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Opinion | Samsung’s replace coverage calls for a response

Samsung has reportedly prolonged its replace help coverage of chosen units by tacking on an extra Android model and one other yr of safety updates! You may theoretically use these new units of the S22 collection till 2027 and nonetheless be on the ball. However can we even need that? And is Samsung attempting to distract customers from the precise drawback with this new replace coverage? As a thought experiment, I am going to take a hypercritical take a look at Samsung’s replace miracle!

There have been already rumors a couple of additional extension of Samsung’s replace coverage within the run-up to the Galaxy S22 launch. Just a few days later, it was confirmed: The brand new Galaxy S22 units will obtain safety updates all the way in which till 2027, and also will obtain the working system updates all the way in which to Android 16. The euphoria surrounding this piece of reports went via the ceiling amongst know-how media like wildfire. However does that even make sense for the buyer?

In my commentary, I want to take a look at Samsung’s replace assure from afar and never solely try the theoretical figuring out, but in addition the fact of the state of affairs. Did Samsung’s replace extension coverage occur on the proper time, and are there no different hurdles aside from the replace guarantee that must be thought-about for an extended smartphone life?

Is the replace extension coverage only a crimson herring?

If in case you have been following my articles in regards to the Galaxy S22 collection, you already know my displeasure surrounding the Galaxy S22 launch. As I wrote within the final version of Winners and Losers, I had a queasy feeling on the way in which residence from the S22 launch occasion in Berlin. Samsung’s new smartphones appeared to comprise too little innovation and are too boring to be introduced as new flagships, regardless of being seen by many as one of many fundamental innovation drivers within the smartphone trade.

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The brand new Galaxy S22 fashions look similar to their predecessors. / © NextPit

Other than the redesign of the Galaxy S22 Extremely, behind which I think recycled the blueprints of a cancelled Observe mannequin, there was little else that was actually new. Certain, we find yourself with higher cameras, higher construct supplies, and the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. Samsung merely didn’t handle to supply thrilling smartphones in 2022.

It’s comprehensible that many colleagues subsequently highlighted the prolonged software program help, and that appeared to me as a security web of types to assist make headlines across the S22 launch. As a result of the knowledge that Samsung truly hardly affords something new is overshadowed by the prolonged software program help. As a result of the truth that Samsung delivers longer updates than Google itself is extra thrilling than the truth that the S22 collection doesn’t provide a lot new.

Longevity doesn’t solely imply extra updates

Whereas I can completely perceive Samsung’s replace extension for advertising and marketing causes, I do not see how this characteristic equates to an extended smartphone lifespan. After all, after 4 years of use, it is nice to get one other yr of safety updates. However how doubtless is it {that a} machine from the S22 collection will even be used for that lengthy?

On the one hand, such costly smartphones are bought solely by tech fans and/or within the context of smartphone contracts anyway. And in each circumstances, such handsets are changed by a brand new machine after one or two years. Along with the monetary resolution, the love for brand spanking new applied sciences additionally performs a significant position for techies, not like the updates, the place the “novelty” of an S22 is not going to final 5 years.

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Would you continue to use the Galaxy S8 in 2022? The smartphone was launched 5 years in the past. / © NextPit

However, the {hardware} of the S22 collection specifically doesn’t appear designed to work satisfactorily for 5 years. We will see this finest within the Galaxy S22’s battery capability, which has shrunk as soon as once more this yr from 4,000 to only 3,700 mAh hours. The battery capacities of the opposite two fashions are bigger, however are alleged to be charged sooner by an non-obligatory buy of a extra highly effective charger from Samsung.

As you may learn in my information in regards to the potential hurt quick-charging has in smartphones, the load finally turns into noticeable after two years because the battery capability decreases. Here’s a private anecdote: my Google Pixel 3 XL got here with a battery capability of three,430 mAh hours after buy. After three years of use, I needed to cost it twice a day – or use a powerbank.

Pre-order Galaxy S22 collection

The battery life is accompanied by Samsung’s new recycling marketing campaign, which claims to make use of recycled fishing nets, whereas providing extra fragile plastic components within the S22 collection. Samsung revealed in an interview that recycled plastic would solely be utilized in sure elements as a result of Samsung couldn’t sufficiently guarantee the standard of such materials itself. And these extra fragile elements make sure that the repairability of the S22 collection is decreased additional – a minimum of in idea.

Thus, Samsung must depend on an idea just like the one we see within the Fairphone 4 for an extended lifespan: with replaceable elements and inexpensive alternative components that may simply be ordered by way of the Web. Nonetheless, that might be on the expense of the price-performance ratio, and nobody may wish to see an S22 with a Fairphone design. 

Complaining mode turned off: Conclusion

On this commentary, I’ve intentionally taken a very important stance with a view to place the replace technique below a microscope regardless of being praised by many. So what’s left if we had been to attract a line at this level?

After all, there may be nothing flawed with Samsung delivering longer Android updates than some other producer. I don’t wish to specific opinion in with this text, regardless of being a complainer. That is particularly because it turned obvious final yr that different producers like Xiaomi reacted to Samsung’s replace technique and adopted go well with. When Samsung dared to do one thing and makes constructive headlines within the course of, it has a huge impact on the smartphone trade. And if these modifications are constructive, then it’s in flip, a constructive level for all Android customers.

Nonetheless, I predict that our “Goodbye S22” article a couple of ultimate safety replace is not going to curiosity anybody 5 years down the highway. The fashions which are offered now may have quick battery runtimes to garner any curiosity, and the Galaxy S27 by then can be too tempting to withstand. The goal group for high-end smartphones is just too focused on innovative smartphones to stroll round in 2027 with a tool from 2022. 

Longer software program help makes extra sense to me within the value vary the place folks see smartphones as a method to an finish. I do know many non-techies who would favor to arrange a smartphone as soon as after which by no means change it once more. On the identical time, these individuals are not prepared to purchase a smartphone for $799, $999, and $1,199. Even the Fairphone for just below €600 (round $680) is simply too costly in case you are not totally dedicated to sustainability.

On the identical time, new developments and applied sciences at all times start with the costliest smartphones earlier than trickling all the way down to the cheaper fashions. So am I being too important in my try to put Samsung’s prolonged replace help to the sword? What do you consider this growth?

For those who vote within the ballot above, I want to ask that you just share your opinion on the topic within the feedback. Am I too important of the subject and is all of it about having the ability to use new smartphones for an extended time period in idea? I’m trying ahead to it!

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