[U: Fix coming] Critical Mali GPU threat affected Samsung Exynos phones
[November 29] Update: Fix coming
According to 9to5Google, Google promised that a fix for Mali GPU-related exploit is currently in testing and will be delivered in the “coming weeks.” In a statement from the Android and Pixel teams, the company said that the patch will also be required for Android partners.
‘The fix provided by Arm is currently undergoing testing for Android and Pixel devices and will be delivered in the coming weeks. Android OEM partners will be required to take the patch to comply with future SPL requirements.”
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[November 25] Initial story…
On November 22nd, the Google Project Zero team discovered multiple security vulnerabilities/threats that affect various Samsung devices, specifically, Exynos chipset-powered devices with Mali GPU.
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Among the discovered vulnerabilities, one can lead to kernel memory corruption. Not that all, but the other threats can leak physical memory addresses, and three others can lead to a physical page us-after-free condition.
In general, if your Samsung Exynos device is affected by any of these Mali vulnerabilities/threats, an attacker who executes native code in an app can gain full access to the system and bypass the permission model of the OS.
Google’s Project Zero team in their blog post said that these vulnerabilities can let attackers continue reading and writing physical pages after returning to the system.
Notably, Google’s Project Zero team initially discovered these flaws while investigating Pixel 6 devices. Thankfully, all the Snapdragon processor-powered Galaxy models are unaffected by these vulnerabilities.
Back in July, ARM spotted these Mali-related security flaws, however, any smartphone maker didn’t patch to address them. As Project Zero has finally discovered the issue in Android, hopefully, the patches will be coming next month.
Apart from Samsung, ARM-made Mali GPUs are also used in Xiaomi and OPPO smartphones. Hence, some of the Xiaomi and OPPO devices could also be affected by these Mali-related security flaws.
[Thread] Samsung Galaxy S22 battery drain, heating and low power efficiency issues
In February 2022, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S22 series smartphones. These premium Galaxy devices feature Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (widely) or Exynos 2200 (Europe) chipsets. In the software department, the lineup is running One UI 5.1 (Android 13), up from pre-installed Android 12 (One UI 4.1).
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On February 1st, the company unveiled the Galaxy S23 series, which runs Android 13-based One UI 5.1 out of the box. Starting February 13, Samsung has begun to release the S23 lineup’s exclusive One UI 5.1 software with its older flagship devices including the S22 series.
Features apart, the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra users are facing different kinds of issues (via PiunikaWeb) with their smartphones such as battery drain, heating and low power efficiency. Users believe that the situation was better before December 2022 patch, which got worse with January 2023 patch.
Among consumers, there are discussions that the battery drain and heating issues are generated on models due to chipset maker differences as well as Samsung Foundry. The Exynos 2200 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processors are manufactured by Samsung Foundry.
Due to inefficient processes, the system on the chip gets affected by battery consumption issues due to thermal management. Since consumers in some countries such as India are quite satisfied with their Galaxy S22 phone’s battery, the issue is mainly reported spotted on Exynos models.
During Exynos 2200’s internal testing, Samsung faced critical thermal throttling due to the chipset’s inefficiency and additionally powerful GPU, which forced it to reduce clock speed by 0.61Ghz. To bring the world’s most powerful GPU, Samsung partnered with AMD and used Xclipse GPU in the Exynos 2200.
Due to Exynos’ heating and Foundry’s production efficiency issues, Samsung turned to Qualcomm and decided to ditch its self-developed SoC from the Galaxy S lineup. This year, the Galaxy S23 series uses Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset manufactured by TSMC, worldwide.
We hope Samsung will soon fix battery draining and heating issues on the Galaxy S22 devices through a firmware update. Since hardware issues can’t be fixed with even hundreds of firmware updates, they could be reduced or optimized with code changes.
Are you also facing battery-related issues on your Galaxy S22? Join the thread Twitter thread!
Samsung Galaxy S22 Bugs/Issues Thread: Battery drain, heating, low power efficiency #Samsung #GalaxyS22 @SamsungMobile
Consumers having issues with their S22 can share their concerns/feedback in the comments. 👀
— Sammy Fans (@thesammyfans) January 21, 2023
Updated on March 25
Commenting on our Twitter thread that tracks Galaxy S22 series battery concerns, a Verizon S22 Plus user reported having “performance issues, battery drain and overheating since the last update.”
Verizon support acknowledged the issues and promised to address and troubleshoot concerns. We will share the steps as soon as we get info about the discussion done via DM.
