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Galaxy Watch 4 update is bricking the wearable for some (Updated: New firmware)

Update: The bricking issue appears to be resolved for some users but not all.

Published onNovember 11, 2022

google assistant galaxy watch 4 bixby
Andy Walker / Android Authority
  • Reports of bricking have been emerging as users upgrade to the latest firmware.
  • The issue seems to be happening after the device turns off.
  • Samsung is pushing out a fix for the problem.

Update: November 11, 2022 (12:09 AM ET): Samsung is reportedly (h/t SamMobile) pushing out a new update for the Galaxy Watch 4 series to fix the bricking problem. The update is currently rolling out to Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 5 users in the US and other regions, with firmware number GVI4.

The official changelog for the update states it improves system stability and reliability. “A power operation-related stabilization code has been applied,” Samsung notes. The smartwatch maker also warns users that errors may occur during the update. So be sure to back up any important data before you install the latest firmware. Additionally, the update carries the November security patch.

While the update has fixed the problem for some users, others haven’t been so lucky. For one user, the Galaxy Watch 4 is stuck on a boot loop after installing the GVI4 update. The watch is also still inoperable for many users. It looks like Samsung may have to roll out another fix in the near future.

Original article: November 7, 2022 (1:44 PM ET): If you’re an owner of the Galaxy Watch 4 or Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, beware of the latest firmware update. It appears that the update is causing these devices to brick for some.

Released early last month, firmware version R8xxXXU1GVI3 was meant to bring minor fixes to system stability and reliability for the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. It was first rolled out to South Korea and gradually made it to other regions. But it appears as more people began installing the update, issues started popping up.

According to SamMobile, some owners of the Galaxy Watch 4 and Classic are reporting that their smartwatches have become unusable after installing the R8xxXXU1GVI3 firmware. However, the update apparently isn’t immediately bricking these devices. The claims suggest that bricking occurs after the update is installed and the smartwatch either runs out of power or the user manually tries to reboot the watch.

This isn’t happening in only one market either. It appears that online reports are emerging from multiple countries. At the moment, it’s unknown if the issue affects every Galaxy Watch 4 and Classic that’s been updated to the most recent firmware.

Samsung released a statement in regard to the issue, saying that it has halted the update for now:

We are aware that a limited number of Galaxy Watch 4 series models are not turning on following a recent software (VI3) update.
We have halted the update and will release a new software shortly.
We recommend customers experiencing this issue with their Galaxy Watch 4 series to visit their nearest Samsung service center or call a contact center.

For those who have yet to update their smartwatch, it’s recommended that you wait until the next patch to update your device. If you already installed the update, the best thing you can do right now is to try your best to keep the battery from running out until the next update rolls out. Unfortunately, if your Galaxy Watch 4 has been bricked, a patch isn’t going to be enough to save it. You’re likely going to have to contact Samsung to replace it.

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