Android 11 Upgrade Record Card: Well, that is awkward

I’ve been closely supervising how different Android device-manufacturers perform with post-sales software program support for something similar to 97 years now, Each year around this time i believe – and, I actually brace myself for a brutal discovery.

Here’s finished .: Six months following a main operating system’s release, almost all phones ought to be running that present software. Personally i think like that’s a fairly obvious-seeming and uncontroversial declaration to make.

And yet, year for this time every, I begin crunching the numbers (and in addition crunching some crackers, as all that number-crunching really can create a fella famished) – and you also know very well what I find? Inevitably almost, a large part of the top-tier shockingly, top-dollar Android phones in the land are usually either still trapped on 18-month-old software or simply recently got the upgrade they should possess gotten half a year earlier.

The final couple cycles, at the very least, we saw some types of relative progress and improvement  with Android upgrade delivery periods, if the overall outcomes were still quite dismal even. THEREFORE I had hoped that season would continue that common trajectory and present us at the very least some more modest modification in the proper direction.

Um, yeah – so very much for that.

If there’s one trend that shines through the info this year, it is the exact same one we’ve seen pretty consistently as time passes: Android device-makers, overall, just aren’t excellent at getting out software program updates in a reasonably timely and dependable manner – even though it involves their highest-paying customers. Businesses can make an effort to spin the story in any manner they want, but information doesn’t lie. Which year’s amounts speak volumes.

Given that we’re six whole months past the start of Android 11 , it is time to step back again and appearance at who’s getting upgrades important and who’s treating ’em being an afterthought. Incomparable some data-driven wake-up phone calls.

      (Want the entire nitty-gritty on what these grades had been calculated? You will find a detailed break down of the formulation and every element considered           at the end of this content          .)     



Android 11 Upgrade Report Card: Google (A, 100%) JR/Google


    • Amount of time for enhance to reach present flagship: 0 days (60/60 factors)


    • Amount of time for update to attain previous-gen flagship: 0 days (30/30 points)


    • Communication: Superb (10/10 factors)



The one little bit of unambiguously good news with this particular year’s Android upgrade cycle can be most likely the least surprising. Google will a regularly commendable job to getting current Android software program in to the hands of individuals who buy its self-made Pixel items, with near-quick rollouts for several current devices no source for complaint.

That hasn’t often been the situation, entirely. This is really just the third calendar year that Google has obtained a 100% rating in this analysis. Until the Android 9 rollout, in 2018, the business had generally either faltered slightly using its previous-gen flagship rollout or got some factors docked for leaving specific models of its mobile phones hanging longer than others and failing to connect anything about their improvement.

With Android 11, though, it is a completely clean slate and a shining exemplory case of how Android upgrades ought to be handled. Google introduced Android 11, after its seven-month growth preview period, and started rolling the program out to its then-current-gen Pixel 4 flagship and its own then-previous-gen Pixel 3 design – alongside its three-year-old Pixel 2 phone and most of its midrange Pixel “a” devices, day no less – on the very same.

(For the reasons of this analysis, by the real way, it is the begin of the rollout – to the flagship phone model inside the U.S. – that matters, as possible find out about in greater detail here .)

Even though Google’s usual “rolling away in waves” asterisk put on a particular degree, with some Pixel owners not receiving the program on that very very first day, Android 11 produced its solution to all supported Pixel gadgets within a reasonable period of time and with no need for any additional communication beyond the business’s initial announcement. And certain, we’re able to argue that Google includes a unique advantage for the reason that it’s both manufacturer of the products and the maker of the program – but do you know what? That’s area of the Pixel bundle. So when a person investing in a phone, the thing that matters may be the experience you obtain really.

As usual, the outcomes tell you all there’s to learn: Google’s cell phones are without question probably the most reliable solution to receive continuous updates regularly on Android. It is the only company which makes an overt guarantee about this, and it’s really absolutely the only person that delivers onto it.



