In 2020, smartphones began expanding support for up to three years of Android updates. But Google has announced that phones running Qualcomm chipsets in the future, starting with the Snapdragon 888, will be able to get four years of Android, each Android Police. With rumors of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S21 to pack this chipset, this could be the first phone to get four years of Android.
Why? Since Samsung had a flagship year as the first to announce that its phones would receive three years of Android OS and security updates, starting with the Samsung Note 20 as well as the Galaxy S20 line and expanding to the mid-range Samsung Galaxy A51.
Other phones have followed suit like Microsoft for the Surface Duo (or are reported to be, like Sony), but Samsung has been at the forefront of those promises, and it makes sense that the Samsung S21 phones will be the first to receive four years of updates.
By permission, Samsung may not announce this out of the gate, as it was waiting just before the Note 20 was launched in August to promise three years of updates – but now that the cat out of the bag for the ability to support four years, it would be weird if another company beat Samsung to the punch. After all, Samsung is usually the first flagship phone to feature the essential features of the year in its flagship S-series brands: in 2019, the S10 line added punch-hole selfie cameras, and in 2020, the S20 series was the first to make 5G sport.
Four years of Android and security updates – for all phones
One of the most amazing things about the news all Qualcomm chipsets in the future will allow four years of Android updates, meaning we’ll see mid-range and budget phones get this expansion as well.
That all depends on the smartphone being implemented, of course, and while Samsung has quickly announced that the high-end handsets will get more updates on Android than usual two years, he didn’t fit his cheapest A-series phones. The simple explanation is that it may not be worth the effort, either because consumers don’t have budget phones for so long or other features (more cameras, better screens) are more desirable.
Which is a shame, given how well mid – range and budget phones have gotten in the last few years. Heck, quietly OnePlus explained its new Nord N10 5G phone would only get one update – to this year’s Android 11 – which is just not lower than usual … it makes it harder to recommend with all the features miss him down the line.
We’ll wait to see if Samsung confirms that the Galaxy S21 will get that fourth year of updates when it introduces the phone on the very likely January 14th launch date. And if not, we’ll see if another phone gives Samsung the punch.