Project Treble is still a relatively new development for Android. After all, it was first introduced with Android Oreo and only devices launching with Android 8.0 and newer are required to be Treble-compatible out of the box. Yet, it has boosted custom ROM development in our forums in new, previously unimaginable ways: We’ve seen an uptick of custom AOSP-based ROMs like LineageOS, Resurrection Remix, and Pixel Experience make their way over to otherwise development-scarce phones like Kirin-based Huawei devices, Exynos-based Samsung devices, and even MediaTek-based devices from obscure brands. According to Google, Project Treble was a huge factor behind what made the release of Android P betas on non-Pixel phones like the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S and the OnePlus 6 possible.
List of officially supported Android P beta devices
Android P is currently on its fourth Developer Preview (third beta), and like every Android developer preview before it, is closed source until the final release. This means developers can’t compile Android 9.0 builds for your device, so you will have to wait for Google to drop the official source code for the release before you can enjoy a custom ROM based on it. But the lack of source code hasn’t stopped XDA Recognized Developer erfanoabdi, who initially led the pack with his unofficial Android P port for the Motorola Moto Z, based on that device’s unofficial Project Treble implementation. And thanks to his work, you can now install and test out Android P on many Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered Project Treble-enabled devices (both officially supported and unofficially supported).
An Unofficial Android P Beta Port for Project Treble-Enabled Devices
Android P running on a handful of devices, including the Mi 5, the OnePlus 5, and the Redmi 3S.
Calling this a Generic System Image (GSI) would be inaccurate as this port only functions somewhat well on a handful of devices, all of them Snapdragon devices. It should be further noted that this was not compiled from actual, stable Android 9.0 source code. Rather, this port was built from the Google Pixel XL’s Android P Developer Preview 3 system image, but with a ton of hacks to make it bootable on other devices. Your mileage in getting this working will heavily vary (it somehow boots on the Exynos Samsung Galaxy S9, though it’s far from stable on that device), but given that this isn’t really a GSI, don’t expect it to work bug-free on your Treble-enabled device. Have some backups handy if you plan to install it. If you want a more stable release of Android 9.0 for your Treble-enabled device, wait for Google to release the source code next month so proper GSIs can be compiled from source.
At the time of writing, we’ve heard confirmation that it boots with varying degrees of success on the following devices:
- Lenovo P2 (kunato)
- Lenovo Zuk Z2 Plus (z2_plus)
- LG V30 (h930)
- Motorola Moto G5 (cedric)
- OnePlus 5 (cheeseburger)
- OnePlus 5T (dumpling)
- Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Exynos) (starlte2) – highly unstable
- Xiaomi Mi 5 (gemini)
- Xiaomi Mi 6 (sagit)
- Xiaomi Redmi 3s/3x/Prime (land)
- Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime (markw)
- Xiaomi Redmi 4A (rolex)
- Xiaomi Redmi 4x (santoni)
- Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus (vince)
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (mido)
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (whyred)
Most of the devices listed here, including the Motorola Moto G5 and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, require you to install a ROM with unofficial Treble support before moving to this Android P beta port. This is also the case for the OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T which, despite having recently received official Treble support with an OxygenOS update, still require the unofficial Mokee Treble implementation. (That’s not to say that the official OnePlus implementation is broken as this entire port is a giant hack in the first place.)
Unofficial Android P port on the OnePlus 5
While some devices seem to work just fine on this unofficial release, many have broken features or are straight up broken, though the only globally-broken feature is VoLTE. Some devices also have certain strict requirements before flashing the ROM. For instance, decrypting the OnePlus 5 or OnePlus 5T is a must before installing this unofficial Android P beta release. We highly recommend giving the linked thread down below an in-depth read if you’re interested in installing this Android P ROM on your device.
This is a really amazing feat of development to even have Android P work on an unsupported device, let alone multiple. Once source-based Android P GSIs start becoming available next month, expect to see much more stable ROMs. But in the meantime, if you’re eager to try out Android P, and your device has official/unofficial Project Treble support, you might as well give this “semi-GSI” a go.