Android 11 Upgrade Report Card: Samsung (D+, 68%) JR/Google


    • Amount of time for improve to reach present flagships: 91 days (47/60 factors)


    • Amount of time for enhance to attain previous-gen flagships: 136 days (21/30 points)


    • Communication: Poor (0/10 factors)



We hear plenty of buzz about how exactly Samsung is completely killing it with upgrades lately. And you know very well what? To the company’s credit score, it offers been doing much better than usual – in accordance with its own past efficiency. Heck, it’s even yet in second place this season, though that says even more about the remaining ecosystem than about Samsung itself. However when you measure the company’s level of assistance with a typical, consistent scale, you note that Sammy isn’t precisely knocking it from the park.

This year, actually, Samsung did a comparable as what it managed this past year – with some very slight improvements in delivery times however, not enough to go the needle on its overall score. (Since Samsung has so far dealt with its Galaxy S and Galaxy Take note phones as co-flagships, incidentally, I consider the delivery time and energy to both gadgets and average those numbers to achieve an individual score then.)

So when you appearance back again further into Android upgrade background , you understand all that’s happened of these last couple yrs is that Samsung has returned to the amount of mediocrity it had been achieving six years back, with 2014’s Android 5.0 Lollipop rollout . The business had a tough run of bad many years from then on – so horrifically, yes, it has already been doing much better than those actually rough years lately. And it provides already been servicing more mobile phones than ever and also getting improvements out to also its non-flagship phones in this initial six-month time period. That’s certainly something.

Nevertheless, you can’t grade an organization only relative to its recent letdowns and the reduced bar it’s established for itself. And the amount of different phone versions Samsung must juggle shouldn’t be one factor for us , as individuals who spend for and utilize the devices. Again, irrespective of any situations within the business you’re investing in a phone from, all that counts is the knowledge that you ultimately, because the customer, receive.

And on that take note, as normal, Samsung has made zero effort whatsoever to talk to its customers on the subject of its upgrade procedure or what can end up being expected on the way in this Android update cycle.

I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll say it once again: Samsung can – and really should – do better. Especially for a ongoing corporation of its size sufficient reason for its immense economic and engineering-related resources, delivering updates to individuals 3 to 5 months late (nonetheless, with the advantages of Google’s latest Task Treble Android upgrade processing enhancements set up ) boils down to one factor and one thing just: priorities .



Android 11 Upgrade Report Card: OnePlus (D-, 60%) JR/Google


    • Amount of time for update to reach present flagships: 33 days (55/60 factors)


    • Amount of time for improve to attain previous-gen flagship: Still waiting (0/30 points)


    • Communication: Mediocre (5/10 factors)



Following a solid three-year streak of keeping the second-place place and steadily increasing its performance with Android upgrades, OnePlus has fallen hard using its Android 11 rollout. The business did pretty well using its current flagship cell phones really, the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, nonetheless it totally dropped the ball using its prior -gen flagship – the OnePlus 7T, which nevertheless hasn’t gotten the update around this writing – and that was to bring down its score considerably enough.

Also not helping may be the fact that OnePlus in no way does a heck of a whole lot when it comes to communication with customers approximately its progress. The initial established peep from the business emerged in January , when it posted a note in its forums noting that it acquired come across a “data decryption concern” with the OnePlus 7T telephone and therefore was running later on than it experienced anticipated with that device’s Android 11 shipping. That four-months-past due acknowledgment is preferable to nothing, needless to say – and it’s the reason why the business got a five-stage communication score rather than a set zero – nonetheless it isn’t even near enough.

I could only hope that stumble was an authentic fluke and that OnePlus are certain to get back on the right track with Android 12 afterwards this season. After seeing the business go from the 65% D rating with Android 8 to a 74% C with Android 9 and a pretty-darn-great 85% B with Android 10, it’d be considered a real shame to discover subpar ratings become its norm once again.

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Android 11 Upgrade Report Card: LG (F, 37%) JR
    • Amount of time for enhance to attain current flagship: 172 days (37/60 points)


    • Amount of time for update to attain previous-gen flagship: Still waiting (0/30 points)


    • Communication: Bad (0/10 factors)


I’m going to be honest: I’ve mainly run out of what to state about LG at this stage. The company is a blemish with this analysis since virtually the beginning – and following a small shred of enhancement with final year’s Android upgrade routine (one which was enough to obtain it a record-setting 43% F rating – yay?), LG will be back again to its usual habit to do close to nothing for individuals who shell out a huge selection of dollars because of its devices.

