These days, there are more similarities between iOS and Android than differences, and which you go with really does come down to personal preference. But one advantage Apple devices do enjoy is a longer update lifespan. Android has always lagged, but for Samsung devices, that’s getting a little better. The company is now promising select devices made since 2019 will get four years of security updates.
Naturally, a promise for security updates is a full OS update, so don’t expect to get Android 16 (or whatever it may be called) on a Galaxy device released this year. But as devices age, full OS updates can cause more harm than good, and the critical factor is security. Even Apple withholds features from older devices.
Don’t think of it as fragmentation, but Android devices usually don’t get security updates for as long as Apple devices. Things have improved over the years, but many manufacturers only promise two years of updates, and some don’t follow through. Samsung, on the other hand, has done a better than average job of providing updates.
Until now, it promised three years of security updates and generally delivered. Now it’s extending that promise to four years. The frequency of updates will slow down over time, however. During the first two years, Galaxy devices will get monthly updates. After that, they will step down to quarterly updates, and in the fourth year, Samsung will send out “regular updates.” It’s not clear how often that means, but presumably less than quarterly.
Even still, having more security updates is a good thing, as people are holding onto smartphones longer and seldom replace tablets. Here’s the complete list of devices Samsung says will get four years of updates to start:
- Galaxy Foldable devices: Fold, Fold 5G, Z Fold2, Z Fold2 5G, Z Flip, Z Flip 5G
- Galaxy S series: S10, S10+, S10e, S10 5G, S10 Lite, S20, S20 5G, S20+, S20+ 5G, S20 Ultra, S20 Ultra 5G, S20 FE, S20 FE 5G, S21 5G, S21+ 5G, S21 Ultra 5G
- Galaxy Note series: Note10, Note10 5G, Note10+, Note10+ 5G, Note10 Lite, Note20, Note20 5G, Note20 Ultra, Note20 Ultra 5G
- Galaxy A series: A10, A10e, A10s, A20, A20s, A30, A30s, A40, A50, A50s, A60, A70, A70s, A80, A90 5G, A11, A21, A21s, A31, A41, A51, A51 5G, A71, A71 5G, A02s, A12, A32 5G, A42 5G
- Galaxy M series: M10s, M20, M30, M30s, M40, M11, M12, M21, M31, M31s, M51
- Galaxy XCover series: XCover4s, XCover FieldPro, XCover Pro
- Galaxy Tab series: Tab Active Pro, Tab Active3, Tab A 8 (2019), Tab A with S Pen, Tab A 8.4 (2020), Tab A7, Tab S5e, Tab S6, Tab S6 5G, Tab S6 Lite, Tab S7, Tab S7+