OnePlus may be popular among enthusiasts and power users but at least in US, you need to tie up with some carriers (preferably the ‘Big Four‘) to be a household name. After truckload of speculations and rumors, it actually happened – OnePlus 6T can be purchased through T-Mobile.

One of the main issues with carrier exclusive phones is the delay in updates. While the unlocked or generic variant gets updates frequently, the carrier often slows down the flow unnecessary. Certification or compatibility check with the network are the reasons they mention.

In case of T-Mobile exclusive OnePlus 6T, users are facing similar problems. While the regular version is getting feature updates and security fixes in a steady manner, the T-Mobile variant is left behind. For example, they started rolling out December security patch almost at the end of January.

T-Mobile’s official support page about OP6T updates are not even updated regularly. And their support stuffs are apparently clueless about update policies (as shared by one of the users):

I also contacted tmo customer support and the rep didn’t knew about it and we both searched online for any info. Finally found an article online finally.


Digging deeper, we have uncovered some unusual facts. OEMs like Google or OnePlus do upload updates packages on their site to help users performing a manual update. Not only the T-Mobile variant is excluded from that list, but they also removed the ability to do a ‘Local upgrade’.

Local upgrade in regular variant (Image source: OnePlus forums)

It means even if someone is able to capture the OTA URL and share the update package with community, there is no way one can utilize it to speed up the wait-for-update queue processing. Sideloading from recovery is not applicable here as OnePlus removed it from their stock recovery for devices with A/B partitioning scheme.

T-Mobile OnePlus 6T stock recovery: notice the absence of sideloading options (Image source: /r/oneplus Discord)

Moreover, the T-Mobile variant does not use the standard OnePlus OTA client. Instead of it, they use a forked version of Google’s Over The Air Updates API.

Update client on T-Mobile OnePlus 6T (Image source: reddit)

There is an ongoing discussion among Oxygen Updater community members about possible ways to support the ill-fated T-Mobile OnePlus 6T. With the current set of imposed disabilities, the future is not bright.

Modders have already found ways to fully convert the T-Mobile variant to regular one, even without SIM or bootloader unlock. While the conversion will give you features like dual SIM, much frequent updates, an easily unlockable (and relockable) bootloader and the ability to participate in the Open Beta initiative, the process is not for everyone.

TL;DR: T-Mobile OnePlus 6T is plagued with intentionally crippled update policy, which makes regular users suffer.

PiunikaWeb is a unique initiative that mainly focuses on investigative journalism. This means we do a lot of hard work to come up with news stories that are either ‘exclusive,’ ‘breaking,’ or ‘curated’ in nature. Perhaps that’s the reason our work has been picked by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and more. Do take a tour of our website to get a feel of our work. And if you like what we do, stay connected with us on Twitter (@PiunikaWeb) and other social media channels to receive timely updates on stories we publish.


fota ota

Kingshuk De
896 Posts

I came from a mixed background of Statistics and Computer Science. My research domains included embedded computer systems, mobile computing and delay tolerant networks in post-disaster scenarios. Apart from tinkering with gadgets or building hackintosh, I like to hop on various subreddits and forums like MyDigitalLife and XDA.

Next article View Article

[Updated] Instagram crashing on all Android phones, but there are workarounds

Here's the crux of the article in video form: New updates are being added at the bottom of this story……. Original story from (June 5, 2018) follows: We're...
Jul 10, 2023 6 Min Read