We would be happy to troubleshoot these issues with you if you could follow and send us a DM! *Zachary
— Verizon Support (@VerizonSupport) March 24, 2023
Besides battery drain, Galaxy S22 users reportedly facing issues with the phone’s wireless charging function. As per a user, wireless charging makes no progress. (In fact, it runs down on the charging pad!) Source
After the One UI 5.0, Galaxy S22 users received One UI 5.1 and the March 2023 security patch. Meanwhile, the excessive battery drain issue still persists on some units powered by the Exynos processor.
S22 Battery lasts barely 4 hours of combined usage, leaving me constantly tethered to a charger or mobile battery pack. I’ve tried various remedies I can find online but to no avail. Source
Due to bad battery life, some Galaxy S22 Ultra users are wondering to upgrade to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which is setting new records in efficiency. Meanwhile, it’s bad to hear that the company has not yet completely fixed the battery draining issue on the S22 series.
Are my apps that power hungry ? To where I can’t even get 3 hours of SOT, without having to charge. ABSOLUTELY love the phone but considering upgrading to s23 ultra just because of the battery upgrade. Which I can’t even say it’s worth paying the extra 5-600 dollars for that.
by u/Pleasant-Union8829 in S22Ultra
Samsung started rolling out March 2023 security update to the Galaxy S22 series. And we have noted different feedback from consumers, with some users having better battery efficiency, while some are still complaining about the drainage issue.
Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos) users continue to report (1, 2) battery drain issues on their smartphones. Hopefully, the March 2023 security update will bring improvements to battery efficiency as part of fixing the issue.
After upgrading to the One UI 5.1 software, some Galaxy S22 smartphone users are still facing battery draining and low power efficiency issues. Not only the screen on time, but the battery is also getting more consumed while the screen is off, or not in use.
Reports suggest that the One UI 5.1 update has not fixed Galaxy S22’s battery-draining problems.
Samsung pushed the major One UI 5.1 update for several Galaxy devices including the S22 series. It’s now expanding to both Exynos and Snapdragon models, worldwide. Hopefully, the One UI 5.1 update will resolve the battery draining and low power efficiency problems.
Concerns like abnormal battery drain and low power efficiency continue to emerge (1, 2, 3, 4) on the Galaxy S22 series devices. The company has recently pushed the February patch for select Galaxy models, and we hope, it could fix the battery and heating problems.
I have had the Galaxy S22 (Exynos) for almost a year now and my experience has not been completely satisfactory The battery gives me between 2-3 hours of SOT, and the device’s performance has been quite poor. There are frequent lags, the phone gets very hot, and if l’m playing a game (not a heavy game, for example Brawl Stars) while listening to music with the Galaxy Buds Pro, the music cuts out and the experience ends up being very bad. Does anyone else have this problem? Do you think that if a go to the technical service they can give me a solution?
Two more Galaxy S22 smartphone users reported having battery drain and overheating issues. According to the first affected user, their S22 heats up in general usage (such as WhatsApp, Twitter), however, the device is already delivering bad battery efficiency.
Second user said that they have fully charged the smartphone and the battery drained by 13% without any usage in the meantime. The user speculates that the Always on Display feature is eating battery heavily, however, there seems a software issue.
A Galaxy S22 smartphone user said on Reddit that Samsung’s authorized service center can just factory reset the device and recommends waiting for a few days since the battery health is good. It looks like processor issues and buggy software is causing the battery drain and overheating issues.
Samsung released the 2nd January 2023 firmware update Galaxy S22 series in certain regions but the battery drain and overheating issues continue to emerge. Meanwhile, there are different kinds of workarounds, which has the latest entry of turning off “Adaptive Battery” feature.
- Open System Settings >> Battery >> Adaptive preferences >> Turn on “Adaptive Battery”
A Reddit user @lazykryptonian said that the Galaxy S22’s overheating issue is caused because of the chipset’s design and Samsung foundry problems. Further, they added that “Some are much better than others but there’s no control over getting a decent one vs bad.”
A Galaxy S22 Ultra user claimed that after restricting background activities of unused apps, the battery consumption is greatly reduced. As per the user, the battery consumption before restricting activities was 10% per hour, which is now 2% per hour. You can also try it as a temporary fix.
