This story was initially printed and final up to date .
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 the event you’re on Android Eight or 9, you possibly can nonetheless entry many of the identical apps and options as somebody on the newest launch of Android 10. Nevertheless, the safety updates that Google releases on a month-to-month foundation are nonetheless important to preserving your telephone or pill protected. Dozens of safety flaws are found in elements of Android every month, which is why Google releases month-to-month safety patches.
Nevertheless, in contrast to app and API updates, the safety patches cannot be delivered on to units — telephone producers need to combine the modifications into their very own flavors of Android, and launch them as system updates.
It’s normal data that some firms are higher than others in relation to patching their telephones, however making direct comparisons is considerably troublesome. It is laborious to trace down details about when precisely updates are launched, so information protection typically depends on gadget homeowners seeing the replace themselves. Carriers and gradual rollouts solely make issues extra difficult.
The excellent news is that we have accomplished all of the laborious give you the results you want. That is our final safety replace tracker, the place we’re giving every current flagship telephone a easy rating from 1-10, based mostly on how lengthy it takes for safety updates to get from Google to gadget homeowners.
Should you’re how we collect this knowledge and assess it, we clarify our methodology extra on the second web page. This is the brief model:
- We compiled an inventory of dates for safety patches for every main 2019 Android flagship, ranging from January 2019 or when the telephone was launched in the USA (whichever was earliest).
- The date for every safety replace is the primary proof we may discover of a public rollout, both from an official announcement from the gadget maker, information protection of the replace, or confirmed reviews from social media (whichever was earliest).
- Every gadget’s rating is calculated utilizing a weighted common of the variety of days between a safety replace’s availability and the gadget’s OTA being launched, the ensuing “rating” being normalized right into a quantity out of 10, after which a typical 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 concurrently the official safety 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 a couple of cases 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 important concern when shopping for a telephone, Pixels have traditionally been one of the best choices. Nevertheless, Samsung has began to change into extra aggressive on this space, particularly with the Galaxy S20 sequence.
Matching Google for first place is Samsung’s present flagship telephone, the Galaxy S20. Granted, the telephone has solely been out there to buy for a couple of months, however Samsung has been extraordinarily fast to replace the telephone to this point.
The Galaxy S20 hasn’t missed a single month of updates to this point, and in some circumstances, Samsung has rolled out patches earlier than Google’s Pixels. The Could 2020 replace started rolling out on April 29th, and was broadly out there by the point the Pixel Four was up to date.
Solely time will inform if Samsung can sustain its fast launch schedule, but when final 12 months’s Galaxy S10 is any indication, you most likely will not ever have to fret about safety patches with the S20.
Whereas Samsung has accomplished a properly sufficient job of preserving its flagship smartphones updated with the newest safety patches — the Galaxy S7 continues to be receiving quarterly fixes — the corporate improved its schedule barely with the Galaxy S10.
Not solely has the S10 obtained safety updates in a well timed method, nevertheless it was additionally among the many first telephones to obtain an replace to Android 10. The telephone has additionally managed to take care of a excessive rating for properly over a 12 months, whereas most competing telephones from 2019 have slipped behind.
The Galaxy S10 has solely missed two safety updates since its launch in early 2019: the patches for June and July 2019 had been included in an August replace. Nevertheless, the S10’s typical delay from when Google’s safety bulletins had been printed is the primary purpose it falls barely behind different units.
Sony’s newest flagship is the Xperia 1 II, also referred to as the Xperia 1 Mark II. It turned out there in the USA in late July for a cool $1,198. For the second, it has earned a a lot greater rating than final 12 months’s Xperia 1.
The Xperia 1 II hasn’t skipped a single month of updates to this point, 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 may already be an enchancment over the unique Xperia 1.
The Nokia 9 PureView is the closest factor HMD International needed to a flagship Android gadget in 2019 (Nokia’s product strains have quite a lot of overlap), and regardless that the telephone suffered from digicam and fingerprint reader bugs when it launched, the PureView’s safety replace report has been pretty good good.
In line with our knowledge, the PureView has solely skipped one month since its launch. The Could 2019 patch was by no means rolled out (Nokia mixed it with the June patches), however that is the one exception to this point.
