Qualcomm created a huge buzz when it launched a $1500-priced smartphone last year. Named the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders, the device was developed in partnership with ASUS. The latter was also responsible for providing software support to the phone. But almost a year on, it appears neither company cares about the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders anymore. It hasn’t received updates in months and is languishing with the January 2022 Android security patch.
At launch, Qualcomm said that its first-ever smartphone will receive four years of “regular security updates”. The company did follow up on its words for the first few months. Released in late August, the device received security updates almost every month until December. But things started to slow down after that.
The last update for the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders was released in March of this year. It brought the January security patch. So the device is currently running on a five-month-old patch while most other Android flagships have already picked up this month’s security update.
Someone pointed this out on Reddit recently, forcing Qualcomm to a statement (via). Perhaps the company had forgotten about its only phone and the Reddit thread reminded the chip giant of it. A Qualcomm representative stated that the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders will receive a new update on June 20 but didn’t specify which security patch it will get.
Even if it picks up the June patch, which we have little hope for, don’t expect any better software support going forward. The representative says the device will get new updates every two-three months. That’s far from “regular,” certainly for a phone that costs a whopping $1,500.
By contrast, the likes of Samsung and Google ship monthly security updates to devices that cost way less than that. And this support goes on for up to five years after launch. Qualcomm and ASUS, on the other hand, have already lost track within a year of the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders hitting the market.
Feature updates for the only Qualcomm phone are even rare
Considering how inconsistent Qualcomm and ASUS have been regarding security updates for the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders, you’ve probably guessed that the phone receives even fewer feature updates. And you’re right. Debuted with Android 11, the device has no signs of getting Android 12 anytime soon. Perhaps it’s unclear if the device will get any major Android OS updates at all.
The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders’ price tag is already hard to justify even though it offers flagship-grade specs. And with such pathetic software support, we wonder if any “Snapdragon Insiders” would want to get this phone.