Android updates – or, a lack thereof – can make ruin an otherwise great phone. But which Android brand is best for Android updates, and which is worst? Let’s crunch the data and find out…

TL:DR: The Best & Worst Android Phones For Updates

The Best Options

The Worst

  • 👎 Avoid Nokia, Xiaomi, and ASUS – none of these brands do more than 3 years’ worth of updates.

When it comes to Android phones, part of the allure is that you have so much choice. Multiple brands make multiple series and versions of phones running on Android, allowing for more choice and huge variation in pricing. 

You can pay $2000 for an Android phone or less than $200. But one of the most important factors to consider before you pull the trigger on ANY new Android phone is how long it is supported. 

And by support, I mean: how many Android OS updates will it get. 

This is important for a range of reasons but the main one is that, should you pay $800 for a new phone, you’d expect to get more than a few years’ worth of Android support

Here’s a complete guide – as of 2024 – to the best and worst Android phone brands, with respect to Android updates and overall support. 

The Best Phone Brands For Android Updates

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  • Google Pixel Series: Google sets the gold standard with its Pixel lineup, especially the Pixel 8 series, which leads the pack with a remarkable 7 years of both OS and security updates. This unparalleled commitment makes Pixel phones the go-to choice for users prioritizing long-term support and security.
  • Samsung Galaxy Series: Samsung impresses with its Galaxy S24 series, matching Google’s 7 years of update support. Older models like the S23 to S21 offer slightly less, with 4 years of OS and 5 years of security updates. The key with Samsung is to know which model you’re getting.

The “Good Enough” Brands For Android Updates

  • OnePlus: Offering a commendable 5 years of updates for its latest models, OnePlus stands out for its robust support. However, the brand’s mid-range offerings are limited to just 2 years of OS updates, which might not suffice for users seeking more comprehensive long-term support.
  • OPPO: With a selective approach, OPPO provides up to 4 years of OS and 5 years of security updates for devices like the Find N2 Flip. Yet, this generous support doesn’t extend across the board, with the Reno series and others receiving only 2 years of OS updates.
  • Xiaomi: Xiaomi presents a mixed bag, with standout models like the Mi 13 Pro enjoying 4 years of security updates. However, the level of support varies significantly across the Xiaomi range, making it crucial to check the update policy for the specific model you’re interested in.

The Worst Phone Brands For Android Updates

  • Motorola: Leading Motorola’s lineup, the Edge Plus (2023) offers a respectable 4 years of security updates. Nonetheless, the broader Motorola range typically sees only 3 years of security updates, with inconsistent OS update policies.
  • ASUS: ASUS users, particularly those with the ZenFone 9, face more modest support, limited to just 2 years of security updates. The situation is similar or even less favorable for other ASUS models, especially regarding OS updates.
  • Nokia: Nokia’s X series does offer a reasonable 3 years of security updates, but the brand’s OS update policy is less impressive, generally capping at just 2 years with few exceptions.

Wrapping Up / Final Thoughts

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If you plan on running your phone for multiple years at a time, you’ll want to keep it locked to either the Samsung Galaxy S24 series or Google’s Pixel 8 series. Failing that, jump ship and move to iPhone – Apple’s support for iPhone is the best in the business. 

With other brands in the Android niche, the next best options would be OnePlus (four years of updates) and, well, that’s about it. Everybody else needs to seriously up their games. It’s 2024, you should be able to get at least five years’ worth of updates from your $800 to $1000 phone. 

I would personally avoid Xiaomi, Nokia, ASUS, and Motorola – all four brands have a lot of work to do with their support. Bottoming out at 1-2 years with Nokia is shockingly bad, and Xiaomi’s is just about as vague as can be. 

Android updates, and running the latest software, are two important things that are often overlooked by customers. People get caught up in specs and shiny new hardware and forget that, without the latest build of Android, you’re missing out on vital features and security fixes. 

If you want the best possible Android support, get one of Google’s latest Pixel phones or, if you’d prefer something a little flashier, one of Samsung’s latest Galaxy S-series phones – both will do 7 years’ worth of Android OS updates. 

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