As OnePlus continues releasing the new Android Pie-based OxygenOS betas for the OnePlus 6, some developers went a step ahead to produce a couple of unofficial Android 9.0 Pie custom ROMs for OnePlus 6.
There’s no doubt that OnePlus flagships are some of the most popular devices amongst third-party android developers. It’s evident from the sheer number of custom kernels and custom ROMs you can find for them. There are even so many Magisk modules specifically for OnePlus devices. One of the more popular custom ROMs around is Lineage OS and it has yet to release an official build based on Android Pie. Yet, OnePlus 6 users can get an early taste of the Android Pie-based Lineage OS 16.0.
This unofficial port of Lineage OS 16.0 has been built by XDA members LuK1337 and luca020400. Similarly, another popular ROM, AOSP Extended based on Android 9.0 Pie has also been brought to the OnePlus 6 by @ishubhamsingh and his team. Both of these are early builds and you can very much expect to run into bugs here and there. However, for the most part, they work quite alright.
We’re mostly going to be talking about Lineage OS 16.0 because it’s the one I’ve personally tried and for other reasons that we’ll soon talk about.
Lineage OS 16.0
To repeat, this is a very early build despite having been updated several times over the past couple of days. I tried the latest version which as of this writing is lineage-16.0-20180909_210112-UNOFFICIAL-enchilada.zip. Keeping all of that in mind, Lineage OS 16.0 just flies and that’s what you’d expect with the hardware that the OnePlus 6 has. Oxygen OS is known to be fast, even faster than, dare I say it, stock Android. But, Oxygen OS is not known for being a very fluid experience. That’s what you get with stock Android and ROMs based on it like Lineage OS.
The slightly tweaked Android Pie animations too make a lot more difference than you’d expect. You get all of the Android 9.0 features including Digital Wellbeing and support for the notch. This has been a major drawback on custom ROMs based on Android Oreo for the OnePlus 6.
Other than the bugs that we’ll get to in a moment, my only gripe with Lineage OS would be the Snapdragon camera app that’s included. To be blunt, it sucks. Luckily, there’s a Google Camera port for the OnePlus 6 which works even on Lineage OS 16.0 and it’s quite good, almost as good as the Oxygen OS camera if not better.
Are any of these worthy of being your daily driver? The answer to that will depend on you. Is it better than the stable Oxygen OS build based on Android Oreo? Definitely not. Is it more stable than Oxygen OS Open Beta 2? Not really. There are some unavoidable bugs such as the video recording which does not work at all on Lineage OS.
The display color calibration doesn’t work, LiveDisplay doesn’t work, Snapchat doesn’t work and those are just the major ones. You’re more than likely to find more minor bugs here and there that are working fine for other users. Again, this is an early build so its quite rough around the corners and different people are likely to run into different bugs.
Lineage OS can definitely be a daily driver in this state for some people who can live with it. Video recording does work on AOSP Extended which is a deal breaker in case of Lineage OS. However, there’s an issue with the record timing where it shows the video length to be more than it actually is by about 12 or so minutes. AOSP Extended includes the Oxygen OS camera so the quality, I’ll guess, shouldn’t be very bad. The portrait mode on the OOS Camera doesn’t work either.
The deal breaker for AOSP Extended would probably be the lack of fingerprint support. There’s no fast face unlock like on Oxygen OS either so you’ll be entering your PIN or password every time. Other than that, Bluetooth audio doesn’t work and also, the Alert slider functionality is broken. Only you can decide whether any of these are worth being your daily drivers. In the current state, I don’t think they can be mine but I’m definitely excited about their development.
For such an early build Lineage OS 16.0 works very nicely when it does and I’d expect nothing less from AOSP Extended either.