Not long ago, Android phones were terrible for updates, with many phones only getting a few new Android versions if they were lucky. But in recent years, a lot of brands have supported their phones for much longer, and now OnePlus is pushing support further than almost any other company.
OnePlus has announced that “select models” of its phones will now get four major Android updates and five years of security patches — numbers that match what Samsung is offering on the Galaxy S22 and select other phones.
That’s up from the company’s previous promise of three years of major Android updates and four years of security patches. The company has been frustratingly vague about which phones will actually be eligible for this expanded support, but the press release says “on select devices launched in 2023 and later,” which unfortunately indicates that it won’t apply to existing models like the OnePlus 10 Pro.
Presumably, the OnePlus 11 will qualify though, and with any luck, the upcoming mid-range models from the Nord line will too, but only time will tell.
At the same time, the company has also outlined some of what users can expect from the upcoming updates — namely, OxygenOS 13.1 and OxygeonOS 14.
The first of these (OxygenOS 13.1) is scheduled for the first half of 2023, and will include a focus on security and privacy features, with OnePlus mentioning an improved version of its Private Safe function, which is designed to keep data sharing safe and secure.
There is also a focus on improving digital health and well-being, including accessibility features for users with disabilities. Finally, the photo albums have been improved, and the company claims it will continue to focus on offering a seamless experience.
OxygenOS 14 was more vaguely talked about, but words like fast, smooth, and reliable were thrown around.
Analysis: OnePlus now offers long-term support from Google, but it still lags behind Apple
With the promise of four major Android updates and five years of security patches, OnePlus has outpaced Google which, despite industry Android promises only three years of major OS updates — but it does match OnePlus for security patches.
While it’s great to see OnePlus doing this, it also highlights that Google itself still isn’t doing enough.
And we still give Samsung the edge on top of software updates, since a number of its current phones promise many of the updates OnePlus is now offering, rather than just unspecified upcoming phones.
However, there is still no Android brand that matches Apple for updates. While Apple doesn’t promise an exact number, plenty of iPhones have received five years of software updates and some have managed as many as six. And we’re not just talking about security updates here — these are major OS updates of the kind that OnePlus and Samsung have only been promising for four years.
So, every Android brand has to do it, but this is another step in the right direction from OnePlus, and something else that could help rank the best OnePlus phones among the best phones in the future.