OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro: Is it Time to Say Goodbye to Software Updates?


OnePlus 8

OnePlus has carved a niche for itself in the smartphone market since its inception in 2014, offering high-performance devices at competitive prices. Their latest flagship, the OnePlus 12, has garnered positive reviews, showcasing the brand’s continued focus on innovation. However, recent developments regarding software updates for older models raise questions about long-term user experience.

OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro Reach End of Software Support: Time to Upgrade or Hold On?

OnePlus 8

While OnePlus strives to integrate cutting-edge features like artificial intelligence (AI) into its devices, software support for some older models has come to an end. This article specifically focuses on the update policy for the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, launched in 2020.

Farewell to OxygenOS Updates for the OnePlus 8 Series

The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro marked a return to form for the company after a period of price hikes with previous models. These flagship devices received consistent software support, culminating in the recent upgrade to Android 13 with OxygenOS 13. However, in a recent announcement on their community forums, OnePlus confirmed that this will be the final major update for these phones.

The statement reads: “As you may already know, with the release of OxygenOS 13.1.0. 587, we have officially fulfilled our lifecycle maintenance promise for the OnePlus 8/8Pro.”

This signifies the end of the software update cycle for the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. While critical security patches might be rolled out in case of major vulnerabilities, users shouldn’t expect new features or functionality updates. Currently, the aforementioned firmware includes the April 2024 security patch and is being deployed on Indian models first, with a global rollout expected in the coming weeks.

Comparing Update Policies: OnePlus vs. the Competition

While the OnePlus 8 series received a respectable four years of updates (two major OS upgrades and four years of security patches), it falls short compared to some competitors offering more extended support. Samsung, for instance, boasts a seven-year update policy for their latest Galaxy S24 family, while Google commits to providing approximately seven Android updates for the Pixel 8.

Should You Upgrade from the OnePlus 8 Series?

The decision to upgrade ultimately depends on individual needs and usage patterns. Here’s a breakdown of factors to consider:

  • Android 13 Remains Current: The OnePlus 8 series runs Android 13, which is a relatively recent version of the operating system. This ensures access to most current apps and functionalities.
  • Security Updates: The final update includes the April 2024 security patch, offering a degree of protection for the foreseeable future. However, with the end of official support, the phone might become more vulnerable to security exploits as newer threats emerge.
  • Performance: The processor capabilities of the OnePlus 8 series remain largely robust and should continue to handle daily tasks and most applications.
  • Personal Preference: Upgrading to a newer device often means sacrificing familiarity with the user interface and functionalities. If you’re comfortable with the current setup and satisfied with the performance, continuing to use the OnePlus 8 might be a viable option.

Alternatives for Budget-Conscious OnePlus Fans

For those hesitant to make a significant investment in a high-end flagship upgrade, OnePlus offers budget-friendly alternatives like the OnePlus Nord 3. This phone caters to users seeking a balance between price and performance, potentially serving as a suitable replacement for the aging OnePlus 8 series.

Looking Forward: The Future of OnePlus Software Support

The ending of software support for the OnePlus 8 series highlights a critical consideration when purchasing a smartphone. While OnePlus still offers a competitive update policy, the industry is witnessing a trend of longer software support cycles from key players.

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For users prioritizing long-term software updates and security patches, carefully researching a phone’s update policy before purchase becomes increasingly important. This ensures continued access to the latest features, functionality, and security protections.

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By understanding the implications of OnePlus’s update policy for the OnePlus 8 series, users can make informed decisions. Whether it’s holding on to a familiar device or exploring upgrade options, prioritizing individual needs and preferences remains key in navigating the ever-evolving smartphone landscape.

Extending the Life of Your Outdated Smartphone: Tips and Tricks

OnePlus 8 Pro smartphones for selfies

While a phone reaching the end of its software support cycle might seem like a reason for an upgrade, there are ways to extend its usability and mitigate security risks. Here are some tips and tricks for users with smartphones outside their official support period:

Security First:

  • Prioritize Updates: Although major updates might cease, keep an eye out for any critical security patches released by the manufacturer. Install them promptly to address newly discovered vulnerabilities.
  • Third-Party Security Apps: Consider reputable third-party antivirus and anti-malware applications. These can offer additional protection against emerging threats, but choose them carefully to avoid bloatware or intrusive functionalities.
  • Scrutinize App Permissions: Be cautious about the permissions granted to downloaded apps. Only allow access to functionalities strictly necessary for their operation. Revisit app permissions periodically and revoke unnecessary access.
  • Beware of Unverified Sources: Download apps only from trusted sources like the official app store (Google Play Store for Android, App Store for iOS). Avoid downloading apps from untrusted websites or third-party stores, as they might harbor malware.

Optimizing Performance:

  • Storage Management: Regularly review your phone’s storage and delete unnecessary files, apps, and data. Utilize cloud storage for media and backups to free up internal storage space.
  • Background App Management: Limit the number of apps running in the background. This can help conserve battery life and improve overall performance.
  • Disable Unnecessary Features: Deactivate features you don’t use, such as location services for rarely used apps or Bluetooth when not needed. This can save battery power and potentially reduce processing load.
  • Lighten the Load: Consider using “lite” versions of resource-intensive apps, if available. These versions are often designed for older devices and consume fewer resources.

Exploring Alternatives:

  • Custom ROMs (Android Only): For tech-savvy users, installing a custom ROM (custom firmware) can breathe new life into an older Android phone. Custom ROMs offer access to newer versions of Android not officially supported by the manufacturer. However, installing a custom ROM carries inherent risks and requires technical expertise. Thorough research is crucial before attempting this.
  • Alternative App Stores: Explore alternative app stores that cater to older devices. These stores might host older versions of apps that still function on your phone. However, exercise caution and only download apps from reputable sources within these alternative stores.

Remember:

  • Security Risks: While these tips can extend a phone’s usability, understand that an unsupported device is inherently more vulnerable to security exploits.
  • Weighing Options: Replacing the battery might offer a performance boost, but weigh the cost against potential upgrade options.
  • Repurposing Possibilities: Consider repurposing your outdated phone for a specific function. It can become a dedicated music player, e-reader, or a remote control for smart home devices.

By implementing these strategies, you can get some extra mileage out of your unsupported smartphone while prioritizing security and optimizing performance. However, it’s important to acknowledge the inherent limitations of using an outdated device and consider a well-timed upgrade for optimal security and features.

Disclaimer: We may be compensated by some of the companies whose products we talk about, but our articles and reviews are always our honest opinions. For more details, you can check out our editorial guidelines and learn about how we use affiliate links.

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