When buying an Android smartphone, one element is particularly important to consider: the manufacturer’s software monitoring policy. The longer the follow-up, the more confident you’ll be that your device remains up-to-date and protected from potential cyber threats. In this article we will see together which are the good and bad students in this area.
If autonomy, photo sensors, design or general performance are decisive for the purchase of an Android smartphone, another less known to the public is also important: the software monitoring policy adopted by the manufacturer. .
Before you go to checkout, it’s actually important to know how long your smartphone will be kept up to date regardless major updates (which pertains to the operating system) and security fixes (which makes it possible to guarantee optimal protection against hacking and possible security breaches).
In this area, each manufacturer adopts one own policy with a specific schedule. And not surprisingly, some brands are known for their seriousness, while others have yet to make progress. Through this article, we will see together who are the good and the less good students in 2022, in terms of follow-up duration and broadcast obedience. However, note that the duration of the follow-up may vary depending on the models from each manufacturer (the newest and most expensive smartphones are often the best off).
Android update: which are the best manufacturers in 2022?
To facilitate your research, we have decided to proceed in alphabetical order. To establish this choice, we rely on data provided by the manufacturers as well as by the specialist website AOSMark. This platformrates Android smartphone manufacturers by the average number of OS updates they’ve made to their phones in the past. The score ranges from 0 to 5, knowing that a high score translates long-term support from the manufacturer.
So we start with the Taiwanese manufacturer Asus, which is content to offer the bare minimum recommended by Google. Namely two major Android upgrades and two years of Android security patches. In terms of responsiveness, the brand generally takes between two and three months to distribute OS updates. This was the case, for example, on the latest Zenfone 8 and Zenfone 8 Flip. Launched at the end of May 2021 under Android 11, the two devices moved to Android 12 in January 2022, almost three months after the release of the stable version of the OS by Google. Note that in the TOP 20 manufacturers of AOS Mark, Asus is in 19th place with a rating of 0.1.
You won’t be surprised to hear that Google is among the best when it comes to tracking software. Still happy since the Mountain View company is the origin of Android. Until the launch of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the American company offered three years of Android updates and three years of security updates.
However, since the implementation of its latest smartphones, the company has increased its security monitoring. In fact, starting with the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, the next Google Pixel smartphones will benefit from five years of security patches. Note, however, that in terms of responsiveness, the manufacturer is often topped by a certain Samsung, which it also likes a lot. However, this situation is not systematic and Google Pixel remains the fastest charging smartphones. Unsurprisingly, Google topped the AOS Mark rankings with a score of 1.8 out of 5.
What about Nokia? On its latest smartphones like the Nokia XR20, the Finnish brand offers 4 years of security updates and 3 years of Android operating system upgrades. As part of the Android One program, Nokia smartphones benefit from at least 2 years of OS software monitoring. However, the company is placed 14th in the AOS Mark ranking. The reason ? Many lamented delays in the implementation of the latest Android security patches. Recently, the brand has created a dedicated webpage to get more information about the update schedule for each smartphone.
As you may know, Huawei’s former subsidiary has gained independence since November 2020. In May 2021 and after months of negotiations with Google, Honor was allowed to have the Play Store again and all Google applications on its devices, which also marks the return of Android. In March 2022, the brand also hit hard with the Honor Magic 4 Pro, a high-end photophone of excellent quality. In terms of software monitoring, Honor promises 2 years of major updates and 2 years of security patches. The manufacturer is not in the TOP 20 of the best manufacturers of AOS Mark. It must be said that the brand settles for the absolute minimum.
Motorola may be one of the most popular manufacturers in the US, but that’s not for the quality of its software monitoring. For its high-end devices like the recent Motorola Edge+ launched in 2022, the brand actually only offers two years of major updates and three years of security updates every two months. Things get worse for older models, which have to make do with two major Android updates and two years of security patches every fortnight. And again, this policy only pertains to the advanced precedents.
Despite its association with Oppo and the fusion of its OxygenOS overlay with ColorOS, OnePlus remains in the ranks of manufacturers that offer excellent software monitoring. In 2021, the Chinese brand changed its update policy to bring itself up to the level of competition. So all high-end models released since 2018 get three years of major Android updates and four years of security updates. However, note that this policy does not apply to the OnePlus Nord and Nord CE, which only benefit from two major OS updates and three years of security patches. Tracking time drops further on the entry-level Nord N series with a single Android update and 3 years of security patches. The company is in 6th place in the AOS Mark ranking.
The South Korean company boasts of offering the best tracking software. And with good reason, the company even surpasses Google in this area. In fact, Samsung announced in February 2022 that the manufacturer will now offer 4 years of Android updates and 5 years of security patches on its latest smartphones such as the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S21 FE or Galaxy Z Fold. 3 and Z Flip 3. This new policy makes Samsung the king of Android software tracking right now. For other devices, we stay on four major Android updates and four years of security patches.
In 2021, Xiaomi decided to change its software tracking policy. Since that date, the Chinese company has committed to providing four years of security updates and three years of major Android updates. However, be careful, the duration of the follow-up varies according to the models (the latest one enjoys the longest follow-up). For example, all Redmi devices will receive one or two major Android updates, while Redmi Note and Mi smartphones will receive two to three major updates. Finally, all flagships from Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro will receive three major OS updates and four years of security updates.
As you will have understood, in software tracking, Google, Xiaomi and Samsung remain the most serious brands in terms of tracking time and responsiveness. Of course, we advise you to give preference to devices that benefit from a long-term follow-up (OS and security combined).