Samsung Galaxy Note 20 will get three years of Android updates — but there's a catch

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

One of the tricky things about buying a Samsung phone is that you’re never completely sure of if and when you’ll get the latest version of Android. While phones from the likes of OnePlus and Nokia get Android updates rather quickly after they’ve been released, it often takes Samsung a while to roll out new versions of Android to its users. 

To tackle this confusion, Samsung has come up with a list of all its phones that will receive three generations of Android upgrades, including the new Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Galaxy Note 20. There's also several Galaxy S series devices on the list, Galaxy A series phones, Galaxy foldable phones and a suite of recent Galaxy Tab tablets. 

This should come as a bit of reassurance for people considering getting a Samsung phone, as they know they will have some three years of support for the latest versions of Android. 

The whole list of supported devices can be found below.  

Samsung phones and tablets getting three years of Android updates

  • Galaxy S series: Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, S20 Ultra, S20 Plus 5G, S20 Plus, S20 5G, S20 in addition to S10 5G, S10 Plus, S10, S10e, S10 Lite and upcoming S series devices 
  • Galaxy Note series: Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G, Note 20 Ultra, Note 20 5G, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G, Note10 Plus, Note 10 5G, Note10, Note10 Lite and upcoming Note series devices 
  • Galaxy Foldable devices: Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G, Z Fold 2, Z Flip 5G, Galaxy Z Flip, Fold 5G, Galaxy Fold and upcoming Z series devices 
  • Galaxy A series: Galaxy A71 5G, A71, A51 5G, A51, A90 5G and select upcoming A series devices 
  • Tablets: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus 5G, Tab S7 Plus, Tab S7 5G3, Tab S7, Tab S6 5G4, Tab S6, Tab S6 Lite and upcoming Tab S series devices 

But Samsung didn’t detail whether it will commit to speeding up the rollout of the latest version of Android when Google releases them.  

The ‘small print’ in Samsung’s announcement did add in the caveat that the update schedule “will depend on factors including but not limited to complexity of the update, model, as well as market penetration and more.” That’s effectively baking in a clause that acknowledges some devices might not get the latest version of Android as quickly as other Android devices.  

However, Samsung’s commitment to delivering three generations of Android support would suggest that it’s working on improving the updating of its Android devices across the board. 

“Samsung is committed to supporting our users to fully enjoy the latest mobile experiences while they are using Galaxy devices,” said Janghyun Yoon, senior vice president and head of Software Platform Team, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. “As people hold onto their devices for longer, we are working to bring secure protection and exciting new features to the devices already in their hands. 

“By supporting up to three generations of Android OS upgrades, we are extending the lifecycle of our Galaxy products and making a promise that we will provide a simple and secure mobile experience that takes advantage of the latest innovations as soon as they are available.”

If nothing else, Samsung’s commitment to Android updates means you’ll be able to get more life out of your Galaxy phone or tablet. That’s good news for people who want to get as much as they can out of their tech. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.