While any manufacturer can release an Android phone customized to their liking, the Pixel is Google’s in-house brand that is designed with the purest (and cleanest) of Android experiences in mind.Updates to the Pixel lineup of phones is handled by Google, so they’re generally the first phones to receive the newest software when it’s released.But if you’re not running a stock Android handset that is updated your phone will ever even see any of those updates.New Android users are often disappointed to discover that their shiny new smartphone won’t get any updates—or worse, that it’s running old software the moment they bought it.Google also guarantees that level of support for at least two years for all major Android updates, and an unprecedented three years for monthly security updates. (And despite what you’ve heard, it’s not exclusive to Verizon.) If you absolutely can’t buy the Pixel, though—say, if you’re dead set on getting the newest Samsung Galaxy—then go for it.
Some phones are made to be super cheap, available free on contract or for inexpensive purchase by people in developing countries.While Apple has the muscle to overrule carriers and roll out new versions of their operating system, Android phone manufacturers (mostly) do not.Again, this is getting better, but it’s still not great.If you’re sick of not getting updates, there’s one very clear path to take: buy a Pixel.
These phones are designed, sold, and maintained by Google, so they get updated when the latest versions of Android are available—on time, every time.
Even though the S8 is Samsung’s current flagship, it still doesn’t have Android Oreo, which has been available for a few months now.