Unofficial LineageOS 17.1 brings Android 10 to the Realme 1
As most of you should already know, the Realme brand has its roots in OPPO, which is itself owned by BBK Electronics. The Realme 1, the first smartphone under the Realme brand from before the company spun off from OPPO, ran ColorOS, a customized Android software designed by none other than OPPO itself. To differentiate their devices from their parent company, Realme introduced a new interface called “Realme UI” which is built on top of Android 10. However, the OEM has no plans to deliver the Realme UI/Android 10 update to the Realme 1, although the phone is still getting regular security updates on its Android 9 Pie-based ColorOS 6 firmware.
As expected, though, XDA’s aftermarket development community has come to the rescue. Developers Invincible-Venom, Naveen56, vishalk17 have worked to bring an unofficial port of LineageOS 17.1 for the Realme 1 which offers a close-to-stock Android 10 experience to owners of this phone. The availability of the kernel source code as well as the existence of an official bootloader unlocking method certainly helped the developers in this venture. Apart from a few quirks such as broken USB tethering and SELinux set to permissive (which is a major security issue we hope to see resolved soon), the current builds can be used as a daily driver.
It is worth mentioning that this particular build of LineageOS is a source-built ROM and not a Generic System Image (GSI), though arguably many custom ROMs these days have roots in GSI. Both the CPH1859 and the CPH1861 variants of the Realme 1 are supported by the developers. You need to flash the latest version of the stock firmware (CPH1861EX_11_C.49) and use the TWRP compiled the same developer before installing this ROM. There are some known incompatibility issues with Magisk, so users are advised to stick with Magisk versions 20.1 or 20.3.
The associated device tree and the vendor tree are available on GitHub. A built-in OTA updater was initially planned as well, but the developers have abandoned it for the time being. Now that a somewhat-stable version of LineageOS 17.1 for the Realme 1 is here, we hope to see the fruits of this effort available to the community in the near future.