Major updates of Android don't matter as much as they used to. Many components of the operating system are updated through the Play Store, so even if you're on Android 8 or 9, you can still access most of the same apps and features as someone on the latest release of Android 10. However, the security updates that Google releases on a monthly basis are still critical to keeping your phone or tablet safe. Dozens of security flaws are discovered in components of Android each month, which is why Google releases monthly security patches.
However, unlike app and API updates, the security patches can't be delivered directly to devices — phone manufacturers have to integrate the changes into their own flavors of Android, and release them as system updates.
It's common knowledge that some companies are better than others when it comes to patching their phones, but making direct comparisons is somewhat difficult. It's hard to track down information about when exactly updates are released, so news coverage often relies on device owners seeing the update themselves. Carriers and slow rollouts only make matters more complicated.
See Android security update tracker: Ranking the top smartphones
Major updates of Android don't matter as much as they used to. Many components of the operating system are updated through the Play Store, so even if