Android 8.1 Beta Comes to OnePlus 5, 5T

Posted on March 12, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Mobile with 3 Comments

Android 8.1 Beta Comes to OnePlus 5, 5T

Over the weekend, OnePlus shipped open beta releases of Android 8.1 for the OnePlus 5 and 5T.

This addresses one of the few common criticisms of the stellar OnePlus 5T, in particular: The handset shipped with a curiously out-of-date Android, version 7, at launch. Not only had Android 8.0 been in the market for a few months by that point, the critics noted, but Google had already started testing Android 8.1 by that point too.

This complaint, while valid, sort of missed the point: OnePlus pledged to quickly bring the OnePlus 5T up to speed with the latest Android releases. And it has done so: In late December, it began beta testing the Android 8.0 update. And a month later, it shipped the final public release of that software.

But OnePlus isn’t done updating the 5T: Over the weekend, OnePlus released its first beta of Android 8.1 support for the OnePlus 5T. (It’s out for the older OnePlus 5 too.) And since I’ve signed up for the open beta program previously, I received this update over-the-air just like any other Android update.

According to OnePlus, the following changes come with this open beta build:

Phone. A new auto pick up gesture lets you answer an incoming call by raising the phone.

System. Added more clock styles for ambient display, optimized full-screen gesture support, updated Android security patch to 2018-02, and general bug fixes and improvements.

Gaming mode. Added new optimizations in gaming mode for a more immersive gaming experience including power saving and pausing adaptive brightness.

OnePlus Switch. Added support to migrate application data, allowing you to switch between devices seamlessly.

Looking at the device, I don’t see any obvious changes, and even some of the stated improvements aren’t there from what I can see. (The ambient clock still offers just analog and digital styles, as before, for example.) The phone answer gesture is obviously an awesome addition.

The Android 8.1 open beta for OnePlus 5 and 5T is available for free from the OnePlus website. I assume the public release will be available within a month.


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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Android 8.1 Beta Comes to OnePlus 5, 5T”

  1. WP7Mango

    My Huawei Mate 10 Pro already has the phone answer gesture. Is that part of Huawei's software?

  2. wright_is

    At least they included the patches for February in the beta, although it would be better if they included the February patches in all versions currently on their devices (no mention in the article, as it is about the beta).

    But "quickly bring the 5T up to speed", a third of a year delay for an operating system that gets a major release every 12 months and minor releases during the year and is about to be replaced isn't fast, in my book... :-S

    That said, none of the other OEMs are really any better.

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