My pixel3 is nearing EOL, the pixel6 with 5 year updates would be nice except for a) that humongous camera bulge and b) I suspect a matching price
The pixel 5a would do me fine, except they've stuck two fingers up to the UK, I'm not going to buy a pixel 4a 5G and get only 2 years support unless they seriously discount it, so well done google, aimed square at your own feet ...
Other than the fact the replacement cycle for phones is now around four years, so even though 5G coverage was just rolling out last year, by the time you do a phone replacement it'll have been widely available for three years. But 5G really is of little benefit on a phone, at least in terms of theoretical data speeds unless you're using the phone as a hotspot, and even then some carriers throttle hotspot data on unlimited plans. Where 5G is also nice is that LTE towers are sometimes capacity constrained, whereas there are so few people using 5G that you don't have the congestion that is often present on LTE.
Andy Burns is not like nospam so if he's "worried" about updates, then there must be something to his worries, even as I feel I get too many of them.
Given Android is updated like most other operating systems (where none are updated the way iOS is), it would be interesting to see how much of Android
11 and Android 12 isn't updated essentially forever nowadays.
We have to keep in mind updates on Android are similar to those of most other operating systems in that many Android core modules are updated outside of the OEM (just like Windows core is updated outside of Dell or Lenovo).
Is it currently around 80% of Android? 90%? I don't know but it's a lot. (It's 25 core modules in Android 12 and 24 in Android 11 that I have.)
All of those, AFAIK, are _also_ donated to the Android Open Source Project (which is why it's a "double forever" on the support of core components).
Many of the firmware modules are updated outside the carrier (just as they are with Windows PC's) unlike iOS where _everything_ requires Apple in it.
And just as with Windows, Android key default apps are almost all (if not all!) available asynchronously via Google Play, again, updated essentially forever (again, unlike iOS where that update stops well before forever).
It would be interesting to figure out exactly how _little_ of Android is updated now (in Android 10, 11, and 12) the way it was in the olden days via the carriers and their outdated push methods.
You are correct, where my carrier only gives me a puny 5GB of free 5G hotspotting, and then, after that 5GB is used up per month per phone, they say they won't drop me but they can lower the speeds to a measly 2G if the network tower I'm using for hotspotting connections is considered "congested" that month.
Since I have so many of these free phones, I can swap them about and get
15GB to 20GB of this free 5G hotspotting, but after that, it's down to 2G.
One place I've been having success swapping out these free 5G phones is with the 8 PG&E power outages this month alone (two outages a week, each for about a day).
The batteries on Android phones are huge nowadays, so the phones last for days but if the outage comes at a bad time, you can swap the SIM card into another phone which has a five amp hour battery, so you never need to charge because that can last through two subsequent PG&E power outages.
(Normally we only get one power outage a month for about a day each, but now it's getting to twice a week for about a day each, so PG&E must have changed something recently that made what was acceptable to an unacceptable level).
Luckily, Android phones usually have huge batteries, so it's not so bad. The WISP's have battery backups so we still have Internet connectivity, although I pity the people who have cable as I'm told Comcast does not.