The Android security update situation is confusing and messy despite Google’s best efforts, such as mandating companies to provide at least two years of security updates. Samsung, the largest Android device maker in the world, updated the list of devices it supports with security updates today, and there’s been some shuffling around with some phones getting kicked off.
Samsung maintains a website for its users to check the security update support status of their devices. The list is divided into three main sections: Current Models for Monthly Security Updates, Current Models for Quarterly Security Updates, and Current Models for Other Regular Security Updates. The list is by no means a guarantee and Samsung has placed a disclaimer stating that “the list of security updates are subject to change and it will be reviewed on a periodic basis.”
Of note is the addition of three phones to the Monthly list: Galaxy Fold, Galaxy A50, and Galaxy Xcover 4s, the last being upgraded from Quarterly. Three devices — the Galaxy A20s, Galaxy Tab A 8, and Galaxy Tab Active Pro — were added to the Quarterly list with the 2017 Galaxy Tab A demoted from Quarterly to the Other Regular category. The Galaxy Xcover 4 was also added into Other Regular and finally, the following devices were removed from the list entirely: Galaxy A5 (2016), Galaxy A3 (2016), and the Galaxy Tab S2 L/S Refresh.
In an ideal world, all Android devices shipped by Samsung within the past two years should all be included in the Monthly category and not just their most recent flagship and mid-range devices. Due to the nature of Android and Google’s lack of firmer enforcement, however, this is the way it’s going to be for the foreseeable future.