Samsung provides you with tips that will show you how to get the best out of your battery in everyday usage and how to look after your battery. The tips are as follows:
- > Reduce display brightness level
- > Close, disable, or uninstall unused Apps
- > Turn off Always On Display (AOD) or set a schedule
- > Toggle off WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS when not in use
- > Turn on Power saving mode
- > Check your device Signal bars
Some users reported having overheating issues during video calls, as well as on WhatsApp video calls. And amid battery drain controversy, a Galaxy S22 Ultra user said that his phone’s brightness was fading day by day, which could be because of abnormal battery drain.
Issues like abnormal battery drain and overheating continue to emerge on the Galaxy S22 series devices, with Exynos models being most affected. Consumers complained that the January patch destroyed battery performance and generated heating issues, even in normal usage.
Samsung Galaxy S24 series’ Snapdragon chip to feature new core structure, only 64-bit support
Qualcomm has not yet launched the overclocked variant of vanilla Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and we’ve started to hear some early details (such as core structure) of the future Snapdragon chip, which will power the Samsung Galaxy S24 series.
According to the leak, Qualcomm has codenamed the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 as either “Lanai” or “Pineapple.” And the leak further claims that the chip will adopt a new 2+3+2+1 structure, which could be the same for the Samsung Galaxy S24 series’ custom Snapdragon processor.
Qualcomm’s most successful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset features a 1+4+4 core layout. The new cluster comes from the “titanium” cluster that includes two Arm “Hunter” (A7xx) cores. That said, it’s expected that the overall architecture of the next-gen Snapdragon chip could be as follows:
- Two A5xx cores
- Three A7xx cores
- Two A7xx cores
- One “gold+” core
- Adreno 750 GPU @ 770 MHz
- Linux kernel 6.1
It has been revealed that these are new cores from Arm, which could “replace the whole current lineup.” Besides, the new Arm chips probably drop support for 32-bit entirely, going 64-bit only. This follows Google’s way of gradually terminating the 32-bit support on Android.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy?
This year, Qualcomm and Samsung introduced a Galaxy-exclusive Snapdragon processor, as part of their multi-year partnership. The Korean tech giant is bringing the “Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy”-powered Galaxy S23 series to all regions and markets including Europe.
Compared to the standard variant (via), Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy has an increased primary clock speed from 3.2GHz to 3.36GHz and an increased GPU clock speed from 680MHz to 719MHz. Moreover, the company has further optimized it for the Galaxy S23 series with deep machine learning.
As the company’s dream chipset is in the initial stage, we don’t think it will take any kind of risk by commercializing it with the Galaxy S24 series. Accordingly, there are high chances of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for the Galaxy processor’s debut, which will power the Galaxy S24.
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Samsung Galaxy A14 loads stunning camera capabilities at budget price
In the era of user-created content, camera capabilities on a smartphone are everything. Everyone wants to see your epic moments on different kinds of social channels. At Samsung, stunning camera capabilities not only come with the flagship phone, and the Galaxy A14 is a recent example.
“Capturing truly great content is 50% skill, 50% luck, and 100% camera!”
Whether you dream of having a gazillion followers on your channel someday, or you’re a private collector of wonderful memories, camera quality is pretty high on your priority list when it comes to buying your next smartphone.
Selfie x Wefie
In a time where selfie photos and videos are trending, the Galaxy A14 sports a 13MP Front Camera for a huge leap in selfie quality compared to its predecessor. With a 1.6x higher resolution than the previous model, you can put your best face forward.
Stunning rear camera
At the back of the Galaxy A14, you’ve got the powerful 50MP main camera, which brings every detail to life in the highest resolution on your phone.
Each shot is a masterpiece with incredible details, and you can zoom in on something you want to highlight, then crop it without losing picture quality.
So, at your next lecture, if you’re sitting way at the back of the class and can’t see a thing on the screen, just whip out your phone, and boom, the lesson will become so much clearer.
Wide and Macro
You can easily switch to your Galaxy A14’s 5MP Ultra Wide Camera for wide and ultra-wide landscapes. Your panoramic portrait or video of the entire stage will ensure nobody and nothing gets left out, not even the curtains.
The Ultra Wide Camera is also the perfect mode for your travel content when you want to show the sprawling scenery. Plus, with so much space, you can play around with stickers and captions to make your content more fun.
As for the introspective among you who love seeing the world up close and personal, your secret weapon is the 2MP Macro Camera. You can capture the tiniest detail like your eyes or the wings of a butterfly and the petals of a flower.
This aesthetic is not only great to showcase the beauty of nature around you, but it’s also ideal for tutorials, make-up, art, cooking, even miniature cooking, and more.