Samsung Galaxy S22 and S21 could get more updates than almost any other phone

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
A Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G (Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy S range already competes with the iPhone range in a lot of ways, and now we can seemingly add one more to the list – software updates, as Samsung will reportedly be offering four years of Android updates and five years of security patches on key devices.

That’s according to a Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 press release that’s been leaked by Evan Blass (who has an excellent track record for leaks). The press release looks like the real deal too, so we have no reason to doubt it.

Specifically, it states that the Samsung Galaxy S21 range (including the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE), the Samsung Galaxy S22 range, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 range, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 will all get this many updates.

With many Android devices only getting two years of updates, that’s a huge deal, and especially notable for older devices like the Samsung Galaxy S21 range. Samsung already had much of the competition beat with those phones by offering three years of Android update and four years of security patches – something it was widely praised for, but now it’s seemingly adding an extra year to each.

That will mean these devices get major Android updates for longer than any other Android device is currently set to – even having the Google Pixel 6 range beat.

Elsewhere this press release largely reiterates things that we’ve already heard about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 range. There’s an almost complete specs list for example, but Blass had already leaked that.

There are a few details that we hadn’t been totally clear on though, including the release date. This press release states that pre-orders will open on February 9 (unsurprisingly, since that’s when the slates are expected to be announced), but that they’ll ship on February 25.

It also adds that if you pre-order a Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra you’ll get a Book Cover Keyboard thrown in, while if you pre-order a Galaxy Tab S8 or Tab S8 Plus then you’ll get a Book Cover Keyboard Slim.

There’s also mention of an Armor Aluminum frame, which supposedly makes these tablets 30% more scratch-resistant and 40% less likely to bend than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 range.

iPhone 13 Pro Max

Apple still has Samsung beat (Image credit: TechRadar)

Analysis: other companies – and even Samsung – need to do more

If Samsung really is going to offer four years of Android updates and five years of security patches for all the devices mentioned above then that’s great news, but it could still do more.

While that would have every other Android-maker beat, it would still leave Samsung trailing Apple, which is currently supporting six-year-old phones still. And given how expensive high-end handsets and tablets are, it’s only reasonable to expect them to be kept up to date for a long time.

Plus, while it’s great that Samsung is seemingly offering these extended updates for some pre-existing devices too, the majority of the company’s phones aren’t listed as getting them.

Really though, it’s everyone else in Android land that needs to step up. With the two most high-profile phone brands in the western world now offering so much support, other companies can’t afford not to follow suit if they want to compete.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.