In terms of future proofing, is it better to have greater software support or better hardware?

LBO6051

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I'm planning on buying a new phone and the most important thing that I'm looking for is longevity, that is, to get a phone that will last as much as possible before I need to replace it, something like 4+ years.

The two phones that are within my price range and that I think will fulfil this criteria are: Poco F3 and Samsung Galaxy A52s

Now, I'm in a bit of a dilemma of deciding which of these two phones I should take, and the only thing that remains is to decide which of the features of these phones provide better future-proofing.

Poco F3 for example, comes with amazing specs for it's price range (SD870 CPU, Adreno 650 GPU, 8GB (DDR5) RAM, UFS 3.1 Storage speed) which seem to be flagship grade, and it does have IP53 rating. However, from what I've read, it does come with a weaker / sluggish software, that is, it's operating system MIUI, and less update support.

A52s on the other hand comes with weaker specs that are mostly aimed towards midrange phones (SD778 CPU, Adreno 642L GPU, 6GB (DDR4) RAM, UFS 2.1 Storage speed), but it does come with a bit more stable OS, more software support, and IP67 rating.

Both phones have specs that are overkill for my minimal use cases. I don't do a lot on my phone other than browse the net and watch YouTube videos, and I try to avoid dropping my phone on the ground and water so I'm not sure how much the IP ratings are relevant here. The only remaining factor in deciding which of these two phones I should get is whether or not taking a phone with better hardware (F3) has an advantage of taking a phone with better software support (A52s)?

On the one hand, if I take F3, I'll have better hardware, but less updates to push that hardware to it's maximum efficiency, and due to my use cases, I wonder if I should even bother with stronger specs, whereas if I take the A52s, I'm worried about the opposite, if it's midrange CPU (SD778) will be enough for those years ahead to push things through smoothly and without stutter, and if all these software updates will eat up more and more (of it's limited 6GB) memory.

I know that I'm probably overthinking this, but seeing how the prices are quite similar (with A52s being around ~30$ cheaper), in your opinion, which of these two would you take if you wish for a that will last you as long as possible?
 

B. Diddy

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Welcome to Android Central! I would lean towards longer software support, because of the important security updates, as well as getting major Android version updates. Once you get above a certain level of phone specs, I think you can be comfortable that the phone will continue to perform well for a good 3-4 years, assuming you take care of the battery. For example, I'm currently using a Pixel 3a XL (since my 3 XL died), which despite its decidedly midrange specs, still performs admirably for what I need it for. And it continues to get monthly security updates through May of next year, and should also get Android 12. (But that will probably be irrelevant, as I salivate over the Pixel 6!)
 

VidJunky

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Like others I'm not familiar with Poco devices but a quick search shows that the A52 should be eligible for Samsung's 3 OS update plan. I don't feel like you can really futureproof a device per se but consumers can try to pick devices that are expected to get more or less support as time goes by. If Poco is not promising 3 OS updates with security updates along the way hardware specs don't mean that much. IMO. Updates will change the device performance as not all updates are homeruns but knowing that system wise they aren't just putting this device out there in the world and turning their backs on it should mean something.

This is the Samsung list of devices they currently plan to update for 3 OSs from release... https://www.androidauthority.com/samsung-android-updates-1148888/
 

ras47

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I wouldn't get too hung up on specs. At least for my modest needs, mid-range hardware is sufficient. I lean towards companies with reputations for long term support and years worth of updates. I just need to make sure the hardware is going to get updates rather than get EOL. With iPhones I have gotten 4+ years of updates, and even when updates end the iPhone remains usable for several years.

Now I'm a Pixel guy, enjoying my Pixel 5. Three years should be plenty for me. As a lifelong Mac user the iPhone makes the most sense for me, and I've been using one since the 4s. My parents got their first smartphones and, against my advice, went with Pixels. As I am their on-demand tech support I figured I should stay up on the workings of Android and got a Pixel 3a XL as a backup and switch off device. Turns out I love it! The Pixel offers about the best long term support I've seen.
 

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