When it comes to staying up-to-date, Google Pixel phones have proven their mettle. For instance, the current Pixel 7 series has been guaranteed a minimum of five years of updates, including quarterly feature drops and three OS upgrades. But hold onto your seats because reports suggest that the upcoming Pixel 8 series might take things up a notch.
According to 9to5Google, the highly anticipated Google Pixel 8 is poised to receive an enhanced level of OS updates, giving it a longer lifespan compared to even Samsung phones.
It seems like Google is setting its sights on the iPhone, aiming to up its game in terms of update support. With the impending Pixel 8 and its sibling, the Pixel 8 Pro, we anticipate remarkable longevity and robust update support in the realm of future Pixel devices.
The Pixel 6 brought about a commendable feat, offering three years of major Android OS version updates, coupled with an additional two years for those all-important security patches.
But that's still not quite on par with the update marathon of the iPhone. However, Google aims to turn the tables with its upcoming Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, introducing a noticeable increase in the frequency of OS updates.
Surveying the terrain of the mobile Android landscape, three years of OS updates—such as what was observed in Qualcomm-powered Pixel phones spanning 2017 to 2021—is somewhat outstripped by Samsung's commitment of four years.
This pledge commenced last year, starting with popular models like the Galaxy S21, S22, Flip 3, and Fold 3, and it extends to this year's releases, encompassing some of Samsung's more budget-friendly offerings.
Stepping outside the confines of Pixel and Samsung, certain Android-powered devices, like the Nvidia Shield, bask in the glory of up to eight years of updates.
This longevity is in part thanks to Nvidia's complete control over the aging Tegra X1 and X1+ chips. Google is on a similar trajectory with its Tensor chips, although the first three generations of Tensor heavily rely on Samsung Exynos.
Google flaunts its commitment to "5 years of Pixel updates" for existing devices fueled by Tensor chips. Following the release of Android 13, 14, and 15 (for instance), the Pixel 6 is set to receive an additional two years—24 monthly security patches.
This means that your trusty companion, the Pixel 6, will remain a reliable companion even if it misses out on major operating system updates during those final two years. Remember, many of Android's fresh features are delivered via app updates and Google Play services, ensuring that your phone doesn't lag too far behind.
Ah, Apple—the iPhone XS, born in September 2018 with iOS 12, is slated to receive iOS 17 this fall. Meanwhile, the iPhone 6S (and 7), hailing from 2015, is still receiving security releases on iOS 15, marking an impressive tally of nearly eight years of updates.
Android's update narrative might pale in comparison to the iPhone's, but Google isn't one to shy away from a challenge. The impending Pixel 8 and 8 Pro are poised to elevate the game, competitively extending the years of OS updates for this series and potentially upcoming devices.