OnePlus spells out its Android system and security update policy

The lack of system and security updates in the Android handset world has always been a thorn on users' sides, and it's certainly one of the factors contributing to Apple's success with its phone business. Slowly but steadily, though, we're seeing rays of light emerging. Today, OnePlus announced a firm software maintenance schedule for its recent and upcoming smartphones.

OnePlus promises to offer system updates to its phones for a full two years after their release. The T-variant handsets are counted separately, too. In addition, the company says it'll provide security updates for an additional year thereafter. When it comes to existing phones, the new schedule applies to the OnePlus 3, 5, and 6, along with the respective T models.

Although the company's generally been good about offering Android system upgrades, the rate at which it's done so in the past would be better defined in Valve-days. The new schedule, now set in virtual stone, should guarantee a reasonably steady stream of upgrades and stave off a common complaint about OnePlus' handsets.

The maintenance schedule is more than welcome, but a two-year timeframe for system updates still pales in comparison to the software longevity of Apple's current lineup, which includes the 2013-vintage iPhone 5S (I own one, and it's still alive and kicking). That makes for nearly five years of software updates and counting. The Cupertino cooks said that the upcoming iOS 12 will still work on devices that can run iOS 11, too.

Having said that, OnePlus' policy is one of the better ones in the Android world. The mighty Google ensures three years of updates for its Pixel 2 and upcoming devices. Meanwhile, Samsung and Motorola do offer regular security updates, but apparently don't have hard-set policies for Android system upgrades. In practice, only the companies' most recent handsets seem to get newly baked Android. LG only recently set up a “software upgrade division.”

Comments closed
    • odizzido
    • 1 year ago

    two or three whole years? Oh boy /sarcasm

    • derFunkenstein
    • 1 year ago

    Selling a lineup of designs for a year and replacing it with a whole new lineup is pretty wasteful, honestly. Apple seems to have no problem selling their most expensive and fastest device from year to year but fills in cheaper options with last year (and the year before’s) models. Seems like that kind of approach would keep R&D costs down and keep a device available for longer. Then suddenly at any given point you’re only supporting 6-8 devices, but many of those devices are pretty mature. Again, kinda like Apple. And since you’re getting more money out of any given design you can afford to support it longer.

    Apple m may have cluster**** on its hands with the Mac product line, but they’re doing iOS design AND support properly and fully sucking the value out of a smaller number of designs.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 1 year ago

    I try to buy phones between $200 and $300 and use them for a few years. I never feel like ripped off by the man.

      • davidbowser
      • 1 year ago

      Totally with you.

      I used to buy new phones right when they came out (in the Palm Treo and Pre days) and then started to wait for post launch madness to subside (iPhone 4-6) to buy. I am now a fan of buying used phones that are maybe 1-2 years old but in really good shape (Pixel 1 or iPhone 7). I am no longer beholden to carrier launch deals/lock-in (using Google Fi) and anyone in my family breaks or loses one, I know it will only cost $200 to get a functional replacement.

      • cynan
      • 1 year ago

      That’s why I’m currently still using a Oneplus 1. However there is no longer any value advantage to Oneplus. Finally prompted to upgrade due to a charging snaffu that ended up partially frying the usb port on the Oneplus, I was going to go with a Oneplus 6, but found I could grab Samsung S9+ for practically the same price, so I went that route instead

      • sweatshopking
      • 1 year ago

      I bought my 5t for 300 CAD (like 24.99 USD) like 3 months after it launched and it’s done well enough.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 1 year ago

        Lmao. I always love the jabs at the exchange rates. I got into it with my manager who was trying to use an exchange rate on one day for the entire year of expenses.

        I have the moto g5+ 4gb and 64 gb internal for 250 USD at worst buy.

          • sweatshopking
          • 1 year ago

          He could use that exchange rate provided he exchanged 100% of the money he was going to spend that year on that day.

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 1 year ago

            That is true. It was even events over the course of a year with many different currencies.

    • uni-mitation
    • 1 year ago

    [quote<]The lack of system and security updates in the Android handset world has always been a thorn on users' sides, and it's certainly one of the factors contributing to Apple's success with its phone business. [/quote<] And it was the deciding factor for me. I have to give credit to Apple for their walled garden, but I am under no delusions that it is not walled. The outside is a wasteland of unsupported phones, left to die, with carrier & OEM bloat-ware. It goes to show you that Android's purpose is that of Google's: to track you, and serve as a way to hook you on those Google services. Apple at least makes their money in overpriced handsets, in which case, their incentive to make money off your data is a bit lesser. Their behavior with the intense pressure regarding assistance to break the IPhone of the alleged California shooter earned my respect; not because they care about your privacy, just that they have no incentive to do so when they make a killing with their current business model. As for this OEM's promise, it is an unenforceable promise. Set it in writing where I am able to bring suit if they fail to live up to their promise, otherwise, it is empty words. FYI- not an Apple fan-boy, always out for myself and my interests. Just in the interest of fair credit to Apple on this department. uni-mitation

      • DancinJack
      • 1 year ago

      Don’t you run an out of date Windows Phone or Blackberry?

