SamMobile has reportedly spotted security updates for the Samsung Galaxy S6, which should bring its patch level up to January 2019. This is not hugely unusual, except for the fact that this phone is now nearly 4 years old. It joins a very short list of devices this age to still receive official software support from its OEM.
by Deirdre O Donnell, 2019/02/14
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In November 2018, we noticed that the Samsung Galaxy S6 had received a new security patch directly from its OEM. Now, SamMobile has reported that the 2015 flagship has another one. This upgrade raises the S6’s patch level to January 2019. This report is based on claims that S6 units in the United Arab Emirates have installed this software. These devices have the basebands G920FXXU6ESA1 and G925FXXU6ESA1.
These claims suggest that Galaxy S6s in other regions may also be able to download this new update soon. However, we also know that they will not see any other kind of upgrade from Samsung. The OEM’s plans for the latest version of Android (9.0 or Pie) definitely leave this model behind. Therefore, the S6 will stay firmly on Oreo (Android 8.x) for the foreseeable future.
Then again, this ability to commit to security-related support for such an old device is not shared by many other OEMs. Google does not even support the comparably senior Nexus 6P at this point. One of the only companies to come close is OnePlus. Its 3-year-old flagship series has been promised an upgrade to Pie, and also received a new update in November 2018. However, it has not seen another since then, and its Pie-based ORA is probably the last one it will ever see.