Between the once-flagship-degree G line and the maybe-sorta-kinda alternate flagship V line, it’s tough to state for certain which devices are even LG’s flagship phones nowadays, but I am going ahead and counting the business’s single U.S. rollout of Android 11 to its LG V60 ThinQ 5G (gesundheit!) simply because something. That update happened ago only matter of days, though, before the six-month tag, so it isn’t specifically a celebration-worthy win.

Beyond that, all of those other company’s U.S. handsets are waiting still, with nary a peep about any timing or programs expectations moving forward. (And all that, brain you, is regardless of the company’s comical boasting about its groundbreaking improvements in Android upgrade administration a couple years back again. Um, correct , y’all.)

I’ll do it again my now-annual evaluation of the problem: If you purchase a mobile phone from LG, you’re accepting the truth that you’ll end up being waiting at night – likely for a long time – to find if or when you’ll actually get any future up-dates. So you’d much better make sure you’re alright with that black hole before spending your hard-earned money.

Talking about which…

Motorola (Lenovo)

Android 11 Upgrade Report Card: Motorola (F, 3%) JR/Google
    • Amount of time for improve to attain current flagship: Still waiting (0/60 points)


    • Amount of time for enhance to attain previous-gen flagship: Still waiting (0/30 points)


    • Communication: Bad (3/10 factors)


Oh, Moto. Moto, Moto, Moto. The business that was as soon as a shining high stage of the Android upgrade picture is still constant in its disappointment with regards to post-sales software assistance today. Around this brief moment, Motorola has however to roll out a individual Android 11 update to any cell phone in the U.S., where this evaluation of ours is targeted.

It did released a list of mobile phones it planned to update in past due December , right before the holidays and much more than 90 days after Android 11’s arrival – albeit without specific timing info or even meaningful promises attached. Therefore that’s something , with regards to communication, but barely just.

It’s enough to obtain Motorola several points, though, resulting in that appropriately pitiful-looking 3% F score. Therefore…yeah: Go group?

Wait – think about everybody else?

Notice any brands missing out of this list? For the very first time actually, I’ve omitted HTC – after the nearly all prominent and enthusiast-beloved organization within the Android ecosystem – out of this analysis. After yrs of exemplary software assistance , HTC got fallen hard lately pretty, making an unfortunate 0% F quality in final year’s report cards and similarly unfortunate F ratings in the couple many years before that.

Properly, we’ve reached a spot now where HTC will be hardly even putting out brand-new phones anymore – definitely not flagship-level devices. Therefore there’s really nothing at all to assess. If HTC comes home around and attempts to obtain in the game once again at any true stage, I’ll eagerly include it back to the listing for inclusion.

And there’s Sony – an organization a random reader will ask me about sometimes but that simply doesn’t make sense relating to this list at this time. Sony has had a lot of a meaningful presence inside the U never.S. smartphone market (that is a shame, actually – but that’s another tale for another time), and lately, its function has dropped from “hardly anything” to “virtually nothing at all.”

I can’t even commence to make head or even tails of Sony’s convoluted, named phone lineup any longer confusingly, but the business sent its very first Android 11 upgrade out there in mid-December – just more than 90 days following the software’s release – and sent improvements to a small number of other devices in regards to a month right after that. Its communication initiatives are much better than most consistently, too. It really wouldn’t end up being topping the checklist if it were one of them evaluation, but it’d be considered a much-needed extra add-on to the middle-of-the-pack, C-range something and section to raised take all of us from our first-location A rank to the second-location D-level score.

And there’s Nokia. That continuing company comes with an extremely limited existence in the U.S., but it’s usually done a solid work of keeping its cell phones up-to-date with both main and minimal OS releases sufficient reason for monthly security patches because it entered the Android arena a small number of years back. At the very least, that had been the situation – until recently.

{Despite the fact that Nokia {right now|today} {can make} all of its phones {component} of Android One – a Google-run {system|plan} that includes an assurance of reasonably timely (if not Pixel-{degree}) ongoing software updates – the company {mainly} dropped the ball this upgrade cycle, {with {an individual} sluggish update just {weeks hence} and {the others} of its rollouts curiously still pending.|with {an individual} sluggish update just weeks and {the others} of its rollouts curiously still pending ago.} {With the Android One {connection|link} especially,} that raises some {difficult} questions not {just} about what’s {occurring|taking place} within Nokia itself but {furthermore} what’s {occurring|taking place} with the {condition} of that once-{dependable} Google-associated program.

