The beauty of Nexus devices is they receive firmware updates faster than any other Android phone, and keep getting updates for years longer than most of the competition. This means that you can always use the great new features that come along with an Android update, and even more importantly, your phone gets monthly security patches to keep hackers and malware at bay.
But Google hasn't always been clear as to how long these updates will keep rolling in. Last year, the Nexus 4 received its final update, so we have a precedent, and that gives us a ballpark figure of around three years. However, it would be nice to know exactly when the Nexus phones will become functionally obsolete, and luckily, Google has stepped in with a new help page that will do just that.
Thanks to this new reference page just released by Google, we now know how long current Nexus devices will be supported. The exact terminology is "No guaranteed Android version updates after" the listed date. So if you own a newer Nexus device, the list below will show you how long you'll continue to receive updates to the latest Android version.
- Nexus 6P: September 2017
- Nexus 5X: September 2017
- Nexus 9: October 2016
- Nexus 6: October 2016
- Nexus 5: October 2015
- Nexus 7 (2013): July 2015
- Nexus 10: November 2014
- Nexus 4: November 2014
- Nexus 7 (2012): June 2014
As for the monthly security patches, those will continue to be issued for an additional year past the dates listed above. The timeline described here is "the longer of 3 years from availability or 18 months from when the Google Store last sold the device."
So in the end, purchasing a Nexus device guarantees that you'll receive updates to the latest Android version for at least two years, starting from the device's release date. On top of that, the monthly security patches will continue to roll in for a minimum of 3 years, so you can rest a bit easier knowing that your device will be virtually impenetrable to hackers.