How long has your smartphone been in your pocket? Apparently the average UK phone owner now keeps their blower for up to four years before shopping it in for a newer model. If that’s you, maybe your next Android phone should be a OnePlus: the firm has just committed to releasing four Android version upgrades for its models going forward, along with five years of security updates.
The move goes even further than last year’s promise of three operating system updates and four years of security updates, meaning OnePlus phones will stay safe from cyber-crims and have the most up-to-date Android features for even longer. That puts the firm on par with Samsung for extended support, and ahead of other big-name brands like Xiaomi, Nokia and Motorola.
Apple still has them all beat, with seven years of support being an unwritten rule for most iPhones, but this is a great sign that the Android world is catching up. It’ll save thrifty customers cash in the long run, and reduce the phone world’s environmental impact if devices are kept in circulation for longer.
There’s no word yet on which phones will be included in the four+five promise, but you can bet the upcoming OnePlus 11 will be on the list. This year’s OnePlus 10 Pro and OnePlus 10T are likely to stay on the old 3 years/4years update cycle of Android versions and security patches respectively. The latter phone will be getting Oxygen OS 13, the latest version of OnePlus’ custom take on Android, before Christmas.
Customers don’t just have OnePlus to thank for the extra software support. Chipmaker Qualcomm first had to commit to extended updates for its mobile CPUs, and Google needed to keep the Android kernel updated for ageing hardware as well.
OnePlus also confirmed that Oxygen OS 13.1 was in the works, with a focus on privacy, performance and multimedia support. It’ll be heading to 2022 flagships first, with other handsets yet to be confirmed.
And if that wasn’t enough, Oxygen OS 14 is already in development – although with Google yet to make Android 14 official, it might be a lot further off before we get to see it in action on a OnePlus phone.