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Galaxy S2 may not get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update

Amid rumors regarding the Galaxy Note 2‘s debut at the 2012 IFA in Berlin this August, several posts are pointing fingers at the Samsung Galaxy S2’s low resolution display which may be the reason behind the phone’s hazy path towards the Jelly Bean upgrade.

Despite some S2 users still not receiving the ICS update on their devices, late adopters of the popular smartphone from Sammy are already anxious for the Jelly Bean firmware, unfortunately, all that glimmering shine of hope is bound to disappear, the future of the Galaxy S2 owners who suffer from technophilia are at stake due to certain ‘hardware limitations’.

The Galaxy S2 — despite being dethroned by its successor — the Galaxy S3. Is still a dream to use thanks to the legendary 1.2 GHz Exynos 4210 processor. Surely no one would have thought that Galaxy S2 will be having any sort of ‘hardware limitation’ issues from the device’s performance front, a lot of people are still buying the S2 since they’re complacent that the phone is still good for at least another version or two of the Android OS. But what’s surprising is, the limitation is actually the most obvious part of the device — the screen.


The low resolution display of the Galaxy S2 is what seems to be holding back the development of Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) since it’s said to be optimized for HD screens, according to the folks at Christian Post, some of the hardware limitations — apart from the aforementioned display, is that the dual-core processor may not be good enough for Android 4.1 since, quad-core chips are preferred for the latest OS. Another thing that could hold the S2 back from receiving the new Android build is that the handset will not run as smoothly with JellyBean and TouchWiz chugging at the same time. Which isn’t really surprising given that TouchWiz is a bit of a performance hog.

If the Galaxy S2 isn’t good enough then what about the Galaxy Note? Luckily the Galaxy Note has a faster-clocked processor (N7000 variant, @1.4GHz) and an 800p resolution screen similar to the of the Nexus 7 tablet, so the only thing that’s really barring the Jelly Bean update for the Note is TouchWiz.

As disappointing as this news may seem, there’s still hope. There aren’t any basis for these findings and the words that we need to hear should come directly from Samsung themselves. If this sad news turns out to be true, we can always count on devs and Android forums for custom firmware. No need to fret unless you don’t know how to flash a custom ROM.

Seems like Samsung and Google are working hand in hand to phase out phones that are still relevant on the market (such as the Galaxy S2 and Note). Are you thinking of the same thing?


Kevin is a blogger, avid gamer and always keeps himself updated with the latest trends in technology. He's still a bit shy so no Twitter and Facebook link here.

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38 Responses

  1. Mr. Serious says:

    This is just sad. The SGS2, Phone of the year for 2011, has only been released a little over a year. It wasn’t long ago when this was their flagship phone and they’re now giving away hints that it might not be receiving firmware update to 4.1? 4.1 aside, they haven’t even pushed out an official 4.0 update for it. I think Samsung pushes out new phones faster than what they can accommodate. Then again, what can we expect from the company who leave their customers out to eat dust, and call it ‘Service’?

  2. JKisaragi says:

    Christian Post? Tch. I’ve read that a few days back and IMO it’s just a sad attempt to prepare an S2 owner for the worst.

    The Nexus S is also getting a Jelly Bean update. If a lower-spec’d device is getting it, then a powerful device (well, at least when compared to the Nexus S) such as the S2 should get it as well.

    I think if there’s one possible hindrance, that would be the TouchWiz UI. Other than that, I see no point in the S2 not getting a JB update.

    Let’s see how Samsung will respond to this.

  3. NEil says:

    Cyanogenmod begs to differ

  4. Rod says:

    As a Note owner for barely 3+ months, I’m a bit anxious that we Note users may not get JB. Having said that, I think Samsung would be foolish NOT to give the update simply because it may sway off potential customers of their flagship devices, thinking they will be screwed once newer Android versions will come up.

    • JmBalicano says:

      I’m also a bit anxious about this. Heck, the Note is still a fairly recent phone. I suppose I could turn to custom ROMs, but I don’t want to resort to that if I don’t have to.

