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It’s More Than a Year Since the Announcement of Snapdragon Insiders Which Is a Super Expensive Product That Is Still Not Getting Any Updates.

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Qualcomm announced last year that, rather than selling its Snapdragon chips to everyone else who makes them, it will sell its own phone under its own brand. The “Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders” was made by ASUS and had a strange mix of features, including a Snapdragon 888 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and a 1080p 144Hz OLED display for a whopping $1,500. Customers who are tempted to acquire one should be aware that it has been trapped on a now-antiquated January 2022 security patch level since March, and it is still running Android 11 from the 2020s.

A few device owners on the Snapdragon subreddit (seen by XDA Developers) have recently begun complaining about the issue, with one chronicling the updating experience in simple terms. The phone’s most recent update (version WW-18.1055.2201.203) was released on March 18th, 2022.

That upgrade brought the phone up to the January 2022 security patch level, which is already six months out of date, as many Google and Samsung devices are running June 2022 patch levels. Customers concerned about security should be concerned about this out-of-date patch level, but it’s not the only issue. The regularity with which Qualcomm’s Insiders phone receives updates has also been a problem.

According to our investigation, the phone received its most recent update on December 9th, 2021. It used to get monthly upgrades with long lists of bug patches, but the new schedule suggests Qualcomm is moving to a quarterly update paradigm. That frequency is fine for a $150 budget phone, but not for a $1,500 super-flagship designed to showcase Qualcomm’s capabilities. The phone was promised four years of “regular” security upgrades at launch, but this seemingly unpredictable 1-3 month timeframe is far from “regular.”

Android 11, which was released in 2020, is still running on the phone. Despite the fact that most comparably priced flagship phones have been updated to Android 12, and some are even beta testing Android 13, this is still the case.

Qualcomm’s reasoning for selling its own-branded phone was never clear, and we have to presume it didn’t sell in large quantities, but it’s perplexing that Qualcomm would be unable to keep up with gadget updates. After all, it maintains a lot of the software and board support packages (BSPs, or base software for Qualcomm’s hardware parts that allows Android to work) that other firms use to create their device updates. Qualcomm has a hand in updating a slew of other devices.

Qualcomm has been contacted for more information. “The next security patch will be released on 6/20, and new ones will be released every 2-3 months after that,” a Qualcomm-affiliated user account on Reddit recently responded to the post, claiming that “the next security patch will be released on 6/20, and new units will be released every 2-3 months after that.” Frustrated gadget users won’t have to wait long for a new update, but the question remains as to what patch level it will provide and whether a 2-3 month wait for future upgrades is reasonable considering the amount they paid.

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