The new ZenFone 8 comes closest to the mini Android flagship we've been longing for, even though it’s nothing like its big brother with its radical flipping camera mechanism. Both 2021 ZenFone flagships are barely a week old, but the company has already released a big software update, which comes with a slew of new features and general improvements.
OxygenOS received quite the visual overhaul last year with version 11, borrowing some design elements from One UI to improve one-handed use. The OnePlus 7 series was late to the Android 11 party, only getting the update in March — six months after Google released it for Pixel devices. Despite the wait, there are plenty of new features and improvements in OxygenOS 11, and now the T-Mobile version of the 7 Pro and 7T are getting a piece of the action.
HMD Global's Nokia phones come with some of the cleanest Android builds around, but that still doesn't make the company the fastest to update its devices. Despite a roadmap shared with users last year, some of the phones slated for Android 11 still haven't received new software versions. To better reflect when updates might actually be ready, Nokia has expanded its roadmap up to Q3 and added a couple of new devices onto its list.
Android smartphone makers are only now starting to catch up to Apple’s excellent software support. Samsung was among the first major players to commit to three years of OS updates last year (many now get four years of security updates as well), and several more brands have since made similar promises. The latest to join the list is OnePlus sister company Vivo, but its update policy isn’t as expansive as Samsung’s.
OnePlus's latest flagships have been on sale for well over a month now, and it's safe to say that opinions are split on each device. While both the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro feature excellent displays and fast performance, our reviews have each offered critiques of buggy software and mixed camera quality, making it difficult to recommend either phone wholeheartedly. A new system update has arrived for the two devices, and while it won't provide fixes for every flaw, it does deliver a couple of necessary changes.
Pixel device owners, start your Wi-Fi radios. The monthly security update for Pixel phones has been posted by Google. The updates are available as both direct download of the firmware and OTA files, but it should be showing up on at least a few phones starting today.
Samsung has put a lot of effort into improving its software reputation, and a big aspect of that change has been a renewed focus on issuing regular security updates. Over the last couple of years, Samsung has frequently managed to beat Google to the punch, and that continues even now as the Galaxy Note10, Z Fold2, and S21 have all received the April security patch, more recently followed by the Galaxy A72, Tab A 10.5 (2018), and Tab S7+.
The state of wearables for Android is kind of lamentable, but Samsung makes some of the best. Today it's rolling out software updates for the Galaxy Watch3 and Watch Active2, the latter of which hasn't seen a software bump since January. Both of them are relatively minor patches to Tizen version 220.127.116.11, released earlier this year.
We've already praised the TicWatch 3 Pro as being one of the only Wear OS watches worth buying today, but what about its LTE-equipped cousin? Mobvoi released a cellular version of its newest watch late last year in the UK, Germany, and Spain for staying connected on the go without a phone. That variant wasn't included in last week's software update, but luckily, TicWatch 3 Pro LTE owners didn't have to wait long for a new patch of their own.