Samsung has announced that it will extend the amount of time during which its Galaxy smartphones and tablets will receive security updates. Now, devices released from 2019 will receive at least four years of security updates.
Previously, Samsung offered monthly or quarterly security updates for at least the first two years of a device’s useful life, the frequency of which is determined by the device itself. More premium phones like the Galaxy Note or Galaxy S lines receive monthly updates, while budget models like the 2020 Galaxy A71 5G receive quarterly updates. Samsung also reduces some of its high-end devices to quarterly updates after a certain point in time, such as the Galaxy S8 line.
It’s important to note that Samsung only promises four years of “regular security updates,” which is actually Samsung’s lowest level of refresh rate, reserved for devices it still supports but without the promise of a monthly or quarterly cadence. . Still, the new announcement means that Samsung is working to extend the life of dozens of its devices, including some of its cheaper entry-level phones that wouldn’t normally receive that kind of long-term support.
To put that commitment in perspective, Google only promises “at least three years” of security updates for its Pixel phones. And there are far fewer Pixel hardware models to support than the 40+ phones and tablets for which Samsung promises security updates.
The other major caveat here is that Samsung promises security updates for at least four years, not Android OS updates. Samsung made guarantee support for at least three “generations” of Android OS updates in 2020, but only for some of their phones.
Today’s news from Samsung is also not the same commitment that Google and Qualcomm made in December to ensure that phones with new Qualcomm chips support four Android operating system updates and four years of security updates. While similar in overall goals, that announcement only applied to devices starting with the Snapdragon 888 from this year onwards, while Samsung is retroactively making its commitment to devices as old as 2019.