Nokia is the official champion of Android updates, handily beating all other major smartphone brands

Nokia is the official champion of Android updates, handily beating all other major smartphone brands
Yup, even the entry-level Nokia 1 has been updated to Android Pie recently

Despite Google's best efforts, the Android fragmentation scourge is pretty much as bad as always. So bad, in fact, that the platform's official distribution numbers were only refreshed once this year rather than once every month, with a measly 10.4 percent of active devices running the latest OS version as of the beginning of May.

But when pointing the finger at third-party smartphone manufacturers, you might want to keep in mind their individual contribution to the sorry state of Android updates is radically different. In other words, not all companies are equally bad at keeping their handsets fresh and secure in the long run, and some actually do a stellar job of delivering fast and frequent software enhancements to flagships and low-enders alike.


Just in case it wasn't already crystal clear, Nokia is the world's top brand in terms of Android updates, according to an in-depth report conducted by Counterpoint. The reputable research firm found that no less than 96 percent of Nokia-branded smartphones cumulatively sold since Q3 2018 are powered by Android Pie, with Samsung and Xiaomi ranked in second and third place respectively in this particular chart, with pretty strong 89 and 84 percent numbers of their own.

These scores include both devices launched with Android 9.0 software pre-installed and phones updated to the newest stable OS build in the last 12 months, mind you, which explains why Samsung and Xiaomi rank so high. When looking only at upgrades, however, Samsung's figure drops to a modest 23 percent as far as what chunk of its portfolio is running the latest Android version one year in.


Otherwise put, 89 percent of Galaxy devices sold in the last 12 months come with Android Pie, but that number falls to a measly 23 percent when talking about all Samsung phones currently in circulation. Nokia comfortably leads the latter rankings as well, at a mind-blowing 94 percent, followed by Xiaomi with 62 percent, Lenovo with 52, and Huawei with 40 percentage points. 

LG is a major (but largely predictable) disappointment in both parts of this very interesting Counterpoint Research analysis, while OnePlus is unfortunately excluded from the report, which focuses on the world's ten largest smartphone vendors.

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22 Comments

1. pooma

Posts: 96; Member since: Oct 01, 2015

proud owner of Nokia 7 plus Android Pie with August SP

2. gadgetpower

Posts: 283; Member since: Aug 23, 2019

Salute to those OEMs who continuously support their products regularly.

19. Venom

Posts: 3732; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Man I'm jealous. I really wanted the 7 Plus to be released here in the US. I would have copped that jawn. Luckily they released the 7.1 in the US and it's still the best Nokia phone ever that's available in the US.

24. meanestgenius

Posts: 22290; Member since: May 28, 2014

After the Nokia 9 Pureview and Nokia 8.1, both of which are more powerful, offer a better user experience, have better cameras, bigger batteries.....but the 7.1 is still offer a better user experience than other stock Android smartphones like Pixels due to it having less issues.

3. perry1234

Posts: 650; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

Nokia is to be applauded for this excellent showing. Standing tall amongst other lazy OEM's , who are focusing only on consumers one time purchase.

8. AbhiD

Posts: 850; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Well this graph has a serious miss - OnePlus! Hell, they even included Alcatel and Tecno but not OnePlus. What made them not include OnePlus? Were they sponsored for the study from "some" manufacturer who would lose the spot if OP came in the picture too? Forget about Q3, 2018. Right now every OnePlus from 7, 7 Pro to 2016's OnePlus 3, 3T is on Android Pie. They would be scoring 100% on this chart. Nokia's title would be quickly snatched.

11. technut

Posts: 205; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

I had the same thought regarding OnePlus. There's no possible way it's in the "others" category.

20. Venom

Posts: 3732; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Essential phone still has them beat imo without even being an Android One phone.

25. meanestgenius

Posts: 22290; Member since: May 28, 2014

This article proves otherwise, and then there are the other ways that Nokia branded smartphones have the Essential Phone beat: Design, build quality, camera, less issues, sales....

4. VariableCheapskate

Posts: 177; Member since: May 29, 2019

Meanwhile on r/android you have the Xiaomi fanboys who ignore the fact that most people would take locked down bootloaders over janky system UI ads any day. The Nokia 1 is also a pretty tight little phone for how basic it is, especially with that Android 10 update roadmap.

12. Cyberchum

Posts: 1095; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

I effortlessly disabled ads on the RN7 pro, try disabling duraspeed on pie-running Nokia smartphones without adb and/or an automation app and report back. I prefer stock android to MIUI, and, while MIUI is not as refined as One UI, it's not as bad as people make it out to be.

26. Omega unregistered

Most people who talk s**t about the ads on MIUI usually never use Xiaomi phones or they are not smart enough to turn it off. For me the MIUI is actually way better than stock android because MIUI has many usefull built in features.

5. Syedafzal.shah

Posts: 12; Member since: Sep 07, 2017

I've been using Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 pro for more than a year and they are updating the phone on regular basis. It's running August security patch now with Android Pie.

13. Cyberchum

Posts: 1095; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Same here. My RN7 pro is on August security patch, too.

6. palmguy

Posts: 983; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Owner of the zombie device the Essential Phone PH1. It was alive, it was dead, but it's still being supported. Rocking Android 10 Beta (Q Beta 6) without a hitch.

7. meanestgenius

Posts: 22290; Member since: May 28, 2014

If you’ve been following HMD elsewhere, you’ll know that this comes as no surprise. Props to you for this, HMD. You don’t have to be first with “day one” updates to be the best at updating your fleet of smartphones. Proud owner of several Nokia branded smartphones, including the best one to date, the Nokia 9 Pureview, along with the Nokia 7.1, Nokia 6.1 and Nokia 6.

10. Fownz

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 21, 2019

Seriously, props to HMD. I too own a 7.1 and it's such a pleasure carrying it around.

18. meanestgenius

Posts: 22290; Member since: May 28, 2014

Totally agree, Fownz. It is a pleasure to own indeed.

14. Cyberchum

Posts: 1095; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

My Nokia 6.1 plus got stolen a month ago, and I didn't consider Nokia for my next purchase. I like the speed of their update, but they need to fix their s**tty RAM management. It's really abysmal.

22. Venom

Posts: 3732; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Same here. I actually bought the 6.1 a while back and ended up returning it because it was so bad and it kept lagging and overheating. I loved the design of the phone. I only wished it had that extra gig of. RAM and 64GB of storage because the G7 I had was pretty fast.

27. Omega unregistered

The real winner for me is Xiaomi because they still provide you with great support even tough their phones is way.. cheaper than any other brand.

28. Rafaelrcp

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 28, 2018

I am a Sony user, I always have all the promised performances on my Xperia XZ Premium phones with Adroid pai and August security patch, it never fails me, I love Sony

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