OnePlus’ new Android update policy matches Samsung, shames Google

OnePlus will deliver four major OxygenOS updates and five years of security updates to some new devices it launches in 2023. Confirmed at a OnePlus community event in London, the company said the decision was partly driven by recognizing more people are keeping their phones for longer.

Gary Chen, head of software products at OnePlus, said, “We do everything we can to enhance user experience. With more users keeping their devices for longer, we want to make sure we can offer that possibility. This new update policy will give users access to the latest security and functional features required to power OnePlus’ signature fast-and-smooth experience throughout the lifetime of the phone.”

OnePlus 10T camera module.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The change replaces the current commitment to provide three years of major updates and four years of security updates. It also matches Samsung’s update policy and manages to beat Google’s policy. According to Google, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will receive major Android version updates until the end of 2025, meaning approximately three years of support. The phones will get five years of security updates.

It’s great news, but what isn’t clear is when the first phones that incorporate the updated policy will arrive — and it’s unfortunate it seems only some of OnePlus’ 2023 phones will get the longer update support. Currently, OnePlus has a similar system, where selected phones have a three-year update plan, while other devices — such as some Nord phones — have a far shorter update schedule. We’d expect the new policy to apply to the OnePlus 11 series.

In addition to news on the new update policy, OnePlus also stated the next version of OxygenOS will launch during the first half of 2023. Called OxygenOS 13.1, little was shared in terms of features, but we’re told to expect a focus on safety and security with a new version of OnePlus’s Private Safe. This is currently at version 2.0 and performs actions like pixelating private information in screenshots from apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp. Multimedia apps, including the photo gallery, will be improved too.

Finally, in unsurprising news, the existence of OxygenOS 14 was confirmed, although the company has not provided any official information about the software. If OxygenOS 13.1 isn’t expected for what could be seven months, it’s unlikely we’ll see version 14 until much later next year or beyond.

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