When buying an Android smartphone, one element is particularly important to take into account: the manufacturer’s software monitoring policy. The longer the follow-up, the more certain you will be that your device will remain up-to-date and protected from potential cyber threats. In this article, we will see together who are the good and bad students in this area.
If autonomy, photo sensors, design or general performance are determining criteria in the purchase of an Android smartphone, another less known to the general public is also essential: the software monitoring policy adopted by the manufacturer. .
Indeed and before going to checkout, it is important to know for how long your smartphone will be kept up to date, whether for major updates (which concerns the operating system) and the security patches (which make it possible to guarantee optimal protection against hacking and possible security breaches).
In this area, each manufacturer adopts a own policy with a specific timetable. And unsurprisingly, some brands are renowned for their seriousness, while others have yet to make progress. Via this article, we will see together who are the good and the less good students in 2022, in terms of follow-up duration and deployment responsiveness. Note, however, that the duration of the follow-up may vary according to the models of 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 selection, we rely on the data provided by the manufacturers, as well as by the specialized site AOSMark. This platformrates Android smartphone makers by the number of OS updates they’ve made to their phones on average in the past. The scores range from 0 to 5, knowing that a high score translates long-term support offered by 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 recent 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 learn that Google is among the top performers when it comes to tracking software. Still happy, the Mountain View firm being at the origin of Android. Until the launch of Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the American company offered three years of Android updates and three years of security updates.
However, since the deployment of its latest smartphones, the company has increased its security monitoring. Indeed, starting with 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 strongly dislikes. However, this situation is not systematic and the Google Pixel remain the fastest filled smartphones. Unsurprisingly, Google topped the AOS Mark ranking with a score of 1.8 out of 5.
What about Nokia? On its most recent 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 in 14th place in the AOS Mark ranking. The reason ? Many lamented delays in the deployment of the latest Android security patches. Recently, the brand has set up a dedicated web page to obtain more information on the update deployment schedule for each smartphone.
As you may know, the former subsidiary of Huawei has gained independence since November 2020. In May 2021 and after months of negotiations with Google, Honor was granted permission to have the Play Store again and all Google applications on its devices, marking at the same time 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. Regarding 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 is content with the bare minimum.
Motorola may be one of the most popular manufacturers in the United States, but it is not for the quality of its software monitoring. Indeed, for its high-end devices like the recent Motorola Edge+ launched in 2022, the brand only offers two years of major updates and three years of bi-monthly security updates. Things get worse for older models, which have to make do with two major Android updates and two years of fortnightly security patches. And again, this policy concerns only the high-end precedents.
Despite its association with Oppo and the merger of its OxygenOS overlay with ColorOS, OnePlus remains in the ranking of manufacturers offering excellent software monitoring. In 2021, the Chinese brand changed its update policy to bring itself up to the level of the competition. So all high-end models released since 2018 get three years of major Android updates and four years of security updates. Please note, however, that this policy does not apply to the OnePlus Nord and Nord CE, which benefit from only two major OS updates and three years of security patches. Tracking time decreases further on entry-level Nord N series with a single Android update and 3 years of security patches. The firm is in 6th place in the AOS Mark ranking.
The South Korean company can boast of offering the best tracking software. And for good reason, the firm even exceeds Google in this area. Indeed, Samsung announced in February 2022 that the manufacturer will now offer 4 years of Android updates and 5 years of security patches on its most recent smartphones such as the Galaxy S22, the Galaxy S21 FE, or the 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 remain 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. Be careful however, the duration of the follow-up differs according to the models (the most recent benefiting from 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 the field of software tracking, Google, Xiaomi and Samsung remain the most serious brands, whether in terms of tracking time and responsiveness. Of course, we advise you to opt in priority for devices that benefit from a long-term follow-up (OS and security combined).