Samsung has been near the front of the pack when it comes to releasing monthly security updates for a while now. The December 2020 update has rolled out to several of the company's phones in the United States, and a similar schedule is now taking place with Samsung's international models.
Below is listed every Samsung phone sold outside the United States that has been patched to the December level. We’ve marked the latest entries in bold to make them easy to spot.
Samsung is usually one of the better OEMs when it comes to releasing timely security patches for its phones, even beating Google to the punch at times. But even Samsung can only afford to keep older devices updated for so long. The company has recently revised its security update list with some changes, including ending patches for the Galaxy S7 Active, as well as changing some other older devices to a less frequent schedule.
Until recently, the words "Samsung" and "timely updates" were never uttered in the same sentence, unless you were emphasizing the contradiction between them. The Korean behemoth had a reliable, albeit very leisurely update schedule, pushing Android users who valued prompt access to security patches and new features away. With Android 10, things changed drastically, and Samsung has been impressing us more and more, with both major OTA rollouts and monthly security patches. Whether it's due to a different strategy, new team or leadership, Android's Project Treble, or some magical potion, Samsung is quickly becoming the OEM to beat for Android updates and we can't help but applaud its recent efforts.
February's security patch began rolling out yesterday, and whether you grabbed it by checking for an OTA update or by downloading the file straight from Google and applying it, you may (or may not, really) notice one tiny change. The About phone section of settings is jumping up to become a top-level item.
Google's Nexus 5X and 6P, released in 2015, were the last phones in the series before the company launched the new Pixel line. In the same year, Google established its three-year update policy, which set the last update for the pair of Nexuses (Nexi?) sometime in 2018. Last year, an impromptu two-month extension was revealed, placing their final sunset in November of 2018. And, well, here we are.
Google has been publishing its security bulletin for the monthly Android patches for a long time, but starting October 2017 (last month), it created a special bulletin for Nexus and Pixel devices. With the newly released November patch, Google has started populating one new section in the bulletin that details "Functional updates."
Google has recently started using the monthly patches not just for security fixes, but also as an opportunity to fix functional bugs on Nexus and Pixel phones and add really urgent features that could not wait until a full system software update. So it was only a matter of time before the bulletin started mentioning these other non-security changes.
Factory images for the March 2017 security update for most supported Pixel and Nexus devices are now up on Google's developer sites here and here. That includes the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Pixel C, Nexus 9 (+LTE), and Nexus 6. Builds for the Pixels are NOF27B for all variants except devices on Rogers, which should use build NOF27C.
The Nexus Player appears to be left out of the March updates at this point.
You can find the accompanying security bulletin here, which as usual lists a significant number of security threats that have now been eliminated.
Apparently, Artem has an LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition, or as we lovingly call it LGGPGPE, sitting somewhere on a desk or a drawer. I'm not sure what he uses it for, but I know that he keeps receiving updates for the monthly security patches on it.
So how old is the LGGPGPE? It was released in December of 2013, so it's technically not 3 years old just yet. But it had a short-lived stay on the Play Store: it was removed in June of 2014, which means that it's been out of the Store for more than 2 years now.