Whereas there have been a couple of cases of Nokia rolling out the replace within the first week of the month, most patches had been launched round two weeks later. For instance, the February 2020 replace rolled out on February 24th, the December 2019 patches had been launched on December 31st, and so forth.
The LG V60 was launched in April of this 12 months, and for the second, it is one of many highest rating telephones on our listing. That is fairly an 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 this point. The telephone did not obtain the Could or June updates in any respect, however the next July replace arrived proper on time.
The OnePlus Eight Professional hasn’t been out for very lengthy, nevertheless it has already slipped to a rating of seven/10 on our scale. That is greater than final 12 months’s OnePlus 7 Professional and 7T Professional, nevertheless it may nonetheless fall decrease within the coming months.
The OnePlus Eight Professional hasn’t skipped a single month of updates to this point, 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.
Although the Zenfone 6 would not have an unimaginable rating, it does narrowly beat out units which might be typically perceived as offering extra frequent updates, like telephones from OnePlus.
The Zenfone 6 was one thing of a turning level for Asus’ cellular division when it was launched final 12 months. It nice gadget in its personal proper, as we highlighted in our overview, however Asus additionally made frequent updates a better precedence. It has since been succeeded by the Zenfone 7 and seven Professional.
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 is not 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 13th. For the reason that, the telephone 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 listing because it was launched, and sadly, it seems to be like its successor is not going to fare a lot better. Although the ROG Cellphone Three has solely been out there for a couple of months, it is already dropped to a 4.5/10 on our scale.
The ROG Cellphone Three is usually sticking to a month-to-month schedule, however similar to most different telephones from Asus, it’s receiving these updates extraordinarily late. It did not get the August 2020 patches till September 29th, for instance.
Since its US launch in early 2019, Sony’s Xperia 1 has skipped fairly a couple of safety updates. Usually, updates had been delivered on a bi-monthly foundation, however the telephone 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 telephone lastly was up to date in September. The telephone has solely missed a single month of updates since March 2020, however the patches are often nonetheless delivered late. 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 ultimate 2019 flagship may come as a shock to a lot of you. Nevertheless, because the previous saying goes, the information would 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-Three weeks after Pixels).
It is price noting that OnePlus does have an Open Beta program, the place gadget 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 out there since mid-2019, however for the second, it will get the identical dreadful rating because the newer 7T Professional. The corporate’s tagline of “By no means Settle” may want some revision.
Like different telephones from OnePlus, the 7 Professional sometimes 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.
I do know this may come as a whole shock to a lot of you, however LG is just not good at updates. The corporate’s mainstream 2019 flagship, the G8 ThinQ, has skipped a number of months of patches and has a excessive common delay.
Nevertheless, there may be one main caveat to our knowledge on the G8: we’re utilizing rollout dates for the AT&T mannequin, as a result of there is not sufficient public knowledge concerning the US unlocked model. The added step of service approval may very well be including some delay, however the frequency of patches is the G8’s major challenge. There have been no updates in any respect from late September 2019 till mid-February 2020 — and the February replace solely had the December patches.
Asus has provided frequent and fast updates for its important flagship, the ZenFone 6, however that very same consideration has not carried over to the corporate’s 2019 gaming telephone. The ROG Cellphone 2 has the excellence of getting the longest common delay between updates of any telephone we’re monitoring.
The telephone 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 12 months, and it remained on that patch stage till the Android 10 replace rolled out in March 2020.
Since then, the ROG Cellphone 2 has sometimes gone two months between safety updates, and so they nonetheless often present up very late. For instance, the April 2020 patch wasn’t launched till Could 13th. It has been succeeded by the ROG Cellphone 3.
Motorola has a identified historical past of being extraordinarily late with software program updates, until you occur to stay in South America (the place the corporate tends to focus its assets). As such, the Moto Z4’s place close to the underside of this listing most likely is not a lot of a shock.
The Moto Z4 has a median replace delay of over a month. Nevertheless, it is extra doubtless for Z4 homeowners to not get an replace in any respect. The Z4’s first replace got here in mid-July (containing Could patches), then there have been no updates in any respect till mid-November. Oh, and the November replace was two months behind in safety patches.
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.