Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 launch brought a major boost for existing Samsung phone owners. The company is now matching Google’s pledge to provide three years of major Android updates for its handsets.
The Galaxy Note 20 range, unveiled at today’s Unpacked event, will be the first phone to adhere to the new trend, while handsets from the Galaxy S10 onwards also benefit from the change.
During the blockbuster product showcase Samsung said the Note 20 will deliver “up to 3 generations” of major OS updates. That’ll give device owners all of the major new features as well as the critical security updates already guaranteed for three years.
Because the phone will ship with Android 10, three updates theoretically takes us to Android 13, expected to launch in autumn 2023 if Google follows its usual release schedule.
Related: Best Android phone 2020
Prior to the launch today, phones like the Galaxy S20 were guaranteed two major Android updates, while the new Google Pixel 4a phone is promising at least three.
This is a major boost for those considering purchasing the Galaxy Note 20 series, but also owners of existing handsets like the Galaxy S10, Note 10, Galaxy S20 and other top devices. The full list of devices is yet to be revealed and it’s not clear whether second tier devices like the Galaxy A-Series will be also reap the benefits of the change in policy.
While this closes the gap between Google-made Android phones and those made by Samsung, we can’t imagine it’ll speed up the process of the updates actually making it to devices. Google is able to push out Android updates to Pixel devices on day one, but matters are much more complicated for third-party manufacturers.
The issue of Android fragmentation continues to prevent users from accessing the latest features, but at least Samsung handset owners will get them for the next three years… eventually.