Wednesday , 29 November 2023

The Real Reason to Buy a Galaxy S23 Ultra: Software Updates

That title is specific to what Samsung announced this week because the devices are still fresh in our minds, but it really stands for any major device they’ve made back through the Galaxy S21. Samsung continuing to provide support like no other Android maker means you are buying a phone today that won’t need to be replaced for between 4 and 5 years.

When I asked earlier today if you were buying one of the new Galaxy S23 phones, a number of you made it clear that you don’t need to because you own a Galaxy S22 or S21 (or one of the new foldables) and don’t really have to consider upgrading for several more years. And I get that! I’m swapping out my Galaxy S22+ for an S23+ because this is my job, but in reality, there’s almost zero reason for anyone not in this industry to do that. Same for the Galaxy S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra.

As a reminder, Samsung now provides 4 major OS upgrades to their best phones and 5 full years of security patches. Those major OS upgrades include updates like to Android 13, which Samsung sent to most of its phones before December even hit. For security patches, those will be monthly for at least the first 3 years, if not longer. Samsung typically spends the last year of support doing quarterly updates.

When you spend $800 on the lowest Galaxy S23 or $1,200 on the Galaxy S23 Ultra, you are getting the same level of support. While these phones aren’t serious upgrades over last year’s models, for those who do upgrade to one, you do so knowing that you can hang onto it for years to come. You are buying into a level of support few have been willing to offer.

We’ve talked about this topic a lot and for many of you, I’m telling you nothing new. I think for me, it’s making sure I remind folks that buying from Samsung means more than getting a good camera and fancy hardware. When you buy in, you buy into “King of Android Updates” support.

That’s not to say that Google isn’t doing updates faster than anyone, because they still are. For whatever reason, they have limited the number of OS updates to 3 three years and won’t bump it to 4 to match Samsung. They do offer 5 years of security patches, though. Going with either manufacturer is a good idea today for the update support alone. But again, it’s Samsung doing the big updates for more years and still managing to match Google in overall length.

We’re at this point because phones are so good that you don’t need to upgrade every 2 years like you once did. Hanging onto a phone for 3 or 4 or 5 years is a thing you can do and still have a phone at the end that is more than capable. That might mean boring in the short term when it comes to phone releases and hype, but it’s great for consumers in the long run.

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