3 moderate issues fixed in Android’s December 2021 patch.

Since then, Samsung has released their own detailed manifest of the Security Maintenance Release, which supplements Google’s fixes with a variety of Galaxy-specific patches. Most of the “Critical” fixes are for issues specific to Exynos devices, while another interesting exploit allowed Apps Edge to work even when your phone is supposed to be locked.

Beyond the usual security fixes, the December 2021 update is arriving as part of the more important update to the Android 12-based One UI 4.0, for some Samsung devices like the Galaxy Z Fold 3. That said, the One UI 4.0 rollout has been a bit rough on some devices, like the Galaxy S21, causing issues with Google Play compatibility. Samsung has stopped and restarted the rollout a few times now across various models.

Devices with Samsung December 2021 security update

Before the month of December even got started, Samsung began rolling out the latest security update, though certainly not as quickly as in recent months. As is usually the case, Samsung rolled the update out first to some of its most expensive phones, the line of Galaxy Z foldables.

This list will include a note on where the update first debuted and if it is also available in the United States. As usual, the latest additions will be marked in bold.

Galaxy S series

samsung galaxy s21 series

Year after year, the Galaxy S series has been the essential Android phone to own, serving as one of the strongest and most popular competitors to Apple’s iPhone. To respect the additional cost of buying a flagship phone, Samsung makes monthly updates available to Galaxy S series devices before lower-end phones.

The first Galaxy S phone to get this month’s patch was the Galaxy S10, which received the update on December 6 starting in Europe. Later in the month, on December 29, the S10 series also got a bump to One UI 4.0 and Android 12, starting in Germany, while the 5G variant received its update the next day. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S10 Lite didn’t see its December update and Android 12 until January 6.

Owners of the Galaxy S21 series in Europe were next in line, on December 8, with those flagships merely getting a bump to the security patch level as they’re already running One UI 4.0.

Next up were the multitude of Galaxy S20 series phones, including both LTE and 5G variants. All of these phones, including unlocked models in the US, received Samsung’s latest update on December 14. These got a separate update to Android 12 and One UI 4.0 a few weeks later, on December 28.

The reduced-price Galaxy S20 FE was not far behind, receiving the security patch on December 16, but this phone’s 5G variant didn’t get that same update until December 23. A few days later, the various versions of the Galaxy S20 FE, including the Snapdragon, Exynos, and 5G variants, each received a second patch with One UI 4.0.

  • Galaxy S21 / S21+ / S21 Ultra — G99xBXXS3BUL1 (Released first in Europe)
    • Note: A second patch has been released
  • Galaxy S20 / S20+ — G98xFXXSCDUK1 (Released first in France)
    • US: Available for unlocked devices on carrier networks
  • Galaxy S20 5G / S20+ 5G / S20 Ultra — G98xBXXSCDUK1 (Released first in France)
    • US: Available for unlocked devices on carrier networks
  • Galaxy S20 FE — G780FXXS8CUKA (Released first in New Zealand)
    • Note: A second patch has been released, with One UI 4.0
  • Galaxy S20 FE 5G — G781BXXS4CUL3 (Released first in Spain)
    • Note: A second patch has been released, with One UI 4.0
  • Galaxy S10 / S10+ / S10e — G97xFXXSEFUL1 (Released first in Switzerland)
    • Note: A second patch has been released, with One UI 4.0
    • US: Available for locked and unlocked phones
  • Galaxy S10 5G — G977BXXUBGULB (Released first in Switzerland)
  • Galaxy S10 Lite

Galaxy Z series foldables

It used to be that the Galaxy S series was the flagship phone for “everyone,” while the Galaxy Note series offered extra features for the Android enthusiast. Now it seems that the Galaxy Note series may be coming to a close in favor of Samsung’s line of more expensive Galaxy Z foldable phones. To reward the early adopters of Samsung’s foldable screen tech, the Galaxy Z series is often among the first phones to receive each month’s Android security update.

Samsung kicked things off with the Galaxy Z Flip 5G on November 30 across Europe — bringing the update to the US nearly a month later — followed pretty closely by the original Galaxy Z Flip on December 2 in Austria and Switzerland. The non-5G Galaxy Z Flip got a second December update on the 29th, this one bringing the phone up to One UI 4.0 and Android 12.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 got their stable updates to Android 12 and One UI 4.0 on December 6 in Korea and Serbia, respectively, simultaneously bringing the phones to the December 2021 security patch. However, this rollout was quickly halted due to numerous issues experienced by customers.

A new patch was released on December 17 to fix these issues and resume the rollout of Android 12. Once the dust had settled, these updates arrived for US customers on December 29.

Samsung’s first-generation foldables, the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Fold 5G, were close behind on December 9 in a few European countries, with this update reaching the US on December 15. A followup update was released on December 30, bringing the first-gen Galaxy Fold to One UI 4.0.

On December 13, the second-generation Galaxy Z Fold 2 got its patch, starting in a few parts of Asia. A second patch for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 was released, on December 28, bringing the device to One UI 4.0.

The final Samsung foldable to get this month’s update was the oft forgotten Galaxy W22 5G, Samsung’s variant of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 for China. On January 6, this foldable got the December patch along with One UI 4.0 and Android 12.

