Weekly poll: How long should phones get OS updates?

Peter, 04 February 2018

Getting a major OS update is almost like buying a new phone – you get a host of new features, (hopefully) faster software and occasionally a complete overhaul of the UI. It’s actually better than a new phone, it’s free!

Yep, phones never had the PC model where a new version of the OS is something you buy. That’s good on the surface, but there’s a flip side. You can update a 10-year old PC to Windows 10 without waiting on its manufacturer. You probably shouldn’t, but you can.

With phones, you pay nothing for updates and sometimes you get your money’s worth. That’s not true for all brands, of course. Google, for example, commits to deliver major Android updates to the Pixel 2 phones for 3 years (longer for just security updates). Sony just announced it would support its flagships for two years.

Weekly poll: for how long should phones get OS updates?

That’s fine, but the cost of the update is built into the cost of the phone – we shouldn’t have to tell you how expensive the Pixels are and Sony’s more affordable phones don’t get the firm 2 year commitment.

The upgrade potential of a phone is something we always consider – it expands the useful life of a phone. We might not recommend a phone by a brand with a spotty upgrade history, for example.

So, how long do you expect makers to support their phones (all phones, not just flagships)? Obviously “forever” is impractical, but 1 year may be too little.

For how long should phones get OS updates?
1 year
2 years
3 years
4 years or more
Created with PollMaker


Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 07 Feb 2018
  • SpE

You're going to want a new phone if they're slowing down your old phones lol. I'd say 3 years support is enough, 2 for me is a bit basic and fine for cheaper phones but if you're paying flagship prices and the company won't support it past the ...

  • Anonymous
  • 07 Feb 2018
  • 7XY

iOS users don't have that update problems, by the time apple stop updating an iphone, the user already has a new phone, cause iOS updates for 4-5 years on apple devices, by that time the user has saved enough money to buy another phone

  • AnonD-462421
  • 07 Feb 2018
  • kT}

that's a really good point, but that's what custom roms are for.

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