Samsung commits to delivering 3 generations of Android OS updates with the Galaxy Note 20
Samsung just wrapped up its second Galaxy Unpacked event of the year, where the Korean technology company unveiled 5 news devices: the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, the Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7+, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, the Galaxy Buds Live, and the Galaxy Watch 3. One of the most exciting announcements (at least for us) came at the end of the event when Samsung said they are committing to delivering OS updates for “up to 3 generations” from release. That means that Samsung will finally offer the same level of software support as Google offers for its Pixel phones.
The Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Tab S7, and Galaxy Z Fold 2 will all ship with Samsung’s One UI 2.5 software based on Android 10. Before today’s announcement, we would expect Samsung to upgrade each of these devices to Android 11 and then Android 12. Now, we can expect Samsung to provide updates all the way to Android 13. Samsung didn’t explicitly name which devices this policy applies to, but we can assume they mean all the new mobile Android devices they announced today.
In fact, the fine print text in the bottom right-hand corner mentions that this policy applies to flagship models from the Galaxy S10 onward, so that means it’ll include the Galaxy S10 series, Galaxy Note 10 series, Galaxy S20 series, the new Galaxy Z Flip 5G, and likely the first-generation Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Fold, too. Samsung told The Verge that the policy applies to S, N, and Z lines, but that A series devices will only receive support “until hardware allows.” (That likely means they won’t extend support past what Qualcomm offers for its BSPs, at least on A series devices with Snapdragon chipsets.)
Samsung used the word “generation” rather than “years” because the former removes ambiguity: Android releases don’t happen at the same time each year, and Samsung doesn’t want customers to be confused whether or not their device will or will not get a particular update. If Samsung had chosen to say “years,” then some users might feel cheated purchasing a device that just got released before the next big Android update.
Google is expected to release the stable version of Android 11 for its Pixel smartphones on September 8th, but we don’t know exactly when Samsung will release its own version of Android 11. Samsung makes a ton of UI changes and adds a lot of features on top of Google’s Android release, so it’s expected for them to take some time to get their next version of One UI ready. At least for security updates, though, Samsung has become pretty quick at delivering the latest Security Patch Level for its most recent flagship and mid-range smartphones.
We praise Samsung for this decision because they now stand out among Android device makers for their level of software support. Hopefully, this will compel other device makers to offer a similar level of support. There’s no reason we should pay over $1,000 for a new smartphone and expect anything less.
- Unleash the Galaxy Note 20 safe in the knowledge of 3 generations of updates which will keep your phone secure, stable and usable for longer. Pre-order to get it on release day, August 20!
This article was updated at 12:53 PM EST with additional information about Samsung’s update commitment. The title was updated to change “years” to “generations” as that’s the wording Samsung used in the presentation.