OnePlus’s flagship for the year is just around the corner and the company is going all out to create hype among its users. The Chinese OEM has already confirmed prominent features ahead of the OnePlus 5 launch, along with having teased the design as well. Today, OnePlus India sent out a mailer making five promises to their loyal OnePlus fans.
OnePlus has now put a commitment to ‘deliver world class customer service’ with their new flagship. The ‘five promises’ really look enticing on paper but if one has really kept a track of OnePlus software updates so far, one of these promises will have a thin line of trust. Let’s take a look at how OnePlus has supported their phones in the past with regards to software update.
The phone that shot the Chinese OEM to global fame was originally launched with Cyanogen OS 11, a KitKat based ROM. The device received a software upgrade to Cyanogen OS 12.0 based on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop in April 2015. OnePlus in August last year released Cyanogen OS 13.1.2, an Android Marshmallow based ROM that brought September security patch and improved deep integration of Cortana digital assistant into CyanogenOS for the OnePlus One.
OnePlus 2 the flagship killer from the company was launched with OxygenOS 2.0 based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. The Chinese manufacturer released an update to Oxygen version 2.2.1, 7 months after its official announcement. OnePlus later released updated version of Oxygen OS that covered VoLTE support, enhanced UI and bug fixes. However, the incremental update had ‘frequent network drop issues’ which led the company release next version of OxygenOS 3.5.6 to fix the issues. OnePlus 2 received Android 6.0 Marshmallow in mid-July 2016. The smartphone received the last update (which was a security patch update)in April 2017, but software updates stopped with the update to Marshmallow.
OnePlus X which was launched just three months after the OnePlus 2 release came pre-loaded with OxygenOS 2.1.2, an Android Lollipop based ROM. In August 2016 OnePlus rolled out next version of OxygenOS for OnePlus X. The company in September last year rolled out OxygenOS 2.2.3 that covered September security patch and ‘necessary dependencies for Android Marshmallow upgrade. OnePlus X finally received OxygenOS 3.1.1, an Android Marshmallow based ROM in October 1, 2016.
The popular flagship OnePlus 3 and the first smartphone from the company to ship with 64GB storage was launched with Android 6.0 Marshmallow onboard. OnePlus rolled out OxygenOS 3.2.1 update on July last year that brought improved RAM, alternate sRGB display mode in developer options and several bug fixes. Notably, OnePlus 3T, the upgrade version of OnePlus 3 was released 6 months after its predecessor’s launch. The device also came pre-loaded with Android Marshmallow. OnePlus later rolled out incremental updates to fix issues and bring minor improvements. The Chinese OEM released official Android Nougat with improvements for both the devices inn December last year. OnePlus 3 and 3T recently received OxygenOS 4.1.5 update that covers general optimisation and improvements, enhanced system stability etc.
If you follow the software update history of OnePlus devices, you start to see a trend. OnePlus One launched with a KitKat based ROM and stopped receiving updates once it was upgraded to Android Marshmallow. OnePlus X was launched with a Lollipop based ROM as well, but official updates stopped after the release of a Marshmallow based ROM, much to the dismay of OnePlus X users. Now recently, OnePlus has backtracked on their word and announced that they will not release a Nougat based ROM for OnePlus 2, despite having originally promised their users an update.
Taking this into account, OnePlus promise really comes under question. The company in the past has promised that its devices will be updated for at least 24 months after release, but the support for OnePlus 2 has been wrapped up in just 22 months. While third party developers continue to try and keep these devices up to date, cutting off software update support after one OS iteration is not setting a good precedent.
We see that the OnePlus One was the first and last phone up until now to enjoy extensive software support and updates. We ca only hope that those who have bought the OnePlus 3/3T do not get cut off after two OS cycles like the OnePlus X and the OnePlus 2. We are happy that OnePlus is finally, publically making promise to keep their customers satisfied, and we can only hope that the company breaks away from the trend they seem to have set so far.