OnePlus just announced that it plans to support its flagship Android phones for three years with four years of security patches. This brings the company's update policy mostly in line with Samsung's, which is a major plus for OnePlus owners.
OnePlus' lackluster update track record in recent years has led some to distrust the company. Now, OnePlus hopes to have addressed that for the most part. But this is only for its flagship series, not the Nord or Nord N lines.
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The timing is fortuitous, considering that I just finished criticizing OnePlus and its software support plans in my three month revisit of the OnePlus 9 Pro. I now have to reconsider some of my final conclusions, given this new information.
In a forum post, OnePlus says that it can now support these devices for longer because of the behind-the-scenes merger with Oppo. In fact, the OnePlus 8 series and onward (including all T and R variants) will enjoy this longer support. This means that 2019's OnePlus 7 series is coming to the end of its platform support schedule, though.
You should note, however, that the Nord, Nord CE, and following Nord phones will still see two years of Android updates and three years of security patches. Nord N — including the just-released Nord N200 5G — phones will continue to see the laughably bad one year of platform updates, though they have been upgraded to three years of security patches.
While that promise is all well and good, OnePlus has typically been slower than Samsung and Google to release updates to its devices, especially on older and budget options. Another criticism is that you often need to run the Open Beta software to have the latest security patch. And let's not forget some stability issues with updates recently, either.
Carrier models are another issue entirely and they could see reduced support, depending on if the carriers play nicely. We can't fault OnePlus for that, since the U.S. carriers are notoriously difficult to work with sometimes.
We commend OnePlus for this new update policy, though you will need to buy one of the more expensive flagship models to fully enjoy it. Still, it's a big step in the right direction, making OnePlus devices even easier to recommend.