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  Reply # 1994395 11-Apr-2018 18:20
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Ahhhh. Hadn't realised that it was just the 2018 models that were android one. Yes you are right.
Sadly they are not in with the android treble project though.
If they launched the Nokia 6 with Oreo, they would need to join project treble, but they have sneakily issued the phone with nougat, but I gather it automatically updates to Oreo pretty much as soon as you connect it.

Oh well, nothing is perfect. I will investigate it when it appears. I am hoping for a squeak under $500, but looking overseas, it could be more....




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  Reply # 1994430 11-Apr-2018 20:45
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Oh hey the update debate. Good times.

 

 

 

 

 

robjg63: 

 

I wonder how that works then. The theory is that Nokia is pushing out the updates and the telco is not involved. Maybe a telco can block somehow.

 

 

 

The telco that ranges a device approves the update before it is deployed. This is NZ, not the US (which most online info about this process relates to - US telcos operate their own OTA servers), so there's no grand conspiracies, just genuinely important stuff like making sure emergency calling and network features work as expected. The turnaround for approval takes about a week max, or it did when I worked in telco. Then it's back to the vendor, i.e. Nokia, to push the update out at their leisure. They don't tell NZ telcos when the update will actually be deployed, and I've seen that part take months.

 

 

 

There are numerous ways of gating off updates to certain groups of devices, even if those devices are running the same software build, e.g. regional for APAC. This can be done through MNC/MCC, i.e. identifying the SIM that is active in a given device, or it can be done through an IMEI range, i.e. the devices that were sold to a given channel/network operator/country. This will become more common going forward as device vendors seek to unify their SKUs and move away from the bad old days of a million different software builds for every possible purpose.

 

As an example of this, some will recall the gating of updates to Nexus devices when a 2degrees SIM was inserted due to a network issue that took some time to resolve.

 

 

 

chunkybeats:

 

NZ telcos are terrible with updates for Android. Im a Sony user at present soon to be Nokia user and I always flash the firmware to a more supported country to get the latest updates. Spark are hopeless at updates. I would complain to Spark and mention that their competitors have already released the firmware update and they soon take the hint and update. 

 

Whats annoying about NZ telcos is the skinning and the unnecessary boot up screens with their logos. On top is the bloatware from them as well.

 

 

That is not the telcos' doing. That is a function of internal resource at the vendor vs. the volume of devices in market. We have seen this across many different brands in many different markets. It is getting better with more unified software builds per region as noted above.

 

While I am firmly of the opinion that it is absolutely awful that devices in one market are left stranded on an older build while devices in another market are updated more frequently, and find this appalling and archaic in a globalised always-connected world, it is worth considering that all of this costs a great deal of time and money. It is understandable, if an awful user experience, that a device which did not sell well in a given market (Or had to be significantly written down to move) will not have further cost sunk into it. The solution here is simply ("simply") to move away from the old tactic of specialised software build per telco per country and to find alternative methods for the required network customisation, e.g. the device detects the SIM inserted and applies the necessary settings. Huawei have taken an interesting approach to this - P-series devices sold by NZ telcos use a unified software build for all three. Open market dual SIM devices like the Mates use a unified software build for all of APAC.

 

There are very, very good reasons for all of this. Just look at the flagship devices from 2017 that are unable to receive calls on Spark's network - Mi Mix 2, Razer Phone, and Essential Phone. Imagine if an update were to prevent emergency calling from functioning and someone were to get hurt as a result. It is also important to consider that the vast majority of end users hate updates, in many cases with a violent burning passion, for which I partially blame Microsoft and the legacy of Windows updates.

 

Fundamentally, the problem is that we as consumers pay once for a piece of low margin hardware and expect many years of software support for which there is no ongoing revenue model. Google, Apple, and Microsoft are the exceptions here precisely because they do have ongoing revenue models. If Google felt like sharing a portion of Play Store revenue with device vendors then maybe we'd be getting somewhere.

 

Notably, Spark is the only NZ telco that persists with the heavier branding. Vodafone and 2degrees do not.

 

Finally - It is a common misconception that Apple's updates do not go through telco testing and certification. I can assure you that they do. This alone should serve as evidence that the telcos' internal certification processes are not to blame for delayed updates to this market.

 

 

 

 

 

If anyone has any further questions about smartphone software updates in NZ, let me know. I have covered most of it on GZ before, but I know all too well that it's unusual to find anyone in the industry who is willing to share, and I believe this process should be transparent.





