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"The Pixel 4a release is overdue. The Pixel 3a was launched at Google I/O in May 2019, and many were expecting Google to announce the follow-up around the same time this year."

Post on DigitalTrends

Not that I'm buying but is this the new standard? Every phone is only usable for a year if you want to stay with the latest? Call me old-fashioned but I've been using mine for a few years now with no intention to switch any time soon!

@yarmo The biggest issue for me is the crappy support lifetime of Android phones. I have a Moto Z2 Play. Released in 2017, the last security update was in June 2019. Basically now it's just one major Android flaw away from being unusable as main phone, and who knows how many minor and hidden exploits there are that I'm just wishing aren't used against it.

If I did buy a phone right now I'd get a Nokia, but even their track record is mostly untested.

@nicd didn't think about that, that's appalling! I use Lineage OS so as long as people work on it, there will be patches and updates.

Hopefully pinephone et al are ready for daily driver soon…

@yarmo Looks like no Lineage for Z2P. :( Or there is an unofficial version but people seem to have lots of problems and I don't have time to keep fixing my phone and dealing with missing features.

Phone manufacturers should be required to provide at least 5 years of support IMO.

Just like every YouTube video has "pls like and subscribe" almost every phone review videos has "manufacturer promises 2 years of update, so that is good".

I am using Resmi Note 4 which was released in 2017 Jan and stock ROM received updates for 2 years but even latest update didn't fix overheating (killing battery on first sight) problem.

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@nicd @yarmo

Battery life improved as soon as I switched to Lineage.

I am happy that Lineage team supported this device for 3 years. I'm on a AOSP 10 fork (Havoc OS) now.
This phone had 4000mAh battery when I bought it and recent battery health showed that it degraded about 25%, currently can provide 3000mAh power.

Unlike MIUI (stock ROM), :lineageos: and HavocOS don't require charging +2 times a day and phone can remain cool.

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@nicd @yarmo

@nicd @yarmo unlockable bootloader is a requirement when I'm picking a new phone. Running Lineage or any other AOSP builds lands you a longer lifetime of using the device vs remaining on stock. I think most Nokia phones now are unlockable. I don't have a preference to any particular brand either, tend to make my choice based on what hardware and specs I can get for my budget. Realme XT my current phone, prefer it over my Moto G7 & S8+.

@yarmo I have a OnePlus5, bought roughly at launch, and I'm tempted to switch just because I'd like some of the new tech, not because I need to (and in fact I probably won't for another while).

Some brands (like Samsung) degrade so much that after 3 years they are barely usable (crappy software).

I think it's more an expectation that new phone models are available, though, rather than "change every year". Still doesn't make too much sense, but a bit more.

@yarmo it reminds me (of all things) of the market for Dungeons and Dragons supplements: after the deluge of products in the early 80s, TSR created the expectation that there would be MANY supplements.

So, for a part of the hobby, a game that didn't have a supplement every few months would be described as "dead"... even if the product was perfectly fine and didn't really need supplements.

This mid-range phone of mine (Mi Note 4) is 3 years old and it still is a complete package in terms of features.
Switching to custom ROM helped with battery life as well. I would rather give 5$ to a FOSS project such as :lineageos2: Lineage OS than buy a new 500$ phone.
@renatoram @yarmo

@murtezayesil @yarmo oh yeah when I was stuck with Samsung years ago I reflashed all of them: their software really sucks (and can drive a decent phone to the ground).

The "hey, new year, change phone!" is just a strong marketing push: the market is *completely* saturated. Everyone who needs a phone has one (roughly), so they need to "create the need" to swap. If only ppl that *need* a new phone swap, that's not a lot of phones sold 😄

@yarmo
No, people buy latest gadget. Same for nvidia and Intel, gtx 1660 is just gtx 1070 under a different name. And Intel's newer CPU just offer less than 10% speed.

@yarmo which one did you get? And the "expectation" is set to three years by Google (after which the stop providing updates)

@yarmo@fosstodon.org With Google Pixel at least you're getting a minimum 3 years of Android support and security updates. Can't say the same for majority of the Android phones out there.

@peter yeah, of course! Google's incentive is not to make you buy as many phones as possible, it's to keep you as close as possible for as long as possible to drain that juicy personal data. You're getting screwed over both ways

@yarmo@fosstodon.org Pick your poison. There are endless choices to select from that's not Google. 😃

@peter agreed! I went oneplus+lineage. Best I could possible hope for, I think. One day, we'll have those sweet sweet fully functional linux phones

@yarmo@fosstodon.org For competition and another choice for users I really do hope that day comes but I think that time has passed.

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