OnePlus 3 & 3T get Hydrogen OS 3.0 Nougat Update

There’s a new update for the OnePlus 3 and 3T but this time, its Hydrogen OS. Unlike Oxygen OS, Hydrogen OS comes with the OnePlus devices in China and do not have any Google apps. For those of you who are looking to switch things up, you can try this OS.

The ROM is for the Chinese versions of these devices but you can flash them from recovery. Needless to say, you’ll also have to flash Gapps separately. Turns out that Hydrogen OS offers better battery life and call recording as well.

Note that this ROM is available only in Chinese and English and there will be some extra apps that you can delete. So, lets take a look at how to flash this;

Unlocking the Bootloader

Note: This will wipe all data on your device. Make sure you backup important files as necessary before proceeding.

On your OnePlus device, go to Settings->Developer Options and make sure you’ve enabled USB Debugging and OEM Unlocking.

Note: If you do not see the Developer Options menu, it can unlocked by going to Settings->About Phone->tapping build number a few times.

Now connect the phone to your PC and open Minimal ADB & Fastboot. We now need to confirm our device is connected. To do that, type:

adb devices

This should show the Android devices currently connected to your PC. Make sure you accept the confirmation on the phone too. It is advised to disconnect any other Android devices. Once you’ve successfully connected the device, we need to boot to the bootloader to proceed. To do this, shut down the phone completely. Hold down the Volume Up and Power button to enter fastboot mode.

Alternative method: On the Minimal ADB, simply type:

adb reboot bootloader

This should immediately switch the phone off and reboot to bootloader.

Once you’ve successfully connected your device, we can move on to unlocking the bootloader. Unlocking the bootloader allows us to write into different storage partitions of our phones which would otherwise be blocked.

Let’s make sure our phone is successfully connected to the PC. To check this, enter:

fastboot devices

Once confirmed, we can unlock the bootloader. To unlock the bootloader, simply enter the following:

fastboot oem unlock

If the device doesn’t automatically reboot, reboot it from the menu. It should now be unlocked.

Warning: This will FACTORY RESET the device. All data will be lost. Make sure you take a backup before entering this.

Flashing TWRP

We now need to download the TWRP file for proceeding. You can download the file here.

Once downloaded, rename the file to “twrp.img” (no quotes) and place on the folder where the Minimal ADB is installed. For most people, it is usually C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot.

Once the file is in the folder, we can now go back to Minimal ADB and type in the command:

fastboot flash recovery twrp.img

This will replace the stock recovery to TWRP. Once the flash completes successfully, reboot the device into recovery to verify the installation. Boot to recovery instructions: With the device powered down, hold the Volume Down and Power buttons.

Installing Hydrogen OS

Download Hydrogen OS package for the OnePlus 3 or 3T (about 1.2 GB). Copy the zip file to the internal storage of your device.

If not already in recovery mode, boot to recovery mode by powering down the device and holding the Volume Down and Power button. In the TWRP menu, select Wipe, then Factory Reset. Then, select Install and choose the Hydrogen OS zip package. This will prompt you to “Swipe to Flash”. Once the installation has finished you can Reboot to System. Note that the first boot might take a while.

Optional: You can also choose to flash GApps to obtain Google Services after flashing Hydrogen OS. You can follow the tutorial to flash GApps here.