Samsung was traditionally the child of how not to do Android updates, but that seems to be a thing of the past. It is, of course, trivial to vow updates beyond the customary two-year period, but Samsung’s actions speak louder than words. Not only has it been pushing out monthly updates more regularly, but it’s also extended that software support coverage for up to four years. Proving that the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge last year weren’t just flukes, Samsung ends support for the Galaxy S8 today, four years after the phone first launched.
A few years ago, it had been almost inconceivable that Samsung would be the one pushing for four years of software updates. It guaranteed only two and even then was relatively slow and inconsistent in meeting its promises. Today’s Samsung is so different from its past that it’s almost the child for a way to try to Android updates right.
That said, those four years aren’t equal, and Samsung “downgrades” the frequency of updates from monthly to quarterly to biannual. The Galaxy S8, especially, was on the quarterly tier, so it isn’t like this end was unexpected. That it might rise to April 2021’s security update is probably the miracle instead.
The Galaxy S8 was notable for being the primary Samsung phone to ditch the capacity buttons and physical home buttons previously the hallmark of Android phones. By switching to Android’s new standard on-screen buttons, the Galaxy S8 was ready to obtrude bezels, especially with its curved screen edge.
Now that it’s formally out of the image, the Galaxy S9 takes its place because the oldest Samsung flagship currently still supported. That said, the Galaxy S8 Lite variant remains also supported but receives only biannual updates. Since it had been launched in May 2018, it’d still enjoy that treatment until next year at the newest.