While the general state of Android updates hasn't changed much over the last few years
, a number of mobile hardware-making Google partners are now taking their software support far more seriously than ever, attempting and in some cases succeeding to deliver major OS promotions and security patches faster than the average smartphone vendor.
After playing second fiddle to the likes of OnePlus and Nokia brand licensee HMD Global in recent years, Samsung has undeniably extended its worldwide sales domination to the update arena, bringing Android 11-based One UI 3.0
) goodie packs to a boatload of new and old devices since early December 2020.
But the world's largest handset manufacturer isn't stopping there in its race to catch up with arch-rival and second-largest global vendor Apple, making another crucial pledge today
that concerns an even larger number of users everywhere.
The big promise
Owners of roughly seven dozen (!!!) different device models can now officially look forward to receiving "regular" security updates for a "minimum" of four years after the initial release of their phones and tablets. The lengthy list of eligible gadgets includes everything from high-enders like the (extended) Galaxy S10
lineup, S20 family, Note 10, Note 20, Tab S6, and Tab S7 to low-end handsets like the Galaxy A10
, A10e, A10s, M10s, M20, and Xcover 4s.
Basically, Samsung is taking care of its entire product portfolio launched since 2019 as far as security is concerned, thus moving one step closer to matching Apple's currently unrivaled software support policy. Unfortunately, the 2018-released Galaxy S9
and Note 9
are not technically part of the four-year club (or the three-year major Android update crew), although we're pretty sure their manufacturers have no plans to halt security deliveries
As unfair as it clearly is to make a direct comparison between Android and iOS updates, Apple remains light years ahead of all the competition from the other camp, making the latest version of its in-house mobile operating system
, for instance, available to all iPhones stretching back to 2015's 6s and 6s Plus.
The full list (or is it?)
That being said, Samsung
is definitely making great progress, widening its already significant edge
on all other Android device manufacturers. Interestingly, the company is today talking about "securing over 130 models", so the following list might actually be far from exhaustive.
It's also worth pointing out that while the newer models listed below are guaranteed monthly security updates, a number of oldies will have to settle for a quarterly release schedule.
- Galaxy Fold, Fold 5G, Z Fold2, Z Fold2 5G, Z Flip, Z Flip 5G
- Galaxy 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 Note10, Note10 5G, Note10+, Note10+ 5G, Note10 Lite, Note20, Note20 5G, Note20 Ultra, Note20 Ultra 5G
- Galaxy 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 M10s, M20, M30, M30s, M40, M11, M12, M21, M31, M31s, M51
- Galaxy XCover4s, XCover FieldPro, XCover Pro
- Galaxy 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+