When should you buy a new Android phone?
Google Pixel 6. Photo: Tomsguide
A few years ago, an Android phone wouldn’t receive any more security updates if it was more than three years old. After three years, you should buy a new phone.
However, that has now changed. Google, Samsung, and chipset maker Qualcomm in late 2020 and early 2021 are all committed to providing versions security update for 4 years for some devices.
Google then raised that security update to 5 years for its Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones, although these devices, like all Pixel phones, will only receive the update. Android operating system for three years.
For Qualcomm, all phones with the Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, starting with the Snapdragon 888 appearing on many 2021 flagships, will receive 4 years of security updates and 3 Android version upgrades.
Eligible phones include Xiaomi Mi 11, OnePlus 9 and Samsung Galaxy S21.
As for Samsung, it now guarantees a 4-year security update for all Samsung Galaxy phones released in 2019 and later, starting with the Galaxy 10 and Galaxy Note 10 series. This includes phones. Galaxy phones do not use Qualcomm chipsets.
Overall, the product cycle on Android phones is less consistent than on iPhones. There are hundreds of smartphone manufacturers that use Android and whether an older phone will run the latest version of the operating system two years after the phone was introduced.
Only Google’s Pixel devices are guaranteed to receive the latest Android security update on the day the update is released, although the latest Samsung, OnePlus, and Motorola devices are generally not far behind. Google has a schedule for when each Pixel device will receive the update on its support site.
For example, the current version of Android, Android 12, released in October 2021, won’t run on phones with less than 2GB of RAM. Android 12 is also not supported on the Google Pixel 3, which was released in October 2018.
However, the first Pixel, which was released with Android 7 Nougat in October 2016, received Android 10 in September 2019 and the last official Android security update in December of that year. The Pixel 2, released in October 2017, got its last official update in December 2020, but it can be updated to Android 11.
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