Google only released Android 11 a few months ago, but the company is already hard at work on the platform's next yearly upgrade. It's sometimes difficult to figure out which phones and tablets will be eligible for future Android OS updates, so in this roundup, we'll tell you when (or if) you can expect Android 12 on your device.
Most device makers don't say which phones or tablets will get the next Android update until after Google has already released it. In some cases, manufacturers still stay quiet after that point, leaving device owners in the dark. That's usually not a good omen for future support, but there have been cases of phones and tablets suddenly receiving an Android update with no prior warning.
Few companies have already said their update plans for Android 12, but we can make educated guesses for the rest of them.
Samsung's update plans for its phones were always a bit nebulous, especially for its budget phones, but that finally changed last year. Samsung now promises to give most of its new phones and tablets "three generations" of Android updates. In other words, most devices that started on Android 10 should get Android 11 (as many of them already have), Android 12, and Android 13. For most devices starting with Android 11, like the Galaxy S21, support should last until Android 14.
Samsung shared a list of phones and tablets with three years of support last year, all of which will definitely get Android 12:
- Galaxy S series: Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, S20 Ultra, S20+ 5G, S20+, S20 5G, S20 in addition to S10 5G, S10+, S10, S10e, S10 Lite ,and upcoming S series devices
- Galaxy Note series: Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G, Note20 Ultra, Note20 5G, Note20, Note10+ 5G, Note10+, Note10 5G, Note10, Note10 Lite, and upcoming Note series devices
- Galaxy Foldable devices: Galaxy Z Fold2 5G, Z Fold2, Z Flip 5G, Z Flip, Fold 5G, Fold, and upcoming Z series devices
- Galaxy A series: Galaxy A71 5G, A71, A51 5G, A51, A90 5G and select upcoming A series devices
- Tablets: Galaxy Tab S7+ 5G, Tab S7+, Tab S7 5G3, Tab S7, Tab S6 5G4, Tab S6, Tab S6 Lite, and upcoming Tab S series devices
Samsung has released a few phones since then, but any future phones in the S, Note, or Z series are automatically included. It's more difficult to speculate about which pre-2020 phones will receive Android 12. Samsung previously said that "flagship models from the Galaxy S10 (Android 9) or later" are also eligible for three years of support, so the Galaxy S10 and Note10 series should also get Android 12.
As for when the above-mentioned devices will get Android 12, that's more difficult to answer. Samsung usually starts updating its flagship phones a few months after Google releases the upgrade, with tablets and budget phones coming later. For example, Google released Android 11 on September 8th last year, while rollouts to the Galaxy S20 and Note20 series didn't start until December (at least in the United States).
Google's phones have always received day-one updates whenever new Android versions become available, so if you have a Pixel phone, you're getting Android 12 as soon as Google releases it. You even get the option to try the update before Google releases it, since Pixel phones are eligible for the Android Beta Program, but that's only a good idea if you can live with a few bugs.
Pixel devices receive three years of OS and security updates, so the Pixel 3, 4, 5, 3a, and 4a/4a 5G will get Android 12. Google dropped support for the Pixel 2 last year, and unless something changes, Android 12 will be the final update for the Pixel 3 (and possibly 3a/3a XL).
Even though Nokia's first Android phones were sold on the promise of fast and long-lasting Android updates, the company hasn't lived up to that promise in some time. Android 11 was released on September 8th, and it took another month for Nokia to just say which phones would be updated. Even though the first batch of updates was promised for the last quarter of 2020, the process only started in February of this year.
Nokia's original Android 11 update timeline. Updates actually started in February 2021, not Q4 2020.
Given how the Android 11 upgrade process is going, it's probably safe to assume no Nokia phones will get Android 12 until at least January 2022. Most of the company's phones get two OS updates, so if your model shipped with Android 10 or 11, you should get Android 12... at some point.
Even though OnePlus has done a poor job of releasing Android security patches on time, major OS updates are still being rolled out relatively quickly. Google released Android 11 on September 8th, and it arrived on the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro about a month later. However, the rest of the company's lineup is still waiting.
OnePlus already confirmed the OP5 and 5T will not receive Android 11, so it's likely that the OnePlus 6 and 6T will be dropped during the transition to Android 12. The OnePlus 8/8T series and all Nord phones will definitely get Android 12, and most likely the 7/7T series too. If the Android 11 rollout is anything to go by, it will probably take at least six months to reach the company's entire product lineup, and possibly longer.
We don't have specific predictions for what to expect from other manufacturers, but if your phone or tablet came with Android 11, it will probably get an update to Android 12 sometime in 2021. Unfortunately, with how much variance there is in typical rollout schedules, even between phones produced by the same company, providing a concrete answer is next to impossible.