If there’s one key disadvantage Android phones have compared to the iPhone, it’s the update situation. But the Samsung Galaxy S22 could make that situation a little bit less awkward, thanks to a rumour claiming the phone may come with four years of Android software updates and five years of security patches.
This is according to a leaked Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 press release from long-time tipster Evan Blass (opens in new tab). According to the leak the Galaxy S22 range, Galaxy S21 range, Galaxy Tab S8 range, Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 will be entitled to all those extra updates.
Usually phone makers offer two years of Android software updates, three if they’re lucky, plus an extra year of security patches. Meanwhile, Apple currently offers iOS 15 updates on phones as old as the iPhone 6S, which is coming up to its seventh birthday.
Last year Samsung announced that all of the phones it released since 2019 would get four years of Android security updates — later revealing its newest phones would also get three major Android updates. Before this news the most people could expect was three years of support that came from buying one of Google’s Pixel phones.
In other words, should this rumor pan out, it would be a huge deal for Android owners, even if they personally don’t care about the updates. While it’s not quite as extensive as Apple’s current level of support, having those extra years increases the longevity of Samsung’s devices.
So you don’t need to upgrade quite as often to enjoy the best new features Android has to offer. It also means keeping hold of an older device doesn’t mean your phone is a security risk.
It’s also interesting that this rumor arrived shortly after the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL range received their final Android update (opens in new tab). While the latest Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices will get three years of Android updates and five years of security patches, the fact Samsung has outdone Google once again is a little bit embarrassing.
After all, Google is the company that owns and develops the Android OS. It should be the company pushing the limits of how long a phone can continue to get updates, not a third party like Samsung.
Here’s just hoping that this news kicks Google into gear to try and match what Samsung has to offer. It might have worked before, since the Pixel 5 has just three years of security updates compared to the Pixel 6’s five. But there’s no telling what the future might bring.
Me? I’m holding out hope that all the premium Android phone makers follow suit. I’m not a big fan of Samsung products in general, but there’s something awfully tempting about a phone maker that doesn’t seem to be trying to push people to upgrade by withholding the latest software.
Read next: The EU could force Android phone makers to offer better updates, and more repair options