Buying an Android phone

Back in February of this year, Motorola said:

And while other smartphones in this category don’t always support upgrades, we won’t forget about you, and we’ll make sure your Moto E stays up to date after you buy it.

If you think that means you’ll be getting an up-to-date Android 6 release, well, think again. Just 219 days later, Motorola have stopped providing updates.

Did you buy Motorola’s high end Moto X to use on Verizon or AT&T last year? No updates for you either.

This is one of the things that sucks about buying an Android phone. There is an answer: always buy a Nexus device. That’s what I do. Unfortunately, it means you only have the choice of one or two phones in any given year.

There are some other companies who do a good job of shipping updates. Sony take a long time, but eventually provide updates — but Sony have given up on selling their phones in the US, which is a shame because the Z3 Mini is exactly what I want in a phone. HTC allegedly do a good job of providing updates, but their phones have poor camera quality and an ugly reskinned version of Android.

I originally went with Android for one simple reason: Apple wouldn’t let me run whatever I want on my own devices. That, to me, was a deal-killer. With iOS 9, they’ve finally offered us keys to get out of the jail: with Xcode 7, you can sideload. So I decided to consider the option of switching to iOS.

And then I looked at the price of an iPhone. $550 for the iPhone 6 (to at least match the features of my current phone), or $329 a year for the annual upgrade subscription program. Yeah… or I could get a Nexus 5X for $379 with a better camera and USB-C instead of a stupid proprietary connector, keep it for 2-3 years, and not have the hassle of switching. That sounds much better, so I think I’ll wait to see what the 5X’s battery life is like in tests and make a final decision.