Starting with the Galaxy NOTE 20 Series, Samsung is shifting to 3 years of Android updates for their smartphones. This has previously been set to a maximum of 2 years, but with no assurances. Samsung is changing that by going a step further to even list the devices it will be supporting, so as to – I believe – be held accountable.

Here are all the devices that Samsung will support with Android Updates for three years:

  • Galaxy A series: A71 5G, A71, A51 5G, A51, A90 5G and select upcoming A series devices. In Kenya, only the A51 and the A71 are eligible currently. Hopefully, Samsung will extend this program to other A-series.
  • Galaxy S Series: S20 Ultra 5G, S20 Ultra, S20+ 5G, S20+, S20 5G, S20 in addition to S10 5G, S10+, S10, S10e, S10 Lite and upcoming S series devices.
  • Galaxy Note series: All NOTE 20 Series, all NOTE 10 Series, NOTE 10 Lite and upcoming Note series devices. Glad to see the NOTE 10 Lite listed.
  • Tablets: Galaxy Tab S7+ 5G, Tab S7+, Tab S7 5G3, Tab S7, Tab S6 5G4, Tab S6, Tab S6 Lite and upcoming Tab S series devices. Unfortunately, the Tab S5 series isn’t in the mix.
  • Foldables: Z Fold 2 5G, Z Fold 2, Z Flip 5G, Z Flip, Fold 5G, Fold and upcoming Z series devices.

Samsung has really improved their update cycle from last year. Many Samsung users know that they have been receiving monthly Security Updates throughout last year and this year. This is something Samsung wasn’t good at just a couple of years ago. Every month since last year October, my Galaxy NOTE 10+ receives the security patches on time. As a longtime Samsung user, this isn’t something I noticed on the NOTE 9, or the NOTE 8 – phones I also had for a long time.

The three-year update policy is good because it means people can hold on to their devices for a little longer without feeling left out on software. You don’t want to have a phone that’s powerful enough but feels old because it is running old Android. Samsung should also be clear on how many years of monthly Security Updates they will be offering. At least 5 would be good.

They should also clearly state how long after a new version of Android is announced will they be sending out the update. You don’t want to receive Android 11 when Android 12 is already launching.

Apple definitely has contributed to this shift. Their devices still receive iOS updates even 5 years after launch. This is something no Android manufacturer can boast of. But this will definitely change with this new outright proclamation by Samsung. Companies like Nokia and OnePlus who’ve boasted long support for their devices will definitely try to do something more now. Hopefully, it pushes the smartphone market to that 5-year sweet spot. So that I can be confident when buying a device that I will be using it for up to 5 years without feeling that the software is outdated.

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