  5. Prinz says:

    Given Samsung’s track record for updates I don’t think the SII is getting it. Only Nexus devices get upgraded 2 to 3 times just like the Nexus S since they are supported by Google. Samsung won’t bother I think, after all it’s not profitable. Sad but that’s the reality of the matter.

  6. doesnotexist says:

    No reliable sources? The sourced article is purely speculation.

  7. seriously joking says:

    whoever wrote this article don’t have a clue. the screen of the s2 has a Super Amoled Plus as compared to the s3 which only has Super Amoled. The screen resolution which is 800 x 480 is also not a problem since Jelly Bean should be available to both tablet and phones. The processor and ram is also ample enough and since Jelly Bean promises buttery smooth operation, the current specs of the S2 should be able to meet the standards.

    • Guest says:

      Correct! Puro speculation lang.
      Tapos pag nagkaroon na naman ng bagong batches ng phones na Jelly Bean out of the box, maraming low range phone na HVGA ang resolution. Kaya ng S2 yan, WVGA naman ang screen. Depende na lang sa Samsung kung maglalaan sila ng time para sa phone na ‘to.

  8. abrahamdsl says:

    so, it seems..

    Samsung Galaxy S2 : Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
    Nokia Lumia Series : Windows Phone 8 Apollo

    • CarlBytes says:

      May be they can use Cyanogenmod. This is what I did to my old HTC Magic. Officially, I can only upgrade to 1.6 but Cyanogenmod upgraded my phone to 2.2!

      On the other side, WP7.5 users are unfortunate. They only have 7.8 upgrade option.

  9. itachi1 says:

    Westcrip of Resurrection Remix begs to differ… as soon as Jellybean’s source code is released to the Kang team, they’ll be able to make this work on the S2. Hardware limitations my *ss, the old Nexus S can run it, and has inferior specs vs. S2. Once again, Samsung has shown its (non) support to its legacy devices. Fortunately, we have the modding community to continue supporting these.

    • crackinthewall says:

      The news is not official and its purely speculation. It didn’t even come from Samsung or any reliable international techsite.

    • Kevin Go says:

      That’s one of the reasons why I didn’t think twice about purchasing the Note.

      Thanks to Samsung’s willingness to unlock the bootloader, lots of developers in the Android community are thriving in to keep the phablet as relevant as possible.

      I’m currently using a rooted Note with stock ICS LPY with SpeedMod Kernel K3-3 and this thing flies. That’s the beauty of Android.

      I wouldn’t have second thoughts about devs successfully porting Jellybean to the Note now that the source code has been released. Cyanogenmod and AOKP are just some of the many teams that will surely make it possible.

  10. crackinthewall says:

    Saw this Christian Post link on an online forum and I just can’t believe how gullible some Filipinos are. Everyone’s been focusing on how the Galaxy S didn’t get ICS while clearly, things are different with the SII. It’s simply the best Android phone of its generation and there is no technical reason why it won’t get Jelly Bean. The Galaxy S launched with Eclair and it even got an update all the way to Gingerbread! At worst, the last update we’ll see for the SII would be Key Lime Pie (every Android news site refers to the next release after JB). It sucks that only a few even bothered to question the source.

    What the hell is Christian Post? When did it become a reliable techsite? The fact that no international media (reliable, not some amateur blog) bothered to report the same should have raised some flags. Look at the date and see if its been reported by any techsite, news media, etc. Its been days since its been published in that website and no one took the bait. Christian Post looks like a Christian newspaper and there is simply no reason why you should trust a Christian newspaper with anything tech-related.

    Low resolution? The SII has the same resolution as the older Nexus S.
    Not quad-core? The Nexus S uses the jurassic Hummingbird processor.
    Low RAM? Again the Nexus S only have half of the SII’s RAM. It shouldn’t even be an issue given how large 1GB of RAM is for today’s application. And Touchwiz 4.0 is relatively light. Have you seen the amount of free RAM the SII (ICS) has in normal use? It has room to breathe and its almost comparable with the free RAM of the Galaxy Nexus.

    • doesnotexist says:

      You. I like you.

