Though this is a simple process, it can also be tedious based on the various postings I have seen on how to obtain the update either through 1. OTA “Over The Air” which is the preferred way because you will get automatic updates when the updates come out, 2. Using ODIN or 3. Using ADP side load method.
When you have the Snapdragon US unlocked versions SM-G960U, SM-G960U1, SM-G965U, or SM-G965U1 the preferred way to get the update is using the Samsung + app or if you are overseas, its called the Samsung Members app.
As you read through the multiple blogs or step by step instructions, you notice that most of these online postings are either not detailed enough or simply just re postings of inaccurate information from bloggers who have literally ZERO Android or tech experience. Samsung says and posts that they will only allow 100,000 in the program as they say on most beta releases however, if the beta is successful with few issues, they keep it open. If you are one of the many people who have tried to get the update OTA, looked everywhere on their Samsung app for the beta signup, did factory resets and many other steps to get enrolled and haven’t been successful, you are probably thinking the beta is full, however, its been over its limit for a week now and that limit doesn’t matter. Here are the exact steps you will need to do to sign up.
These steps are based on your phones having the installed firmware as noted: “To see what your firmware is updated to, Go to Settings–>About phone–>Software information and look under Baseband version”
S9 Plus SM-G965U1 is: G965U1UEU3ARJ2 or G965U1UES3ARJ6
S9 Plus SM-G965U firmware is: G965USQU3BRJ5 or G965USQU3BRJ6
S9 Plus SM-G960U1 is: G960U1UEU3ARJ2 or G960U1UEU3ARJ6
S9 SM-G960U firmware is G960USQU3BRJ5 or G960USQU3BRJ6
Though, I have seen these methods more successful on phones with firmware G965U1UEU3ARJ2 for the SM-G965U1 version, G965USQU3BRJ5 for the SM-G965U version, G960U1UEU3ARJ2 for the S9 SM-G960U1 version and G960USQU3BRJ5 for the S9 SM-G960U version, I have spoken to a few of my tech friends that actually got the update on their security patched J6 firmware, so if you have the J6 firmware and just cant get the update “OTA” I would use ODIN following the steps below to get your phone back to the stock firmware listed above that were more successful.
Ok, now to the good stuff. The FIRST thing you want to do before ANYTHING is make sure you are signed in your Samsung account, next and VERY important, check to see if you are an actual BETA user for your Samsung + app or your Samsung Members app. Being a BETA user on these apps are not the same as being a BETA user for the Samsung One UI program. What I see most people doing wrong with the update is that they go to their Samsung + or Samsung Members app to see if they get notified of the Samsung One UI Beta program and have not even signed up to be a beta tester on the Samsung + or Samsung Members app first. Yes, I know, there are a few that feel they didn’t sign up for to be a BETA app user and they still got the update but we will agree to disagree on this. Below is the instructions to do this if you don’t already know how to sign up in the Google Play Store.
**Sign up to beta test apps from within the Google Play Store**
Not all apps offer beta testing but if they do, all you need to do is head on over to its Play Store listing on your Android device. Once you’re there, it doesn’t matter if you have the app installed yet or not. Just scroll down to the very bottom of the listing until you spot a card offering you the opportunity to become a beta tester.
Next, all you need to tap on I’m in and then select the Join button, acknowledging that you know the app is in development and the app might become unstable in future updates. And that’s it! It usually takes several minutes for the enrollment process to take place in the background, but when you’re in, you will begin receiving beta updates whenever they become available. “Important” you will need to wait a minute or two in some cases to get notification to update the current app if already installed or to install the beta if not, “usually” you will see its the beta app as it somewhere on the download description.
**If for some reason you are having issues getting the beta test app, you can download the apk for the Samsung + beta app here, not sure if it works without signing up but you can give it a try: Click here to download the apk. “Samsung+ 188.8.131.52 beta” Once you download the apk, you can try and install it and see if you get a notification to change security for installing unknown apps or do it manually by going to Settings–>Apps–>3 Dot menu (upper right corner)–>Special Access–>Install unknown apps–>Select App**
Once you sign up to be a beta tester on the Samsung + or Samsung Members app and install the beta app version, wait a few minutes, restart your phone and then go to Settings–>Software update–>manually download and not auto install, it will do a check and the new One UI Beta firmware update should be available.
If you don’t see a firmware update, wait a bit longer, you don’t want to rush this because any delayed internet connection, delayed server connection to your phone to verify the settings needed can cause the update not to show up immediately.
If these steps don’t seem to work, you will have to downgrade your firmware to the more successful firmware versions listed previously using ODIN, its not difficult. You can do this easily by going to this link and following the steps in the post. https://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-s9-plus/help/sm-g965u-u1-current-g965usqu2are6-t3804133
Download ODIN modified version, download your firmware, unzip both in their own folder on your desktop. Make sure your phone is in developer mode just in case by going to Settings–>About phone–>Software information–>and click on Build number till it says developer mode, go back to settings, scroll down to Developer options, enable USB debugging and then right below that, turn off Verify apps over USB. This isn’t always necessary, but I have found it relaxes your phones security and allows for easier updates.
Remember, make sure your phone is in download mode before trying to flash using ODIN, I see many people trying to flash before putting their phone in download mode and it will not work.
You can download the S9 SM-G960U1 firmware G960U1UEU3ARJ2 here: https://www.sammobile.com/firmwares/galaxy-s9/SM-G960U1/XAA/
You can download the S9 SM-G960U firmware G960USQU3BRJ5 here: https://www.sammobile.com/firmwares/galaxy-s9/SM-G960U/XAS/
Once you download and install the older firmware on your phone, restart without restoring old data or data backups for now, start the set up by logging into your google account, then log into your Samsung Account, stop all updates as that will just waste time for now and then start the process I outlined in red above, under “**Sign up to beta test apps from within the Google Play Store**”
This has worked for 90% of the people who follow these steps exactly and is the best way to get into the One UI Beta program and get OTA “Over The Air” updates so you don’t have to flash using ODIN each time a new One UI Beta update comes out.
I hope this helps the many that are plagued with issues trying to get in the One UI Beta program and explains why it wasn’t working before.