Samsung is up to date on Android updates and offers four years of security updates on many of its Android devices. The company’s complete update package is now three years of major OS updates and four years of security updates, and best even what Google offers on the Pixel line.
In the announcement, Samsung says: “Over the past decade, Samsung has made significant progress in streamlining and accelerating its regular security updates. Samsung worked closely with its OS and chipset partners, as well as over 200 operators worldwide, to ensure that billions of Galaxy devices have received security updates in a timely manner. “Samsung has experimented with bringing four years of updates to its own Exynos SoC devices, but now it looks like the company will also get Qualcomm models on board.
Remember that these are not necessarily so monthly security updates. Samsung says it delivers four years of “monthly or quarterly”
When it comes to which phones get four years of security updates, the answer is “a lot”. It’s not just flagships; Many mid-range devices and tablets dating back to 2019 are included, giving “over 130 models.” Here is the whole list.
- Galaxy Foldable Devices: Fold, Fold 5G, Z Fold2, Z Fold2 5G, Z Flip, Z Flip 5G
- Galaxy S Series: S10, S10 +, S10e, S10 5G, S10 Lite, S20, S20 5G, S20 +, S20 + 5G, S20 Ultra, S20 Ultra 5G, S20 FE, S20 FE 5G, S21 5G, S21 + 5G , S21 Ultra 5G
- Galaxy Note Series: Note10, Note10 5G, Note10 +, Note10 + 5G, Note10 Lite, Note20, Note20 5G, Note20 Ultra, Note20 Ultra 5G
- Galaxy A Series: A10, A10e, A10s, A20, A20s, A30, A30s, A40, A50, A50s, A60, A70, A70s, A80, A90 5G, A11, A21, A21s, A31, A41, A51, A51 5G , A71, A71 5G, A02s, A12, A32 5G, A42 5G
- Galaxy M Series: M10s, M20, M30, M30s, M40, M11, M12, M21, M31, M31s, M51
- Galaxy XCover Series: XCover4s, XCover FieldPro, XCover Pro
- Galaxy Tab Series: Tab Active Pro, Tab Active3, Tab A 8 (2019), Tab A with S Pen, Tab A 8.4 (2020), Tab A7, Tab S5e, Tab S6, Tab S6 5G, Tab S6 Lite, Tab S7, Tab S7 +
Samsung offers longer Android security updates than any other, but the company is still one of the slower major OEMs when it comes to delivering Android OS updates. It took three months to launch Android 11, while Google, OnePlus, Oppo and Xiaomi were faster. Samsung is still not participating in Google’s Android beta program, which – surprisingly – is used by all the faster companies. Samsung also refuses to follow Android’s best practices and add seamless update support, which allows users to apply all of these updates without incurring significant downtime on the phone.
Samsung’s new update plan is the best of any Android phone, but it still pales in comparison to Samsung’s favorite competitor, Apple. iOS still offers the best update plan in the industry, with iOS 14 support all the way back to the iPhone 6S, a phone released in 2015.
Google is now in the embarrassing position of not offering the best update plan for its own operating system, but it’s hard to imagine that the company will not quickly lift the Pixel line to match Samsung. After all, Google is where the majority of these updates come from, since it is the company that develops Android. The Android source code still receives monthly security updates covering the latest four versions of Android, and goes back to Android 8.1. If Google wanted it, it could do three years of major updates and then four more years of security updates after that. The code is out there.
There is still a lot of work to be done, but greetings to Samsung for pushing the Android update envelope. Android’s update situation is slowly improving, one step at a time.