One of the most significant features of the Samsung Galaxy S24 may not be its cameras, processor or display. It could be its software support.
A new report suggests that Samsung may support this year's flagship devices and last year's Samsung Galaxy S23 with a whopping seven years of system updates. That's the same as Google offers with its latest Pixel phones, such as the Pixel 8 Pro.
This comes from Android Headlines, which claims that Samsung may support its Galaxy S24 phones until 2031 by taking the same strategy as Google. However, I'm struggling to find the source of this leak: the report links to another, which in turn links to yet another that doesn't mention the leak at all. So take it with a touch of the salty stuff for now.
But, if the leak is indeed true, it's a welcome development, even if it might not mean full Android updates.
What Google is doing and Samsung may be about to follow
Google has promised two kinds of updates for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro until 2030: Android version updates and security updates. The new report is assuming that the former means full Android versions, such as Android 15, 16, 17 and so on, but it might also include point upgrades, such as upgrading Android 15.1 to Android 15.2.
The devil is in the detail and as yet we don't know what that really is. It seems very unlikely that when Google is showing off Android 18 on the Pixel 15, Pixel 8 owners will get the same features. Or that the Samsung Galaxy S24 will have feature parity with the Samsung Galaxy S31.
Despite this, the rumour is still interesting because what really matters for a phone's longevity isn't so much feature updates as system ones: a smartphone that's no longer getting security updates is a smartphone that's increasingly risky to use. So, a Samsung Galaxy S24 that's still kept up to date is a Samsung that can live on long after you've upgraded to a newer flagship – that's clearly something to applaud.
If Samsung is indeed planning to support the Galaxy S24 range until 2031, it'll no doubt shout about it during the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked launch event on 17 January 2024.
So, we'll probably find out for sure in a few days time.