Android 12 is now available for download on Google Pixel phones dating back to the Pixel 3, with the new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro shipping with it out of the box. It’s a fairly large update (at least for Pixel owners), with a lot to offer, including a refreshed design language, Material You theme options, and the Privacy Center.
Naturally, you’re wondering when you’ll be able to get your hands on it. What is the solution? It is dependent on the phone you have. Along with the announcement of the operating system, Google provided a hazy release schedule for Android 12. While we have an idea of which phones will receive Android 12 and when, nothing is certain.
What devices will receive Android 12?
On launch day, all Pixel devices dating back to the Pixel 3 will receive Android 12, as will some Android One partners. Sony, OnePlus, and Xiaomi all participated in Android 11 betas and received the final release when it was available or very soon after. OnePlus also clarified that, despite merging codebases with Oppo, it intends to release Oxygen OS 12 shortly after the release of Android 12. It has also been confirmed that Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Tecno, Vivo, and Xiaomi phones will receive Android 12 later this year, though individual release dates will be determined by each manufacturer.
Google has released Android 12 for all Pixel devices dating back to the Pixel 3, though it is a year later than last year. For the first time, Google deviated from the expected and began the Pixel rollout alongside the Android 12 source code release. Instead, Android 12 was only made available for Google Pixels on October 19, in conjunction with the release of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Owners of Pixels will receive every Android 12 feature that has been advertised. This includes a redesign of Material You, improved privacy and security options, and funky widgets. This will also be the last time the Pixel 3, 3 XL, 3a, and 3a XL will receive guaranteed software and security updates. Google will remove those phones from its lineup of guaranteed support by May 2022.
Samsung will release Android 12 fairly quickly. Android 12 is expected to arrive first on the S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra. The company has begun testing One UI 4 updates on those flagships in Korea, and on September 14, it launched the One UI 4 Beta Program in select markets, allowing S21 users to sign up using the Samsung Members app. The update is expected to arrive on phones by December, at least in South Korea, Samsung’s home market. Customers in other countries should expect a January release.
“One UI 4 assists users in creating their own, optimized mobile experience because Samsung recognizes that everyone wants to meet their unique needs and preferences,” said TM Roh, president and head of Samsung Electronics Mobile Communications Business, in September. “As with each iteration of our One UI, we listened to our users to understand the tools and innovations required to create a better, more reliable, and enhanced overall user experience.”
While One UI 4 was initially expected to ship without Google’s Material You, a later update added a version of the company’s wallpaper theming to Samsung’s implementation.
All users will find the security features Google included, as well as enhanced customizability options, present. Every A-series and S-series Samsung phone released in the last four years can be expected to get One UI 4 and Android 12, though flagships will naturally take precedence.
OnePlus and Oppo
Oppo has announced a rollout of Android 12 and Color OS 12 to over 100 Oppo phones throughout 2022. The Find X3 and OnePlus 9 (in China) will be the first to receive the update. The feature will then be made available on other popular high-end and mid-range Oppo phones in the first half of 2022.
OxygenOS 12 for OnePlus phones has been released, along with an open beta for OnePlus 9 owners. In the future, this will be available on the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 7 series phones, as well as the Nord, Nord 2, and Nord CE 5G. It, too, includes its own take on Google’s Material You, but it suffers from the same flaws as Samsung’s One UI 4.0.
Xiaomi has also stated that MIUI 13 will be released at the end of the year. It has begun testing Android 12 alongside MIUI 12.5 on its most recent phones, including the Xiaomi Mi 11 and Xiaomi 11T. In China, at least, the company has announced that the Xiaomi 11 Ultra, Xiaomi 11 Pro, and Xiaomi 11 will be the first Xiaomi-branded phones to receive Android 12, while the Redmi K40 and K40 Pro Plus will be the first Redmi-branded phones to receive Android 12.
Asus has announced that Android 12 will be available on the Asus ZenFone 8, ZenFone 7 Flip, ROG Phone 5, ROG Phone 5S, ZenFone 7, and ROG Phone 3. These updates will be slow, with the Zenfone 8 series receiving stable updates in December 2021 and the ROG Phone and ROG Phone 5S receiving them between January and March 2022. The ROG Phone 3 and ZenFone 7 will receive updates in the first half of 2022.
Vivo has not yet announced an Android 12 rollout, but it has revealed the plan for its beta updates — at least in India. Flagships like the excellent Vivo X70 Pro+ are at the top of the list for an update by November 2021, with lower-tier phones receiving it in April 2022.
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Vivo India (@Vivo India) October 21, 2021
Realme has released Realme UI 3.0, its own version of Android 12. You won’t find any Material You here, just like you won’t find any MiUI or Color OS. Instead, the company is redesigning its interface with “Fluid Space Design,” which focuses on animation and careful use of white space.
Although Material You is not available, wallpaper color-themed customization is, and Realme’s theming engine will pick up colors from your wallpapers and apply them to system elements for a more cohesive experience. This will not apply to third-party apps, as Material You’s theming does. Finally, the new privacy features in Android 12 will be present, including camera, microphone, and location permission changes.
The Realme GT 5G will be the first phone to receive it, followed by the Realme X7 Max, Realme GT Neo 2 5G, Realme GT Master Edition, and Realme 8 Pro in December. Older eligible devices will be able to use it by Q2 2022. (between April and June).
What about the rest of it?
All high-end Android phones and most midrange phones from the last year or so should eventually get Android 12, but it may take some time. Consider the Galaxy S20 series, which received Android 11 in January despite Google finalizing the OS in September. It’s not uncommon for even flagship phones to receive the next major software update months after Google releases it. This has long been a problem with Android releases, though it has certainly improved over time.