How long will my Android phone be supported with updates?

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Updates are a big deal in the Android world. Apple controls the iPhone update process, but Google doesn’t have that power on Android. How are you supposed to know how long your Android phone will receive updates? We will help you.

It all depends on the manufacturer

When it comes to Android devices and updates, you can’t look at all Android as a whole. The question isn’t “when will my Android phone be supported?” It’s “when will my [manufacturer] phone supported? »

There used to be plenty of manufacturers that produced Android devices, but that’s been mostly limited to Samsung, Google, and a few smaller players, at least in the US. We will focus on these companies.

Android OS Upgrade Vs Security Update

Before diving in, there is a distinction to be made. There are two types of Android updates. Security updates are smaller and arrive more frequently. They usually don’t include big changes, but they are very important.

Android updates or “major operating system updates” are annual. This is when Android 12 switches to Android 13, or One UI 3 to One UI 4, and so on. Typically, devices get an additional year of security updates after receiving their latest operating system upgrade.

To note: Update deadlines begin at the time of publication. If a device launched in October 2021 and receives five years of security updates, the last update will be in October 2026, regardless of when you purchased it.

RELATED: What are Android security updates and why are they important?

How long will my Samsung phone be supported?

Galaxy S22 models.
Jack Skeens/Shutterstock.com

Samsung releases lots of Android devices and they don’t all get the same number of updates. Luckily, the company maintains a detailed website called “Security Updates Scope” with information about specific devices.

Updates are released on a monthly, quarterly and semi-annual schedule. Newer Samsung devices receive updates more frequently. Devices launched in 2019 or later receive four years of security updates, while newer devices receive up to five years.

In addition to these security updates, Samsung offers four Android upgrades for the majority of its devices. The list of these devices can be found on the Samsung website and it also includes the new models of these series.

The short answer for the majority of Samsung devices is that you’ll get four Android upgrades and five years of security updates.

How long will my Google Pixel phone be supported?

Pixel 6 Pro
Google

Google doesn’t have as many devices to worry about as Samsung, but they’re still not all treated equally. Pixel device support timelines can be found here on the Google website.

Newer devices, starting with the Pixel 6 series, get three years of Android upgrades and five years of security updates. The Pixel 5a through the Pixel 3a gets three years of Android upgrades and security updates. Pixel 3 and older Pixels are no longer supported.

If you own a Google Pixel, you’re looking at three to five years of support.

RELATED: How to Manually Update Your Google Pixel by Downloading the OTA

How long are other phones supported?

Beyond the heavy hitters, there are a few other Android makers you should know about.

OnePlus

OnePlus 8 and newer devices receive three years of Android upgrades and four years of security updates. Older devices get two years of upgrades and three years of security updates. Nord series gets one year of upgrades and three years of security updates

Motorola

Motorola has one of the most missing update strategies among Android makers. This varies greatly depending on the device you have. Newer devices receive two Android upgrades and two years of security updates. You can find your model on the Motorola website.

sony

Most Sony phones get two years of Android upgrades and security updates. Sony does not provide much information about its update times.

LG

LG shut down its smartphone business in 2021, but phones released in 2019 or later are supposed to get three years of Android updates.

Samsung and Google are the most reliable

At the time of writing in April 2022, Samsung and Google are above the rest of the Android world when it comes to updates.

These are the devices you should consider if you want long-term support. You don’t want to use a phone without up-to-date software. Having a supported phone is essential for security.

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