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Which Android Phones Were the First to Receive Updates in 2023?

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Today marks the first Monday of the month, an important day for Pixel users. It’s when they anticipate the monthly security and functional updates. The former involves closing vulnerabilities, while the latter focuses on bug fixes. As a Pixel user myself, I’ve eagerly tried to trigger an update for my Pixel 6 Pro by going into Settings > System > System update, but to no avail. It’s possible that due to New Year’s Day being observed today, we might not see the update until tomorrow.

Samsung vs. Google: Who’s Winning?

Samsung seems to be outshining Google when it comes to updates. The Galaxy S22 series, for instance, receives a generous four years of major Android updates, bringing users all the way to Android 16. In comparison, my Pixel 6 Pro, purchased in the same year, only receives three years of major Android updates, ending at Android 15. It’s worth noting that Google not only designs the hardware but also develops the operating system for their Pixel lineup. This raises the question of how Samsung manages to offer an extra year of updates compared to Google.

The Unexpected First Recipient of the January 2023 Update

Now, let’s test your knowledge. Can you guess which Android phone was the first to receive the January 2023 security update? Did you guess the Pixel 7 series? Nope! How about the Pixel 6 line or the Pixel 6a? Not quite. Here’s a hint: it’s actually a Samsung model! Despite popular assumptions, it’s none other than the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ released back in 2019. According to SamMobile, the Galaxy Note 10 is currently receiving the firmware update N970FXXS8HVL3, but only in Switzerland for now. Europe can expect the update soon, while those in the United States might have to wait until the end of the month. Regardless, these devices proudly hold the title of being the first Android phones worldwide to receive the initial update of 2023.

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No update today for the Pixel line. Try again tomorrow

A Side Note about the Galaxy Note 10 Lite

It’s essential to clarify a point of potential confusion. The Galaxy Note 10 Lite, released in January 2020, arrived approximately five months after the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+. Consequently, it already had Android 10 pre-installed. When Samsung offered three major Android updates at the time, the Galaxy Note 10 Lite received an update to Android 13. On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ were initially released with Android 9, which means they were not eligible for a major Android update beyond Android 12.


As the saying goes, “you can’t tell the players without a scorecard.” The dynamic between Samsung and Google in terms of Android updates certainly keeps us on our toes. While Pixel users eagerly await the January update, they’ll have to exercise a bit more patience. After all, good things come to those who wait.

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