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Android safety replace tracker: Rating the highest smartphones

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Main updates of Android do not matter as a lot as they used to. Many elements of the working system are up to date by way of the Play Retailer, so even in the event you’re on Android 8 or 9, you possibly can nonetheless entry a lot of the similar apps and options as somebody on the most recent launch of Android 10. Nevertheless, the safety updates that Google releases on a month-to-month foundation are nonetheless essential to retaining your telephone or pill secure. Dozens of safety flaws are found in elements of Android every month, which is why Google releases month-to-month safety patches.

In contrast to app and API updates, the safety patches cannot be delivered on to gadgets — telephone producers should combine the modifications into their very own flavors of Android, and launch them as system updates. It is common information that some corporations are higher than others in terms of patching their telephones, however making direct comparisons is considerably troublesome. It is exhausting to trace down details about when precisely updates are launched, with carriers and staged rollouts solely making issues extra difficult.

The excellent news is that we have executed all of the exhausting 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 machine 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 quick model:

  • We compiled a listing of dates for safety patches for many Android flagship telephones, ranging from when every telephone was launched.
  • The date for every safety replace is the primary proof we might discover of a public rollout, both from an official announcement from the machine maker, information protection of the replace, or confirmed reviews from social media (whichever was earliest).
  • Every machine’s rating is calculated utilizing a weighted common of the variety of days between a safety replace’s availability and the machine’s OTA being launched, the ensuing “rating” being normalized right into a quantity out of 10, after which a regular penalty being assessed for any given month-to-month replace that’s missed subtracting from that rating.

Beginning in January 2020, we have stopped monitoring knowledge for some older telephones. The archived knowledge will be discovered on Web page 3.

It should not come as a shock that Google’s flagships get excellent scores. Ever for the reason that days of Nexus telephones, Google has launched safety updates for its gadgets on the similar time as the official safety bulletins, successfully giving Pixel telephones day-one updates.

Pixel telephones are the one gadgets we have tracked that did not miss a single month. There are a number 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 predominant concern when shopping for a telephone, Pixels have traditionally been one of the best choices. Nevertheless, Samsung has began to turn out to be extra aggressive on this space, particularly with the Galaxy S20 collection.

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 number of months, however Samsung has been extraordinarily fast to replace the telephone up to now.

The Galaxy S20 hasn’t missed a single month of updates up to now, and in some circumstances, Samsung has rolled out patches earlier than Google’s Pixels. The Could 2020 replace started rolling out on April twenty ninth, and was broadly out there by the point the Pixel 4 was up to date.

Solely time will inform if Samsung can sustain its speedy 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.

Contemplating the excessive scores of Samsung’s different flagship telephones, it is most likely not a shock that the Note20 Extremely will get an ideal ranking.

On common, the Note20 Extremely has acquired updates across the similar time because the Galaxy S20 collection. It hasn’t missed a single month since its debut earlier this 12 months. Something lower than an ideal rating could be a bit embarrassing on the telephone’s $1,299 MSRP, so 10/10 is nice information.

Samsung shocked everybody this 12 months with the Galaxy S20 Fan Version, a telephone that packed practically all the S20’s options right into a telephone that has been as little as $550. Regardless of the low value, the Fan Version is receiving updates at roughly the identical instances because the S20, Note20, and Pixel collection.

Sony’s newest flagship is the Xperia 1 II, also called the Xperia 1 Mark II. It grew to become 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 up to now, 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 can already be an enchancment over the unique Xperia 1.

LG’s latest mainstream telephone is the Velvet 5G, and whereas it has an honest rating for the second, we count on it would fall over time like the corporate’s different telephones. As with different LG telephones, we’re utilizing a mix of knowledge from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Cellular to evaluate the Velvet, since LG would not have easily-accessible info for the US unlocked fashions.

The LG Velvet arrived in the USA in mid-2020, and since then, it has missed one month of updates. It additionally has a somewhat-high common delay in comparison with different 2020 flagship telephones.

The OnePlus 8 Professional hasn’t been out for very lengthy, however it has already slipped to a rating of 6.5 on our scale. That is greater than final 12 months’s OnePlus 7 Professional and 7T Professional, however it might nonetheless fall decrease within the coming months.

The OnePlus 8 Professional has solely missed one month of updates up to now, which is already an enchancment from the bi-monthly schedule of different OnePlus gadgets. Nevertheless, most patches are delivered a number of weeks after Pixels get them.

The LG V60 was launched in April of this 12 months, and for the second, it is a respectable 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 up to now. The telephone did not obtain the Could or June updates in any respect, however the next July replace arrived proper on time.

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 thirteenth. Because the, the telephone has largely caught to bi-monthly patches, although every replace is round a month late.

The ROG Telephone II has sat close to (or at) the underside of this checklist because it was launched, and sadly, it seems to be like its successor is not going to fare a lot better. Regardless that the ROG Telephone 3 has solely been out there for a number of months, it is already dropped to a 5/10 on our scale.

The ROG Telephone 3 is generally sticking to a month-to-month schedule, however identical to most different telephones from Asus, it’s receiving these updates extraordinarily late. It did not get the August 2020 patches till September twenty ninth, for instance.

Regardless that the Zenfone 6 would not have an unimaginable rating, it does narrowly beat out gadgets which are usually 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 machine in its personal proper, as we highlighted in our overview, however Asus additionally made frequent updates the next precedence. It has since been succeeded by the Zenfone 7 and seven Professional.

Since its US launch in early 2019, Sony’s Xperia 1 has skipped fairly a number of safety updates. Normally, updates have 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.

The OnePlus 8T was solely launched in October, however it’s beginning off close to the underside of our scale. The telephone solely acquired its first safety replace on December twenty ninth, which contained the November 1st patch stage. In different phrases, the OP8T bought the November patches 57 days after Google’s Pixel telephones and the Galaxy S20.

We’ll have to attend and see if OnePlus can set up a extra regular replace schedule, like what we have (largely) seen with the OP8 Professional.

OnePlus is usually praised for its fast updates, so this rating for the corporate’s ultimate 2019 flagship may come as a shock to lots of you. Nevertheless, because the outdated saying goes, the information would not lie.

The 7T Professional was launched only some 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 2-3 weeks after Pixels).

It is value noting that OnePlus does have an Open Beta program, the place machine 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.

Asus has supplied frequent and fast updates for its predominant flagship, the ZenFone 6, however that very same consideration has not carried over to the corporate’s 2019 gaming telephone. The ROG Telephone 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 Telephone 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 Telephone 2 has sometimes gone two months between safety updates, they usually nonetheless often present up very late. For instance, the April 2020 patch wasn’t launched till Could thirteenth. It has been succeeded by the ROG Telephone 3.

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 elements like areas, staged rollouts, calculating dates, and extra methodological information.

Particular because of The Android Soul, Xperia Weblog, SamMobile, and 9to5Google for masking among the machine updates we’d have in any other case missed.

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