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Sony confirms its flagship phones receive two years of software updates

When buying a new Android phone, one of the things to keep in mind is how fast or slow certain manufacturers release software updates for existing hardware. Google's Pixel line is the current go-to if you want the fastest updates possible, whereas companies like Samsung can be agonizingly slow in this regard.

Sony's always done a pretty good job at pushing out software updates in a speedy manner, but it's never had an official statement on where it stands on this. However, this has now changed with the recently spotted Sony Mobile Android Upgrade Policy.

According to Sony:

We aim to support all premium range devices with the latest Android updates for two years after the device has launched. We may choose not to upgrade a mid-range or entry-level device if testing does not meet our exacting standards and we feel the hardware isn't capable of delivering a stable user experience.

It's often the norm in this industry that flagship phones will receive software updates longer than cheaper ones, so Sony's stance here isn't all that surprising. I'd prefer the company to be more specific about updates for mid and entry-level phones rather than telling people to just wait and see, but even so, this is better than nothing.

If you plan on getting a new Android handset this year, does Sony's stance on software updates sway your decision one way or the other? Let me know down in that comments section.

The unbearable slowness of Samsung's updates

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

26 Comments
  • I figured as much for the entry level, because that is what it is really. I give them props.
  • Every manufacturer has made some sort of 2 year "promise". None have ever come through.
  • They haven’t? Because my experience has been different
  • Read: BlackBerry. Sells phone with a 24-month promise, delays updates till past the 24-month mark, final update is 1 month before the 24-month mark, never delivered upgrades (sorry but I don't consider launching with an outdated, unfinished and unstable copy of Lollipop and then providing an "upgrade" to Marshmallow an upgrade), and then pat themselves on a the back for a "job well done" in a blog, and actually have the balls to tell you to go buy another of their phones.
  • Preach
  • Sony's update history is one of the better one on the industry, they just never stated anything about it. Maybe they thought that some people doesn't know about it so they put out an official statement. There's also the end of their fingerprint fiasco in the US and this maybe the start of a bigger push there.
  • My Xperia Z3 went from 4.4 all the way to 6.0. Would've gotten 7.0 but that whole CTS thing. In Canada, Sony is generally the quickest and the most reliable for updates. Blackberry is faster with security updates but not platform updates.
  • hmm... but what its a premiun and mid tier for sony
  • GEEZUS Apple just murders Android with updates.
  • Well, possibly except the pixel. Also, on android you want updates and might not get them. On iOS you get updates and don't want them because they make your phone worse.
  • Nope. Apple murders Pixel too. Pixel 2 is going to get 3 years total. Apple typically updates for 5 years.
  • Apple updates for 4 years.
    For instance the iPhone 5s was released in Sep 2013 and received it's last update in 2017.
    If an older device can run on that update is a completly different matter, IOS 11 made quiet a few 5s phones unusable which were absoloutly fine before the update.
    My daughters 5s was one of them.
  • Yep, and they trim features out of the OS for the older models that can't run newer features.
  • The 5S is still getting updates today.
  • Exactly. The iPhone 5s is running the newest iOS version. Awesome support from Apple.
  • True, but the updates always leave features missing from older hardware anyway.
  • Except they have to throttle performance and leave out features in the later updates because the hardware can't keep up anymore so ultimately not that great.
  • Only if you don't think security is super important.
  • True. I wish I could get updates faster to slow my phone down :(
  • I'm interested in the XA2, hopefully the 630 means it'll get two years of updates. I feel like only mediatek processors can't handle an update cycle like that.
  • Upgrades are the worst for Sony. They keep taking away all the good features. Photo widget, screen recording, double tap to wake up screen, small app, even their own notepad. Like geez give me a break. It's always a toss up with their "upgrades", you're gaining something you can do without and you're losing something you'll really miss.
  • Nokia so far is best for updates
  • That’s pretty normal for most manufacturers though. I know Sony’s been good with updates as of late, but unless it’s like 3 years or something, it’s just what we expected.
  • The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is the most underrated flagship of 2017. Love my Sony.
  • I had the phone and loved it, but ultimately sold it due to the camera problem ( severe distortion) Sony refused to admit there was a problem and said it was normal (70 page thread on Sony support forum says some different).
    Did they ever fix that?
  • The Android OS has been stable for a while now. I would imagine you could still use your phone for a while even after the last OS update. The bigger issue are continued security patches.