New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Buying a phone via the wireless carrier can be beneficial if you want to exchange your old phone or want to exploit the monthly payment mechanism. Thing is, they love to cripple down a truckload of components. You are basically getting a sub-standard variant of the same gadget in terms of both software and hardware features.

Moto Z2 Force: US carriers (except Verizon) cancelled the Android Pie update for this phone

PiunikaWeb readers should recall this article, where we extensively pointed out the limitations on T-Mobile branded OnePlus 7 Pro over regular unlocked variant. Not only they put an artificial limitation over dual SIM usage, but the carrier also replaced the system updater and switched to a different branch of OxygenOS.

As a consequence, the T-Mobile OnePlus 7 Pro is unable to qualify for the Android Q (the ‘Android 10‘ moniker was not finalized then) public beta testing. There is this Friendly User Testing (FUT) program for volunteers to test updates before wider rollout, which seems largely inactive.

Sprint OnePlus 7 Pro 5G: Same saga again?

When Sprint announced to bring a 5G phone from OnePlus, people started speculating about a new variant – possibly based on OnePlus 7T Pro. Turned out, they opted for the same OnePlus 7 Pro 5G that is currently sold in Europe via EE and Elisa.

Well, is it exactly same? Surprise!

Click/Tap to zoom

We decided to take a look at the official list of Google Play certified devices and managed to spot the references of the Sprint 5G units. As you can see, the regular OnePlus 7 Pro 5G is internally tagged as ‘OnePlus7ProNR’, while the Sprint variant carries the name of ‘OP7ProNRSpr’.

Wait, there’s more! The model number of the European unlocked 5G model is GM1920. But the Sprint one is GM1925 – similar to T-Mobile branded OnePlus 7 Pro (GM1915 versus GM1911/13/17). Guess these are enough to conclude that the Sprint branded OnePlus 7 Pro 5G runs a different version of OxygenOS than the EU variant.

Although EE sales the phone in Europe, it is SIM unlocked out of the box

We still don’t know whether Sprint will allow bootloader unlocking on this phone or not. Factors like SIM locking or cross-flashing different firmware are not very clear either. Sprint did a real mess-up with their carrier branded software on Samsung Galaxy S10; hope they will not repeat the same with OnePlus 7 Pro 5G.

Are you going to buy your first 5G enabled OnePlus phone from Sprint? Comment below.

Update (September 20)

The Sprint branded OnePlus 7 Pro 5G comes with a permanently locked bootloader. They also removed the Local Update option from the custom firmware. Details here.

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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.

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