OnePlus Commits to Three Years of Updates

Posted on June 28, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 33 Comments

OnePlus today formally committed to service its handsets with two years of feature updates and three years of security updates.

“In order to provide our community with best in class software maintenance and upgrade cycle, we are officially announcing OnePlus Software Maintenance Schedule,” a post in the OnePlus forums notes. “There will be two years of regular software updates from the release date of the phone (release dates of T variants would be considered), including new features, Android versions, Android security patches and bug fixes and an additional year of Android security patch updates every two months.”

So that’s good news: It removes some uncertainty about the OnePlus handsets, which are largely sold directly to consumers. And it matches how Google and other major Android handset makers service their own hardware.

As OnePlus also notes, this schedule applies to all OnePlus 3/3T, OnePlus 5/5T, and OnePlus 6 devices and is effective immediately.


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Comments (33)

33 responses to “OnePlus Commits to Three Years of Updates”

  1. ponsaelius

    OnePlus have been rightly criticised for abandoning older handsets to a perpetual life of older versions of Android. By older I mean handsets that are often less than a year old. They have promised updates in the past but not delivered. I certainly hope this improves things.

    I decided not to go with Oneplus a while back and part of it was this problem. Instead I now have the Nokia 7 Plus. Not a premium flagship super phone but still on the Android One program with a huge battery.

    • George Semple

      In reply to ponsaelius:

      I don't know, the 3/3T are currently running Oreo with the May Security patch and the 3 was released just over 2 years ago so I'd say they aren't doing THAT bad with the updates.

    • rmlounsbury

      In reply to ponsaelius:

      I have to agree with you here. If you actually want up-to-date software on an Android device outside of the Google Pixels then you need to get something that is Android One. There isn't a bunch of skinning or modifications to the OS so they can push out security and OS updates on a regular cadance.

      For my two cents the only manufacturers worth a look here are Nokia & Motorola.

      • rmlounsbury

        In reply to rmlounsbury:

        Ironically, and in full disclosure, I just bought a OnePlus 6 after digging around on Nokia and finding that neither of the devices I'm interested in support the T-Mobile LTE bands.

        So, we shall see how their 3 year pledge works. The device itself is fantastic. I picked up the white & gold version with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It is one of the best looking Android devices I have ever used. So far it is one of the best performers as well.

  2. markbyrn

    "And it matches how Google and other major Android handset makers" - so Samsung has a published software maintenance schedule?

  3. BBoileau

    This show that this company is serious and ready to offer viable alternatives at a better price. I regret now that I didn't buy it in my recent purchase round as I think that they are on the correct formula for cell phones. Buy them outright and keep the price down. Too bad they were missing a key feature for me in not having an SD card slot.

  4. rameshthanikodi

    3 years isn't even that long, but it's better than 2, so this is welcome.

    The android ecosystem should aspire to at least match Apple, but unfortunately there are too many cooks. I think Google has done their part, and some OEMs are stepping up, but there is still the carriers and Qualcomm. In this respect, I think Huawei and Samsung have a unique position of sticking it to them, but we all know how Samsung is. Huawei might do it, but something is very wrong if something so important in such a big market boils down to luck.

    Last but not least there is also user control/apathy. Windows users complain about forced updates but forced updates have been the most effective at getting people off unsupported versions of windows. If Windows 7 users were updated, WannaCry would have never seen the light of day.

  5. evictedkoala

    This makes me glad I got the 5T when it was available. The update uncertainty kept me away from the company for years and it was a personal gamble that paid off.

  6. Rahul Partoti

    Why does it feel like to be in early Windows days... exploit in news, company releasing updates. Isn't it akin to Android having been installed different on different devices and expecting the updates. In those days it was about which browser works better IE vs Netscape. Now a days its which camera is better. It would be better to slow the major releases to every five years or so and spend time on letting code stabalise.

    At what time is it okay to just push timelines and hoping to fix the bugs in future. Developers also need time to learn the idiosyncrasies of the tools and exploit the hardware to maximum. I don't see it happening now a days.

  7. GT Tecolotecreek

    So with the release on IOS 12 in September 2018 that will run on an iPhone 5S (released September 2013) you will end of getting 6 years of updates and support. That's assuming IOS 13 will not support that handset when released Septemberish 2019.

    Yeah, those Android devices are a real bargain.

    Ok, now cue the iHaters "But it won't really run/be so slow/won't have all the new features/etc. on a 5s" chorus.

    Sorry, iPhones are a better long term value.

  8. m_p_w_84

    The imortant caveat is from the date of the release of the phone.

    If you want software updates. Only Apple provide this.

  9. Nicholas Kathrein

    Nice. They are matching Google's Pixel policy. Just think if we could get all companies selling high middle market phones to the top all having this same policy. That would be great.

  10. RobertJasiek

    3 years are nothing. 10 is the minimum.

    • akcanuck

      In reply to RobertJasiek:

      10 years? The iPhone 3G was released 10 years ago and the last update it got was iOS 4.2.1 in 2010. I don't think a 10 year old phone would be very usable even if it was updated.

