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How many years of updates will the OnePlus 12 get?

OnePlus 12 Flowy Emerald held in hand against grass background.
OnePlus 12 Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

OnePlus has started the year off strong with the launch of its signature flagship, the OnePlus 12. It packs in the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, at least 12GB RAM, a powerful triple-lens camera system, and a gorgeous high-resolution AMOLED display that gets up to 120Hz refresh rates and reaches a whopping 4,500 nits of peak brightness. Plus, it’s an absolutely beautiful phone.

The OnePlus 12 really does offer a lot of bang for your buck. It’s a flagship packed with a ton of great features and actually costs less than the competition. But how long will it get software updates for? That’s what we’re here to determine.

The OnePlus 12 will get five years of updates

The OnePlus 12's camera module.
OnePlus 12 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

In 2022, OnePlus confirmed that it would commit to four years of major Android/OxygenOS updates and five years of security updates, beginning with its 2023 lineup. This commitment applies to the OnePlus 12, meaning it will receive four years of major Android updates and five years of security patches.

Prior to that announcement, OnePlus was only doing three years of major updates and four years of security updates. At the time, this new policy matched Samsung’s and was actually better than Google’s old software update policy.

How this compares to Google, Samsung, and Apple

A person holding the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and Google Pixel 8 Pro.
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (left) and Google Pixel 8 Pro Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

When Google launched the Google Pixel 8 and Google Pixel 8 Pro, it also announced that it was improving its software update policy. The Pixel 8 lineup will receive seven years of major software updates and security patches.

Samsung launched the Galaxy S24 series (Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24 Plus, and Galaxy S24 Ultra) shortly after the OnePlus 12. Samsung also revealed that it would support seven years of major updates and security patches for the S24, which puts it in line with Google’s Pixel 8.

On the flip side, Apple has never made any guarantees on how long it supports older iPhones. However, based on Apple’s track record, iPhones get around five full years of major iOS updates and Apple issues security updates regularly for older devices. Apple’s longevity with the iPhone has set a standard that Android makers are also trying to follow.

Is five years enough for the OnePlus 12?

Gray Samsung Galaxy S24 (left), Rose Gold Google Pixel 8, Flowy Emerald OnePlus 12, Green iPhone 15, Titanium Gray iPhone 15 Pro on a pink and red heart blanket.
The Samsung Galaxy S24 (from left), Google Pixel 8, OnePlus 12, iPhone 15, and iPhone 15 Pro Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Though OnePlus’ five-year update policy for the OnePlus 12 may seem worse than what Google and Samsung are offering, there’s a reason behind it: the hardware likely won’t last seven years.

Of course, the first thing that may come to mind is that, yes, brands want to sell new hardware down the road rather than support old devices (that’s what businesses do). But also keep in mind that as new software features come along, it becomes harder to support it on older devices.

And let’s also consider the hardware itself. Battery capacities degrade over time — the more you use and charge it, the less charge it will hold down the road. At some point, you may even want to replace the battery once it gets bad enough. And there are other components to the phone that aren’t guaranteed to still work. At some point, it would just be easier to replace the phone with a new one rather than continuing to buy replacement parts.

While not everyone upgrades annually, most people tend to upgrade their phone every few years. A four-year policy makes the most sense logistically with that in mind, rather than seven. But who knows — OnePlus could offer a longer update policy later to rival its competition.

In the end, the consumer wins either way, as five years is still a solid length of time.

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Christine Romero-Chan
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade. She graduated from California…
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