      Really, Yuga? Is this how you aim to present a premier Philippine site dedicated to tech? No editing done, source(s) are non-existent as it is pure speculation.

      Is this really the brand of Yuga’s tech journalism?

    • AndroidLove says:

      These people are just letting the people know of what may lie ahead, don’t blame them for riding along with the ongoing thread related to the SGS2 and jelly bean.

      The touchwiz UI does eat up a lot of ram which renders the devices such as the S2 and Note not viable for an official update to 4.1

      1GB lang ang ram ng mga to, same sa Nexus PERO think about the SAMSUNG BLOATCRAP na ilalagay nila sa OS talagang malabo. Mag isip muna kayo bago kayo magsasatsat.

    • crackinthewall says:

      Here’s the thing AndroidLove, Kevin just repeated everything that Christian Post said in their “article” and they have no basis nor sources for that matter. And no, they’re not preparing people for what lies ahead because eventually, Samsung will drop support for this phone. This post is just FUD that shouldn’t even be posted until there are OFFICIAL SOURCES that can confirm that the SII will not be updated to JB.

      1GB is enough as it is and my SII received ICS before I sold it. At the time, my RAM have never gone below 300MB of free memory. Most of the time its around 400-500MB. Its a local unit and all local units can be updated to ICS as far back as March 2012. So which “some SII” is he talking about? American variants? Everyone knows that their carriers screw up every phone they subsidize save for the iPhone. American variants of Samsung phones don’t even follow the model number of international variants of the phone. Every variant of the 19100 (I9100G, M, etc) have been updated to ICS.

      ICS to JB is akin to an Eclair to Froyo update so if ICS runs smoothly on an SII, then that 1GB of RAM shouldn’t be an issue. And to be honest, the local SII here actually came with minimal bloatware and they don’t even eat up that much RAM.

      Don’t worry, I’ve thought about my comment before I replied to this post. I even backed it up and I expect everyone to do the same.

    • stupid` says:

      I have to agree with you. it seems like I’m loosing my faith on Kevin for these things he’s doing. These posts are what makes newbies on phones back away and eventually making the phone’s market value drop off.

      First to point out is how could you say that galaxy note “can” have the possibility of having 4.1 with respect to processor just because of a “slightly” overclocked version (200mhz difference). With all due respect this a sh*t. And dual-core processors ‘aint enough? Really? I doubt that when you’re texting and calling your guzzling up 2 cores of your phone. And that’s what exactly people usually do with phones, they communicate.

      And take note also that jelly bean is not a big jump from ics. It’s more of a performance upgrade like eclair > froyo.

      This really is a ridiculous post. And more like a trolling post, just like what Engadget usually posts if you know what I say.

    • Kevin Go says:

      I was not basing everything solely on the Note’s higher clock speed which you find ridiculous.

      If the rumor happens to be true, the 800p resolution can serve as an advantage given that smartphones with HD screens are starting to become the norm so the only thing that’s really barring the Jelly Bean update for the Note is “TouchWiz.” I think I made that statement clear enough.

      I also wrote “As disappointing as this news may seem, there’s still hope. There aren’t ANY BASIS for these findings and the words that we need to hear should come DIRECTLY FROM SAMSUNG themselves.”

      Even I myself, am doubtful of this rumor if you were even able to read that part before assuming that I was riding along with it.

      Clearly this post is just meant to serve as an update to Galaxy S2 and Note users such as myself and most of you, nothing more. Mistaken for being newsworthy or not, It’s totally up to you guys to take this article with a grain of salt.

    • Kevin Go says:

      Also, try to recall the excuse that Samsung used to avoid spending for the development of Android 4.0 for the Galaxy S i9100 when its Nexus counterpart (Nexus S) was able to get it despite the similar hardware (512MB RAM and Hummingbird CPU).

      “Hardware limitations”

      It already came from you guys, there’s no reason why Jelly Bean shouldn’t come to the S2 (or note) since both phones possess powerful hardware — unless Samsung reveals another excuse not to custom-tailor Android 4.1 for both devices.

