Last month, Google announced that it would make a very early (and very unstable) version of Android P available through its beta program for select smartphones. While it’s obvious that the four current Pixel devices would make the list, Google surprised everyone by making the Android P Beta program available to devices manufactured by other smartphone makers as well. The list isn’t large for now, with eight additional devices being compatible with the Android P Beta program.
One of the devices on the list of compatible smartphones is the OnePlus 6. Even before the phone was officially unveiled, OnePlus confirmed that the OnePlus 6 would be on the list of smartphones that could get onto the Android P Beta program, and buyers could port onto the latest software immediately after purchase. True to the company’s word, you can install Android P on the OnePlus 6 today. If you have a OnePlus 6 and want to try out Android P, follow the steps below to install the latest software on your phone.
How to install Android P Beta on the OnePlus 6
From your PC or smartphone browser, head to android.com/beta.
You will be redirected to the page for Android P Beta devices. Here, from the list on the right, select the OnePlus 6.
Below the specification list, click on ‘Get the beta’. You will then be directed to OnePlus’ page for the developer preview. Once you’re done reading what’s written on the page, head to the section called ‘How do I get started?’ and click on ‘Download Now’. Note that OnePlus itself states that the software build is for developers and early adopters to share early feedback, as well as developing and optimizing apps for the platform.
On clicking ‘Download Now’, you will be taken to the OnePlus forums, and specifically to the forum post for the Android P Beta for the OnePlus 6. More warnings and instructions follow, along with a list of known issues with the software, but if you’ve absolutely decided to go ahead, you can scroll down to find the download link. It can be found in the sentence ‘Ready to get started on the Android P Beta? download [HERE]’. Clicking the link will start the 1.3GB download.
Once you have the package downloaded, refer to the instructions on the above page for upgrading from MP version (the stable software that comes pre-installed on the phone) to DP version (Developer Preview Version) through local upgrade. This involves copying the update package to your phone’s root storage folder (either using your PC or moving the file into place using the file manager on the device itself), and choosing the local upgrade option in the system upgrade menu on the device.
Once the file is installed, you need to power the phone off using the power button. Then, the phone needs to be switched on and booted into recovery mode, which can be done by pressing the volume down and power buttons simultaneously. Using the volume and power buttons to navigate, select ‘Wipe data/factory reset’, and then ‘reboot system now’. Assuming you’ve followed the steps right, the phone will successfully boot into the Android P Beta. This will erase the contents of your phone’s memory, so be sure to back up all files before doing so.
In case you wish to roll back to the stable software for any reason, the forum page in step four above has a link to download the stable ROM rollback package, along with instructions on how to roll back. If done correctly, you’ll be back on the stable software, which is OxygenOS 5.1.x based on Android 8.1 Oreo. The software roll back will erase the contents of your phone’s memory, so be sure to back up all files before doing so.
WATCH: How to install Android P Beta on select smartphones
Should I try Android P Beta on my OnePlus 6?
If you’re a developer and intend to use the phone to develop and optimize apps for Android P, this might make sense. However, if you’re a regular user and intend to use your OnePlus 6 as your daily driver, we would not recommend you get onto the Android P Beta just yet. While the beta is much more stable and usable on other smartphones (the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, for example), it’s incredibly unstable on the OnePlus 6.
I’ve installed the Developer Preview on the OnePlus 6, and have tried it out. Known issues that I’ve discovered so far:
The phone is stuck on Do-Not-Disturb mode.
The alert slider does not switch off DND.
Dash Charge – OnePlus’ proprietary fast charging standard – does not function. Even when using a Dash Charger, the phone charges slowly.
Slow-motion video recording in the camera app does not work.
The settings app crashes when you try to search within it.
Face Unlock and VoLTE are not functional.
Other issues are also listed on the OnePlus forums. As you can imagine, these issues are fairly significant, and take important functionalities away from the OnePlus 6. The latest software isn’t worth the current drawbacks, in my opinion. If the OnePlus 6 is your daily driver, I recommend that you stick to the stable software for the time being. The OnePlus 6 is certain to receive Android P quickly, once the software version has been finalized later this year.
DISCLAIMER: Installing Android P Beta on your phone is a complex process, and should only be attempted by experienced users. There is a risk of failure, which can do irreversible damage to your smartphone on the software. Attempt this only if you understand the risks that you are taking on, and we do not recommend you do so if you are in any way unsure of what you are doing.