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Main updates of Android do not matter as a lot as they used to. Many elements of the working system are up to date via the Play Retailer, so even in case you’re on Android 8 or 9, you possibly can nonetheless entry many of the similar apps and options as somebody on the most recent launch of Android 10. Nevertheless, the safety updates that Google releases on a month-to-month foundation are nonetheless essential to preserving your cellphone or pill protected. Dozens of security flaws are found in elements of Android every month, which is why Google releases month-to-month safety patches.
In contrast to app and API updates, the safety patches cannot be delivered on to units — cellphone producers should combine the modifications into their very own flavors of Android, and launch them as system updates. It is common data that some corporations are higher than others on the subject of patching their telephones, however making direct comparisons is considerably tough. It is arduous to trace down details about when precisely updates are launched, with carriers and staged rollouts solely making issues extra sophisticated.
The excellent news is that we have achieved all of the arduous give you the results you want. That is our final safety replace tracker, the place we’re giving every current flagship cellphone a easy rating from 1-10, primarily based on how lengthy it takes for safety updates to get from Google to machine homeowners.
Should you’re how we collect this knowledge and assess it, we clarify our methodology extra on the second web page. Here is the quick model:
- We compiled a listing of dates for safety patches for many Android flagship telephones, ranging from when every cellphone was launched.
- The date for every safety replace is the primary proof we might discover of a public rollout, both from an official announcement from the machine maker, information protection of the replace, or confirmed stories from social media (whichever was earliest).
- Every machine’s rating is calculated utilizing a weighted common of the variety of days between a safety replace’s availability and the machine’s OTA being launched, the ensuing “rating” being normalized right into a quantity out of 10, after which a normal penalty being assessed for any given month-to-month replace that’s missed subtracting from that rating.
It should not come as a shock that Google’s flagships get good scores. Ever for the reason that days of Nexus telephones, Google has launched safety updates for its units on the same time as the official security bulletins, successfully giving Pixel telephones day-one updates.
Pixel telephones are the one units we have tracked that did not miss a single month. There are just a few situations the place a safety bulletin comes out a day or two earlier than the Pixels get their updates, and vice-versa, however on common the delay continues to be zero days.
If dependable and frequent safety updates are your primary concern when shopping for a cellphone, Pixels have traditionally been one of the best choices. Nevertheless, Samsung has began to turn out to be extra aggressive on this space, particularly with the Galaxy S20 collection.
Matching Google for first place is Samsung’s present flagship cellphone, the Galaxy S20. Granted, the cellphone has solely been accessible to buy for just a few months, however Samsung has been extraordinarily fast to replace the cellphone to date.
The Galaxy S20 hasn’t missed a single month of updates to date, and in some instances, Samsung has rolled out patches earlier than Google’s Pixels. The Could 2020 replace began rolling out on April 29th, and was widely available by the point the Pixel 4 was up to date.
Solely time will inform if Samsung can sustain its fast launch schedule, but when final yr’s Galaxy S10 is any indication, you most likely will not ever have to fret about safety patches with the S20.
Contemplating the excessive scores of Samsung’s different flagship telephones, it is most likely not a shock that the Note20 Extremely will get an ideal score.
On common, the Note20 Extremely has acquired updates across the similar time because the Galaxy S20 collection. It hasn’t missed a single month since its debut earlier this yr. Something lower than an ideal rating could be a bit embarrassing on the cellphone’s $1,299 MSRP, so 10/10 is nice information.
Samsung stunned everybody this yr with the Galaxy S20 Fan Version, a cellphone that packed almost all the S20’s options right into a cellphone that has been as low as $550. Regardless of the low worth, the Fan Version is receiving updates at roughly the identical occasions because the S20, Note20, and Pixel collection.
Sony’s newest flagship is the Xperia 1 II, also called the Xperia 1 Mark II. It became available in the United States in late July for a cool $1,198. For the second, it has the next rating than final yr’s Xperia 1.
The Xperia 1 II has solely skipped one month of updates to date (the cellphone received Android 11 in January with a month-old safety degree), however the patches are nonetheless a bit late in comparison with Google Pixel telephones and the Galaxy S20. Nonetheless, if Sony can preserve a month-to-month schedule, that can already be an enchancment over the unique Xperia 1.
LG’s latest mainstream cellphone is the Velvet 5G, and whereas it has an honest rating for the second, we anticipate it’ll fall over time like the corporate’s different telephones. As with different LG telephones, we’re utilizing a mix of knowledge from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Cell to evaluate the Velvet, since LG does not have easily-accessible info for the US unlocked fashions.
The LG Velvet arrived in the US in mid-2020, and since then, it has solely missed two months of updates. Nevertheless, it has a somewhat-high common delay in comparison with different 2020 flagship telephones.