{ Want {a lot more} Googley knowledge?| Want {even more} Googley knowledge even?} {Join} my weekly newsletter {to obtain} next-level {suggestions|ideas|guidelines} and insight delivered {right to} your inbox.

{At length}: How these grades {had been} calculated

This {statement|record|review|survey|document} card follows {exactly the same} grading {program} used with previous {many years|yrs}’ analyses – which features {exact|accurate|specific} and clearly defined {requirements|specifications|criteria} designed to weigh {overall performance|efficiency|functionality} for both {present} and previous-generation flagship {cell phones|mobile phones} {plus a} company’s communication {attempts|initiatives}, all in {a frequent} manner.

Each manufacturer’s overall {quality} is based on {the next} formula, with final {ratings} being {curved} up or {right down to} the nearest {complete} integer:

    • 60% of grade: {Amount of time} for upgrade {to attain} current flagship {cell phone|telephone|mobile phone}(s)


    • 30% of grade: {Amount of time} for {update|improve|enhance} {to attain} previous-gen flagship {cell phone|telephone|mobile phone}(s)


    • 10% of grade: Overall {conversation} with customers {through the entire} upgrade process


Upgrade timing {frequently|usually} varies wildly {in one} country or carrier {to another},|

{Update} timing varies wildly {in one} country or carrier {to another} often,} so {to be able to} {develop a} consistent {regular} for scoring, I’ve {concentrated} this {evaluation} on when Android 11 {1st|very first|initial} reached a flagship {design} that’s {easily available} in the U.S. – {the} carrier-connected {design} or an unlocked {edition} of the phone, {if such a {item} is sold {by the product manufacturer} and {easily available} to U.|if such a {item} is sold {by the product manufacturer} and {open to} U readily.}S. customers – in a {general public|open public}, official, {rather than} opt-in-beta-oriented over-the-air rollout.

(To be {obvious|very clear|apparent}, I’m not counting {having the ability to} import {a global} version of a {cell phone|telephone|mobile phone} from eBay {or even} from {quite a few} random seller {about|in} Amazon {to be} “{easily available} to U.S. {clients}.{” For the {reasons} of creating {an acceptable} and consistent standard {because of this} analysis,|” For the {reasons} of creating {a frequent} and reasonable standard {because of this} analysis,} a phone {needs to be} {offered|marketed} in the U.S. {in a few} official capacity {to become} {regarded as|regarded} a “U.S. model” of {a tool}. I also don’t {consist of} Android One devices {within} this {evaluation}, as (a) they’re {section of} a separate {system|plan} that has contract-based {needs|specifications} for upgrade {shipping} timing – {at the very least} {theoretically} – and (b) they {depend on} Google’s Android {software program} {rather than} a company’s own {undertake} the {operating-system}. Consequently, those devices {are usually} anomalies in a company’s broader {user profile}; they {can be found} in a {group of} {their very own} and aren’t indicative of a device-maker’s upgrade {conduct|habits|behaviour|actions} {using its} own self-controlled flagships.)

By looking at {enough time} to Android 11’s {very first} appearance (via an over-the-air rollout) {about|in} a device {within} the U.S., we’re measuring how {rapidly} {an average} U.S. {device-{proprietor} could realistically {obtain the} software in {a standard} situation.|device-owner {could easily get} the software in {a standard} situation realistically.} And since we’re {considering} the {1st|very first|initial} appearance, {{in virtually any} unlocked or carrier-{linked} phone,|{in virtually any} carrier-{linked} or unlocked phone,} we’re {removing|getting rid of} any carrier-{particular} delays from the equation and {concentrating} purely on the soonest {feasible|achievable|probable} window {you can} receive an {up-date|upgrade|revise} from any given {producer} in this {nation}. We’re {furthermore} eliminating the PR-{concentrated} silliness of a {producer} rushing to roll out a small-scale {update|improve|enhance} in {someplace} like Lithuania just {to allow them to} put out a {news release} touting {they} were “FIRST,{” {once the} practical implication of {this type of} rollout is basically {only a} rounding error.|” {once the} practical implication of {this type of} rollout {is a} rounding error basically.} I chose to {concentrate on} the U.S. {particularly} because {that is where} this publication ({which} person writing this {at this time} – hi!) {is situated}, {but this same analysis {could possibly be} done using any {nation} as its basis,|but this same analysis {could possibly be} done using any {nationwide} {nation} as its basis,} of course, {and {the outcomes} would vary accordingly.|and {the outcomes} would accordingly vary.}

