With Huawei effectively losing Android updates on phones like the P30 Pro due to US trade restrictions, many owners face a difficult choice. Short of installing unofficial firmware, they have to either forego OS upgrades entirely or replace an otherwise fully functional device to keep the software flowing.
That’s an unusual circumstance, but it does raise a question: how important are major Android updates, anyway? It might not be as clear-cut as you think.
You’ll undoubtedly miss out on significant interface and feature upgrades, and you could be exposed to security flaws that can’t be fixed by typical patches. And simply speaking, it doesn’t feel great to be neglected — you don’t want to buy a phone stuck on one OS when other devices (especially higher-end phones from the same manufacturer) will stay current for years.
Community firmware like Lineage OS can sometimes bridge the gap, but it’s not always an option depending on your handset.
At the same time, large OS updates aren’t as crucial as they used to be. Google Play Services can sometimes deliver features that used to require full-on Android revisions, and security updates are more likely coming even after the major revisions stop. So long as you can still run the apps you need and enjoy the interface you have, you might not be under much pressure to update at all.
How do you feel, though? Would you be satisfied buying a phone knowing it would never get a major Android update, or would you rather settle for less-than-ideal hardware knowing the software will get better over time?