Official support ended way back in the days of Marshmallow
The OnePlus 2 — no, not the OnePlus Nord 2, the actual second phone ever released by OnePlus — is getting some modern day attention. Thanks to an unofficial LineageOS build, Android 13 has arrived for the 2015 smartphone, bringing it up to modern standards nearly eight years after its launch.
The folks at XDA Developers spotted this release, which delivers modern Android features and security protocols to one of the oldest OnePlus phones around. The custom ROM project once known as CyanogenMod is maintained by independent developers in their free time, yet still manages to support a ridiculous number of phones. Even then, for a device released in 2015 that got its last official update in 2017, it’s quite the impressive feat.
The phone famously sparked rage in 2017 among the burgeoning OnePlus enthusiast community after the company walked back its promise to issue an Android 7.0 Nougat update, instead leaving the device to languish on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Upon release, updates were promised for 24 months, and while OnePlus did issue security patches throughout this period, the device ultimately saw just one major OS update after launching with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.
That same year, Google’s Project Treble initiative arrived to assist with updates, breaking OEM-level customizations out of the base Android system into their own Vendor partition. Since then, Project Mainline has compartmentalized even more system-level Android elements and made them updatable through the Play Store, further reducing the fragmentation problem and drastically increasing the length of time contemporary Android phones are supported by their manufacturers.
But the OnePlus 2 never officially benefited from Projects Treble or Mainline, which makes this latest ROM all the more impressive. As we noted back in 2018, Treble helped custom ROM developers get their updates out a bit faster, and Mainline has simplified the process even further. Developer _undead didn’t have the benefits of a phone that shipped with either of these initiatives when crafting the phone’s unofficial LineageOS 20 build just days after Android 13 QPR1’s launch, but has still managed to put out a very polished release.
All the phone’s core hardware elements, like camera, Wi-Fi, and GPS are working, and most of Android 13’s new features have made their way into this build. The only major flaw to note here is that SELinux is set to permissive in this first release, and may or may not be able to be set to enforcing in future builds. This is a significant security risk, but definitely an improvement over running Android Marshmallow in 2023.
If you have an aging OnePlus 2 gathering dust in a drawer, head over to the support thread on the XDA forums to try it out. You’ll need a custom recovery to flash it, which requires either root or an unlocked bootloader to install, but there is a fairly recent version of TWRP available for the device.