Once upon a time, Samsung seemed to have a short-term memory problem that made it conveniently forget one-year-old smartphones. These days, the world’s biggest smartphone maker has been lauded for even outdoing Google in promising years of support for its phones. That change applied not just to the newest models, but even older ones have benefited as well. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, as they say, and Samsung bids goodbye to the Galaxy Note FE as it also “demotes” the Galaxy Note 9 to quarterly maintenance.
The Galaxy Note FE has had an interesting start. It was meant to “replace” the Galaxy Note 7 that exploded left and right in 2016. In spirit, it was still the Galaxy Note 7, just with a fixed battery design. It saw moderate success despite consumer caution, but it is now time to put it to rest, at least as far as software updates go.
Launched in 2017, the Galaxy Note FE saw two major Android updates ending in Android 9.0 Pie. After four years of security updates, Samsung’s updated software support page finally drops the Galaxy Note FE completely, ending its support. Owners will either have to live without security updates or perhaps upgrade to something newer.
Its successors, however, will continue to receive updates for the coming months, though at a slower pace. The Galaxy Note 9 now joins the Galaxy Note 8 in receiving quarterly updates after three years of monthly support. Launched in 2018, the Galaxy Note 9 can perhaps be remembered as the last of its line to have a 3.5mm headphone jack, a microSD card slot, and no punch-hole cutout.
The Galaxy Z family is getting some action on that page, with the latest Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 added to the monthly list. These two are guaranteed to get three years of Android upgrades, which may or may not translate to three Android versions, as well as four years of security updates that will go from monthly to quarterly to bi-annually before finally reaching their end of life.