Saturday, July 4, 2020

OnePlus 8 Pro and Software Restrictions


OnePlus released its new phone: OnePlus 8 Pro, and the 4 cameras on the phone are quite superb. One of the cameras is capable of doing Photochromic picture filters.

A rumor spread out that this filter allows to see inside plastic devices, and maybe under clothes. You can see a video here showing the feature. It seems like the Chinese government took an extreme approach to this rumor, though it's false, and asked OnePlus to block the feature on the phones.

TL;DR Summary

The Chinese model variant IN2020 has some features locked based on the hardware model. Do not buy the IN2020. Changing the software won't help.


Even if you buy the variant that has the international firmware/operating system (OS), the feature is checked against the hardware model, so it will not work.

If you do not care about the Photochromic picture filter, then this will not be an issue for you. There's no telling if other feature would be blocked in the future, if asked by the Chinese government, on the Chinese variant IN2020.

Other OnePlus 8 Pro variants: IN2021 (India), IN2023 (Europe), IN2025 (Global). These variants are not affected by the feature lock on the camera.

Also, the IN2020 Chinese variant comes in 2 flavors: either with OxygenOS (global OS) or HydrogenOS (China OS only).

You can grab any OS build and flash it on the phone. Check this guide [Repo of Oxygen OS Builds]. Remember, flashing a different OS will NOT remove the feature restrictions on the China variant. It's locked by checking the hardware model, which cannot be modified. You might need this guide [Unbrick tool to restore your device to OxygenOS] to unbrick your phone, if you did something wrong.

Where to Buy

I have sold back the Chinese variant that I bought, and instead ordered the EU variant (IN2023) from Amazon Germany as they offer global shipping and delivered directly to my house.