Mike Sorrentino is a Senior Editor for Mobile, covering phones, texting apps and smartwatches -- obsessing about how we can make the most of them. Mike also keeps an eye out on the movie and toy industry, and outside of work enjoys biking and pizza making.
ExpertisePhones, texting apps, iOS, Android, smartwatches, fitness trackers, mobile accessories, gaming phones, budget phones, toys, Star Wars, Marvel, Power Rangers, DC, mobile accessibility, iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, RCS
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Android 12 debuted in late 2021, but there are many other phones currently running Android 11 that are still looking forward to Google's latest operating system. Google's Pixel phones were first to the Android 12 party, getting a big overhaul to its visual design and helpful features like improved privacy.
Following its arrival to Google's Pixel 3 line, Pixel 4 line, Pixel 5 and 5A, along with shipping directly on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, Android 12 is also on its way to phones from Samsung, OnePlus and more. For most Android phones released in the past few years, the main question is when Android 12 will be arriving and not if, especially since software and security support have only been lengthening after a phone's release. Samsung for instance is pledging at least four years of security support for phones released in 2019 and onward.
Android 12 also won't be just for higher-end phones, as cheaper entry-level phones may receive Android 12 Go Edition which will include several speed and security enhancements.
While on the other hand, Android phone users who like to live on the bleeding edge of software updates may also have the opportunity to test out their manufacturer's Android 12 update in an early beta form.
So with that, let's collect everything we know so far about Android 12's rollout and when it should arrive to your phone.
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. As previously mentioned the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro shipped with Android 12.
Unfortunately, anyone holding onto the original Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are no longer receiving software updates nor security updates. Android 12 is also the final software update expected for the Pixel 3 and 3A line of phones. Holding onto the 2016 Pixel and Pixel XL does have one big benefit worth mentioning: unlimited cloud photo uploads to Google Photos at original quality for the life of the device.
However, if you absolutely must get Android 12 onto a Pixel phone that no longer receives software support, you can (at your own risk) try out Android 12 community builds. XDA Developers has a roundup of a few early Android 12 builds for the Pixel 2, but expect plenty of bugs and the possibility of bricking the phone when tinkering this way. A nice perk about Android is having this type of customization available, but it's certainly not for everyone.
Samsung's One UI 4 with Android 12 rollout has begun
For other Galaxy phones released in 2020 and earlier, the timeline varies for the eventual update to Android 12 and One UI 4. Many phones in the Galaxy S20, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 10 lines can sign up to try out Samsung's Android 12 beta, with a release expected to hit those phones in early 2022. Samsung's foldable Z Fold and Z Flip 2 are also part of the current beta. 9to5Google has a rundown of the beta program, which involves signing into the Samsung Members app with a Samsung account to check for eligibility.
Another clue about Android 12's rollout may have arrived from a community manager on Samsung's support forums, who posted an Android 12 timeline alleging that the update is expected as early as Jan. 2022 for the Galaxy S20 and S10. Midrange models like the Galaxy A52 would follow in February, the Galaxy A32 in April, through to the lower-end Galaxy A12 and A03S receiving updates in July. Since this comes from Samsung's forums, we would take the timeline with a grain of salt until official announcements arrive. We've reached out to Samsung about the veracity of the post as well as for further confirmation of its Android 12 update plans.
OnePlus phones' Android 12 bump gets postponed
OnePlus had planned to roll out its Android 12 update with its customized OxygenOS 12 to the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro, but appears to have hit a snag. The update initially rolled out to the phones earlier this month, but following reports that the software was riddled with bugs the update was then pulled, reports Android Police. We've reached out to OnePlus to check on the status of the Android 12 update and its plans to update earlier OnePlus phones, and will update this post when that's available.
OnePlus is also in the midst of uniting its operating system development with parent company Oppo. The company announced in September that this merged OS that integrates OxygenOS from OnePlus and ColorOS from Oppo will debut in 2022 on OnePlus' next phone. While we do not have details on this next phone yet, it is rumored to be the OnePlus 10 line consisting of a OnePlus 10 and the OnePlus 10 Pro.
Motorola's My UX with Android 12 prepares for 2022
Motorola revealed in a Tuesday blog post that several of its 2020 and 2021 Android phones will get bumped up to Android 12 starting in February 2022. This includes the Motorola Edge line that debuted this year, the Moto Razr 5G and the 2020 edition of the Moto Razr. The blog post details several of the Android 12 features that the phone will adopt, such as customizable system colors and enhanced privacy controls, which are being combined with design elements from Motorola's My UX.
Other high-end phones
Many other Android phones released in 2020 and 2021 are likely queued up to receive the update to Android 12 over the course of 2022. If your favorite Android phone maker isn't included in this list, let us know in the comments and we can add those details in future updates.