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 has no such authority over Android. How do you know how long your Android phone will receive updates for? We help you.

It all depends on the manufacturer

When it comes to Android devices and updates, you can’t look at the entire Android system as a whole. The question is not “when will my Android phone be supported?” It’s “when mine [manufacturer] will the phone be supported? ”

There used to be a lot of manufacturers pumping out Android devices, but for the most part it has been narrowed down to Samsung, Google, and a few smaller players – at least in the US. We will focus on these companies.

Android OS update versus security update

Before we dive in, there is one distinction to be made. There are two types of Android updates. Security updates are smaller and appear more frequently. They don’t usually contain big changes, but they are very important.

Android updates or “major operating system updates” are released every year. This happens when Android 12 updates to Android 13 or One UI 3 to One UI 4, and so on. Typically, devices receive one more year of security updates after receiving the last operating system update.

Note: The update timelines start at the time of release. If a device went live in October 2021 and receives five years of security updates, the last update will be October 2026, regardless of purchase date.

ASSOCIATED WITH: 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 is rolling out a lot of Android devices, and not all are getting the same number of updates. Fortunately, the company maintains a detailed “Security Updates Scope” website with device-specific information.

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

In addition to these security updates, Samsung offers four Android updates for most of its devices. A list of these devices can be found on the Samsung website and it also includes the newer models in these series.

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

How long will my Google Pixel phone be supported?

pixel 6 Pro
Google

Google doesn’t have nearly as many devices to worry about as Samsung, but still not all are treated the same. Support terms for Pixel devices can be found here on the Google website.

Newer devices – starting with the Pixel 6 series – receive three years of Android updates and five years of security updates. Pixel 5a to Pixel 3a receive three years of Android updates and security updates. Pixel 3 and earlier Pixels are no longer supported.

If you own a Google Pixel, expect three to five years of support.

ASSOCIATED WITH: How to manually update Google Pixel via Sideloading OTA

How long are other phones supported?

In addition to the big hits, there are a few other Android makers worth knowing about.

OnePlus

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

Motorola

Motorola has one of the most missing update strategies among Android manufacturers. It varies considerably depending on the device you have. Newer devices receive two Android updates and two years of security updates. You can check your model on the Motorola website.

Sony

Most Sony phones receive two-year Android updates and security updates. Sony does not provide much information on update dates.

LG

LG shut down its smartphone business in 2021, but phones released in or after 2019 are expected to receive three-year Android updates.

Samsung and Google are the most reliable

As of this writing, in April 2022, Samsung and Google are head and shoulders over the rest of the Android world when it comes to updates.

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

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