OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro Early Developments: Custom Kernels, Google Camera, and Hole-Punch Apps!
OnePlus is one of the few Android smartphone makers that still caters to the aftermarket development community. Despite its status as a “premium” smartphone brand these days, the company has promoted custom ROMs for EOL devices and maintains an active developer program. Now the company’s latest offerings — the OnePlus 8 and the OnePlus 8 Pro — have been blessed with some early custom developments, especially after OnePlus published the unified kernel source code. In this OnePlus 8 series development update, we will be listing all the custom ROMs, kernels, and mods that are now available for the phone duo.
Guides and Tools
How to root
So you have unlocked the bootloader of your brand new phone and planning to root? The following guides can help you to patch the stock boot image of your phone with Magisk and flash the modified version to gain root access. The guides also show you how to install OxygenOS OTA updates while keeping root intact. Thanks to XDA Recognized Developer mauronofrio for the guides!
Access to the official unbrick tool would be immensely helpful, as they allow you to restore your OnePlus 8 or OnePlus 8 Pro in case you accidentally brick it while tinkering. Commonly known as ‘MsmDownloadTool’, these tools can also be used to roll back to a previous version of OxygenOS if necessary. Thanks to XDA Portal supporter Some_Random_Username for sharing the unbrick tools!
Enable VoLTE & VoWiFi
The OnePlus 8 lineup is officially compatible with several major telecom providers, but not all of them have whitelisted the models for advanced IMS services, such as VoLTE and VoWiFi. Fortunately, there is an easy way to enable those features right from your device. Credits go to XDA Junior Member LennARTpas for the tutorial!
Custom Kernels and Recoveries
Replacing the stock recovery with a custom recovery like TWRP is kind of a norm in the aftermarket development scene. It enables users to perform a full backup (including critical partitions) and flash custom ROMs as well as other mods on their devices. Owners of these phones should be pleased to know that an unofficial build of TWRP is already available, courtesy of XDA Recognized Developer mauronofrio.
XDA Recognized Developer flar2 has ported his ever-popular custom kernel, ElementalX, to these devices. The kernel brings several improvements, including advanced color control, wakelock blocking, and WireGuard support among other things. Experienced users can fine-tune the kernel parameters using any standard kernel configuration app.
A familiar name in the OnePlus community, XDA Senior Member eng.stk received a developer unit of the OnePlus 8 Pro from the company and promptly brought his famous blu_Spark kernel to the phone. Besides featuring a plethora of enhanced performance and battery patches, the kernel supports CDROM emulation on mass storage, making it compatible with DriveDroid. Note that compatibility with the regular OnePlus 8 hasn’t been personally tested by the developer.
Fancy using gestures? CleanSlate kernel by XDA Recognized Developer tbalden offers sweep to sleep and double/long tap on corner area gestures. The cherry on top, the companion kernel config app from the same developer can be used without root access. Try out the kernel on your OnePlus 8/8 Pro by following the instructions in the forum threads linked below.
If you are looking for a lightweight but feature-rich custom kernel, opt for Radioactive kernel. Developed by XDA Recognized Contributor acuicultor, the unified kernel brings in a WireGuard module, KCAL control, kernel-level live display support using K-Lapse, and any many more to both the OnePlus 8 and its “Pro” variant.
EviraKernel, FrankenKernel, and Omega kernel
XDA Senior Member resurrect prefers to create a balance between performance and battery life through Evira kernel (stylized as “EviraKernel”). The custom kernel was originally released for the OnePlus 8 Pro, but the developer added compatibility for the regular OnePlus 8 a few weeks ago.
FrankenKernel by XDA Recognized Developer dabug123 and Omega Kernel by XDA Senior Member kristofpetho offer a similar performance boost over the stock OxygenOS kernel. The latter is officially compatible with the OnePlus 8 Pro only.
The CAF Upstream-powered Kirisakura kernel brings a number of security enhancements to the OnePlus 8 Pro, such as Kernel Control Flow Integrity (Kernel-CFI). The maintainer, XDA Recognized Developer Freak07, has also incorporated several useful functionalities from CleanSlate kernel.
LineageOS is undoubtedly the most popular custom ROM out there, and it is now available for the OnePlus 8 Pro, thanks to the contributions of XDA Recognized Developer LuK1337. You can flash the unofficial build of LineageOS 17.1 on your OnePlus 8 Pro by following the instructions in the forum thread linked below.
Much like LineageOS, Paranoid Android also has a huge user base. The popular custom ROM is now available as beta for the OnePlus 8/8 Pro. The ROM, which is based on PA Quartz 3 revision, comes with GApps preinstalled. Since it’s still in the early stages of development, there are some minor issues. Head over to the device-specific threads linked below and follow the instructions to get the ROM up and running on your device. Credits go to developers ZVNexus, xboxfanj, TheStrix, and sirhc for these builds.
The team behind the popular CarbonROM custom ROM recently released its Android 10-based builds back in late April. The AOSP-based custom ROM is already available for nearly 20 Android devices, and now they’ve released early builds for the OnePlus 8 Pro. This build is made by XDA Recognized Developer Myself5 and you can grab it from the thread linked below.
xXx NoLimits and ExOS
In case you don’t want to lose the stability of stock OxygenOS, you can choose between xXx NoLimits and ExOS. Unlike traditional custom ROMs, these are highly configurable Magisk modules in the truest sense of the term. One should flash them on top of the stock ROM to enjoy features like built-in ad blocking (via AdAway), ViPER4Android, and a whole lot of other useful goodies. xXx NoLimits is made by XDA Senior Member xXx while ExOS is made by XDA Senior Member jamal2367.
Google Camera Port
Fans of the Google Camera app will be glad to know that a port is now available for the OnePlus 8 family of devices. The port is made by XDA Senior Member Urnyx05, and it reportedly works quite well. The telephoto and the ultra-wide-angle sensors are correctly recognized by this port, however, the macro camera on the OnePlus 8 is not supported as of now. Moreover, the resolution of the captured images is capped at 12MP due to the 4-in-1 pixel binning from the 48MP sensor.
Unlock Dolby Atmos equalizer settings
XDA Senior Member Rayekk discovered a handy method to replace the barebones Dolby Atmos Settings on the OnePlus 8/8 Pro (as well as older OnePlus phones running Android 10) with a more feature-filled equalizer extracted from the Razer Phone. The good news is, you can apply this mod without root access.
Arc Lighting and Energy Ring
These two nifty apps can utilize the area around the front camera hole-punch cutout on your OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro to display the battery status. Arc Lighting can also use the space as a notification indicator or displaying audio visualizations. Energy Ring is made by XDA Recognized Developer jagan2 while Arc Lighting is made by XDA Senior Member zzcool.
aodNotify and OPAodMod
Always on Display (AOD) is yet to be officially available on OxygenOS, but XDA’s talented developer community has got you covered. For example, you can pick up aodNotify, which also doubles as a notification light for your OnePlus 8. OPAodMod, on the other hand, is an Xposed Module that brings in a Google Pixel-like AOD feature. aodNotify is made by XDA Senior Member Jawomo while the OPAodMod is maintained by XDA Recognized Developer Quinny899.
Keep an eye out on the XDA forums for more mods. While we were preparing this article, more and more threads kept popping up! The OnePlus 8 series is bound to be popular among the enthusiast community, and with more developers getting ready to publish their work, you’ll have plenty of interesting mods to tinker with.