OnePlus Nord N10 5G and N100 will get just 'one major update' — to Android 11

OnePlus Nord N10 5G
OnePlus Nord N10 5G (Image credit: OnePlus)

What you need to know

  • OnePlus has confirmed that the Nord N10 5G and N100 will receive just one "major Android update".
  • With both phones running Android 10 out of the box, that means Android 11 is the only platform update that roll out to either device.
  • The phones will receive two years of security updates, one year less than the norm.

With the Nord N10 5G and N100, OnePlus is making its foray into the budget segment. The Nord N10 5G lowers the barrier to entry for 5G, and the N100 has modest specs and a massive battery.

Both phones are set to go on sale in the UK soon, and will debut in the U.S. in the coming weeks. OnePlus is making a big deal about how the Nord N10 5G and N100 offer the same great OxygenOS software experience as its flagships, but what makes the situation less than ideal is that the phones are running OxygenOS 10.5 based on Android 10 out of the box.

To make matters worse, the devices will receive just one guaranteed platform update and two years of security updates. Basically, OnePlus won't deliver any version updates after either device makes the switch to Android 11. A OnePlus spokesperson confirmed to Android Central that the Nord N10 5G and N100 will receive "one major Android update:"

The Nord N10 5G and N100 will receive one major Android update and a total of two years of security updates. The plan for these two devices aligns with industry standards for smartphones in more affordable price ranges. As always, we will continue listening to feedback from our users and looking for ways to improve the software experience for all OnePlus devices.

The Nord N10 5G and N100 were announced after the OnePlus 8T, which came with OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11 out of the box. So for these devices to run an older version of Android is a massive letdown, just as the fact that they won't be getting more than one platform update.

The standard update cadence for Android phones is two version updates and three years of security patches, with Motorola the only vendor currently committing to a single platform update and two years of security updates.

OnePlus effectively killed off the Nord N10 5G and N100 before they even go on sale.

We can now add OnePlus to that list, and this particular shift in policy is an unwelcome turnaround for a manufacturer that has built its entire business around its community. OxygenOS has been the key differentiator for OnePlus over the last three years, but it is shooting itself in the foot by limiting the Nord N10 5G and N100 to just one update. This move also shows that OnePlus just doesn't care about its userbase anymore.

Android manufacturers have made decent strides when it comes to updates in 2020. Samsung has committed to delivering three Android version updates to its flagships and select mid-range phones, matching Google in this particular area.

OnePlus did a good job as well, rolling out the stable OxygenOS 11 update to the OnePlus 8 series last month. For the company to now commit to a single platform update for its budget phones is inexcusable, and there's no reason to pick up the Nord N10 5G or N100 over the likes of Samsung or Nokia.

OnePlus overextended itself this year, and it has realized that it cannot deliver continual software updates to both its numbered flagship series and the Nord lineup. The manufacturer already released three phones in the Nord series in under six months and is working on a fourth model dubbed the Nord SE.

So it is now leaving its budget phones in the lurch to focus on flagships. OnePlus is making its intensions clear here, and you can do the same by voting with your wallet and picking up any other budget phone instead of the new Nords.

Samsung Galaxy A51 Cropped

Samsung Galaxy A51

The Galaxy A51 combines a vibrant AMOLED screen with robust internal hardware, great cameras, and outstanding battery life. If you're in the market for a budget phone, you cannot go wrong with what Samsung is offering here.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.