Xiaomi steps up to match Samsung’s excellent commitment to Android updates
Xiaomi has made a name for itself thanks to its smartphone’s excellent bang-for-the-buck ratio. But where there’s light, there’s shadow, and Xiaomi devices are usually among those that see the fewest Android version upgrades. That’s about to change for the company’s upcoming new flagship phones, to be announced September 15. Xiaomi has just shared that the 11T and the 11T Pro will get three generations of Android upgrades and four years of security patches, stepping right up to Samsung’s recent commitment.
In contrast to Samsung, which promised to bring its new update scheme to devices it already released at the time of the announcement, Xiaomi is playing it safe and only commits to the policy for its upcoming phones. At least the company says it will “also evaluate the possibility of bringing the extended Android system and security upgrades services to more Xiaomi devices.”
In any case, the announcement is a significant first step for a company that’s been known for slow and/or non-existing Android updates. It’s a smart move, too, as the business is trying to enter the flagship market after focusing mostly on entry-level and midrange devices in the past. If Xiaomi pulls through with the commitment, it would even provide longer software updates than Google itself for its Pixel lineup, which is limited to three years of software support.
In case things don’t pan out too well for Xiaomi’s new update policy, the company also found a way out thanks to a small disclaimer tacked onto its announcement, saying that “The availability of Android operating system upgrades and features may vary from device to device and from market to market. The availability of the update will depend on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, the complexity of the update, local regulations, market, and other factors.” Still, with the promise out there in the open, we’ll be sure to let you know if there are any slip-ups (looking at you, OnePlus).
A few years ago, most people would have laughed for even suggesting that any Android manufacturer would provide longer updates to its phones than Google, safe for eco-focused companies like Fairphone, but here we are, and I love it.