Samsung launched its new flagship series, the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series at the Galaxy Unpacked event on Wednesday. Additionally, the company announced that the new smartphones, along with some of its other recent devices, will be getting up to four generations of Android OS updates.
“As part of our commitment to giving users the best possible mobile performance and experience, the entire Galaxy S22 series will be supported by up to four generations of Android OS upgrades. Now millions of Galaxy users can take advantage of the latest security, productivity and other exciting new features, for longer. Samsung will scale this effort across our product line-up to ensure you’re fully supported across your Galaxy ecosystem,” Samsung said in its press release.
What does this mean for the user?
Up to four Android OS updates means that from right now, we’re on Android 12, these Samsung smartphones will all be eligible to get Android 16, whenever that rolls out. Samsung’s promise of four OS upgrades should ensure that users are able to use their devices longer and better with new features and better security updates.
This also ties in with Samsung’s sustainability efforts, including the ones announced at the Galaxy Unpacked event, since they are essentially increasing the usable lifespan of their smartphones allowing people to use them longer.
Smartphones age over time, like all electronic devices, and the hardware is unable to keep up with the software requirements leading to users having to ditch them for newer models. If Samsung manages to live up to what it is has promised, the Samsung smartphones you bought in 2021 should be working well and fine some four years, or more, down the line.
Samsung’s “up to four” updates promise beats most other Android smartphone companies out including, and funnily, Google. Google had promised up to five years of updates when they launched the Pixel 6 devices last year, but they later clarified that it meant five years of security updates and only three years of Android OS updates.
On paper, Samsung’s promise is great, but whether the company will manage to follow through remains to be seen. Since “availability and timing of Android OS upgrades and features may vary by device model and market”, many features might not make it to older devices over time.
When it comes to OS updates though, if one simply compares the number of updates older devices can support, Apple is still winning. Apple’s iPhone 6s, which was launched in 2015, supports its latest iOS 15, not with all the features though.
Which Samsung devices are eligible for this?
As the company said, there are at least 12 devices that will get Android OS updates for at least four years and these include:
Samsung has not announced yet if other devices it is going to launch this year will also be included in the list or not.
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