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Software upgrades for Samsung vs Google vs Apple vs others: Which phones get the best support?

Under the new policy announced by Samsung, you will receive up to four Android OS (operating system) upgrades and “select newer devices” will receive up to five (5) years of security updates. That is better than what even Google Pixels get now, and far better than what any other Android OEM provides.

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Samsung software upgrade policy

Software Upgrades for Samsung Phones

Under Samsung’s new software update policy, Galaxy devices will receive “up to four operating system upgrades, and five years of security updates”, for select models. The wording of Samsung’s policy offers no guarantees for all models or even for the maximum stated periods. In other words, some phones may get three years of major updates, and not four.

But if what we have seen of Samsung’s implementation of software updates in the last few months is anything to go by, the brand looks good to set the pace for other Android smartphone makers to follow. For most Samsung Android phones, it is safe to assume that they will get 3 years Android OS updates. The Galaxy A52s 5G, for example, is getting just that.

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Software upgrades for Google Pixels

Google Pixel phones are guaranteed to get up to 3 years of major software updates, and up to 5 years of security updates. All models. So, you can buy any Pixel phone without worrying whether or not it will get updated, and for how many years. What’s best is that the software upgrades start rolling out to them the very first day the latest version of Android operating system is released.

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Software Updates for Apple iPhones

iPhones remain unbeatable for software updates. They get an average of 6 years of major software updates, and they get them fast. Of course, much older devices sometimes miss out on a few cutting edge features, but there is no controversy around the fact that Apple is king when it comes to software updates.

What are the software upgrade policies of other Android OEMs?

Xiaomi has committed to providing three major Android updates and four years of security updates to its devices.

What of OPPO smartphones? The company says its Find series will get 3 major software upgrades and 4 years of security updates, the Reno and F series will receive 2 years of major updates and four years of security updates, while the A series will be limited to a single major update and three years of security updates. It is a bit complicated, but it is explicit: you know what you are getting.

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HMD Global has been committed to providing 2 years of major Android updates and 3 years of security updates to Nokia smartphones. This is applicable to all Nokia smartphones, from the most basic (and Nokia has entry-level smartphones) to the most advanced. Nokia is perhaps the only brand you can buy an entry-level A droid phone from and get guaranteed software updates.

OnePlus premium flagship phones will now get three major Android OS updates and 4 years of security updates, going forward. The new OnePlus Android software update policy says that Nord and Nord CE phones will get two major OS updates along with three years of security patches, while Nord N series phones will get only one Android OS update and three years of security updates.

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Motorola has been quite disappointing with software updates for their smartphones. Rather than make a commitment, the company has a wordy statement that reads, “Motorola is committed to regular and timely security updates as recommended by Google/Android. While phones cannot be upgraded indefinitely, we provide security updates within the industry standard on both our regular and our Android One devices.” A lot of words that provide no guarantees.

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Transsion brands, TECNO, Infinix and itel, are yet to commit to any software upgrade policy. Most models barely get any major upgrade in their entire lifetime. The same goes for smartphones by smaller brands like BLU, Mara, Umidigi, Doogee, Oukitel, and the like. If you want guaranteed software upgrades, it is best to stick to the bigger brands.

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