Product Manager @ PB Tech

https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1994483 11-Apr-2018 22:12
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Many thanks to Nik T for all that information.    smilesmilesmile


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  Reply # 1994487 11-Apr-2018 22:27
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NikT:

Fundamentally, the problem is that we as consumers pay once for a piece of low margin hardware and expect many years of software support for which there is no ongoing revenue model.




Given that phones these days cost the same as windows laptops and that windows security patching lasts a lot longer, I find this comment disingenuous..

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  Reply # 1994495 11-Apr-2018 22:40
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NikT:

 

Fundamentally, the problem is that we as consumers pay once for a piece of low margin hardware and expect many years of software support for which there is no ongoing revenue model. Google, Apple, and Microsoft are the exceptions here precisely because they do have ongoing revenue models.

 

 

So in essence, to have a phone that will receive updates quickly and reliably, you're stuck with two choices: iPhones and Nexus/Pixel phones?


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  Reply # 1994514 11-Apr-2018 23:52
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Oubadah:

So in essence, to have a phone that will receive updates quickly and reliably, you're stuck with two choices: iPhones and Nexus/Pixel phones?



iPhones iOS is supported for a longer period of time than pixels Android.



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  Reply # 1994527 12-Apr-2018 00:07
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mattwnz:

 

iPhones iOS is supported for a longer period of time than pixels Android.

 

Yes, I'm mindful of that too. I don't think Apple makes any specific promise with regard to support life-cycle, but the 5s sets an impressive precedent.

 

When I read the Android One website, I noticed that it only guarantees 2 years of OS upgrades. That's pretty weak in my opinion, though I understand that most people's phones would have probably succumbed to physical damage or battery degradation by the 2 year mark.

 

Speaking of batteries, the other website I was just reading was Apple's, on which they state "All rechargeable batteries are consumable components..." Yeah? Well why not make them user replaceable, the way consumable components are supposed to be...


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  Reply # 1994531 12-Apr-2018 01:13
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Oubadah:

 

 

 

When I read the Android One website, I noticed that it only guarantees 2 years of OS upgrades. That's pretty weak in my opinion, though I understand that most people's phones would have probably succumbed to physical damage or battery degradation by the 2 year mark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also isn't that 2 years from the date the phone is originally released? But many people may buy it 6 months to a year later. That is my biggest gripe with android. Personally I like both Android and iOS, but find Apples iOS support cycle very impressive, and they should probably focus on that in their marketing. 

 

 

 

The battery problems is definatly a major problem, and I have this problem myself, and Apples support is poor in coming up with a solution for me. I could just buy a cheap battery and replace it myself for $20. Or pay $150+ to get them to do it. But then again, many android phone now also have sealed in batteries that potentially have similar issues. Although I have only had battery problems with my iphone. 


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  Reply # 1994533 12-Apr-2018 03:13

kyhwana2:
NikT:

 

Fundamentally, the problem is that we as consumers pay once for a piece of low margin hardware and expect many years of software support for which there is no ongoing revenue model.




Given that phones these days cost the same as windows laptops and that windows security patching lasts a lot longer, I find this comment disingenuous..

 

Interesting you'd say that. I've heard the Windows argument from time to time from IT folks. I did address that briefly, but to reiterate:

 

1. As much as we use them for more or less the same purposes now, smartphones are emergency communication devices and rightly regulated as such, while laptops are not. Laptops aren't used to call 111 and do not require such extensive regional customisation and testing (which phones are only going to require more of in future). We as (enthusiast/informed) consumers often think "oh you can get a phone from basically anywhere and biff a SIM in it and away you go" but the backend is a lot more complicated than that, every mobile network is different, and those open market devices benefit from the localisation work done here in NZ. Every time a device is patched, the telcos who range it must test it to ensure critical features work as expected. If they did not, it would only be a matter of time before someone got hurt. That the worst has not happened in a very public way is largely a function of luck + consumer purchasing habits.

 

I have straight up been told by people in high level IT positions that they believe the security of their personal information to be more important than the wider public's ability to contact emergency services reliably. I find this perspective pretty unsavoury and indicative of tunnel vision in the industry. Physical safety > digital safety, end of story.

 

2. Please see the specific mention of Microsoft in the following sentence, who do have an ongoing revenue model, and like Apple and Google, are divorced from the pay-once-support-for-years concerns as a result.

 

3. Security patches in particular should be divorced from the radio/driver stack and not require compliance testing, but that isn't the case and the patches often do affect basebands and network performance. On-site, in-country feedback results in better, safer devices globally.

