Samsung just got more competition in the software update game

Samsung was the first Android manufacturer to promise four years of Android OS upgrades for its smartphones and tablets. It was a move that is now inspiring other manufacturers, with OnePlus announcing a few weeks back that some of its upcoming devices will receive four Android OS upgrades and security patches for five years. And now, Oppo, OnePlus’ parent company, is making the same commitment. Or is it?

Oppo has announced that its future flagships will get four major OS updates and five years of security updates. At first glance, that sounds pretty much the same as Samsung, but that isn’t actually the case. While Samsung promises four years of Android OS upgrades, Oppo promises four Color OS updates.

Color OS is Oppo’s equivalent of Samsung’s One UI overlay and receives updates independently of the version of Android underneath. With its new update policy, flagship Oppo phones launching in the future will get four Color OS version updates, and that’s where the problem resides.

Oppo may not be promising what people think

Essentially, Oppo is making no commitment when it comes to updating the Android version. It is only saying that it will provide four updates to its custom software.

Now, Oppo’s existing policy does guarantee three Android version updates so the new policy could mean that its devices will get at least three Android version updates in addition to new versions of Color OS. But whatever the case may be, it seems Samsung’s lead in updates will continue to remain unmatched.

It’s not just the fact that it’s not four Android OS updates that are being promised by Oppo here. It’s also the fact that Oppo — and even OnePlus — is not going to apply its new policy to any devices that it is already selling. Samsung, on the other hand, said it would extend support for four Android OS upgrades to some existing Galaxy devices that were launched in 2021. Furthermore, Samsung’s policy applies to both mid-range and flagship devices.

Samsung’s update policy is still unbeaten

To summarize, owners of Galaxy phones and tablets and Samsung fans can rest assured that they’re getting the best after-sales software support. While manufacturers like OnePlus and Oppo are moving in the right direction by taking inspiration from Samsung, they aren’t imitating the Korean giant as well as their customers would hope, and Galaxy devices are still the best option for those who care about updates.

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