Samsung's new free Android phone updates will future-proof your Galaxy

One of the most important things about the Galaxy S22 isn't its hardware

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Android phone
(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung Galaxy S22 is already one of the best phones in 2022 – but it could still be one of the best Android phones in 2027 too. That's because Samsung's new upgrades policy means it'll get not just Android 13, but Android 14, Android 15 and Android 16 too.

And that's not all. Samsung isn't just applying this to its new S22 range. It's also applying it to the whole Galaxy S21 range, the Galaxy S21 FE, the Galaxy Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 and the Galaxy Tab S8.

This is a really big deal.

All the Androids for years to come

By promising to deliver four years of Android updates and five years of security patches, Samsung has pushed its devices to the very front of the Android pack. One of the things Android doesn't do as well as Apple's iOS is legacy device support: after three years you're basically cut off from the Google mothership and left to fend for yourself in a jungle full of tigers. That might not be a big deal for early adopters, but if like me you want your older phones to go to a good home it affects the people you give your older devices to. And if you're more of a seller than a giver, it affects the resale value too.

It's interesting to compare this to Google's offer with the Pixel 6: that's three years of OS updates and five years of security patches, which Google was pretty pleased about. What Samsung's done here is thrown down a Galaxy-shaped gauntlet to the rest of the Android ecosystem: if Samsung can do this, why can't they?

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Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).