Here are the update policies for various smartphone brands regarding how long they provide major OS upgrades and security patches

Software experience constitutes half of the smartphone experience while the other half is based on the hardware quality. Software experience is further enhanced with updates, most importantly the newest version of Android which is released by Google, followed by security patches. 

 

Google releases a new Android version every year (Android 12 for 2021) and smartphone makers start working on their respective software skins to make it adapt to the latest Android version with features, UI changes and more. Talking about the security patches, dozens of security flaws are discovered in components of Android each month, which is why Google releases monthly security patches. 

 

These security patches are then integrated into the OEM’s respective skins and then released as a software update. 

 

Now, it is up to the smartphone OEM till how long it can provide the consumer with the latest Android OS updates and the security patches. The longer the period for which the company provides updates, the longer the consumer will stick to the brand and its smartphone as he/she is getting the latest experience without switching smartphones. 

 

So let’s take a look at which companies provide the updates for the longest time while which ones of them stick to a shorter period. The shorter the period, the less pleasing experience you get as the brand is the most quick amongst all to abandon their smartphones. 

 

Google 

 

Starting with Google’s Pixel devices, these are the first ones to receive both types of updates including major OS upgrades as well as security updates. 

 

Pixel phones get Android version updates as well as security updates for at least 3 years from when the device first became available on the Google Store. This is the longest period for which a smartphone maker provides Android OS upgrades and we only have one other company that matches Google about which we will talk ahead. 

 

Google has updated its Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 to Android 11.

 

Asus

 

Asus is one of the brands in the herd of companies that provide only 2 years of major OS upgrades, meaning those smartphones that launched with Android 10 will definitely get Android 11. The brand provides 3 years of security updates. 

 

Asus has so far updated its ZenFone 6 (Stable version), ZenFone 7 (Beta), ZenFone 7 Pro (Beta) to Android 11. It is recruiting beta testers for ROG Phone 3 for testing the Android 11 while the company is still deciding whether it will update the ZenFone 5z to Android 11 or not. 

 

Oppo

 

Oppo provides 2 years of major OS upgrades with 3 years of security updates that are pushed monthly for flagship devices and quarterly for other devices. The company was one of the fastest smartphone OEMs last year to update its smartphones with Android 11.

 

Oppo has updated 17 of its smartphones to Android 11 including Find X2, Find X2 Pro, Find X2 Pro Automobili Lamborghini Edition, Reno 3 4G, Reno 3 Pro 4G, F17 Pro, Reno 4 Pro 5G, Reno 4 5G, Reno 4 Pro 4GR, eno 4 4G, F11, F11 Pro, F11 Pro Avengers Edition, A9, A92, A72, and the Oppo A52. 

 

OnePlus 

 

OnePlus has been a promise breaker in many of the aspects and this one is no different. While the company promises 2 years of major OS upgrades along with 3 years of security patches, there has been some confusion going on as OnePlus has so far provided 3 major OS upgrades to most of its smartphones. The OnePlus 7 Pro released back in 2019 got Android Q, R and is also expected to get Android S, i.e. Android 12.

 

It made a blunder when it announced that the Nord N10 5G and N100 will receive only one major Android update and a total of two years of security updates.

 

The company has been a bit slower the past year in releasing updates for its smartphones, be it OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11 or the security update patches which it releases bi-monthly for 8 series and above while below that, you get quarterly security patches. 

 

OnePlus has already updated its OnePlus 8 series smartphones to Android 11 while OxygenOS 11 for OnePlus Nord and OnePlus 7/7T series is still under beta, but has been released for public. 

 

Vivo 

 

Vivo is also amongst the list which provides 2 years of major OS upgrades for its smartphones with 3 years of security updates. Vivo was the first smartphone maker back in 2020 to release a phone which came with Android 11 out-of-the-box and it even beat Google in doing so. 

 

Otherwise, the smartphone OEM is ranked amongst the slowest smartphone makers to give out updates and Vivo has started focusing towards it so it can improve its performance in the future. 

 

Considering Vivo’s FunTouch OS 11 rollout based on Android 11 (not OriginOS), Vivo has a stable build installed only on 2 smartphones including Vivo V20 and Vivo V20 Pro. The Vivo V20 SE recently started receiving the update while the Vivo X50 Pro received the beta in mid-December 2020. Vivo X50 and V19 will receive their respective beta builds from the end of January 2021.

 

Xiaomi

 

Xiaomi’s update policy has been a bit different than others as it updates its MIUI skin with the latest features that are introduced in the newest Android version, therefore not needing to provide the consumer with the latest Android version. 

