Samsung has FINALLY woken up to the fact that its customers want better support when it comes to Android updates
This is very good news. If you’re using the Galaxy S10 or above, you are now guaranteed three years’ worth of Android updates from Samsung. That’s as good as what Google offers with its Pixel phones. And it is great news for Samsung and its future releases and potential customers.
Up until the launch of the Galaxy Note 20, Samsung users got two major Android updates – sometimes less. But at the Galaxy Note 20 launch event, Samsung confirmed that ALL new Samsung products – including tablets, phones, and foldable devices from the Galaxy S10 onwards – would get three years worth of Android updates.
Samsung Phones As Good As Pixel Phones For Updates
Apple’s iPhones are the benchmark for software updates and supports; if you bought the iPhone 11 today, you’ll probably still be getting iOS updates in 2027 – and that is what people want because it means they can hold onto their phones for longer.
Google promises three major Android updates to its Pixel users, up to recently that was the best software support you’d get in the Android marketplace. Now Samsung has joined the party, confirming ALL new Samsung phones, tablets, and foldable devices will also get three major Android updates.
The only downside is that this new regime within Samsung only applies to the Galaxy S10 and up. If you’re using the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy Note 9, you’re still stuck with just two major Android updates. But at least Samsung is moving in the right direction, right?
This Solves Android’s Biggest Problem
A few months ago, I penned a post called $1000 Android Phones Can Go To Hell. The reasoning behind the post was not that I hate expensive Android phones, but that Android phones that cost $1000+ should be getting better software support than two measly Android updates – for that money I’d want iPhone-grade software support.
The news of Samsung’s new approach to Android updates does not completely solve this but it is a massive step in the right direction and, most importantly, it is a change that all other Android brands will have to follow if they want to remain competitive.
For instance, why would you buy an OPPO phone that’ll get two years’ worth of Android updates over a new Samsung phone that’ll get three? If you’re on the fence, that extra year of support will almost certainly sway you towards Samsung’s product.
For this reason, I expect to see similar updates from ALL major Android phone makers, including brands like Xiaomi, RealMe, OPPO, and OnePlus – it’s a complete no brainer from a marketing perspective.
Android Phone With Four Years of Android Updates?
But because Samsung has now raised the bar on Android updates, might we see another company – OnePlus, for instance – come in and offer four years worth of Android updates? It’s possible. Android phone makers love outdoing one another, so it’s certainly possible – and it would be to everyone’s’ benefit if it did…
And while this is mostly wishful thinking on my part, I can definitely see some of the bigger Android phone makers matching Samsung’s new Android update commitment in the coming months. Why wouldn’t they? Samsung is the most visible, well known Android phone brand, so to remain competitive the other, smaller brands will pretty much have to.
Samsung and OnePlus Now Best For Android Updates
Samsung isn’t the only company with a renewed focus on Android updates. OnePlus has a brilliant track record with Android updates; its OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T got updated to Android 10, meaning those phones got three solid Android updates.
If OnePlus can maintain this will all of its current phones, including the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T, it will be placed in a very advantageous position, right next to Samsung. And because OnePlus makes fewer phones than Samsung, it should be a lot easier for the company to stay on top of a three-year update cycle.
As of right now, if the number of Android updates your phone gets is important to you, you basically have three options:
I just hope we see more Android brands follow suit in 2020 and 2021…
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.