Android OEMs still don’t provide the six years of updates you get with Apple phones, but some manufacturers are trying to close that gap. OnePlus is adding an extra year to its smartphone update promise and is now offering four years of major OS updates and five years of security updates.
Timeline-wise, this plan matches Samsung’s, though Samsung offers monthly security updates and OnePlus doesn’t. The company is still only promising security updates every other month, so it can’t do too much bragging. Android-maker Google—who you’d think would have the best update plan—is in a distant third, with only three years of OS updates and five years of security updates.
There’s still the timing of updates to consider. Execution-wise, OnePlus is faster than Samsung, as it took OnePlus just one month to ship Android 13 to its latest flagship, whereas Samsung took two months. Google wins here, as it’s still the only Android company that offers an Apple-like update experience with day-one updates.
The first phone to get this treatment will probably be the OnePlus 11, which is due out in the next few months. OnePlus is going through a rocky merger with BBK sister company Oppo, a move that brought major negative changes to OnePlus’ Android skin. OnePlus used to ship an excellent lightweight-yet-customizable build of Android, but after the Oppo merger, the skin looks like a clunky iOS copy.
OnePlus pivoted its OS strategy one month before the OnePlus 10 came out, claiming it would back away from the unified Oppo skin. One month is not enough time to make major changes, so it’s hard to say what the company’s actual Android design strategy is. The update plan has gotten a bit better, though.