How Long Are Android Phones Supported?

How Long Are Android Phones Supported?

It’s almost impossible to imagine life without a cellphone, let alone without a smartphone. Android phones are the most popular smartphones around, and it seems like there’s a new one coming out every day. With all the latest technology constantly being released, you might be wondering how long the manufacturer will support your Android phone.

Android phones are supported for 2-5 years on average after being released and set up. However, the exact amount of time varies from brand to brand. After this period, phones will receive fewer updates until they stop entirely. At this point, a phone is no longer supported.

In this article, you can learn a lot about how long Android phones are supported. We will talk about their warranty support, what happens after your phone is no longer supported, and when it’s time to upgrade. 

What Happens When Your Android Phone Is No Longer Supported?

What Happens When Your Android Phone Is No Longer Supported?
Man updating his Android phone.

You might think it’s not that important if your phone is no longer supported. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. When your phone is no longer supported by its operating system, it can cause multiple problems for you. 

When your phone loses its system support, it will no longer be running the latest Android software like Android 11, 12, or 13. This change could affect how well your phone and applications work. You will also no longer have vital security patches that help keep your phone and your information safe from attacks.

Since your phone will no longer be up-to-date regarding its software, it could cause your phone to become slower. 

What About App Support?

What About App Support?
Couple at cafe looking at map app on their smartphone while vacationing in Venice.

If your Android phone is no longer supported it might take longer for your apps to open, to respond to commands, or you may no longer be able to use the newest versions of them. If an app is required to be in its latest version, installing it on an unsupported phone may not be possible.

There are ways to fix apps and of course, not all apps are like that. Using them for a while without updating them isn’t likely to cause you any trouble. But eventually, as they become more and more outdated, most applications will stop working. 

Security Support

Android Security Support
Android Security Support

The most crucial issue you might encounter when using an unsupported Android Phone is a lack of security. Your phone comes with a built-in security system to help you ward off some malware, viruses, or hacker attempts. 

While this system won’t protect you from everything, it’s much better than not having any protection. When your phone is unsupported, you lose that protection, making you vulnerable to malicious attacks.

If you have banking applications, an email account, and other applications with personal information on your phone, you want to make sure you have at least some level of protection. 

There’s nothing technically stopping you from using an unsupported phone. However, you might end up with a few restrictions on what you can do with it. Before it gets to this point, you should probably consider getting a new phone. 

What Does It Mean for an Android Phone To Be Supported?

What Does It Mean for an Android Phone To Be Supported?
What Does It Mean for an Android Phone To Be Supported?

You often hear the word “support” used in the tech industry. Technical support, IT support, and so on. While sometimes support can cover a broad spectrum of things from help and customer service to warranty coverage, the definition is narrower when talking about Android support. 

Since Google owns Android and different Cellular Phone manufacturers use the Android operating system; support for your android phone can start on Google’s Android Mobile Support Page

When an Android phone is supported, it continues to receive software and security updates for the Android operating system. These updates include new features and better protection against malware and viruses.  

Android phones are not as regulated as iPhones and essentially, when a phone is supported, its manufacturer is still covering the software it came with through updates. This process is identical to the update process Windows computers go through. However, computers tend to have a more extended coverage than phones do. 

This difference is sometimes because computers may be more expensive and contain more elaborate software, making them have a longer “lifespan.” Especially because, like a desktop, they can be stationary and not get dropped so much.

Android Phone Manufacturer Support Years

Android Phone Manufacturer Support Years
Google Mobile Calendar Android Phone Manufacturer Support Years

Google 

Google Pixel is the industry leader for Android Manufacturer Support and all the other manufacturers are trying to catch up. It is relatively easy to find Google Pixel Support information.

“Pixel 6 & Pixel 6 Pro phones will get Pixel updates for at least 5 years from when the device first became available on the Google Store in the US. Pixel updates include Pixel security updates, and may also include feature drops and other software updates.”

“Pixel 3a, 3a XL, 4, 4 XL, 4a, 4a (5G), 5, and 5a (5G) phones get Android version updates and security updates for at least 3 years from when the device first became available on the Google Store in the US.”

Pixel 3 & earlier no longer receive Android version updates and security updates.

Learn when you’ll get software updates on Google Pixel phones

Samsung 

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find out how long your Samsung Android mobile phone has support unless you are able to find a news article stating the information.

“Samsung Sets the New Standard With Four Generations of OS Upgrades To Ensure the Most Up-to-Date and More Secure Galaxy Experience.”

