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.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G

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.

press release

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7 replies on “Samsung’s new Android phones and tablets will 3 major OS upgrades (some older models too)”

  1. Security fixes are what I care about the most. What’s their official policy on that?

    If that’s 3 years too, then Google and Samsung still have a lot farther to go. So much so that it’s laughable at this point.

    1. Yeah, it’s pretty sad that this is actually progress in the world of Android updates. 3 years/major OS versions may be okay for “cheap” ~$200 phones but not in the ~$1000 USD range phones.

      The days of replacing my phone yearly is long gone. Now, I’d keep my phone until it breaks which is more than 3 years if only it kept getting maintenance updates.

  2. Lol, those Apple updates were slowing down phones as a feature.

    1. This hasn’t happened since the iPhone 4. With the exception of the battery protection feature on iPhone 6s obviously.

  3. It’s pretty sad when 3 years of software support is considered newsworthy.

    Are security updates also only limited to only 3 years? For me, security updates are more important than major OS updates. So, for me, the only choices I have when it comes to Android phones are Google Pixel and some Samsung Galaxy phones. I’m currently leaning towards the S20.

    1. For me, the Base-OS updates (eg Android 10) are most important. Followed by Security updates (eg Nov 2019). And followed after by OEM-Platform feature updates (eg One UI 2.0). But that’s only cause I know how software works in general, and I despise lazy OEMs.

      I think they’re saying they’ll offer THREE base-OS updates, staggered over three years. And probably ONE feature-platform update (since Samsung has reduced these since the TouchWizz days). And they’ll push Security updates four times a year, for four years.

      We have to commend Samsung, even if this is a knee-jerk reaction to the competition from Pixel and OnePlus. They’re trying to give people a reason to not jump ship, well, ever since Samsung stupidly decided to sell their SAMOLED+ screens to their Android competitors. I mean good for us, but they really and truly had a monopoly in that market. And it’s especially important since their Exynos efforts didn’t plan out (was supposed to be superior to Snapdragon, but haven’t since the S7).

      1. Samsung Display is a different company. They can’t survive just by selling screens to the Samsung Mobile entity. They don’t care if the panels they sell to Apple and others are better than those sold to Samsung. It’s about keeping the factory running.
        Same thing for the CPU guys, if they fab Mediatek processors which are better than Exynos, so what?

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