Most Android device makers have a pretty lousy track record when it comes to offering long-term support for their gadgets. But that’s finally starting to change.
One of the latest signs? The world’s top smartphone maker (in terms of shipments) has announced that it will deliver at least four years of security updates for all Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets released in 2019 and later.
Google releases Android security updates on a monthly basis, but Samsung says its updates will be available monthly or quarterly, depending on the device model. Google also releases major operating system updates once per year, but Samsung’s announcement makes no mention of how long the company will offer those updates for each model.
Still, this is good news for folks who want to continue using smartphones for more than a few years without worrying that they’ll become more vulnerable to security threats over time. And hopefully it’s the sort of announcement we’ll see from more companies soon.
Last year Google and Qualcomm announced a partnership to make it easier for device makers to deliver updates for at least four years after a new chipset is available. That partnership only affects phones shipping with Snapdragon 888 or newer chips though, while Samsung’s promise covers phones with older Qualcomm processors as well as models with the company’s own Exynos processors.
One thing to keep in mind though is that the clock begins ticking when a phone is released, not when you buy it. So a phone released in 2019 will be supported through at least 2023, but there’s no guarantee it’ll still receive security updates after that time. If you want support through 2025, then you may need to buy a phone or tablet released this year.