Phones

Samsung downgrades Galaxy A5 (2016) update policy, which is a good thing

Samsung has ‘downgraded’ its upgrade policy for the Galaxy A5 from 2016. The phone will now get quarterly security updates instead of monthly patches. This may not sound like much, but it could spell very good news for years and devices to come.

Galaxy A5 2016 is old, but should still get regular updates

Just over three years ago, Samsung released the Galaxy A5 (2016). Since then, the phone received pretty much every single monthly update patch released by Google and Samsung. Now, as GalaxyClub points out, Samsung has removed it from its list of devices that get monthly security patches, and placed it between its quarterly updated phones.

samsung quarterly updates list with galaxy a5 2016

At first glance, this seems like bad news for everybody still using this phone. The opposite is, in fact, true. In the past years, Samsung has always removed monthly updated devices from its official list after the device had been on the market for three years. The keyword here is ‘removed’ – entirely. Though devices usually received a couple of rogue updates afterwards, no regularity was ever promised. The A5’s downgrade, therefore, is actually an upgrade from being entirely removed from Samsung’s official update policy.

To put the above in more straightforward terms: this is the first time Samsung is kind-of-promising continued, regular security updates for a device after the three year period of monthly updates has passed.

Last year, we saw the removal of the Galaxy S6 from Samsung’s update list three years after that device’s market launch. Since then, it did receive the odd update or two, but nothing remotely regular, let alone quarterly.

Improved update policy, or a fluke?

Now, one swallow does not make a summer. The real test here will come next month when the Galaxy S7 hits its three-year birthday. Will it be simply removed, like the Galaxy S6, or only downgraded with the promise of continuing, quarterly security patches? Time will have to tell, as Samsung remains generally reluctant to make any other official promises of updates beyond its stated two-year support period.

Still, and despite Samsung’s often-bemoaned reputation, the company is steadily improving updates. Recently we saw the Galaxy J7 from 2016 receive its second major OS upgrade, and all J series device from 2017 will receive Android Pie. Perhaps now we are seeing the first glimpse of a further improved update policy for flagship devices as well.

  • Model: SM-A510F
  • Dimensions: 144.8 x 71.0 x 7.3mm
  • Display: 5,2" (132mm) Super AMOLED
  • CPU: Exynos 7580
  • Camera: 13 MP, CMOS F1.9

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pcipiti
pcipiti

why A7 2016 Nt get update same spec

fcaroll
fcaroll

As always, I have to say that sammy stopped sending updates to S5 neo more than one year ago and it did not even receive nougat. What’s worse is that the “latest” software available is terrible and A5 2016 has * the same hardware *

Cesar Z
Cesar Z

A7 (2018) and A9 (2018) to get quarterly updates instead of monthly?? they were from last year, why?

warlockba
warlockba

Because less is more! Which is a good thing!

/sarcasm

locarno
locarno

I said it many times. A5 2016 is best updated device from Samung. It received every month patch since release. It is better updated than flagships.

PJaya
PJaya

Wow, my A7 2016 no longer in list, i can stop checking update from now.

alastairgreen_Nexus
alastairgreen_Nexus

I hope that this will improve and a 4 year support for flagships must be the new policy soon, starting from the S9 family and up

utvic99
utvic99

I think Samsung will add at least a 3 year support starting from the S8 (so it gets Android Q), because the S8 is a much bigger and more important upgrade from the S7 than all the previous flagships were to each other. Also, the SD835 and Exynos 8895 are massive upgrades compared to SD820 and Exynos 8890, and the same can’t be said about SD808 vs SD820 or Exynos 7420 vs Exynos 8890 for example. So the processor should now be able to handle Android Q without any problems. The S8 was also one of their most sold flagships… Read more »

fcaroll
fcaroll

SoC capabilities must not be a reason for not upgrading android. There will be many devices less powerful than S7 that will run newer android than P. And, software optimization can’t be neglected if the SoC capabilities leave room for that.

Note FE was launched with nougat, not marshmallow

alastairgreen_Nexus
alastairgreen_Nexus

Indeed, it was launched before Note 8 was released

siaho
siaho

For start he is talking nonsense, 8895 is NOT massively better vs 8890, in fact it was a disappointment in a lot of ways and just a slight bump. Otherwise you are right, even an older phone can run android P smoothly. It’s not that, they just don’t want to support their phones like apple does… while they love to bump the price to apple iphone’s levels. That backfired with apple sales tho with the ios 12 release that really improved big time all of their older phones, there are even rumours that they will drop at the same time… Read more »

siaho
siaho

How exactly the 8895 is a “massively” better than the 8890?

tiljes
tiljes

But NoteFE will receive Pie. Though it is ridiculous, that S7 won’t get it, as it’s more or less the same hardware.

siaho
siaho

Most likely it will not receive android 9. Also if samsung wanted to extend the update policy, they would had started with the s7/s7e as it was the device given to the people with blowing note7’s. 🙂