Buy an iPhone today and there’s a good chance you’ll still be getting major operating system updates from Apple in five years. Buy an Android phone from some companies and you may never see an official update at all.
Historically Samsung has been somewhere in the middle, typically offering around two years of Android OS upgrades for its smartphones and tablets. But now the company is promising to deliver “3 generations” of Android upgrades for a whole bunch of current and upcoming Samsung Galaxy devices.
While 3 generations isn’t exactly the same thing as 3 years, it might as well be, since Google typically releases one major Android OS update each year.
That means if you buy a Samsung Galaxy S20 or Galaxy Note 20 with Android 10 today, Samsung will most likely release an Android 13 (or whatever it’s called) update for the phone sometime in 2023.
It’s worth noting that the three year clock begins when a smartphone is released, not when you buy it. So if you bought a Samsung Galaxy S10 in early 2019, it was probably running Android 9 at the time and will only be updated through the released of Android 12. The same holds true even if you buy a Galaxy S10 today.
Still, Samsung’s new promise puts the company in the position of offering one of the best software support schedules of any Android phone maker. Google also only offers 3 years of OS updates for its Pixel devices.
Here’s the list of phones that Samsung says are eligible for 3 generations of updates:
- Samsung Galaxy S10 and S20 series phones
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 20 series phones
- Samsung Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Z Fold2, and Galaxy Z Flip series phones
- Samsung Galaxy A51, A71, and A90 5G series smartphones
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 and S7 series tablets
The company says all upcoming Galaxy S, Note, and Z series phones will also receive 3 major OS updates, as will Galaxy Tab S series tablets and some Galaxy A phones.
Samsung says security updates will continue to be released monthly and quarterly for these and other phones for as long as they’re supported.