I flashed the OnePlus 9R ROM on my 8T ... and here's how you can too
Let's begin this post with why this works. And let's lay it down. The OnePlus 9R and 8T are practically the same phone. From the camera modules to the display, storage type, GPU & battery size. They even share the same dimensions, with the 8T and 9R cases being interchangeable. Even the Snapdragon 870 is just an overclocked 865.
Then why should I flash the 9R ROM?
This is where the magical trickery begins. The OnePlus 9R comes with the Hasselblad camera processing profiles. Yes, even though it has the same camera modules as the 8T. It also has a smoother experience, richer haptics, an updated Dolby Atmos and a more recent stock kernel. This provides a great experience when flashed to your 8T - and any improvement to the 8T cameras is some improvement! Surprisingly, even the OTA updates, which are meant for the 9R, will install flawlessly.
But, of course, this does come with it's cons.
- Flashing this ROM may void your warranty.
- This will wipe your phone's data, so make sure to back up any photos and apps.
- As the 9R is an India exclusive device, this ROM comes with some India exclusive features - but this doesn't impact your experience.
- This is an irreversible change on the T-Mobile variant of the 8T, so I don't recommend flashing to this variant of the 8T. Other versions of the 8T can be reverted using the MSM flash tool.
- You can only install this ROM from a Windows PC/Laptop.
How to flash the OnePlus 9R ROM on the OnePlus 8T
Before starting, you're going to want to download the Qualcomm USB drivers and this zip file which includes the MSM Download Tool, along with the ROM Image to flash to your device. Extract this to an easily accessible location.
First thing's first is to install the Qualcomm USB drivers. Open the installer and follow the install process, selecting WWAN-DHCP when prompted, as below.
Next, you're going to want to run MsmDownloadTool V4.0.exe from the location you extracted the zip file to - it may take a minute to run. You'll be greeted with the below prompt. In the User type dropdown, select "Others" and then press next.
You'll the be greeted with the MSM Download Tool screen. At the top left, there is a dropdown menu to select a target. Ensure you change this to India.
Once this is selected, turn off your phone. Make sure you have everything backed up, as the next step will wipe your device. After your phone is powered off, wait for around 1 minute, to ensure it is fully shut down.
Get a USB cable ready - connect one end to your PC, but don't connect the other end to your phone (yet!).
On your phone, hold down both of the volume keys together for 10 seconds. Keep holding the keys and plug the cable into your phone. You should see the word connected in the "Status of Connection" column. If not, repeat the previous 2 steps.
Once connected, press "Start" in the top left. this will start the install process, which takes around 5 minutes. So go grab yourself a coffee while you wait!
When the process if finished, you'll be greeted with green text (as below) and your phone will start booting, taking around another 5 minutes.
Congratulations - you've just flashed the OnePlus 9R ROM to your OnePlus 8T! Follow the default setup process and enjoy!