If all you care about is running Google’s latest version of Android the minute it’s officially launched, then there’s only one type of smartphone for you: a Nexus. Even so, there’s a fine print you have to read when getting a new Nexus device. Regardless of how capable the hardware is, Google won’t support it forever, and there will come a time when you won’t be able to run Google’s latest and best Android release on your Nexus handset.
If you’re considering the purchase of a new Nexus handset – the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P are Google’s most recent smartphones – you should totally check out Google’s new cheat sheet that tells you when Nexus devices will stop getting updated.
As you expect, the older the device, the less future-proof it’ll be when it comes to software updates.
There are two kinds of updates Google guarantees, including Android version updates and security patches. Each Nexus device will get Android version updates for two years after it started selling on the Google Play Store. Security patches will be available for the longer of 3 years from the availability of 18 months from when Google last sold the device.
Here’s when the Nexus devices that are in circulation will stop receiving Android updates, according to Google:
- Nexus 5X: September 2017
- Nexus 6P: September 2017
- Nexus 6: October 2016
- Nexus 9: October 2016
- Nexus 5: October 2015
- Nexus 7 (2013): July 2015
- Nexus 10: November 2014
As you can see, your best bet for making sure your smartphone runs Android N this year is buying either a Nexus 6, Nexus 5s or Nexus 6P. However, the Nexus 6 will not be eligible for next year’s Android O update. One other thing to note is that as long as you have a Nexus device, you’ll be able to install beta releases of an upcoming major Android upgrade.