 

4. Microsoft patches the OS, but drivers are usually a different story, and many laptops are crippled by the need to run legacy or compatibility drivers for core components like the GPU and et cetera. Not an option in embedded phoneland (I miss Windows Phone for getting this right). Most component vendors do not provide as many years of support as I would like, and unfortunately Google is of no help here. I have an EliteBook 8560p in this exact boat. See also: All those poor abandoned low-cost Windows 8 devices running Atoms which are terribad times on Windows 10. There is no divorcing the platform from the driver stack prior to Project Treble in 8.0+.

 

5. Retail cost is not indicative of vendor margins, and just because something is expensive doesn't mean everyone in the chain is making money.

 

Note that I am not saying any of the above is a good situation, just that this is why it is the way it is today. It should be better and we should demand better.

 

Oubadah:

 

So in essence, to have a phone that will receive updates quickly and reliably, you're stuck with two choices: iPhones and Nexus/Pixel phones?

 

 

Actually no, there are more choices, and from unlikely sources:

 

Xiaomi in particular keep their devices updated for, in numerous cases, even longer than Apple and Google do(!). The MIUI beta track is excellent, especially for Google security patches, and offers weekly updates. Of course this depends entirely on what you value in an update and what you consider an 'update' to actually comprise of. Happy to go into more detail about what Xiaomi provide if need be. The downside here is that Xiaomi are big on regional customisation, in my view taking it too far (just as Microsoft do by region-gating Cortana as a whole, including simple features like setting reminders) - for example, the MIUI setup wizard in stable builds involves a country selector which does not include the US, UK, Canada, Australia, or NZ, but you better believe it includes both Afghanistan and North Korea(?!).

 

The other good options are the APAC-wide dual SIM devices I mentioned. Huawei's Mate series (9 and above) and everything Motorola runs the same software regardless of whether you buy it in NZ, AU, Japan, or et cetera. OnePlus have a single global hardware variant and software build per SKU, even if they occasionally suffer from the low sales = sunk cost business. Sony's Dual SIM devices are very, very good as well, benefitting from Sony being the biggest contributor to AOSP outside of Google. Anything Android One should be viable in this space as well, although there have yet to be any Android One devices officially available in NZ.

 

I will merrily recommend all of the above to those for whom Google's security patches are a concern. I would stop short of only recommending those devices full stop because different people have different needs and value different things.

 

The downside is that it is difficult to identify these devices prior to purchase, as price point is not necessarily indicative of future support, and there is very little information readily available on the specific regional software builds available on a given device before you get it out of the box.





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https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones


gzt

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  Reply # 1994559 12-Apr-2018 07:49
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Android One resolves many of these issues, maybe even all of them.

In addition, any OEM specific functionality must be implemented an app. That will increase the reliability of the base functionality because OEMs will be unable to cause problems with it.

Nokia's updated range with Android One. When does it land here ? : ).



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  Reply # 1994561 12-Apr-2018 07:53
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Thanks NikT. As an aside, another thing for Appleā€™s updates is that their word carry a much heavier weight with telcos. It is pretty much "do as we tell" and the telcos dance. Other OEMs aren't so lucky.




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  Reply # 1994614 12-Apr-2018 08:51
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Got the April update this morning on my Nokia 8..

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  Reply # 1995040 12-Apr-2018 19:40
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I am currently tossing up between the HTC U11 Life, Nokia 8 and the new Nokia 6 (2018).  Anyone know if the latter will be available in NZ?

 

Also does anyone know if the Nokia 8 is now part of the Android One program?  Looking on the interweb I can't seem to find a clear answer.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1995496 13-Apr-2018 13:53

Giggs:

 

I am currently tossing up between the HTC U11 Life, Nokia 8 and the new Nokia 6 (2018).  Anyone know if the latter will be available in NZ?

 

 

Safe to say it will be. Give it a month or so.





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  Reply # 1997347 16-Apr-2018 23:40
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Yep, mid next month. $450au, so Im guessing $500 NZD.

 

The colours have me, one minute I think the white looks mint, then I think it looks a bit, MUCH. But the charcoal black with copper trim always looks hot no matter when I look at it.

 

The Cameras not going to be much to write home about, the Zeiss lenses didnt improve much. I do wonder if putting the pixel HDR+ APK on might help out.

 

I suppose its reasonable value for a NZ phone, but compared to imports $500 is a lotta coin. In fact the galaxy S7 can be had for that, its getting Oreo as far as Im aware and it has a much nicer Amoled screen. The plus is $50 more though.

 

I feel the 6 is about $100 over priced for what you are getting. Its not terribly priced but anything $500 and over takes you into another bracket. I feel the nokia 6 should have been around the Moto G5s Plus pricing at around $415. When did JB Hifi have the G5Splus at $399, that was a steal.


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