Samsung winds down updates for Galaxy phones that aren't that old

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Quick Summary

Samsung has reportedly slowed down the update schedule of its Galaxy S20 series phones, switching from monthly security patches to quarterly.

Later phones, especially the S24 series, have longer lifetime update guarantees, however.

Samsung has made a change to its update schedule for some surprisingly recent flagship phones

This isn't a major turn-up for the books in some regards – it's how Samsung structures its security support for the phones it makes. You get a few years of monthly updates, ensuring that your device is up to date.

Then, at a certain point, those monthly updates become quarterly instead, eventually tapering away as support reduces over time.

Well, the swap from monthly updates to quarterly ones has just arrived for anyone who owns a Samsung Galaxy S20 handset, whether it's an S20 Ultra, S20 Plus or standard S20 (or even the more affordable S20 FE). 

The March 2024 update deployed as usual, but it's going to be the last monthly update, with the next now expected in June according to Android Authority

Given that the Galaxy S20 lineup arrived back in 2020 this may or may not come as a surprise depending on how much attention you've been paying to Samsung's software pledges.

For one thing, the range already stopped receiving Android updates after fulfilling the initially-promised three years of support on that front. 

So, in that light, it's not a major shock to see security updates going the same way. However, it's obviously nonetheless a little disappointing whenever you see hardware that remains pretty excellent nonetheless being left behind. 

It's also a reminder of the progress that is slowly being made on this front. While the Galaxy S20 generation was guaranteed to get three years of major Android updates, Samsung has since extended that promise to seven years for its S24 series, including the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.

That matches some competitors and is clearly a sign of where the market is going.

Google too guaranteed seven years of updates for the Pixel 8 series – it was the first to promise that milestone. It's significantly more than the less clearly delineated duration of Apple's support for iPhone models (which seems to typically end up being around five years). However, we wouldn't be surprised if Apple also follows the trend in future.

So, hopefully, as time goes on our phones will start to last even longer where software is concerned. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.