Not so long ago, Android phones were terrible for updates, with many phones getting only a few new Android versions if they were lucky. But in recent years, many brands have been supporting their phones for longer, and now OnePlus is extending support beyond almost any other company.
OnePlus has announced that “certain models” of its phones will now receive four major Android updates and five years of security patches – numbers that match Samsung’s Galaxy S22 with certain other phones.
This is due to the company’s previous promise of three years of major Android updates and four years of security patches. The company was frustratingly unclear as to which phones would actually be eligible for this extended support, but the press release states “on certain devices released in 2023 and beyond,” which sadly indicates that this won’t apply to existing models like the OnePlus 10 Pro. .
Chances are, the OnePlus 11 will be available, and with any luck there will be mid-range models from the Nord series as well, but only time will tell.
At the same time, the company outlined what users can expect from the upcoming updates (OxygenOS 13.1 and OxygeonOS 14).
The first of these (OxygenOS 13.1) will be released in the first half of 2023 and will focus on security and privacy features. OnePlus is talking about an improved version of its Private Vault function designed to keep data sharing safe and secure.
There is also a focus on enhanced digital health and well-being, including accessibility features for users with disabilities. Finally, photo albums will be improved and the company claims it will continue to focus on providing a seamless experience.
Talking about OxygenOS 14 was much more vague, but words like fast, smooth and reliable were floating around.
Analysis: OnePlus now offers longer-term support than Google, but still follows Apple
With the promise of four major Android updates and five years of security patches, OnePlus has surpassed Google. making Android only promises three years of major OS updates – but matches OnePlus for security patches.
While it’s great to see OnePlus do this, it also highlights that Google itself still isn’t doing enough.
And yet we would have given Samsung an edge on the software updates front, as some of their current phones are promised as many updates as OnePlus is currently offering, rather than just unspecified upcoming phones.
There’s no Android brand to match Apple for updates, though. While Apple hasn’t promised a specific number, many iPhones have received five years of software updates, and some for up to six years. And we’re not just talking about security updates here – these are the kind of major OS updates OnePlus and Samsung have promised for only four years.
So, every Android brand has work to do, but this is another step in the right direction from OnePlus and something that could help the best OnePlus phones rank among the best phones of the future.