Realme released its first tablet in September of last year, the aptly-named Realme Pad. It had an affordable price tag at launch paired with capable hardware, but now there’s a catch. Realme says it won’t receive the latest Android 12 update, effectively marking the end of the tablet’s update cycle only four months after release.
Realme was asked a recent India Q&A (via 9to5Google) when the Realme Pad would be updated to Android 12. The company responded, saying the tablet “will not be updated to Android 12, but will keep receiving security and performance updates throughout its software lifecycle.” In other words, the Realme Pad will stay on its original Android 11 software forever, unless Realme changes its mind.
It’s fairly common for low-end phones and tablets to stay on the same version of Android for their entire lifetime, but the Realme Pad was more of a mid-range tablet. The lowest-end model with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage had an MSRP of ₹13,999 (roughly $190 at the time), with the pricier 4GB RAM/64GB storage option going for ₹17,999 (~$245).
Samsung sells the 2020 Galaxy Tab A7 in India for around the same price (₹16,499, as of the time of writing), which originally shipped with Android 10, and was later updated to Android 11. Samsung hasn’t officially confirmed if the A7 will receive Android 12, but a leaked timeline from November claimed it might happen sometime around June 2022.
HMD Global also has the Nokia Tab T20, a 10-inch tablet that was released in October with Android 11, which HMD promised will receive two years of major Android updates and three years of security patches. The cheapest version of that tablet currently sells for ₹15,499 in India and $249.99 in the United States. However, HMD doesn’t have the best track record with keeping update promises — it recently gave up on Android 11 for the Nokia 9 PureView, citing issues with the camera hardware.