The OnePlus 12 is the brand’s latest flagship smartphone, offering all of the things you’d expect from a flagship device such as a large, high resolution display, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 system-on-chip and cameras co-developed with Hasselblad. However, it still lacks behind the likes of Google and Samsung’s smartphones in one key area: software support.
For the OnePlus 12, the Oppo subsidiary remains committed to a minimum of four major Android OS upgrades and five years of security patches. When asked about why not committing up to seven years like Google and Samsung, OnePlus COO and President Kinder Liu was quick to give a rather unique analogy about the situation. In an interview with Tom’s Guide, Liu brushed off longer and longer software support policies saying that they ‘miss the point’.
According to Liu, software update policies are not the only thing important to the user, but also the smoothness of the user experience. Essentially, Liu is saying that while you may be able to still use a smartphone seven years down the line, the user experience of running the latest software on aging hardware would mean that the user will end up having a pretty bad time.
To better get his point across, Liu likens the smartphone to a sandwich:
“Imagine your phone is a sandwich. Some manufacturers are now saying that the filling in their sandwich—their phone’s software—will still be good to eat in seven years’ time.
But what they’re not telling you is that the bread in the sandwich—the user experience— might be mouldy. Suddenly, a seven-year software update policy doesn’t matter, because the rest of the experience with the phone is terrible,” – Kinder Liu, OnePlus COO and President
Of course, just a tale about sandwich won’t be enough to convince users on why OnePlus doesn’t want to offer up to seven years of software support. Liu added that they had performed stress tests with testing and certification company TÜV SÜD, and the results indicated that OnePlus could only guarantee a fast and smooth performance for those four years of major Android OS upgrades. Liu also pointed out that the battery is another key component that may not be able to last the full seven years of support.
On top of that, Liu cited reports from research firm Counterpoint Research that further illustrated his point that OnePlus’ current software support policy is enough. He pointed out that studies show most Android users tend to swap smartphones to a new one within four years.
In any case, OnePlus offering a minimum of four major Android OS upgrades and five years of security patches for the OnePlus 12 is very much still a good thing, considering that not every manufacturer have been able to make the same pledge. That being said, if you were considering the step down OnePlus 12R instead, you should note that it comes with three years of major Android OS upgrades and four years of security patches instead.
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