One of the biggest advantages iPhones have over their Android counterparts is the number of years Apple devices receive regular software updates. However, while it isn’t quite the five years of support iPhones typically enjoy, Samsung is now committing to supporting many of its recent Galaxy devices with at least three generations of Android upgrades.
Samsung first promised three generations of Android updates for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra back at its recent Unpacked event, but now the company is adding more details around the full range of devices that will be covered.
Generally, Samsung will provide three years of updates for all of the Galaxy S, Galaxy Note, and Galaxy Z devices released in 2019 and 2020. That includes the S10 and S20 line of phones, and also more niche devices like the Galaxy Fold, which was recently retroactively added to be part of Samsung’s Galaxy Z line of foldable devices.
Samsung’s new Android upgrade commitment will also cover Samsung’s premium tablet lineup going back to the Galaxy Tab S6 and S6 Lite, along with a handful of Samsung’s mid-range smartphones such as the Galaxy A71, A51, and A90 5G. For a full rundown of applicable devices, check out the list at the end of this story.
With so many people now opting to hold onto their phones for longer and wait longer between upgrades, extending the software support timeline for mainstream Samsung phones is incredibly important. And among Android phones, Samsung’s move to three generations of support now puts it on the same level as Google’s own Pixel phones.
However, it’s important to note that Samsung says it will provide three generations of Android upgrades, not three years of Android updates, which aren’t the same thing. For example, because the new Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes pre-installed with Android 10, that means Samsung should provide upgrades for Android 11, 12, and 13.
But if you go by years, with Google set to release Android 11 sometime later this fall, depending on when you bought a new 2020 Samsung phone, one might expect to get Android 11, 12, 13, and 14, which doesn’t appear to be the case, at least not for now.
But still, extended support cycles for both Android OS upgrades and security patches is definitely a good thing and something that more Android phone makers should include on their devices. And hopefully down the line, Google, Samsung, and others will increase support to four or even five generations of upgrades.
Per Samsung, Galaxy devices that will be getting three years of Android OS upgrades include:
- Galaxy S series: Galaxy 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: Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G, Note20 Ultra, Note20 5G, Note20, Note10+ 5G, Note10+, Note10 5G, Note10, Note10 Lite and upcoming Note series devices
- Galaxy Foldable devices: Galaxy Z Fold2 5G, Z Fold2, Z Flip 5G, Z Flip, Fold 5G, Fold and upcoming Z series devices
- Galaxy A series: Galaxy A71 5G, A71, A51 5G, A51, A90 5G and select upcoming A series devices
- 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