      I understand what you are saying, but living with something like that is, IMO, worse than a phone that at least gets updates from Google Play. And yeah, Apple is so so so so so good, for the most part, about updates. They just had all that leverage when they started with AT/T and demanded it from everyone else when they spread out. Good on them.

        • uni-mitation
        • 1 year ago

        [quote=”DancinJack”<]Don't you run an out of date Windows Phone or Blackberry? [/quote<] 1- I keep my trusty BB Q10 as back-up. Very recently I bought an IPhone SE. [quote="DancinJack"<]I understand what you are saying, but living with something like that is, IMO, worse than a phone that at least gets updates from Google Play. And yeah, Apple is so so so so so good, for the most part, about updates. They just had all that leverage when they started with AT/T and demanded it from everyone else when they spread out. Good on them. [/quote<] 2- I believe you are in agreement with what I wrote if you re-read my statement. I am in agreement with you in this particular department of updates. It doesn't necessarily imply that I have to sell my soul or loyalty to a creature of statute, do I? (rhetorical) Fair credit when earned. I hope you are enjoying the weekend. uni-mitation

          • DancinJack
          • 1 year ago

          We definitely do agree. I just found it odd you were chastising (rightfully so though) Android manufacturers for the updates situation while using an out of date (software wise) phone.

          Do you like the iPhone? I would have thought BB OS to Android was an easier, more likely transition than to iOS. I loved my Blackberry phones back in the day. Had a couple Curves and a couple Bolds. In 2006-2009 they were the best out there.

        • BurntMyBacon
        • 1 year ago

        Point of interest: Both, my Windows Phone (HP Elite X3) and my Wife’s (Lumia 950) just got an update less than a month ago. So at least some of the Windows Phone’s defy your out of date generalization.

        I had almost bought into the prevailing media line that Windows Phone was a completely dead platform and all should abandon ship immediately or face the consequences of using an outdated and insecure platform. I still believe the platform has no quantifiable future, thus any upgrade or recommendations for others will be on a different platform. However, as I tend to stick with a phone I like as long as I can get security updates, I’ll be using my current phone a little longer. The apps I use are still (surprisingly for a dead platform) receiving updates as well. Gives me a little more time to resolve where I really want to go for my next platform.

        My wife just likes Windows Phone and will likely hang on to her Lumia 950 until it breaks, or I pry it out of her hands. Of course, I could always make it appear to have broken when the time comes, but she’d probably then demand my HP as a replacement.

    • Godel
    • 1 year ago

    And of course it’s two years from time of initial release, not time of purchase.

      • MrDweezil
      • 1 year ago

      Because time of purchase makes no sense? It’s a software update policy, not a warranty policy.

        • uni-mitation
        • 1 year ago

        It is a big difference. There is no such thing as warranty policy, it is called a limited hardware warranty: a legal instrument that a potential consumer has standing to bring a cause of action for breach of the same in a court of competent jurisdiction. A software update policy (or schedule as they call it) is what they wipe their asses with when you complain they didn’t meet their “promises.”

        uni-mitation

        • EndlessWaves
        • 1 year ago

        Initial release doesn’t make much more sense. As a buyer why do I care about when the model was released?

        A minimum support period from when sales stop would be more sensible and a sign that these companies have started treating these are devices that need support throughout their lifetime, and not something they can sell and forget.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 1 year ago

          This, right here. Two years after the model is retired would be a great policy.

        • modulusshift
        • 1 year ago

        Obviously updating your specific phone to two years after your specific purchase date is ridiculous, but a policy giving updates for two years after end of sale for the device is much better.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 1 year ago

    Price goes up each year and they creep closer and closer to “industry standard” sucky support life. Pretty soon they’ll just be another LG, Motorola, etc., except much smaller.

      • albundy
      • 1 year ago

      they already are. they offer nothing competitive. and the lack of features is nauseating.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 1 year ago

        Unlockable boot loader + project treble at least means you can install a community ROM. But that’s quite a stretch.

          • DancinJack
          • 1 year ago

          Don’t need treble for that, but yeah, there is a lot of XDA support for these phones which is a good semi-solution to the update BS.

          I’ve never been interested in 1+ phones because no Verizon, but they are definitely getting worse with each generation. Not the overall phone, but the price to feature ratio keeps going up. Sadly that was the biggest draw of 1+ phones of years past.

            • sweatshopking
            • 1 year ago

            While I partially agree, the cost for features is still significantly lower than the big boys.

            • DancinJack
            • 1 year ago

            No argument there, but it’s not where 1+ used to be.

      • strangerguy
      • 1 year ago

      They are overall spotty at best even in their claim to fame days when cheap smartphones are borderline unusable. Now I rather get a Samsung if I wanted a expensive Android that they do they everything better and Touchwiz no longer sucks anymore.

    • chuckula
    • 1 year ago

    [quote<]Although the company's generally been good about offering Android system upgrades, the rate at which it's done so in the past would be better defined in Valve-days. [/quote<] For a formal scientific definition of Valve-days I direct you [url=https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Valve_Time<]here[/url<].

      • highlandr
      • 1 year ago

      Yeah, that’s why I stopped paying attention to anything Gabe says.

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