Samsung commits to provide at least 4 years of security updates for new Galaxy devices

Humza

Posts: 861   +162
Staff member
Why it matters: Android feature updates might have become stagnant, gimmicky, or overwhelming lately, depending on who you ask. However, there's no denying the importance of security updates that OEMs now regularly push out to protect users against vulnerabilities. While a majority of Android manufacturers commit to offering just two years of security updates, there are notable exceptions like Google with its three-year support for Pixels, and Samsung, which has now extended its enterprise-level security policy of four years to regular Galaxy owners rocking a Note, S-series, A-series, Foldable, XCover or a Tab series device released in 2019 or later.

Although Samsung likes to take its sweet time with delivering Android OS updates, the company is known to fare better when it comes to security patches that are released monthly, quarterly, or when necessary, depending upon the device tier and model year. Galaxy owners have traditionally received three years of security updates, but now Samsung has announced that it's extending that period by another year.

The company says that it's worked with over 200 carriers globally to push out timely security updates for over 130 models over the last decade. And while this 4-year program only includes phones and tablets released from 2019 onwards, it's still a sizable list considering all the models in Samsung's Galaxy range. The supported devices are:

  • Galaxy S series: S10, S10+, S10e, S10 5G, S10 Lite, S20 5G, S20+ 5G, S20 Ultra 5G, S20 FE 5G, S21 5G, S21+ 5G, S21 Ultra 5G
  • Galaxy Note series: Note10, Note10+, Note10+ 5G, Note20 5G, Note20 Ultra 5G
  • Galaxy A series: A10e, A20, A50, A11, A21, A51, A51 5G, A71 5G
  • Galaxy Foldables: Fold, Z Fold2 5G, Z Flip, Z Flip 5G
  • Galaxy XCover series: XCover FieldPro, XCover Pro
  • Galaxy Tab series: Tab Active Pro, Tab Active3, Tab A 8 (2019), Tab A with S Pen, Tab A 8.4 (2020), Tab A7, Tab S5e, Tab S6, Tab S6 5G, Tab S6 Lite, Tab S7, Tab S7+

It's undoubtedly good news for existing and new users of Samsung devices that'll now have better longevity and for those who are increasingly finding it difficult to splurge on the latest flagships considering the lack of innovative and meaningful new features in ever-costlier hardware.

An extended security support period could potentially improve Samsung's sales figures as well. Despite being 2020's leading smartphone vendor in terms of sales with an impressive 253 million units, the company recorded a 14.6 percent YoY decline. With consumer-friendly decisions like these, Samsung stands a better chance of retaining existing users for longer and can convince other Android users who normally get half this support period to switch to a Galaxy device.

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Mister_K

Posts: 2,075   +777
Good I will upgrade in 4 years. Hopefully I won't smash my Note 20 anytime soon. Perfect phone minus no audio jack and lacking screen nits...
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,042   +6,807
Sorry .... there are too many people out there that buy their phones after one or two generations have passed and they keep them for quite some time. This is especially true for seniors that can't afford to drop a thousand dollars every 4 years. Ten years should be the standard and while that seems like a long time these companies can easily engineer their products to take and use security upgrades. It's just another prime example of planned obsolesce and gouging the public. Fortunately there are other companies that realize this and keep their products going and they will always get my money!
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 474   +689
Sorry .... there are too many people out there that buy their phones after one or two generations have passed and they keep them for quite some time. This is especially true for seniors that can't afford to drop a thousand dollars every 4 years. Ten years should be the standard and while that seems like a long time these companies can easily engineer their products to take and use security upgrades. It's just another prime example of planned obsolesce and gouging the public. Fortunately there are other companies that realize this and keep their products going and they will always get my money!
My iPhone 6S came out 5.5 years ago and I bought it 3.5 years ago. I still get both security and feature updates lol. Samsung’s new support model is still trash to anyone who wants to save money like me. Half of the time I’ve owned my phone, it would be unsupported if it was a Samsung. I might keep this phone for 6 years if I don’t break it and Apple keeps updating it because it’s still working great and I have no desire to get a new phone.

Here’s Apple support matrix:
how-long-iphones-get-support-ios-updates-NoypiGeeks-5215.jpg
 

fluffydroid

Posts: 38   +23
Sorry .... there are too many people out there that buy their phones after one or two generations have passed and they keep them for quite some time. This is especially true for seniors that can't afford to drop a thousand dollars every 4 years. Ten years should be the standard and while that seems like a long time these companies can easily engineer their products to take and use security upgrades. It's just another prime example of planned obsolesce and gouging the public. Fortunately there are other companies that realize this and keep their products going and they will always get my money!
Here is an idea: how about buying a lower tier model new instead? Then you would get the lower price to fit into a budget while still getting several years of software updates. Try the Galaxy A series..
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,502   +3,739
Sorry .... there are too many people out there that buy their phones after one or two generations have passed and they keep them for quite some time. This is especially true for seniors that can't afford to drop a thousand dollars every 4 years. Ten years should be the standard and while that seems like a long time these companies can easily engineer their products to take and use security upgrades. It's just another prime example of planned obsolesce and gouging the public. Fortunately there are other companies that realize this and keep their products going and they will always get my money!
10 years? How many people do you know still rocking iPhone 3gs or galaxy nexus phones? Galaxy s2s?

These phones are closed market. For all we hear about security updates the actual number of exploits pales compared to desktops, and phishing attacks via website have become far more common. Unlike apple, you don’t need the latest android to use them with the newest apps.

There are also plenty of cheaper midrange and low end phones today with bigger batteries and clean UIs that run fine. The moto g power has better battery life then anything Samsung makes, runs social media and most phone games perfectly, clean mic, loud speakers, and only costs $250.
 

PEnnn

Posts: 630   +612
Wow!! Great improvement over the lousy 2 years they had for a long time.

Maybe in 10 years or so they'll be as good as Apple's!!
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,741   +756
All fine and good, provided the phones are durable enough to last that long. I'm lucky to get 2 years.
 

mailpup

Posts: 7,662   +760
TS Special Forces
It doesn't for Samsung. The important part is "4", "at least" is so you would get excited that it could be more than that, more often that not, it won't be.
I was speaking of the English phrase itself not about Samsung.
 

UncleMikeRetro

Posts: 11   +13
No one is forcing you to buy the highest end model. Models half the price are almost the same thing except for a slightly worse camera most of the time anyway.
Darn right! We picked up a Galaxy A51 and this phone would have been a flagship phone if released like in 2018.
 

nismo91

Posts: 1,126   +165
This is actually good because it surely heats up the competition. maybe for one they have realized that people will still buy new phones regardless if the old ones are updated or not.

honestly, any mid to flagship samsung from the past 4-5years are surely still capable to be used for secondary device. I still have my 4yo LG G5 primed for extensive zoomcall or running videos / music for hours. the cameras are good enough for zoom even by today's standard. that phone was out of update for 3 years now, but I have replaced the battery twice (thank goodness for user-replaceable batteries)

I figure most people will see the phone battery going out sooner than the 4-year update lifespan, and many will have bought a new phone by then. so good job samsung. I hope they encourage other major OEMs to do the same.