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OnePlus agrees to give Nord N200 better updates than Nord N100, but just barely

OnePlus doesn't seem to care much about updating its low-end Nord phones.

Published onJune 21, 2021

OnePlus Nord N200 Official Renders
  • OnePlus confirmed the new OnePlus Nord N200 will only see one major Android upgrade, presumably to Android 12.
  • It will receive “maintenance updates” for three years, though, which is one year longer than the Nord N100.
  • This confirms once again the company’s attitude towards its budget-oriented offerings.

When OnePlus launched the Nord N10 and Nord N100 at the end of last year, it changed up its usual routine when it comes to software updates. Usually, its phones receive at least two Android upgrades (such as from Android 10 to Android 11) and at least three years of security patches. However, the two Nord phones would only see one Android upgrade and then two years of patches.

Considering the phones are so inexpensive, this reveal likely wasn’t a deal-breaker for shoppers. It did represent a seismic shift for the brand, though, which has (had?) a reputation for being one of the best companies for updates.

Related: OnePlus Nord N200 review: Little more than a cheap 5G entry point

Now, with the OnePlus Nord N200, the company has confirmed that it will offer a slightly better policy than last year. The Nord N200 will still only see one major Android update but it will get three years of what OnePlus calls “maintenance updates.” Presumably, the one Android upgrade would be from Android 11 to Android 12. The maintenance updates would presumably include security patches and, possibly, some new features here and there.

Obviously, this is better than what we saw for the Nord N100. That phone launched with Android 10 in December 2020, meaning it was already behind. Even today, it’s still on Android 10 with Android 12’s stable launch only a few months away. The fact that the Nord N200 will launch with Android 11 is already a step-up — but the overall policy is still incredibly weak.

Meanwhile, OnePlus’ main rival in the Android space, Samsung, is offering three years of upgrades and four years of patches for pretty much all of its phones. Even my $200 Galaxy Tab A just got an Android 11 upgrade. OnePlus, however, doesn’t seem to care to meet Samsung’s bar in this regard.

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