Do you know how long your smartphone has been in your pocket? Phone owners in the UK tend to keep their blowers for up to four years before swapping them out for newer models. Perhaps your next Android phone should be a OnePlus: the company recently committed to providing its customers with four future Android version upgrades, as well as five years of security updates.
According to OnePlus, this move goes beyond last year’s promise of three operating system updates and four years of security updates, which means users won’t have to worry about cybercrime and will have access to all the latest Android features for a long time to come. The company is now on par with Samsung and ahead of big brands like Xiaomi, Nokia, and Motorola when it comes to extended support.
There is still no competition for Apple, with seven years of support being an unwritten rule for most iPhones, but this is a great sign that Android 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. In terms of Android updates and security patches, the OnePlus 10 Pro and OnePlus 10T will likely remain on the old cycle of 3 years/4 years. It will receive OnePlus’ Oxygen OS 13, the latest version of its custom version of Android, before Christmas.
Customers don’t just have OnePlus to thank for the extra software support. First, Qualcomm had to commit to extended updates for its mobile CPUs, and Google had to keep its Android kernel updated to meet the needs of aging hardware.
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.
Then there’s Oxygen OS 14 in development – although since Android 14 hasn’t been officially approved by Google, we may not be able to see it on a OnePlus phone for some time.