Samsung stores may be able to flash Lollipop on any Galaxy S5
According to one Samsung staffer, your local Samsung Experience Shop can flash the company’s latest Lollipop software onto almost all Galaxy S5 handsets, but there are few caveats.
“The binary code for Android 5.0 was downloaded into SMART (the re-flash tool the Samsung Consultants use) at start of business today,” explains blackbodysuit on Reddit.
So rather than waiting for it to come to your device over-the-air, you can visit your local Samsung Experience Shop inside of Best Buy and have a representative install it manually for you. That means users on AT&T, MetroPCS, and other carriers can get the update right away.
Blackbodysuit adds, “Downloading Lollipop on your own may void your manufacturer’s warranty, brick your phone, or corrupt your data. Any risk from downloading the software on your own will be minimized by letting the SEC do it.”
There’s another big advantage to upgrading this way, too: The software carried by Samsung’s stores is said to be the firmware it passes onto carriers, which means that although it’s a final build, it hasn’t yet been polluted by carrier apps and other bloatware.
All sounds pretty great, right? Now, about those caveats.
First, not all Best Buy stores have a Samsung Experience Shops inside, so double-check yours does before visiting. Also, while this should work with most Galaxy S5 handsets, those on T-Mobile are out of luck — this particular software isn’t carried by Best Buy.
Finally, your handset must not be rooted, otherwise the update won’t be applied.
This sounds like a great way to get Galaxy S5 on your handset today, without waiting what could be several weeks for it to rollout via your carrier. Bear in mind, however, that Samsung Experience Shops don’t have to do this, so if they’re busy or just plain unhelpful, they could refuse.