Samsung was traditionally the poster child of how not to do Android updates but that seems to be really a thing of the past. It is, of course, trivial to promise 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, it has 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 was almost inconceivable that Samsung would be the one pushing for four years of software updates. It guaranteed only two and even then was quite slow and inconsistent in meeting its own promises. Today’s Samsung is so different from its past that it is almost the poster child for how to do 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, in particular, was on the quarterly tier so it isn’t like this end was unexpected. That it would actually get up to April 2021’s security update is perhaps the miracle instead.
The Galaxy S8 was notable for being the first Samsung phone to ditch the capacity buttons and physical home button that was previously the hallmark of Android phones. By switching to Android’s new standard on-screen buttons, the Galaxy S8 was able to push out bezels, especially with its curved screen edge.
Now that it’s formally out of the picture, the Galaxy S9 takes its place as the oldest Samsung flagship currently still supported. That said, the Galaxy S8 Lite variant is still also supported but receives only biannual updates. Since it was launched in May 2018, it might still enjoy that treatment until next year at the latest.