The Android Operating System has improved a lot from the time when it first launched in 2008. Many features that we take for granted in the stock android today, were first baked by the people at xda-developers.com.
Over time these features made their way into the stock android and now, stock android is what most people will ever need in their phones. It also runs faster, smoother and technically, consumes less power.
Stock android also makes it easier for manufacturers to push the latest version of android with the latest features to their phones. Nonetheless, most of the android phones still face a major issue, i.e. UPDATES. At times when manufacturers are not able to update their phones to the latest Android version we can still enjoy it by using a custom ROMs. These ROMs are developed by 3rd party developers which can give us a taste of the newest android version on an older phone running on an older android version.
Let’s take the example of my 2 years old
OnePlus 3T. Although, OnePlus has announced that they will update it to Android Pie 9.0, it’s still a few weeks away. So, if you’re a little impatient or you just want to make your phone look and feel a little bit different we recommend you to try this ROM.
There are plenty of stable custom ROMs running on Android Pie 9.0 available to download for OnePlus 3T but since Oxygen OS that ships with the phone is very close to stock android I decided to install Havoc OS on my 3T.
In case you’re unfamiliar, Havoc OS ROM is ported from AOSP which is the base ROM that powers the Google’s pixel devices. So, it has most of the features and design from Pixel phones’s software plus some 3T specific features like gesture controls when screen is off for flashlight, camera, music playback and tons of other features that are only available from a third-party app.
Have a look at the screenshots of this ROM before installing it on your phone:
The havoc settings menu contains tons of useful features like screen stabilisation and built in burn in protection for AMOLED display along with all standard custom ROM customisations we see on Lineage OS and other popular ROMs.
I can’t stop talking about how good the Havoc OS ROM looks and feels, but we have to write the instructions so, let’s get into it. The steps mentioned in this article will work for OnePlus 3 too, except then you’ll have to install a different firmware. It has almost the same internals as 3T. (Everything is same except an over clocked processor and a bigger battery)
Things we’ll need:
- A Computer running Windows or Linux (Commands are same for both) with ADB installed. If you don’t have ADB installed on your computer follow this guide here: 15 Seconds ADB installer – XDA
- TWRP recovery – Download from here: Official TWRP page for OnePlus 3/3T
- Havoc OS ROM – Download from here: Havoc OS ROM for OnePlus 3/3T
- Firmware: OnePlus 3T OnePlus 3
- Of course a OnePlus 3 or 3T with at least 50% battery left (WARNING: Do not attempt to flash this ROM on any other phone, not even if it’s a OnePlus phone).
How to do it – Steps to install Havoc OS ROM on your OnePlus 3/3T:
Step 1 Move all files to one folder:
Move all downloaded files to one directory (folder) from where it’ll be easy to access the files. Let’s call it “Android Pie”.
Step 2 Unlock the boot loader:
This method is pretty straightforward for OnePlus phones. They initially launched their phone in 2014 with a custom OS – Cyanogen Mod (now, Lineage OS) so, it’s understandable that they’re a bit soft on locking down their phones unlike Xiaomi and other Chinese Companies.
NOTE: This step will wipe your data so make sure to backup any important files, messages and call logs before proceeding.
To unlock the boot loader, open settings and scroll to the bottom. Tap on about phone and scroll to the bottom again. Then, tap on Build number about 10-12 times. This will unlock the Developer options in settings. Go back in the settings app, there you should find Developer options above about phone. Tap on it and scroll down a little. There you’ll find OEM unlocking and advanced reboot options. Turn them on. Then press and hold the power/lock button. Select reboot from the menu that appears. Two more options will appear. Tap on reboot to boot loader. Then, your phone will reboot in fastboot mode.
Now connect the phone with a computer and open command prompt (on Windows) or terminal (on Linux). Then type “fastboot devices” this should display a list of connected devices. If you see something like this picture you’re good to go.
Then type “fastboot oem unlock” your phone should accept the command and ask you to confirm unlocking the device. On your phone press the volume keys to highlight the yes and no options. There once yes is highlighted press the power key to select it. Your phone should now unlock the bootloader and perform a wipe. Let it boot. Then, set up the phone.
If you see a message like this appear during the boot, it means that your phone is successfully unlocked.
Step 3 Installing and booting into TWRP:
Assuming that you have downloaded and moved all necessary files to a directory (folder) called “Android Pie”. Now, open the folder and press and hold the shift key. While holding the shift key, right click anywhere on the blank space of the window. Then, click on “open command prompt here”.
Then, connect your phone to your computer in fastboot mode. To do that, you have to first open settings on your phone and scroll to the bottom. Tap on about phone and scroll to the bottom again. Then, tap on Build number about 10-12 times. This will unlock the Developer options in settings. Go back in the settings app, there you should find Developer options above about phone. Tap on it and scroll down a little. There you’ll find advanced reboot option. Enable it. Then, press and hold the power button and select reboot followed by reboot to bootloader. Then connect your phone with your computer via USB cable.
Then, on your computer type “fastboot devices” to test whether the device is connected properly. If it’s connected, type “fastboot flash recovery RECOVERY_FILE_NAME_HERE.img” (Replace RECOVERY_FILE_NAME_HERE with the name of recovery file, in my case it was twrp-3.2.3-0-oneplus3.img). Now we want the phone to boot into this recovery so we’ll give this command “fastboot boot RECOVERY_FILE_NAME_HERE.img” (again replace RECOVERY_FILE_NAME_HERE with the name of recovery file). The phone will then boot into TWRP. Swipe the slider that says swipe to allow modification. Don’t disconnect the USB cable yet. We’ll need it in the next step.
Step 4 Installing the ROM:
This is the final step. Tap on wipe option in your phone and then select advanced wipe. There check Dalvik/ART, Cache, Data, System and Internal Storage. Then, swipe the slider to wipe. After that, go back to the home screen of TWRP. Then, type “adb devices” on your computer. This will display a list of connected devices. If it does, then type “adb usb”. This will connect your phone to the computer in usb mode.
Then, type “adb push FIRMWARE_FILE_NAME.zip /sdcard” (Replace FIRMWARE_FILE_NAME with the file name of your FIRMWARE. In my case it was OnePlus3T_5.0.8-(13-12-18)-FIRMWARE-flashable.zip). Then, type “adb push ROM_FILE_NAME.zip /sdcard” (Replace ROM_FILE_NAME with the file name of your ROM. In my case it was Havoc-OS-v2.1-20190111-oneplus3-Official.zip). This process might take some time since it involves transferring about 500 MB of data. After it completes you should see a message like this.
Go back to TWRP home and tap on install and select the Firmware file we just pushed. Then swipe to flash. After it completes, go back and select the Havoc OS ROM file that we pushed. Then, swipe to flash. After it finishes, go back to home and select wipe then advanced wipe and check Dalvik, Cache, Data and Internal storage. (Don’t check system and USB OTG) Finally, swipe to wipe and then reboot to system.
Havoc OS ROM should now be installed on your phone. Enjoy the new ROM!
If you face any difficulty while performing the above mentioned steps, feel free to write a comment below and we’ll try to help you.