Samsung has committed to delivering Samsung Knox security updates to a wide range of its Galaxy devices for at least four years after their release. It fills in a gray area regarding Samsung’s security update schedule, giving anyone who buys a new Samsung phone peace of mind for a substantial amount of time. Phones like the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Note 20 Ultra are technically capable of lasting for many years, but the software needs to keep up to ensure you aren’t forced to upgrade early.
Samsung already delivers three generations of Android software updates to its Galaxy phones, a move it announced in August 2020, and while security updates arrive on a monthly or quarterly basis, it was never clear how long these security updates would continue. It was assumed they would also last for three years. Samsung Security updates are important to keep Android secure and free from malware threats, and make sure Samsung’s own software is similarly safe.
The monthly and quarterly release schedule will continue, only now we know Samsung will continue to deliver them for four years after release. This means if you’ve purchased a Samsung Galaxy S21, it’ll receive Knox security updates until 2024, and general Android updates until 2023.
Which Galaxy phones and tablets will get the updates? Samsung says the list covers more than 130 different devices, and includes the Galaxy S10 range, Galaxy S20 range, and the Galaxy S21 range, plus Galaxy Note phones from the Galaxy Note 10 onward, several Galaxy A series phones, the Galaxy XCover series, and many Galaxy Tab tablets, including the Tab A and the Galaxy Tab S5e, Tab S6 series, and Tab S7 series. All the Galaxy Fold models are also included.
However, not all these models will get monthly updates. Samsung’s security-focused webpage shows the older models are all eligible for quarterly updates, while the newer models will be sent a monthly security patch. Some other models are only listed as receiving “regular” updates, without specifying the exact time frame. It also warns some device update schedules may be affected by the carrier. So while we know updates will continue for four years, the frequency is less predictable.
Samsung’s software and security update commitment sets it apart from the Android competition, and brings it closer to Apple’s lengthy support for iOS installed on iPhone models. The most recent version of iOS, iOS 14, is compatible with the iPhone 6S, released in 2015.