Developers bring Android 10 and Project Treble to the HTC U11
HTC’s smartphone division might not be dead after all, but the whole software update situation around existing HTC phones is a big mess. The Taiwanese phone manufacturer is having a hard time delivering the Android 10 update to its phones, with the HTC U11 Life being an exception due to its Android One branding. The regular variant of the HTC U11, for example, is stuck with Android Pie. Thankfully, owners of this phone now have an opportunity to get the taste of Android 10. Courtesy of XDA’s brilliant development community, the HTC U11 can not only boot LineageOS 17.1, but the device has also become compliant with Project Treble.
XDA Senior Member Golv, along with XDA Recognized Developer tomascus and XDA Recognized Developer Flinny, are currently maintaining the unofficial build of LineageOS 17.1 for the HTC U11. The ROM has SELinux in permissive mode and VOIP calling experience might be finicky, but otherwise, it’s quite stable to be a daily driver. Those running stock HTC Sense firmware have to format the data partition (which will delete the contents of the internal storage) before flashing this ROM, so do perform a complete backup.
The Snapdragon 835-powered HTC U11 was originally released with Android 7.1 Nougat on board, thus the phone is officially not compatible with Project Treble. In a mission to “Trebelize” it, XDA Recognized Developer mikalovtch and several other developers from Team Venom have decided to create a dedicated vendor partition for proper Project Treble & Generic System Image (GSI) support by altering the stock partition table. This mod essentially extends the lifetime of this phone, as future versions of Android can theoretically be ported to the smartphone with minimum effort.
Please keep in mind that repartitioning your device will wipe EVERYTHING, thus be prepared with adequate backups. Users are also advised to download the model-specific RUU package beforehand, in case you need to restore the old partition layout. Be advised that these mods are not for the average user and are recommended for experienced users only.