Back in October, OnePlus revealed the Nord N10 5G and the N100. Both phones are budget devices with the Nord N10 5G serving up 5G functionality on the cheap. Budget phone options seem to be picking up steam in the age of the $1000+ flagship, but before you decide you want a Nord N10 5G or an N100, you might want to pump the brakes a bit.
That’s because from the perspective of Android updates, the future doesn’t look particularly bright for either phone. Android Central has confirmed with OnePlus that both phones will only be getting one major Android update and two years of security updates, while many other budget phones out there get two major Android updates. Essentially, OnePlus is joining Motorola as being one of the few budget phone manufacturers to cut back on big Android updates.
You might be able to make the argument that one major Android update is enough for a budget device if either the Nord N10 5G or the N100 were shipping with Android 11 out of the box, but they aren’t. Instead, they’ll be using Oxygen 10.5, which is based on Android 10. So, the solitary update users of these phones are guaranteed to get is an update to Android 11 – an operating system that a number of phones are already running.
The update situation for the Nord N10 5G and N100 is not great, because for those who value Android updates as a way of adding longevity to their devices, they’d be better served looking almost anywhere else. As Android Central notes, Motorola is the only other company that commits to a single Android update and two years of security updates in its budget devices, with other manufacturers more often offering two Android updates and three years of security updates. Following in Motorola’s footsteps isn’t really something OnePlus should strive for, either.
It’s certainly disappointing to see OnePlus take this approach to platform upgrades, because in the end, it makes it more difficult for users to stick with their phones for longer periods of time. Hopefully OnePlus decides to do an about-face on this particularly policy, but barring that, here’s hoping other companies don’t follow OnePlus’s lead with their own budget handsets.