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Other than connecting your Samsung GALAXY to Samsung Kies or checking for updates directly by going to Settings -> About device -> Software update, there is a third reliable way to check to see if a new firmware has been released for your device. SamMobile’s Firmware Portal (formerly known as samfirmware.com).

If you type in your model number into their firmware search, and it should indicate if there has been a firmware update. What is great is that they also indicate whether the update is done via Samsung Kies, or if the orange box is grayed out, it is an OTA (Over-The-Air Update).

SamMobile seems to know the day of the release of the firmware, and even for rare models such as my Korean version of the Samsung Galaxy Note II (SHV-E250L), it seems to always be updated the same day. Although for some it is not aware of my Galaxy Note 3 (SM-N900L). However, all the American carriers for the Galaxy Note 3 seems to be well supported.

Link: http://www.sammobile.com/firmwares/

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