The new ZenFone 8 comes closest to the mini Android flagship we've been longing for, even though it’s nothing like its big brother with its radical flipping camera mechanism. Both 2021 ZenFone flagships are barely a week old, but the company has already released a big software update, which comes with a slew of new features and general improvements.
HMD Global's Nokia phones come with some of the cleanest Android builds around, but that still doesn't make the company the fastest to update its devices. Despite a roadmap shared with users last year, some of the phones slated for Android 11 still haven't received new software versions. To better reflect when updates might actually be ready, Nokia has expanded its roadmap up to Q3 and added a couple of new devices onto its list.
Android smartphone makers are only now starting to catch up to Apple’s excellent software support. Samsung was among the first major players to commit to three years of OS updates last year (many now get four years of security updates as well), and several more brands have since made similar promises. The latest to join the list is OnePlus sister company Vivo, but its update policy isn’t as expansive as Samsung’s.
OnePlus isn't the nimble startup it used to be, and its update policy has taken a turn for the worse in the last couple of years, especially for phones that aren't the latest flagships anymore. After months of radio silence, the company has finally confirmed when Android 11 will hit the OnePlus 6 and the 6T — but it's further out than you'd hope.
While T-Mobile has the latest Samsung and OnePlus smartphones on offer, it also sells its own brand of REVVL handsets that are aimed at the budget segment. One of these phones, the REVVL 4+, has now received the Android 11 update.
OnePlus's newest pair of phones won't be available to the public until next Thursday, which gives the company plenty of time to squash some bugs in their software. Both the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro are getting updates in advance of their official arrival in hopes of making each device a little more stable.
The lone big promoter of Google’s Android One program, Nokia, made big promises about timely device updates, but it’s been falling behind on those commitments for its flagship. However, that doesn’t mean it’s leaving its entry-level and budget phones in the lurch. The two-year-old Nokia 3.2 is receiving its Android 11 update as planned.
Samsung has managed to surprise its staunchest skeptics by becoming exceptionally agile with software updates of late. Not only has it kept its promise of delivering Android 11 to its devices, but it's also showcased its commitment by offering four years of security updates for most of its devices launched from 2019 onward. Further straightening up its act, Samsung is now removing some ambiguity around how often a few of its devices will get security updates.
After a bit of a hold-up, the OnePlus 7 and 7T series finally picked up their first OxygenOS 11 betas around mid-January. While the update included a host of nifty features, including the 8T’s spruced-up interface, one notable thing it left out was the always-on display function. Thankfully, the second beta adds that missing feature but with an unfortunate caveat — it's limited to the Pro models.
Some folks using the new ASUS ROG Phone 3 are having issues playing back HD content in certain apps like Netflix. The cause, as some of our more savvy readers might expect, is an issue with Android's Widevine DRM system, with some phone owners reporting that their L1 Widevine state has been lost, relegating them to standard definition playback. ASUS has now fixed the problem with a software update after initially asking customers to send in their phones to get back HD playback.