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Buying an old Android phone: does Android version matter? – AskYuga #38

Good day po! Ask lang , ano magandang batayan sa pagpili ng Tablet or Phone sa aspect ng android version. Kasi balak ko bumili ng older models para mura pero worried na baka di siya supported ng most apps in coming yrs say 4yrs from now. Just want an idea on this. Thank you. –Arvick Porg

The latest Android version at the time of writing is Android 14, with Android 15 on the horizon. As new versions roll out, older ones eventually reach their end-of-life, mainly missing out to crucial security patches.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean apps become incompatible with older Android versions.

For example, Google Play Services, a core software suite on every Android device, still supports Android Lollipop (5.0), released in 2014, even though it stopped receiving security updates in 2018. This suggests that many existing apps likely have a minimum Android version requirement of 5.0 or higher.

It’s important to note that support eventually ends. Google Play Services support for Android KitKat (4.4) ended in 2023 after 10 years, and support for Jellybean (4.1) ended in 2021. Following this pattern, Android Lollipop’s support could also end sooner or later this 2024 or by next year.

On the other hand, Android Oreo 8.0 is likely to receive Google Play Services support for at least four more years based on the current pattern.

Finding the Sweet Spot

Personally, I recommend choosing a phone with an Android version that’s at least two years behind the latest. Especially now that most Android OEMs now commit to at least two years of major OS updates for their devices (and even longer on flagship phones). This way you can expect a good balance of new features and longer support.

The recent announcement of a seven-year update policy by Samsung and Google is a positive step towards improving the longevity of Android devices, potentially matching Apple’s commendable software support for its iPhones. If other manufacturers follow suit, the future looks bright for Android users in terms of software longevity.

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