Samsung has been on fire with updates over the last couple of years. That continues into 2021 with the release of the January patch for several international Galaxy devices, including the S20, Galaxy Fold, and more.
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.
December updates (which include the recent Feature Drop changes) are starting to roll out for Google's Pixel phones — with one almost-expected exception. One day later, that includes the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, which are receiving their last planned update.
November updates are rolling out now for Google's Pixels, and that includes the brand-new Pixel 5 and 4a 5G. Functional patch notes mention a whole pile of fixes for both new phones, as well as older Pixels. That includes fixes for the screen waking at certain times when it shouldn't, inadvertently hidden system navigation during full-screen playback, issues with ringer audio for starred contacts in DND mode, and resolutions for a handful of Android Auto bugs. As expected, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL have no update this month.
Like clockwork, Google has just released its monthly Pixel updates, delivering both security enhancements as well as bug fixes and other improvements. This month, we have seven changes noted in the so-called "functional patch" notes, including auto-rotation improvements, automatic brightness fixes for the Pixel 4a, a bootloop fix, and a handful of other changes. Sadly, this month also marks the end of the Pixel 2 and 2 XL's stated support lifetime. Google has since confirmed to us that the phones will only get one more update after this in December.
Lost in yesterday's Android 11 hullabaloo was another bit of news: Security patches for Google's Pixel series were released together as part of the Android 11 update. This month's security-oriented fixes are more numerous than usual, with plenty of "high" and "critical" vulnerabilities included, so be sure to install the Android 11 update sooner rather than later.
Samsung just finished unveiling the Galaxy Note20 series, along with the Tab S7, Watch3, and a few other electronic gizmos. That's all par for the course in Unpacked, but Samsung also snuck in a surprise near the end of the stream. Because Samsung (apparently) supports using smartphones for longer, it now promises OS updates for up to "three device generations."
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.
Samsung's phones appear to have beaten Google again to deliver this month's security patches. Reports indicate that some U.S. models of the Galaxy S10, S20, and Note10 series started receiving the update early this morning, though it isn't landing on all variants at once.
Google's monthly Pixel software update is now rolling out, including June 2020's security patches and changes announced as part of this quarter's Pixel Feature Drop. The OTA should be rolling out in the traditional sense shortly, but in the meantime, you can sideload the update yourself, or peruse the huge list of Pixel functional patches — they're almost all just fixes, but there's a ton of them.