Q: What's the difference between International and Chinese versions of the OnePlus 5?
A: Hardware-wise there is absolutely no difference between the 2 versions. In terms of software, the international version runs OxygenOS (OOS) while the Chinese version runs HydrogenOS(H2OS). H2OS has no Google services pre-installed and is generally not recommended for use outside China. Both OxygenOS and HydrogenOS are official updates by OnePlus.
Q: I bought a Chinese phone. How do I install OxygenOS then?
A: 1. Download the latest OxygenOS from here. Download the full zip and NOT the OTA update.
2. Place it in the root of your internal memory. Basically don't put the file in any folder.
3. Go to Settings > System updates, press the gear icon and select Local upgrade.
4. Choose the file, the phone will boot into recovery and everything is done.
Q: OK I want to root my phone but I don't want to lose Android Pay, Netflix, Pokemon GO etc. Is it possible?
Simple answer: Yes. Long answer: Maybe not in the long run.
Why is that so? You see, back in the old days there were little downsides to rooting. Alas, Android Pay and Pokemon GO came along, and in an effort to tighten up security, Google implemented this thing called
SafetyNet. Basically it's a measure to test your system integrity, meaning that any modification to system will trigger SafetyNet and many apps will be "locked down". Android Pay and Pokemon GO will not work,
and Netflix won't show up on Google Play anymore. Some devices even check for unlocked bootloader, but apparently not the OnePlus 5, so you don't have to switch to a custom kernel to root.
To overcome this problem, the brilliant minds at XDA came up with system-less root. Chainfire was the first to implement it in SuperSU, but right now nobody uses SuperSU anymore. Magisk is the new kid in town,
and quite frankly much better IMO.
Q: Alright enough talk, how do I root the phone?
A: Patience my young Padawan. I will get to that in a moment. But here are some things you have to know.
1. Rooting involves unlocking your bootloader, and ALL YOUR DATA WILL BE WIPED. Keep a backup and move everything in your internal memory somewhere else.
2. Magisk may beat SafetyNet now, but there is no guarantee this will always be the case. So your SafetyNet enabled apps may not work all the time.
3. OTA updates from OnePlus will work differently when you are rooted. But hey that's what this guide is for.
Easy rooting guide
1. Install ADB drivers.
2. Go into settings > about phone. Press the build no. a few times to activate developer options.
3. Turn on developer options, OEM unlocking and USB debugging.
4. Connect phone to PC and allow ADB access on phone. Wait for drivers to finish installing.
5. Download and install this simple tool on your PC.
6. Download one of the 2 TWRP recoveries below.
7. Open the All-in-One tool and make sure your device is recognised as OnePlus 5. Click on Unlock bootloader. Your bootloader is now unlocked and all your DATA WILL BE WIPED!
8. Select the "and boot it" arrow and click flash TWRP, click manual mode and choose the TWRP.img file you downloaded earlier.
9. After everything is done, your phone should now boot into TWRP successfully. Do not reboot yet.
10. On your PC, download the latest version of Magisk. Place the zip file onto your phone using USB and flash it with TWRP. Clear cache and reboot into system.
11. You should now see a new app called Magisk Manager. Check for updates!
12. However, do keep in mind not to mess around the system. If you need something, check to see if there any Magisk Modules available. There is also a small repo in the downloads section in Magisk Manager. Also Adaway works great with Magisk. Just make sure to turn on systemless host file in Magisk manager.
14. Congrats you are now rooted!
Q: Alright now that I'm rooted, how do I get official updates?
A: 1. Download the latest OxygenOS from here. Download the full zip and NOT the OTA update. Place it on your phone. Make sure you also have your Magisk zip.
2. Boot into TWRP. Press the volume button when the bootloader unlocked screen comes up. Use volume buttons and power button to select recovery.
3. Flash the OxygenOS zip file. DO NOT reboot yet!
4. Tap the home button and flash Magisk. Clear cache.
5. Reboot into system and you are done!
Hope this guide is simple enough for you guys to understand. It might seem daunting at first, but practice makes perfect.
Also it is not a requirement to root, most people get by fine without ever rooting. But we are not like normal people, are we? Why else would we be on XDA then?
Q1: Why Magisk and not SuperSU?
A: Besides the fact that Magisk is being constantly updated to bypass SafetyNet, it is also open-source. Wish I could say the same for SuperSU, the app is not what it used to be. Chainfire is no longer aware of the changes made in his app and I for one am not willing to take my chances with a shady developer. I had countless bad experiences with Chinese apps, many of them created by large companies. Check out this thread for more info.
Q2: Why exactly is HydrogenOS not recommended for use outside China?
A: Besides the aforementioned lack of Google apps, HydrogenOS is also tweaked differently from OxygenOS. It is significantly more aggressive in killing apps and not letting them run in the background, as you would expect with the number of rogue apps in China, made worse by the fact that there is no Play Store in China. OxygenOS on the other hand has a limit of 32 apps in memory, which I guess is a nice compromise between performance and battery life.