In the 2010s, the realm of smartphones was quite different than it is today. Android smartphones, particularly those powered by MediaTek, were often criticized for their limited software support in comparison to their Snapdragon-powered counterparts. This disparity was largely attributed to the more developer-friendly nature of Snapdragon chipsets. This meant that Snapdragon devices would often receive updates for an extended period, sometimes spanning 2 to 3 years, while MediaTek devices would generally only be updated for about 1 or 2 years.
Fast forward to 2023, the landscape has shifted considerably. MediaTek-powered Android flagship devices are now at par with, or even surpass, the software support duration of those powered by Snapdragon. A case in point is the recent launch of two flagship smartphones by Xiaomi: the Xiaomi 13T and Xiaomi 13T Pro.
MediaTek achieved a first against Qualcomm
Upon their release on 26 September 2023, Xiaomi pledged that both the Xiaomi 13T and 13T Pro would enjoy four years of major Android OS updates and an additional five years of security updates. This promise stands out particularly when contrasted against Xiaomi's own 13 series launched earlier in the year, which features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and is only slated to receive three years of major Android updates and the same five years of security updates.
Diving deeper into the specifications, the Xiaomi 13T is equipped with MediaTek’s Dimensity 8200 Ultra, while the 13T Pro boasts the Dimensity 9200+. Both processors are a product of TSMC’s acclaimed 4nm manufacturing process, known for its stellar power efficiency. This is the same technology that powers Apple’s A16 Bionic processor found in the iPhone 15. In comparison, the Xiaomi 13, 13 Pro, and 13 Ultra are all driven by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile processor.
In essence, Xiaomi’s latest offerings have essentially quashed the long-standing perception that MediaTek devices lag behind their Snapdragon counterparts in terms of software longevity.