The OnePlus 8 Professional has solely missed two months of updates to date, which is already an enchancment from the bi-monthly schedule of different OnePlus units. Nevertheless, most patches are delivered a number of weeks after Pixels get them. There’s additionally an Open Beta progarm the place you may get updates barely forward of most people, with occasional bugs.
The LG V60 was launched in April of this yr, and for the second, it is a respectable enchancment from the LG G8’s dreadful rating.
LG has often been fast to launch safety patches for the V60, however the schedule has been inconsistent to date. The cellphone did not obtain the Could or June updates in any respect, however the next July replace arrived proper on time.
Motorola launched its first flagship smartphone in years, the Edge+, in Could 2020. The corporate hasn’t been nice at delivering fast updates for a very long time, so it isn’t a lot of a shock that the Edge+ ranks poorly.
The Edge+ shipped with the March 2020 safety patch, and the primary replace with the April 2020 patch arrived over a month late on Could thirteenth. Since then, the cellphone has largely caught to bi-monthly patches, although every replace is round a month late.
The ROG Cellphone II has sat close to (or at) the underside of this record because it was launched, and sadly, it seems to be like its successor is not going to fare significantly better. Though the ROG Phone 3 has solely been accessible for just a few months, it is already dropped to a 5/10 on our scale.
The ROG Cellphone 3 is generally sticking to a month-to-month schedule, however identical to most different telephones from Asus, it’s receiving these updates extraordinarily late. It did not get the August 2020 patches until September 29th, for instance.
Though the Zenfone 6 does not have an unbelievable rating, it does narrowly beat out units which are typically perceived as offering extra frequent updates, like telephones from OnePlus.
The Zenfone 6 was one thing of a turning level for Asus’ cell division when it was launched final yr. It nice machine in its personal proper, as we highlighted in our review, however Asus additionally made frequent updates the next precedence. It has since been succeeded by the Zenfone 7 and 7 Pro.
The OnePlus 8T was solely launched in October, nevertheless it already has a poor replace monitor file. The cellphone solely acquired its first safety replace on December twenty ninth, which contained the November 1st patch degree. In different phrases, the OP8T received the November patches 57 days after Google’s Pixel telephones and the Galaxy S20.
We’ll have to attend and see if OnePlus can set up a extra regular replace schedule, like what we have (largely) seen with the OP8 Professional.
Since its US launch in early 2019, Sony’s Xperia 1 has skipped fairly just a few safety updates. Generally, updates are delivered on a bi-monthly foundation, however the cellphone did go three months with out an replace throughout one interval.
Sony skipped the July and August 2019 patches for the Xperia 1, however the cellphone finally was updated in September. Updates have been extra constant since then, however the delays are nonetheless not nice. For instance, the June 2020 replace took 17 days, and the August 2020 launch took 38 days.
OnePlus is often praised for its fast updates, so this rating for the corporate’s last 2019 flagship would possibly come as a shock to lots of you. Nevertheless, because the outdated saying goes, the information does not lie.
The 7T Professional was launched just a few months earlier than the coronavirus outbreak started in China, the place OnePlus and different Chinese language OEMs functioned at restricted capability. The 7T Professional did not get its January safety replace till February 14th, for instance. Since then, the replace schedule has been extra constant, however nonetheless solely bi-monthly (and often 2-3 weeks after Pixels).
It is price noting that OnePlus does have an Open Beta program, the place machine homeowners can obtain updates earlier than they’re prepared for prime time, however that may include bugs and different penalties.
The OnePlus 7 Professional has been accessible since mid-2019, nevertheless it will get the identical dreadful rating because the newer 7T Professional.
Like different telephones from OnePlus, the 7 Professional usually skips each different month, and (on common) receives patches a number of weeks after they’re launched. For instance, the Could 2020 patch took 24 days to roll out, and the July patch did not seem on the OnePlus 7 Professional till August 4th.
Asus has supplied frequent and fast updates for its primary flagship, the ZenFone 6, however that very same consideration has not carried over to the corporate’s 2019 gaming cellphone. The ROG Cellphone 2 has the excellence of getting the longest common delay between updates of any cellphone we’re monitoring.
The cellphone had an prolonged hole in safety updates whereas Asus was engaged on its Android 10 replace. The ROG Cellphone 2 did not obtain the October 2019 patch till November of that yr, and it remained on that patch degree till the Android 10 update rolled out in March 2020.
Since then, the ROG Cellphone 2 has usually gone two months between safety updates, and so they nonetheless often present up very late. For instance, the April 2020 patch wasn’t launched until May 13th. It has been succeeded by the ROG Phone 3.
We plan to maintain this information up to date as every new month passes. See the second web page for information on how we’re coping with components like areas, staged rollouts, calculating dates, and extra methodological information.