  • Galaxy Z Fold 3 — F926NKSU1BUL4 (Released first in Korea)
    • Note: A second patch has been released
    • US: Released to locked and unlocked phones
  • Galaxy Z Flip 3 — F711NKSU2BUL4 (Released first in Serbia)
    • Note: A second patch has been released
    • US: Released to locked and unlocked phones
  • Galaxy Z Flip 5G —F707BXXS6EUK1 (Released first in Europe)
    • US: Released to locked and unlocked phones
  • Galaxy Z Flip — F700FXXS8EUI2 (Released first in Austria and Switzerland)
    • Note: A second patch has been released, with One UI 4.0
    • US: Released to locked and unlocked phones
  • Galaxy Z Fold 2 — F9160TBS3EUK1 (Released first in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan)
    • Note: A second patch has been released, with One UI 4.0
    • US: Released to unlocked phones
  • Galaxy Fold — F900FXXS6FUK6 (Released first in France)
    • Note: A second patch has been released, with One UI 4.0
    • US: Rolling out now via US carriers
  • Galaxy Fold 5G — F907BXXS6FUK6 (Released first in the United Kingdom)

Galaxy Note series

While the Galaxy Note series appears to be finished for the time being, with the other devices in Samsung’s lineup picking up the once-exclusive S Pen support, Samsung is continuing to actively support the Galaxy Notes it sold in years past.

On December 6, the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G got its security update starting in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Later that same day, the update arrived for owners of the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ who bought their phone from a US cell carrier, making them the first Samsung devices in the US to get the December 2021 patch. The last of the Note 10 series to get the patched was the Note 10 Lite, on December 9.

The next generation Note 20 series began getting this month’s security patch on December 14, starting with US carrier-locked phones. Two weeks later, the Note 20 was updated again with One UI 4.0 and Android 12.

  • Galaxy Note 10+ 5G — N976QXXS5FUK4 (Released first in Saudi Arabia and the UAE)
  • Galaxy Note 10 / 10+ — N970USQS7FUKA (Released first in the US)
    • US: Available on carrier-locked phones
  • Galaxy Note 10 Lite — N770FZHS8EUK9 (Released first in Hong Kong and Taiwan)
  • Galaxy Note 20 / 20 Ultra — N98xU1UES2DUK2 (Released first in the US)
    • Note: A second patch was released, with One UI 4.0
    • US: Available on locked and unlocked phones

Galaxy Tab series

samsung galaxy tab s6 with keyboard case - android 10

While not typically updated as frequently or quickly as smartphones, Samsung’s line of Galaxy Tab tablets have begun to receive the December patch, bringing the latest security updates.

The sporty Galaxy Tab Active 3 was first on December 23, for owners in the UAE, while the Galaxy Tab S6’s patch came later that day to Germany. About a week later, on December 29, the newer Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ picked up their One UI 4.0 update along with the latest security patch. Samsung’s affordable tablet, the 2019 Galaxy Tab A 10.1 also got updated on December 30.

  • Galaxy Tab S6 — T865XXS5CUL1 (Released first in Germany)
  • Galaxy Tab S7 — T870BXXU2CULC (Released first in Europe)
  • Galaxy Tab S7+ — T976BXXU2CULC (Released first in Europe)
  • Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019) — T515XXS8CUL2 (Released first in Ecuador)
  • Galaxy Tab Active 3 — T575XXU3BUL2 (Released first in the UAE)

Galaxy A series and budget devices

In addition to regularly updating their more expensive flagship phones, Samsung is also great about providing regular security updates to their mid-range phones like those in the Galaxy A series. In fact, Samsung and Google are essentially the only Android OEMs to offer monthly updates to mid-range budget phones.

Things kicked off on December 13, with the Samsung Galaxy A50 (which will not be getting Android 12) receiving the latest security update in a handful of countries, before rolling out more widely the next day. The Galaxy A52 and A52S were next, each one picking up the update on December 16 for device owners in New Zealand. That same day, the rugged, outdoor-ready Galaxy XCover Pro also got its monthly patch.

After a short pause in the update schedule, the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G picked up the patch next on December 23, followed by the Galaxy A71 that same day.

Following yet another break, this time for the holidays, the Galaxy F41, a FlipKart exclusive, was the next device to get the patch, on December 29, with the Galaxy A11 getting it later that same day. The next day, the Galaxy A21s got its December patch just before the new year.

The first two weeks of January brought quite a few Android 12 and One UI 4.0 updates for the Galaxy A series. Things kicked off on January 5, with the Galaxy A72, followed by the Galaxy A52 the next day, and the Galaxy A52s 5G on January 10.

  • Galaxy A11 — A115MUBU2BUK4 (Released first in Brazil)
  • Galaxy A21s — A217MUBU8CUK3 (Released first in Latin America)
  • Galaxy A32 5G — A326U1UES6AUL1 (Released first in the United States)
  • Galaxy A52 — A525FXXS4AUL2 (Released first in New Zealand)
    • Note: A second patch has been released, with One UI 4.0
  • Galaxy A52S 5G — A528BXXS1AUL1 (Released first in New Zealand)
    • Note: A second patch has been released, with One UI 4.0
  • Galaxy A50 — A505WVLSIDUK2 (Released first in Taiwan)
    • US: Available on carrier-locked phones
  • Galaxy A71 — A715FXXS8BUL1 (Released first in Europe)
  • Galaxy A72 — A725FXXU4BULA (Released first in Russia)
  • Galaxy F41 — F415FXXS1BUK2 (Released in India)
  • Galaxy XCover Pro — G715FNXXS9CUL2 (Released first in Poland and Switzerland)

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Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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