Samsung Galaxy Note 20’s biggest feature is actually OS updates. Let me explain

Samsung Galaxy Note 20's biggest feature is actually OS updates. Let me explain

Possibly one of the most significant things Samsung announced at its Unpacked event was that the company would support up to three generations of OS updates for Galaxy phones dating back to the Galaxy S10.


Samsung

Amid the numerous phones, tablets and accessories Samsung announced at its online Unpacked event earlier this month there was one moment toward the end that stood out. And no it wasn’t the cameo by the group BTS when they showed off the new Galaxy Z Fold 2. As the virtual show wrapped up, Samsung showed off prices and availability for its new Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. And one of the slides the company showed read, “OS updates up to 3 generations”.

This is a huge deal. Typically Android phone-makers promise one sometimes two major OS updates and two years of security updates. And that has always bugged me when I review Android phones, especially when Apple offers 5-6 years of OS updates and security patches. 

Another way to look at it is that the Galaxy Note 20 was the most affordable phone Samsung showed off this month and it costs $1,000 (£849). And no matter how amazing it is, it’s hard to recommend anyone buy a $1,000 phone that will only be supported for 2 years. And keep in mind that the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra costs $1,300 (£1,179) and who knows how much the Galaxy Z Fold 2 will cost? The original Galaxy Fold cost $1,980 (£1,508).

Interestingly enough, the longer OS support applies to Samsung phones like the Galaxy S10 and newer. However, the term “three generations” is where there could be room for ambiguity. Does that mean three generations of Android OS like Android 10, 11 and 12? Or does that mean three generations of Galaxy devices like the S10, S20 and S30? And how long will it take Samsung to release three generations of updates?

While there is still more to learn about Samsung’s commitment to more software updates, I hope other Android phone-makers follow suit with their phones.


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For more about the products Samsung announced read Samsung Unpacked: Everything revealed.

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Cory Weinberg

About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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