      • RobertJasiek

        In reply to akcanuck:

        That Android and iOS devices fail for good long-term use does not mean that smartphones must fail. Simple PCs work for 10+ years and can be updated that long. Smartphones are simpler devices than PCs. That their usibility suffers for long-term use is not a hardware problem but only a problem of missing good long-term support of OS updates.

        First, there must be good long-term support of OS updates. Second, the endconsumer decides whether he accepts the hardware limitations of a 10 years old smartphone.

        Currently, there is no, or no good, long-term support of OS updates so that the endconsumer does not have this basic choice of decision.

        Endconsumers like me do not need more from a smartphone than basic phone functionality, basic browsing and basic text reading. Every basic smartphone hardware can offer this. A smartphone bought today can only have 4G and not 5G but endconsumers with basic needs do not care. 4G should be more than good enough for at least 15 years.

        The only other limiting factor is the battery. If it is replaceable and standardised, there should be no problem to buy a replacement battery after 10 years.

        For me, significantly less than 10 years updates, missing battery replacement, missing battery standardisation and missing data privacy are the major reasons why I have never bought any smartphone yet. A smartphone I consider a long-term product like an ordinary phone, washing machine or basic TV. It ought not to be a throw-away product as a consequence of missing service. I use such devices until they break and cannot be reasonably repaired - not until the manufacturer decides to stop OS or battery support.

        Not to mention environment and wasted ressources.

        If OnePlus offers 3 years, I do not buy. Simple. 3 years is a lifespan of a throw-away product. 10+ years of a responsible product.

        Yes, I have understood that the entire smartphone industry builds throw-away products. This, however, does not mean that I would need to buy them.

  11. red.radar

    apple Provides updates for longer .... just saying....

    • wright_is

      In reply to red.radar:

      And Microsoft even longer, at least on PCs and laptops. My iMac hasn't had any updates from Apple since 2013, but Microosoft still provide the Windows 7 partition with updates...

      • GT Tecolotecreek

        In reply to wright_is:

        Wow that is pretty amazing considering my early 2008 Mac Pro (on El Cap) just got a security update (2018-003) and Safari update (v 11.11) this month (June 2018)! Pretty sure the "003" means it's the third one of the year. You do know you have to to the App Store and click on "Updates" to get them, right?

        That means I'm getting over 10 years of supported software updates on this hardware. Like I said before, better long term value.

        • wright_is

          In reply to GT_Tecolotecreek:

          My 2007 iMac 24" was a 64-bit processor with 32-Bit UEFI motherboard, deliberately crippled by Apple, when they designed it. It was then abandoned at Lion by Apple.

          • GT Tecolotecreek

            In reply to wright_is:

            Interesting, the Apple El Capitan support page says this is a supported system. Also their are processor upgrades available to get you to Sierra if you have sufficient memory. Also a post in the support forums about someone who upgraded his 2007 iMac 24" to El Cap but was slow with only 2 MB of memory.

            • wright_is

              In reply to GT_Tecolotecreek:

              No, Lion was the last upgrade available.

              You can't upgrade the processor, and the processor isn't the problem, it is the motherboard, which is limited to 32-bit UEFI, so you'd have to replace the motherboard first. That also solves the second problem, it allows a maximum of 3GB RAM (well, 4GB in total, but only 3GB usable, the rest is paged out to make way for UEFI and graphics BIOS and RAM.

  12. evox81

    This has proven difficult for much larger operations, HTC being one of the more prominent examples in my mind. They did ok with Android updates for a while, but fell behind. Despite promising the same for the M8 for Windows (which could already run Windows 10 through the insider program) they quiet stopped offering any updates after only a few months.

  13. lvthunder

    That's a year or two less then Apple does with iOS for version upgrades. I don't know if Apple does any security fixes for devices that can't upgrade to the latest version.

    • innitrichie

      In reply to lvthunder:

      I think part of the problem on Android is QUALCOMM for example aren't interested in supporting old chips for every long. From what I understand, Google are paying QUALCOMM to help them support Pixel phones longer than in the past - and perhaps they are allowing that support to filter out to the wider ecosystem to allow everyone to support devices a bit longer than in the past. But I don't think it ever gets better than this. Both QUALCOMM and the OEMs have an huge incentive to push everyone along to the new architectures as quickly possible by selling them new devices.

  14. Waethorn

    It's not just the length of time of support that matters - it's also frequency of those updates. Google releases monthly Android security updates. Will OnePlus offer them in a timely manner? That still remains to be seen. What we do know is that unless a phone adheres to the Android One program, you can't expect security updates day-and-date (or at least within a couple days) with Pixel phones.

  15. PatrickD

    I will believe this when I see it. Every Android vendor has broken update commitments in the past. I am still waiting for my Droid Incredible 2 Android 4.0 Once the device is purchased they just don't care. Apple and Google (Nexus, Pixels) are the only ones who keep the commitments. I am not an Apple guy but I am genuinely impressed that they keep their phones on the latest iOS for 4-5 years in some cases.

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