Samsung just showed everyone how to do Android updates properly

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. Galaxy S21 Ultra (Image credit: Hayato Huseman / Android Central)

Android enthusiasts care a lot about updates, and we should. When you spend the money on one of the best Android phones or even a budget phone, you expect the manufacturer to support their products. If you have almost any Samsung phone from the last few years and care about updates, you just hit the jackpot as Samsung has committed to offering four years of security patches to a huge list of its Android phones.

Security patches and maintenance updates may not be very sexy when compared to new OS versions with more features, but these are the important kind of updates. They make your phone better even though you might not be able to see any difference — just know that things like paying with your phone or using your banking app or even online shopping is safer and more secure because of those small, unassuming security patches.

The best part of this news is that Samsung isn't just promising extended support for its premium line of products or most popular sellers. Phones like the Galaxy M10 or Galaxy XCover 4 are also on the very inclusive list along with most tablets made since 2019. This is a very big deal, and I can't express enough how important that is — almost every customer benefits, not just the ones who spent the most money.

4 years of support is just what Android needed.

The big question is, why now? Most likely, it's because of things like Google's efforts to make updates easier and Qualcomm being more committed to its products, combined with Samsung's effort and expertise at building Android into a complete operating system. I'm sure there is some money involved to get longer support from chip vendors, but no matter how it happened to why Samsung gets the credit for making it happen. 👍

Samsung Galaxy A51 review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Most of the people buying Samsung's products don't know or don't care about something like security patches. They only know that sometimes they restart their phone and it gets updated, or when they see a notification about an update having been downloaded. The great news is that this doesn't matter. Even if you don't know or don't care about getting maintenance updates, you're getting them anyway.

Even if you don't care about security updates and small maintenance fixes, you're getting them anyway.

A while back, I wrote that Google needs to set the bar by offering longer support for its Pixel phones. It seems that Samsung has set a new bar that all other phone makers need to strive for. Four years of security updates is an important "feature" to me, and the next time I buy a phone, I'll look to Samsung first because of it.

This doesn't mean you're going to see Android 12 on your Galaxy A10e but what it does mean is even better — you'll be able to use that A10e until it's time to upgrade a worn-out phone instead of adding to the mountain of e-waste that is already becoming a problem. Even if you don't care about patches, you probably do care about your phone having a longer support life because that means you don't have to spend money on a new one quite as often.

Thanks, Samsung! This is the kick in the pants Android phone makers (looking squarely at you, Google) needed to get their butts in gear and support their phones as long as they still work.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.