How-ToTech

Which Smartphone Manufacturers Are Best for Android Updates?

Unlike Apple and its streamlined ecosystem, the state of software updates on Android is a mess. There are various OEMs, and not all pay attention to software updates. While the situation has been slowly improving over the last decade, not all smartphone manufacturers offer excellent software support.

So if you’re looking to buy a phone that will be your daily driver for a while, it’s essential to buy one from a manufacturer with extended software support. So, which Android manufacturers update their phones the longest? Read on to find out.

Google

Google owns Android, and it only makes sense that it’s one of the best smartphone brands for software updates. The company issues updates on day one and provides updates longer than many smartphone makers. Before the Pixel 6 series, Google guaranteed three years of major updates and three years of security updates.

But, with the launch of the Pixel 6 series in 2021, Google’s updated software update policy starting with the Pixel 6 duo, includes at least three years of major Android updates and up to five years of security updates. If your current device is nearly reaching its end of life, we’ve examined whether it’s safe to use a phone that no longer gets security updates.

Samsung


As part of the new policy, all OnePlus flagship phones (including T and R models) from 2018 are eligible to receive three major Android OS updates and four years of security updates. However, budget OnePlus Nord and Nord CE models only promise two major platform updates and three years of security updates. Finally, entry-level Nord N series phones are only eligible for one major Android update and three years of security updates.

Motorola

While Motorola is one of the largest smartphone makers in the US, it is, unfortunately, not so great when it comes to software updates. For one, Motorola is lackluster on seeding software updates. Even worse, Motorola’s update policy is standard across the board. Currently, the longest period Motorola is pledging to support its devices is three years.

The company promises two major Android updates and three years of bi-monthly security updates for its 2022 flagship-level Motorola Edge+, which leaves a lot to be desired. On the other hand, the 2021 Motorola Edge 20 series will only see two major Android updates and two years of bi-monthly security updates. Other Motorola devices expect one major Android update and two years of bi-monthly security updates at best.

Xiaomi


Xiaomi’s history with software updates has not been well. However, in 2021 it made some changes to its update policy. The company commits to four years of security updates and three major Android updates. However, update policies vary depending on the device series.

For instance, all Redmi devices will get one or two major Android updates, while the Redmi Note and Mi series phones get two to three major updates. Starting with the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro, all flagship devices are guaranteed to get three major platform updates and four years of security updates.

Oppo

Like Xiaomi, Samsung, and Google, Oppo has also recently tweaked its update policy. The company guarantees three major Android updates for flagship Find X Series devices, while other devices in the Reno/F/K series are only entitled to two major updates. Some A series phones may also get two major updates, but all entry-level devices in the series only get one major update.


The three major Android updates are coupled with four years of security updates, while the two major updates are tied to three years of security updates. A series phones also get the same three years of security updates. While Oppo may not have the most outstanding software update policy, it was one of the fastest OEMs in seeding out Android 12 in 2021.

Nokia

HMD Global’s Nokia brand has recently been a laggard in updates. However, all Nokia phones running Android One are guaranteed to get two major Android updates and three years of monthly security updates.

However, all Nokia X series phones get three major Android updates, while the mid-range G series lineup gets two. The entry-level Nokia C series devices are not guaranteed to get any major updates. The C series lineup only gets two years of security updates, while the G and X series get one extra year of support.

Other Android Smartphone Makers


Other smartphone makers also have their stories when it comes to updates. Starting with Sony, the company doesn’t have the best track record with updates. However, the company has been shipping at most two major Android updates in recent years. Most commonly, the company has only been sending a single update.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing brands, Realme only provides two major Android updates and three years of security updates. However, this is only a privilege for its high-end and select midrange phones. On the other hand, its sister brand, Vivo, pledges three major platform updates besides three years of security updates for select devices.

Smartphone brands under the BBK electronics umbrella, including Tecno, Infinix, and iTel, don’t openly talk about their update policy, which should be enough to avoid their devices if you care about updates.

Lastly, TCL pledges two major Android updates and the standard two years of security updates. While some companies might try to downplay the importance of updates, they help keep your smartphone secure.

Only Buy Phones With Long Term Software Support

It’s high time you considered software support in your smartphone purchasing decisions. Software support ensures that your phone lasts longer and you are confident that your data is secure. Most smartphone companies are not reliable in their software updates, but they are a few good ones like Google, Samsung, Oppo, Nokia, and OnePlus.


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