    • doesnotexist says:

      Here’s the thing Kevin. You mention several sources. Your source is Christian Post. Did it come from any *reliable* technical news source? No.

      And that’s what’s really disappointing.

    • crackinthewall says:

      Then you should have started your entry with “There’s a rumor…”. Even Engadget wouldn’t treat rumors as news and they’re as sensationalist as any tabloid. It doesn’t help that your only source, Christian Post is not a reliable website. You even treated it as news (use of word news, findings, etc) when it is clearly just speculation on the part of CP’s writer.

      And before you bring up how the Galaxy S did not receive ICS despite sharing similar hardware with the Nexus S, you must remember that the Galaxy S have been upgraded twice. It was launched with Eclair and was updated up to Gingerbread. The situation is also a bit different with the Galaxy SII. The Galaxy S was launched with the typical RAM at the time, had a bloated TW layer and questionable choice of filesystem while the Galaxy SII cut down on bloat and had the largest RAM available on a phone at the time.

      The original CP article is full of holes its a wonder why it got re-posted. The only acceptable (not really, but at least it has a shred of logic) reason would be the shortage on RAM for TW and JB but like we’ve said, JB is only an incremental update, the SII still has a lot of free RAM even with ICS and TW4 is relatively light.

    • Kevin Go says:

      I only write the articles and I have specifically tagged this as a rumor upon submission, our EIC is the one in charge of adding the titles not me :)

      @doesnotexist: There’s no such thing as a ‘reliable rumor’ unless it came from Reuters. Feel free to disregard this post.

      I apologize for the frustrations this might have caused you guys. Thanks for reading.

  11. roflyn says:

    hell to the no!!!
    i just got my note 2 months ago…

  12. trending says:

    I hope this won’t happen.

  13. John says:

    Lol stop bitching. Shit happens. Just get a Nexus next time.

  14. John says:

    Wait… This article is just absurd. Jelly bean is optimised for HD screens and quad core resolutions BUT NOT LIMITED TO WXVGA resolutions (800×480) and dual core processors. Do you twats even know what the fuck Project Butter is ? And oh, the Nexus S which has A 1 GHZ PROCESSOR will get the 4.1 update. Wtf is just wrong with you guys ?!

  15. Duds says:

    Well, the official Android 4.0.4 update has just started rolling out. It’ll be a while before Galaxy S2 gets to taste the jelly bean.

  16. Edsar says:

    Reality is S2 and NOTE are very capable devices regardless of the crap installed and running, Ayaw lang magastusan ng Samsung para sa development ng older phones nila. Oo nga naman hindi kana kikita sa mga older devices so bakit mo pa sila e update, typical Samsung crap.
    CUSTOM ROMS Anyone?

  17. paolo says:

    Take this with a grain of salt, sort to speak.

    If the Samsung Nexus S, the GALAXY Nexus’ predecessor, with a 1GHZ single core processor, 512MB RAM, and WVGA resolution WILL get Android 4.1 Jellybean, how much more will the GALAXY S II? (1.2GHZ dual core, 1GB RAM, also WVGA resolution.) [Reference: http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2190863/android-jelly-bean-update-to-land-on-nexus-smartphone%5D

    Samsung would also be trolling on the GALAXY S II customers if they didn’t let it get a share of Jellybean. Not when they sold 26 million of the Good Stuff.


    (Otherwise, there’s Cyanogenmod team.)

  18. SamsungNO says:

    I’m not buying any samsung phones again!

  19. samsung no says:

    I’m not buying any samsung phone again!

  20. Jacob says:

    And THAT is why I’m sticking to nexus phones from now on, and that my next tablet upgrade will be a nexus. I learned my lesson with the galaxy s. It was a great phone, mind you, and it introduced me to the android world. But updates were always 4months behind the nexus s and they didn’t bother with ICS at all. I got a galaxy nexus during the new year, and now I’m on jelly bean. Despite having inferior hardware as compared to the S3, it is my opinion that when it comes to android phones, software trumps hardware. Of course, there are those who don’t bother to update at all. This probably doesn’t apply to them.

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