More and more Android manufacturers give seven years of updates: the European removable battery law makes more sense than ever

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That a mobile phone is updated for many years is good news, but what is truly important is that both software and hardware are designed to extend its useful life.

 

Not too long ago there were authentic high-end like the family Samsung Galaxy S20 that in just a couple of years they ran out of updates. And let’s see, technically the fact that a cell phone does not have updates does not mean that it becomes a paperweight, but it stings when you have spent hundreds of euros and it has important consequences. Fortunately on Android the batteries have already been put in place with the updates and brands like Google or Samsung already offer up to seven years.

After having a phone in my hands for more than half my life and dedicating myself professionally to it, I am part of the team of Kinder Liu, the president of OnePlus, who compare phones to sandwiches: Is the filling of a sandwich still good seven years after making it?

Short answer: no. In fact, I think it is more of a marketing and breast-feeding measure than to benefit users… if all it offers is that. Let me explain: seven years is a lot of years for hardware, even if it is high-end and of course, it is longer than I think. A phone lasts for most of us. Liu talks about the user experience, but there is another issue: the deterioration of any device, something inherent to its use.

Seven years of updates yes, please. But more is needed

I change my phone every two years due to my work and love of technology, but the same does not happen in my environment: I think about my partner and his Google Pixel 6 Pro who enjoys like the first day, my mother and her LITTLE M3my sister with some entry-level Realme from a couple of years ago. Most people I know change their cell phone. When theirs dies, has big problems or they are left without it.

With some exceptions, most of my environment meets the conclusion of this Milanuncios study from 2022, that is, it belongs to that majority of people in Spain who spent less than 300 euros. It’s not a secret that cheap phones age worse than high-end phones (having the latest of the latest and high-end hardware is largely to blame), but Even having a flagship, the years end up weighing you down. Let’s take as an example the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, an almighty model with those seven years of promised updates.

So even in the most favorable scenario for durability, which is having everything high-end, in seven years we will clearly not have that design that sets the trend and there will probably be some new function that it can no longer integrate because it is simply incompatible, but yes. You have been using that mobile for seven years, it is going to there are components that impeccably they’re going to be destroyed.

The clearest part is the battery. As an iPhone user on a personal level and who has not always changed phones so frequently, I know that this and the lack of space were the endemic evil of Apple devices. On Android, space should not be a problem, but it does share the problem of battery drain and this is seasoned by fast charging, a function that many Android manufacturers are betting heavily on.

As a result, it is likely that after three or at most four years the battery will last so little that you will have to take the plug with you everywhere. And the time comes to ask the question: Should I change the battery or buy another one? Each person is different in terms of economic possibilities and needs placed in their terminal. Let’s assume that the phone still performs well and we are not very demanding.

If you spent 200 euros on the phone and when you take it to a SAT they tell you that it is 30 euros, you might think about it. If you spent a thousand and it costs 100, you might think about it more. But if changing the battery is something that easy How to buy a more or less standard component and exchange it yourself without much mystery, extra parts or great technical knowledge, the balance is clearly going to lean towards yes. Here we will have to thank the EU and its “removable” battery law, which will come into force sooner rather than later.

So seven years of updates yes please. But if it is also done from the strategy of reducing waste, increasing useful life and ultimately, against planned obsolescence, the better. This implies that it should be accompanied by those measures that make life easier so that phones stay in good conditioneven anticipating that law that is not yet in force.

The modularity Today it is something anecdotal and exceptional that we have seen in FairPhone or in some Nokia, but getting closer to that strategy is what will make those seven years of updates a more sensible proposal than a marketing claim.

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Mubashir Hassan
Expert in tech and gaming, blending industry insights with expertise