Consumer Reports just put out its yearly “Best Smartphones” list, crowning Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max as the best option. What about the affordable end of the spectrum? OnePlus managed to take that crown with its affordable Nord N10 and N100 models, but Consumer Reports forgot to mention the absolutely awful update policy that come with these phones.

For many searching for a new smartphone, or really any product, Consumer Reports is a trusted name to get that information from. That’s why it’s always interesting to see what phones the organization names as its top option. Focusing its results on the US, it comes as no surprise at all that the iPhone 12 Pro Max holds the top spot. After all, it’s a great device with speedy performance, one of the best mobile cameras, and 5G support. Consumer Reports specifically chose the Max, though, thanks to its longer battery life and 2.5x zoom camera.

What about Android? Breaking out a specific “Best Android phone” section, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was chosen as the best option by Consumer Reports. It was the S Pen that gave the Note an edge over its similarly-spec’d S21 series.

The remaining two categories for this list talk about the “Best Budget Phone” and the “Best Phone for All-Day Battery Life.” The OnePlus Nord N10 5G and N100 took these spots, respectively. The N10 was picked for its “excellent” battery life, “good” cameras, and 5G support. Meanwhile, the N100 got its award for 48.5 hours of battery life, beating out the Galaxy A71 and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

What this report fails to mention entirely, though, is the truly pathetic support OnePlus is offering these phones.

Both launched with an outdated version of Android and were promised only a single major update, effectively abandoning proper support in less than a year. The $200 and $300 price tags, big displays, and specs on paper are mighty-tempting, as carrier sales have already shown, but it’s a hard pill to swallow when you realize they’ll be abandoned so quickly.

Software updates aren’t really one of those selling points that gets people in the door, but they’re a crucial part of any purchase. It’s a shame to see OnePlus doing its customers wrong with such horrible support, especially when competitors like the Galaxy A51 will get up to four years of updates and the excellent Pixel 4a will get three years of timely updates as well. Don’t expect a OnePlus flagship to do much better, either. It’s also sad to see such a big organization just ignoring this point entirely as well.

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Ben Schoon

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