One disappointing aspect of the OnePlus 5T was that it shipped with Android Nougat instead of Oreo. (Even the Oreo beta the company pushed Friday is only 8.0.) But if you’re interested in getting Android 8.1 on your 5T and you don’t mind going the custom ROM route, there are several options available in our forums. One I spent time with recently was the first one published in our subforum, OmniROM.
In addition to standard Android 8.1 goodies like the redesigned power menu, fading navbar buttons, and inverted navbar backgrounds, OmniROM offers a plethora of custom features such as advanced reboot, dual-column settings, dynamic notification drawer headers, and OmniSwitch (just to name a few). Below is a screenshot gallery showcasing a sampling of these features, along with a small description of them.
Check out the hands-on video by Miles Somerville, my colleague, for more:
My favorite feature of OnePlus 5T custom ROMs is the ability to apply system themes via OMS, which became a lot easier with the advent of Android 8.0. In the case of OmniROM, I use Substratum to apply my themes — you can see screenshots with the Valerie Substratum theme applied below.
One of the biggest caveats of custom ROMs on all devices (but particularly OnePlus devices) is that you usually can’t take advantage of the camera app and enhanced post-processing from the device’s stock ROM, since it requires dependencies coded into the OEM firmware. The OnePlus 5T is no exception, which means the quality of the pictures you take are often inferior to those captured with the stock camera app.
To measure the severity of the problem on OmniROM, I compared several pictures taken in daytime and in low-light conditions using my first-generation Pixel XL (using the Google Camera application with HDR+ activated) to (1) the stock OmniROM camera app in HDR mode on my 5T, and (2) a Google Camera port with HDR+ activated. You can see the three-way comparison in daylight conditions here and in low-light conditions here. I highly recommend using the Google Camera port — pictures taken with it rival those taken from the Pixel XL in quality. The stock OmniROM camera app is no slouch in daylight, but there was a noticeable drop-off in quality under low-light environments.
While the number of Android Oreo-based ROMs for the OnePlus 5T has grown substantially in recent weeks, OmniROM has some unique features that you might come to prefer. If you’re looking for a no-frills, easy-to-configure ROM that won’t bog down your phone with bloatware, look no further.
Eager to flash it on your OnePlus 5T? Check out the official XDA Forums thread, where you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to install it.