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Samsung stops providing security updates to the Galaxy S8 at grand old age of four years

Goodnight, sweet prince: Awesome life expectancy for an Android, but now it's time to move on

Four years after it first hit shelves, Samsung has finally stopped issuing security patches for the venerable Galaxy S8. The phone, first released in early 2017, no longer features on the company's list of supported devices, signifying its end of life.

Early signs of the phone's looming discontinuation came last March, when Samsung ceased offering monthly security updates, switching to a quarterly schedule.

By the standards of Android, four years of continuous support is good even if the S8 never received a software update beyond Android 9 Pie. By contrast, Google's Android One programme only mandates vendors to provide three years of security updates.

Still, it's not quite as impressive as Fairfone's decision to continue providing the Fairfone 2 with system updates almost five years after its initial release.

Although most S8 owners have likely upgraded their devices by now (various analysts have put the refresh cycle length between 30 months and three years for premium devices), there are likely to be some holdouts given its impressive first-year sales of 41 million.

The S8 has remained available for sale via third-party vendors, sometimes new, but most frequently in refurbished form. Older Galaxy devices have increasingly been positioned as a premium alternative to handsets in the sub-£300 bracket, and the Galaxy S8 remains competitive here, despite its older internals.

Fortunately for the upgrade-averse, it's possible to upgrade the Galaxy S8 to a more modern version of Android provided you're willing to get your hands dirty. Devices running Samsung's own Exynos chips (models sold outside of North America and East Asia) can run the Lineage OS-based Project Sakura third-party ROM, which brings an upgrade to Android 11.

Sadly, custom ROMs for the Qualcomm-based S8 are less common due to the prevalence of encrypted bootloaders on carrier-sold devices. ®

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