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Android 12 is now available, but will your phone be compatible?

The latest Android update is finally here -- for some devices. Here's how to tell if your phone can handle Google's newest mobile OS.

Recent Google Pixel phones like the Pixel 5 will enjoy an update to Android 12.

Juan Garzon/CNET

Android 12, which arrived on Tuesday during Google's Pixel event, is a big overhaul to Google's mobile operating system. It's filled with helpful features, as well as improved privacy and a fresh new design called Material You.

The big question is whether your phone will accept the update. At launch, only a select few models will qualify for the upgrade, but more are on the way. Here's everything we know about how Android 12's rollout will work.

Read more: We're loving these Android 12 hidden features. You can use them, too

Google will put Pixels first

Perhaps the biggest perk of buying a Google Pixel phone is the promise of timely updates. You'll be able to check out Android 12 right now if you own the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, unveiled in 2018, along with newer Google handsets including the Pixel 3A, Pixel 3A XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 4A (5G) and Pixel 5.

The flagship Samsung Galaxy S21 will eventually receive an Android 12 update.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung phones

Details for an Android 12 rollout on Samsung handsets aren't as clear. We're expecting the update to land later this year. Android 11 made its way to Samsung phones in December 2020 as part of the UI 3 update. The Samsung products currently capable of running UI 3 include the Galaxy S21 line, the Galaxy S20 line, the Galaxy Note 20 line, the Z Fold 2, the Z Flip, and the Note10, Fold and S10 series.

Using this timing and precedent as a guide, we're expecting UI 4 (along with Android 12) to hit the same premium Galaxy and Note phones in December.

Other high-end phones like the OnePlus 9 Pro will likely get updated to Android 12 too.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Other high-end phones

Similar to the beta release of Android 12, we expect a slew of high-performance handsets to receive Android 12 updates besides Samsung. According to the website GetDroidTips, the list includes devices from LG, Motorola, Nokia, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Xiaomi, Vivo, Sony and Asus.

The Android 12 beta program is available to a group of premium phones such as the OnePlus 9, OnePlus 9 Pro, Asus Zenfone 8, Oppo Find X3 Pro and TCL 20 Pro 5G -- just to name a few.

Read more: Best Android phones to buy in 2021