 

While the company doesn’t have a software update policy that is publically available, an unofficial update policy suggests the following: 

 

Mi Series

-2 Android Upgrades

-4 MIUI Upgrades

 

Mi Max/Mix/Note/T Series

-2 Android Upgrades

-4 MIUI Upgrades

 

Mi A Series (Stock Android)

-2 Android Upgrades

 

Redmi K Series

-2 Android Upgrades

-4 MIUI Upgrades

 

Redmi Note Series

-1 Android Upgrades

-3 MIUI Upgrades

 

Redmi Series

-1 Android Upgrades

-2 MIUI Upgrades

 

Poco F & X Series

-2 Android Upgrades

-4 MIUI Upgrades

 

Poco M Series

-1 Android Upgrades

-3 MIUI Upgrades

 

Poco C Series

-1 Android Upgrades

-2 MIUI Upgrades 

 

As this is an unofficial piece of information, it should be taken with a pinch of salt. Xiaomi has updated several of its smartphones including Note series, Redmi series, and Mi series smartphones (be it beta or stable) with MIUI 12 based on Android 11. The list includes Mi 10 Ultra, Redmi K20 Pro, Mi Note 10, Redmi Note 9 Pro and many more. 

 

Samsung 

 

Samsung was the company we talked about in the beginning which joined Google in offering 3 years of OS updates. The OEM recently made an announcement that it will offer 4 years of security updates where most of the vendors provide only 3 years worth of security updates. 

 

Not only this, but the company raised the bar for Android updates last year when it announced that it will be offering three years/generations of Android version upgrades instead of two. 

 

This applies to the Galaxy S10 series onwards (including the S10 Lite), the Galaxy Note 10 family onwards (including the Galaxy Note 10 Lite), the Galaxy A51 and higher, the Galaxy Tab S6 range and upwards, and all the firm’s foldables.

 

In other words, this means if you bought a Galaxy S20 series phone, you can expect to get Android 13 when it launches and an year worth of security updates after it gets Android 13.

 

Samsung has so far updated its Galaxy Z Fold 2, Galaxy S20 series, Galaxy Note 20 series, Galaxy S20 FE, Galaxy Z Flip LTE/5G, Galaxy S10 Lite, Galaxy Note 10 series, Galaxy S10 series, Galaxy Fold, Galaxy M31, Galaxy Tab S7/S7+, Galaxy F41, Galaxy M21, Galaxy Note 10 Lite, Galaxy A51, Galaxy Xcover Pro Galaxy M30s, Galaxy M 31s and the Galaxy A71 5G with Android 11 based on OneUI 3.0.

 

Nokia

 

Nokia has been one of the quickest OEMs to release smartphone updates in the past. The company promises to release 2 major OS updates (as its smartphones are a part of Android One programme) where the company plans to roll out Android 11 to some of the devices that were released with Android 9 Pie. The company provides 3 years of security patches. 

 

Nokia is yet to update its smartphones with Android 11. It has promised to update 15 smartphones to Android 11 including Nokia 1 Plus, Nokia 1.3, Nokia 2.2, Nokia 2.3, Nokia 2.4, Nokia 3.2, Nokia 3.4, Nokia 4.2, Nokia 5.3, Nokia 6.2, Nokia 7.2, Nokia 8.1, Nokia 8.3 5G and Nokia 9 Pureview. 

 

Micromax 

 

Micromax that recently made a comeback in India, has promised 2 years worth of major OS upgrades for its Micromax In Note 1 along with 3 years of security updates. The smartphone comes with Stock Android without any bloat and has said that it will release Android 11 beta for the device in March, with the official/stable version arriving sometime in April. 

 

Apple

 

While Apple of course isn’t on the Android bandwagon, the smartphone maker is the only OEM in the smartphone world to provide 5 years (6 years in some cases) of software updates. Released back in 2015, the iPhone 6s Plus received the latest iOS 14 update back in 2020. 

 

Before that, the iPhone 5s received 6 years of major iOS upgrades from iOS 7 to iOS 12. Apple said that iOS 14 can rum on iPhone 6s and later devices. Its list includes iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE (1st generation), iPhone SE (2nd generation) and even the iPod touch (7th generation).

 

Realme

 

Realme India CEO Madhav Sheth said last year that Realme phones will get at least one major Android update and security patches for two years. This is a bit disappointing considering most brands provide at least 2 major OS upgrades and 3 years of security updates.

 

The company already released Android 11 stable build for its X50 smartphone while various other devices such as Realme 7 Pro, Realme 7, Realme X2 Pro, Realme Narzo 20 Pro, Realme Narzo 20, and Realme 6 Pro have already received a Beta build of Android 11 update. The brand recently announced Realme UI 2.0 Early Access program for a few more devices such as Realme X3, Realme X3 SuperZoom, Realme X2, Realme 6, Realme C15, and Realme C12. 


Tags:
Apple
Asus
Google
Micromax
OnePlus
Oppo
Samsung
Vivo
Xiaomi





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