Samsung Sets the New Standard With Four Generations of OS Upgrades To Ensure the Most Up-to-Date and More Secure Galaxy Experience

Motorola 

Motorola also does not specify how many years they support their phones on their website.

“Motorola is committed to regular and timely security updates as recommended by Google/Android. While phones cannot be upgraded indefinitely, we provide security updates within the industry standard on both our regular and our Android One devices.”

Find Answers | Motorola Mobility, Inc.

Nokia

“All Nokia Android One smartphones receive at least 3 years of monthly security updates and 2 years of Android software upgrades as standard, thus exceeding the update requirements of Android Enterprise Recommended program.”

As the manufacturer of Nokia phones, we at HMD Global are committed to the product quality and dependability for which the brand is known.

How Long Does Android Warranty Last?

While software updates are typically referred to when talking about whether or not a phone is supported, you might also be talking about a phone’s warranty. Usually, you’ll hear that a phone is “covered” by a warranty. However, you sometimes hear “supported” as well. 

When an Android phone is covered or supported by a typical warranty, that means that should your phone get damaged in specific ways; you can send it in to be repaired for free. 

Most typical warranties will cover all problems your phone might have that are due to:

  • Electrical malfunctions
  • Mechanical malfunctions
  • Battery malfunctions
  • Won’t turn on

Android Phone Warranty Limits

There are usually some limits on Android Phone warranties. For example, damage due to liquid spilling on your phone won’t be supported by most warranties. Warranties are an excellent built-in insurance policy that helps reconcile spending so much money on something you have to use every day. 

Things usually not covered under your phones warranty:

  • Dropping your phone
  • A cracked or split-screen or phone body caused by the owner
  • Accidental physical damage to your phone
  • Debris in the USB port and it stopped working
  • The phone is lost or stolen

Without a warranty, many people would likely use their phone less or opt for a cheaper option. Still, while warranties are helpful, they don’t last indefinitely. 

A typical Android warranty will usually last around one to two years after purchasing your phone. Extended warranties might also be available, making a warranty last longer. You can also buy insurance for your phone, which will support repairs for a broader range of damages.

Can You Extend Your Phone’s Support?

Can You Extend Your Phone’s Support?
Young couple in the park looking and joking around with their phones.

Since extended warranties are available for Android phones, you might wonder if there’s a way you can extend the system support for your phone.

On many Android phone models, you can extend your phone’s warranty before the warranty has expired. 

Typically you cannot extend your phone’s support once it’s no longer supported. At this point, it is considered outdated by the phone provider and the Android operating systems. 

How to Check if Your Phone Is Still Supported

You can get an idea based on the date your phone was manufactured and how long the expected security support for your phone’s brand is supposed to last. You can also often check if your phone is still supported by going to your phone’s setting app. You can usually find a tab that will directly check for any software updates. 

If you don’t have a specific software updates tab, you might be able to look in your phone’s “about” or “about phone” tab to see if your phone is up to date. You might not see specifically if your phone is still supported by checking these tabs. However, if you notice it’s been a long time since your phone was last updated, your phone is likely no longer supported.

The only other way to be sure is to be on the lookout for announcements from your phone’s brand. There’s nothing left for you to do once your phone is unsupported. Unfortunately, there’s no exact way to track when your phone is no longer supported. 

When Should You Get a New Phone?

When Should You Get a New Phone?
Samsung Galaxy Fold

You can consider a few things when you are trying to determine if it’s time for you to replace your Android phone.

You should get a new phone if your current phone is no longer supported by its operating system or if it’s showing signs of mechanical or electrical problems after its warranty has expired. 

Security is your greatest concern with an Android phone that is no longer supported by the manufacturer’s operating system updates. If your phone is no longer supported, you should get a new one soon. This way, you also don’t have to worry about being unable to use the apps you need or being hacked.

You should also get a new phone if your current phone is broken, has a split-screen, or if the battery has started to swell and is no longer under warranty. 

In Conclusion

In Conclusion
Have a nice day!!

Android phones will continue to update for around 2, 3, 4, or even 5 years depending on the manufacturer. According to the manufacturer, the new Google Pixel will update for 5 years before it is considered out of date. While using an unsupported phone might not seem like a big deal, it comes with some risks.

Making sure your phone is updated and supported is one of the most significant ways to avoid your phone getting hacked and losing valuable information because of old security protocols.

References:

John Mortensen

I was a project manager and am a technology and science enthusiast who loves to study the latest technology, such as AI, smartphones, headphones, and software.

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