The Android with the longest lifespan is not a phone, it’s the NVIDIA Shield TV

My NVIDIA Shield 2015 TV

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central


Android Central

Windows Central

Me more

This week Apple announced iOS 14 and of course listed all the devices that will get it which is the worst image of the year for Android users and manufacturers alike because it reminds us how horrendous long-term support is for most from Android devices.

Unless you have a Pixel, you are lucky to see two years of Android system updates. Two years of security patches are just barely starting to become the norm, and even that has required a lot of Google work for manufacturers to comply. While the 2015 iPhones will get iOS 14, there is only one 2015 Android device that even has the ability to see an update from the manufacturer of Android 11, and it’s not an Android phone.

Best VPN Providers 2020 – Learn about ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and more

It’s the original NVIDIA Shield Android TV from 2015, and not only do I still have mine, but I also use it every day.

My NVIDIA Shield has been with me since my first apartment, which has been through three moves, including my move from Texas to Florida, through two jobs, four and a half years, and really countless hours from YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Funimation, Crunchyroll and now Disney +. When the original driver ran out, I bought the updated 2017 model, which is now starting to lose battery capacity too because I’ve been using it a lot in the past three years.

You have served me well, 2017 Shield Controller

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

However, the Shield TV itself remains strong. I still get app updates via Google Play, and every few months a new system update comes from NVIDIA with a host of new features, new apps, and of course security patches. I use Ethernet to avoid a little Wi-Fi bug that came up several months ago, but otherwise my Shield is even better today than the day I got it.

Disney + trigger looking at NVIDIA Shield

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

Interestingly, the most supported Android device is from a subset of Android devices which is an afterthought for most Android users. After all, if a TV or soundbar didn’t have Android TV already installed, the only Android TV worth recommending is the current generation of NVIDIA Shield TV. While Google may unveil its own Android TV dongle soon, I will still recommend splurging for NVIDIA precisely because of the long lifespan my 2015 model is still receiving.

NVIDIA’s ability to update Shield TV for so long is exactly the same reason that Apple can update iPhones for so long after its launch – they made the processor run the program. Manufacturers rely on chipset and component manufacturers, such as Qualcomm, to ensure updates are compatible with the hardware inside your phone, even before you can even think about sending it to a user.

Showing the X1 at the Shield launch event

Source: Android Central

NVIDIA Shield is a display device for the power and reliability of NVIDIA X1 chipsets, and now X1 +, and since NVIDIA develops, sells, and supports these chips, it makes it easier to ensure that Android updates don’t break everything hardware related And when things do After an update, the NVIDIA Shield TV team can communicate with the hardware teams to find out what went wrong and fix it quickly – something we’ve seen done after some updates went wrong.

NVIDIA has a greater degree of control over its components, and therefore NVIDIA controls its own update destination. It also doesn’t hurt that NVIDIA has been stricter about Android TV updates than Google, such as when NVIDIA refused to update Android Oreo until it could work with Google to ensure that it would really be beneficial to users. Speaking of which, if the leaked new interface for the next Android TV made by Google will hit all Android TVs, I hope NVIDIA shows the same dedication to ensure that the home screen remains useful to its users.

The new NVIDIA Shield TV remote

Source: Phil Nickinson / Cordcutters

Would you like more manufacturers to have the same update history as NVIDIA? Absolutely, but even if manufacturers took chip manufacturing in their hands, something that would take years to branch out and still might not work well, it’s still hard for companies to see the value in phone support in 2-4 years. you spend hundreds of dollars on a new one.

On the other hand, if a 2015 $ 200 Android TV can still get updates, what the hell is stopping Samsung from giving its $ 1000 flagships 3-5 years of system updates?

The best for the long term

NVIDIA Shield TV (2019)

Built to last and better supported than any Android phone.

I have a perfectly functional 2015 TV Shield, but I still spend too much time looking at this newer, more compact model. It’s still a powerful Android TV that won’t be out of date for years, and it comes with the newest, most intuitive remote control and 4K support for many more apps, like Disney +.

We can earn a commission on purchases using our links. Learn more.