All measurements {begin from} {your day} Android 11 {premiered} {in to the} Android Open {Resource|Supply} Project: September 8, 2020, {{that is} when the {last} raw OS code finished uploading and became {open to} manufacturers.|{that is} when the {last} raw OS code finished became and uploading {open to} manufacturers.}

{The next} scale determined each manufacturer’s subscores for upgrade timeliness:

    • 1-14 {times} to first U.S. rollout = A+ (100)


    • 15-30 days to {1st|very first|initial} U.S. rollout = A (96)


    • 31-45 days to {1st|very first|initial} U.S. rollout = A- (92)


    • 46-60 days to {1st|very first|initial} U.S. rollout = B+ (89)


    • 61-75 days to {1st|very first|initial} U.S. rollout = B (86)


    • 76-90 days to {1st|very first|initial} U.S. rollout = B- (82)


    • 91-105 days to {1st|very first|initial} U.S. rollout = C+ (79)


    • 106-120 days to {1st|very first|initial} U.S. rollout = C (76)


    • 121-135 days to {1st|very first|initial} U.S. rollout = C- (72)


    • 136-150 days to {1st|very first|initial} U.S. rollout = D+ (69)


    • 151-165 days to {1st|very first|initial} U.S. rollout = D (66)


    • 166-180 days to {1st|very first|initial} U.S. rollout = D- (62)


    • {A lot more than} 180 {times} to {1st|very first|initial} U.S. rollout ({and therefore} no upgrade {exercise|action} within the six-{30 days} window) = F (0)


There’s {just one single} asterisk: If a {producer} outright abandons any U.S.-relevant {types of} {a tool}, its score defaults to zero for that {particular} category. Within that {group|class|type|classification} (be it {present} or previous-gen flagship), {like} behavior {can be an} indication that {the maker} in question {cannot} {become|end up being} trusted to honor its {dedication} {and offer} an upgrade. {This adjustment allows the {rating} {to raised} reflect that reality.|The score is allowed by this adjustment {to raised} reflect that reality.} (No such {modifications|changes} were made {this season}, though {there were} {situations} where it’s {occurred} {previously|during the past}.)

{Finally|Lastly}, {this analysis {targets} manufacturers selling flagship {cell phones|mobile phones} {which are} relevant and {for some reason} significant to the U.|this analysis {targets} manufacturers selling flagship phones {which are} relevant and {in a few} real way significant to the U.}S. {marketplace} and/or the Android enthusiast {local community|neighborhood}. That, {{when i} alluded to above,|{when i} above alluded to,} is why {somebody} like Sony {is not any} longer {section of the|area of the|portion of the} primary {evaluation} – {and just why} {businesses} like Xiaomi and Huawei {aren’t} presently {section of} this picture, {despite their relevance in {other areas} of the world.|despite their relevance in {other areas} of the global {globe|planet|entire world}.} {Taking into consideration the} performance of {gamers} in a market {like} as China {would definitely} be {fascinating}, but it’d {be considered a} {very different} and totally {individual|independent|distinct|different|split} analysis, {and it’s really} beyond the scope of what we’re {contemplating|thinking of|taking into consideration} in {that one} report.


 {Apart from the} companies included here,|

 {Apart from the} companies here included,} {most {gamers} are either still {fairly} insignificant in the U.|{many} players are either {nevertheless} insignificant {within} the U relatively.}S. {marketplace} or have {concentrated} their {attempts|initiatives} more on the {spending budget} realm {in the us} so far - {and therefore} don't make {feeling}, {at the very least} as of {right now|today}, {{relating to} this specific-sample-oriented and flagship-focused breakdown.|{relating to} this flagship-focused and specific-sample-oriented breakdown.}     



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