Potential Oppo buyers be warned: if being on the latest version of Android is important to you, Oppo devices might not be the best choice. Oppo has officially noted that they will not be providing a Lollipop update for the R819, N1, and Find 5. Oppo has essentially relegated these devices obsolete, at least from a software standpoint. Considering they are not very old this is very unfortunate news for their owners, as they will have to buy a new smartphone to get a taste of some Lollipop sugar.
The oldest of the bunch, the Find 5, is a well-designed flagship grade phone released in February, 2013 with a $485 price tag; while not as expensive as some flagships it wasn’t exactly a cheap phone by any means. Aside from a solid design and specs it didn’t really offer any innovative features other than having a competitive price point. The R819 was the next doomed device to be released. The well-specced mid-ranger was released in September of 2013 for $349; a fairly reasonable asking price for a solid mid-range smartphone. Oppo’s premier flagship of 2013, the N1, was released in December; if you recall it had a rear facing camera with the nifty ability to flip around and be used as a selfie cam. Being Oppo’s premium offering it also came with a price befitting a flagship smartphone: $599.
None of these phones are low-end and are less than two years old, except for the Find 5, which just past the two-year mark. They are all quite expensive to boot, which makes Oppo’s recent decision quite shocking and begs the question: are they deliberately trying to drive away owners who could potentially become loyal customers if treated well? The N1 cost their owners $599 and is exactly one year and five months old; Oppo is not giving a device of this age and caliber the treatment it deserves. For comparison’s sake, my HTC One M7 is two years and one month old and I have been running Lollipop for over three months already, as are many other older smartphones. Software updates are very important and Oppo certainly has room to improve in this area.
This also raises questions regarding Oppo’s upcoming flagship, the R7, which is slated for a release on May 20th. While all the leaks and official teasers we have seen regarding the R7 suggest it will be a beast of a smartphone with a breath-taking aluminum unibody, Oppo hasn’t established a strong track record when it comes to maintaining their devices over the long-term. Given how much Oppo has riding on the success of the R7 this certainly does not bode well for the company as this may give pause to potential customers. Hopefully Oppo figures this out sooner than later, for their own sake and their users.