Every single day, it’s like you’re waking up in a nightmare. You’re about to buy a new smartphone and remember that half of the world’s devices, more than a billion of them, are outdated. You’re feeling desperate, run around the house and ask yourself again and again: how can you buy a smartphone that has the best chance of receiving the latest Android updates? Sit down and listen, because we have some vital advice for you.
The tips that we’ll share may seem very basic, but bear in mind that it’s difficult to remember all the criteria for a good purchase. So before you buy anything, stop and take the opportunity to refresh your memory.
Check the history of the manufacturer’s series
It’s an old tradition. Before making a purchase, look up everything you want to know about the device on the internet. In addition to its complete configuration and reviews, you may also encounter production issues and specific information about how regularly the brand receives updates.
And don’t assume that because a brand updates a device that it will update all of its smartphones; quite the opposite is true. It is much smarter to look for the rate a specific product line gets updates. For example, it’s far more likely that Samsung will upgrade its S line in comparison to its J line.
Check the line’s history with other users
Though it’s important to check a brand’s tradition of updating their devices, it’s also crucial to see what users are saying too. Look for online communities that follow the device or the brand, and see what users are saying.
You can check our forum, but you can also search for Facebook, Google+ or Telegram groups. Users often provide more accurate information than manufacturers, which always promise more than they provide, and which despite official information are always slow to update some devices.
Buy a flagship this year
Okay, we know that not everyone has the money for it, but this is one of our most valid tips and it should be taken into account. If you’re the kind of person who cares a lot about having a device that is as up-to-date as possible, it might be worth spending a bit more and having a top-range smartphone.
It’s also wise to wait at least a month before buying a new device. This will allow you to learn more about it and its possible defects, and the price could also go down considerably. Top brands like Samsung, LG, and Sony will certainly receive at least one update and are more likely to receive a second one as well (and if you’re lucky, maybe even a third). Apart from that, they usually reach the market with the latest version of Android, which cheaper lines are usually lacking.
Shop for better known brands that have higher sales
This is a tip that may seem obvious, but that matters a lot. Many smaller companies launch only a few devices and have little or no concern about upgrading their products. These devices are often generic, with designs that are bought in China and are then resold in other countries.
And of course, these smaller companies may end up upgrading their smartphones, but the odds are always low. So go for brands like Sony, LG and Samsung (or Xiaomi, OnePlus, Google and Huawei), which will provide some reassurance that you’ll receive an Android update. Just be sure to check the other items on this list as well.
Choose devices with Android One or from Google
Here’s a tip that’s a little less simple and that may require some research. If you really want faster and more frequent updates on Android, it’s good to consider devices that come with Android One or pure Android stock. Check out the article below to get more detailed information:
In the U.S. you can now purchase a Motorola Moto X4 or HTC U11 Life with Android One. And in other regions, there are a handful of other devices available with Android One, including the Nokia 7 Plus, Nokia 6 and Nokia 8 Sirocco. You can also choose devices in Google’s Pixel line, which come with the purest Android software and receive the fastest updates.
Don't buy from carriers
It’s sad, but true. Unfortunately, the devices sold by mobile carriers end up having an extra layer of difficulty when it comes to receiving system updates. Each time an update arrives on an unlocked device, it will need to go through another round of settings to incorporate carrier apps, system settings, and possible functions. This isn't always the case, as for example, the Galaxy Note 8 received Oreo on carrier versions slightly earlier. But nonetheless, it's still a good rule of thumb. Just don't forget to research the manufacturer's history as noted above.
- Android P: Which smartphones and tablets will get the update?
- Why you should still consider buying the first Pixel
The article above will tell you which devices will get an update to Android P, but what you really need to know is that in the end, the same model of a device may end up not getting an update from its operator, even if the unlocked version receives an update. It is therefore best to avoid any doubt and purchase the device unlocked.
What do you think of our tips? Do you know of any other tricks to make sure you’ll have an up-to-date smartphone?